We had the good fortune of connecting with Isabel Rocio and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Isabel, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
The balance I find between working and fully enjoying my life comes in waves and seasons. Up until quite recently, I held the mentality that I had to overwork myself and fill my weeks with sleepless nights in order to succeed. My introduction to working for myself was built on a “hustle” mentality, the mentality that a choice to work on your own time and your own schedule and your own plan, etc., meant having to work four times as hard as everybody else. My idea of work life balance was kind of non-existent. I felt that only after I reached a certain level in my business, would I be able to truly kick back and enjoy my life. Now, that doesn’t really resonate with me. I do believe that you have to work to succeed–when I think of manifestation and putting out into the universe what it is I’m working towards, I don’t think the point is to say a few positive affirmations or make a vision board and then spend the day in bed. What I actively try to do is align myself with the kind of work that resonates fully with who I am and what I want to accomplish, and trust that in doing so the success will come. I don’t want my work to feel like work, even on days when it isn’t the easiest or things don’t go as planned. That mentality has allowed me to take a few steps back and create more time to rest and re-center. The balance comes with understanding that I can’t work with my full capacity if I’m running purely off of steam. So, I try to view rest as part of the work, as a way to move forward fully present with the work I want to do. I figure if I want the work I do to come from an aligned space, I have to make sure that I’m allowing time to remain aligned and balanced. That means resting and nurturing myself as often as I can.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I’m most proud of myself for self-publishing my first poetry collection back in November. The most challenging aspect has been learning how to market myself and promote my book properly, and not letting myself become overwhelmed by that aspect of the work. Navigating the challenges of self-publishing and marketing a book has really shown me what I’m capable of, and equipped me with the discipline I need to expand, in whatever direction I choose to. This autonomy allows me to full dive into my purpose and my passion. The purpose of all the work I share, and the manner in which I share it, is not just to express my truth or experiences, but to guide others in doing the same for themselves. I believe that there’s so much power in planting seeds, and in holding up a mirror to someone, rather than trying to force advice or guidance onto them. I don’t ever want any of my work to come across as ‘preachy’, though I know I can get passionate and I also know I absolutely can’t control how I or my work is perceived. What I try to do, through the writing I share on instagram, or the videos I share on Youtube, is plant seeds, and hope that whoever needed that message will receive it, and whoever didn’t will go on their merry way. I want people to come across my work and feel like what is being shown to them is a reminder of their own power and their own inner compass, not a need for someone else’s. It seems counter-intuitive, but I want my work to allow others the ability to put their phone down and not need another inspiring video or quote to trust their inner power and worth–though I will continue to put my work out there for whenever they need that reminder again, or for someone new who seeks the same. I’m excited to focus more of my energy into bigger future projects, now that I feel comfortable with the work I’ve done to promote my book. I want to continue putting out work that can reach all kinds of people, and challenge myself to do so through various mediums.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I don’t believe in sticking to an itinerary, BUT, if I had to lay out some spots to hit before the week was up, driving down the PCH to Big Rock Beach would be first on the list. It’s not too crowded during the week, and it’s the perfect spot to have a cute little picnic, drink some wine, and relax. Also, a drive down the PCH is an adventure in and of itself, blasting music with the windows rolled down on a sunny day is my kind of vibe. Also on that list would be doing some shopping in Santa Monica, and then heading to an outdoor bar, maybe in Venice, enjoying some good food and drinks and getting progressively louder and more passionate about literally everything as the night goes on. Something about an outdoor bar that makes those drinks a little stronger. Food is my favorite thing to enjoy with other people, so at some point we would need to sit down for either ramen, or any of the number of great sushi spots in LA. Heading to an open mic at Da Poetry Lounge, or finding a pop-up art exhibit downtown would also be a necessity. There’s always something unexplored in the city for artists to enjoy, and some of the best experiences are the ones you randomly come across. Finally, at some point we would need to either head up to the canyons in Malibu, make our way to The Griffith Observatory, or drive out to Joshua tree to see some stars. You can’t beat the views in either of these spots, and I think that’d be a great way to end a busy week.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I don’t mean to be the person at the Oscars who gets their speech cut off by the music but…literally everyone in my life right now deserves credit for supporting me while I build my business and the life I want. I pour my energy into people who pour back into me. My family supports me wholeheartedly, even in some days they push me to get a “regular” job, only because they want me to have as much stability as possible. Most of my closest friends are artists or creatives as well, so not only do they understand the effort required to build something as an individual, but they support me and encourage me. I saw a meme the other day that said something along the lines of, ‘best friends don’t talk, they just send memes back and forth until one calls the other crying’, and honestly, I’m grateful I have friends that will happily be there to pick me back up when things get difficult, regardless of how often we may see each other or talk when life is chaotic. My girlfriend is also one of my best friends, and as an artist and just a genuinely loving human being, she has been there for me every time I start to doubt myself, as well as been there to fire me up and help me recognize my wins, big and small. All these beautiful souls deserve recognition for supporting me along the way, and I do my best to remind them how grateful I am for their presence, and support them just the same. Also shoutout to all the incredible artists, writers, creatives that I’ve connected with through social media. They all inspire me in some way, and I’m forever wishing them abundance and success as well.