Theoretical paradigms for exotic states of matter are key for providing understanding as well as for guiding experimental searches in quantum materials. For the case of quantum spin liquids in frustrated magnets, two paradigms are given by the Kitaev honeycomb model and Anderson's resonating valence bond states, exemplifying exchange and geometric frustration, respectively. In this talk, we will see that these are two sides of the same coin. Inspired by recent theory and experiments on Rydberg blockade physics, we introduce a generalized Ising model which unifies these paradigms. We will explore how this new approach provides fresh inspiration for the exploration of topological states in quantum materials.