The map that’s helping me find my way again.

by Corinne on December 10, 2012

Lately, I’ve had an uneasy feeling. In one word, confused. My little family, my job, my health, all fill me with happiness and ease. I’m not overlooking these blessings–I thank my lucky stars for every one of them. But my writing, the words with my name on them, felt unsteady.

And then on Friday, I got the call. Probably a call that any writer would dread. My agent–a woman who has been my friend, editor, partner and cheerleader over the past three years–wanted to have the talk. And deep down inside, I knew we needed to have it. I’d changed, grown, shifted, and we weren’t on the same page anymore. No hard feelings. No ones fault. But, in the moment, it hurt.

Mostly, I felt lost, embarrassed, and mournful. I knew it was the natural next step and I needed to let go, but my pride was getting in the way. My ego was shouting at me: What will everyone think? You put in all this effort and you failed. You just blogged about how great everything was going. Did you really think you were going to be successful? And at the core of it all: You’re not good enough. Ouch.

I turned to two people who have been there for me every step of the way. My husband gave me a shoulder to cry on and my dear friend and boss, Kris, gave me some good ole advice and perspective. This doesn’t mean I won’t write fiction. It’s not a reflection of the quality of my work. It’s just another stop along the way. Rejection is good! Kris urged me to toast to this shift instead of resisting it. So that evening, after tucking Audrey into bed, I poured a glass of vino and clinked glasses with Steve. Here’s to rejection, I said, and I felt a little better.

But it takes more than 24 hours to move on, even if I was trying my best to keep my chin up. I still felt…off. As always, the universe had already given me exactly what I needed. I’d bought The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte the day before the call. Hello, life line.

Over the past three days, I’ve spent every free moment listening to Danielle read The Desire Map on my iPhone. Chores became pure delight as I washed dishes, mopped, and vacuumed the weekend away to Desire 101. Sunday morning, I printed out the first section of Book Two: The Workbook. While Audrey napped and Steve watched football, I sat on my bed, played The Desire Map’s soulful Spotify playlist and tore through the worksheets.

Three hours swept by. My heart raced. My stomach flip flopped. I felt uncomfortable, daring, hopeful. Clearly, I needed to do this work. And at the end of those three hours, I smiled. I felt lighter. I didn’t have answers, but I had less noise. I just felt present and I knew that I had begun something that would feed me and truly help me lead a happier life.

The Desire Map

I could see my blessings in bright, dazzling lights and I started to feel like I could take a little breather from my fiction. It’s not going anywhere. Maybe now is the time to read more, be present more, take more notes, journal, and just be. Maybe that’s what’s going to bring the best stories out of me. I’ve been writing so fast the past three years–trying to reach goal after goal. Maybe I just need to live. Not to mention the fact that I’m working on a digital book with Kris right now, which fills me with excitement and joy. Maybe that needs my attention at the moment.

For now, I’m doing what feels good. Early morning yoga and writing before the babe wakes up. Focusing on my job and soaking in all the phenomenal opportunities it offers me. Being present while reading Audrey a book or sitting with Steve in our decked out living room while the Yule Log crackles in HD. All of these things feel spacious, infinite and nourishing. That’s where I want to exist.

Here’s to Desire Mapping, new beginnings and letting go.

❤,
Corinne

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Angie December 10, 2012 at 1:52 pm

I am a big fan of your blog and inspired by your encouragement to follow your own bliss.
I find this post honest and beautiful. Best of luck in being present and just being.

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2 Corinne Bowen December 10, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Angie,

Thank you for leaving your kind comment. It makes me smile. Good luck to you in following your bliss & keep in touch:)

xo,
Corinne

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3 Jaime K December 10, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Hindsight is incredible. It reveals the ways that letting go of the good things (always easier than letting go of something negative) is such a time for growth, and making room for something else. Not always “better” — though it can be — but something different. We are people and thrive on relationships, and some come into our lives when we need them and float away when we no longer do. And it’s *all good*.

Maybe the thing to be afraid of is no change at all. It sounds like you are writing your own map, something I know you more than most are capable of. Sending you a million warm wishes. You are one of the bravest women I have the pleasure to know. <3

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4 Corinne December 11, 2012 at 8:15 am

A million warm wishes back to you! I’m so happy to know you. You inspire me too! xo

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5 Lori December 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Corinne, this is such a beautiful post. I loved it so much I just read it out loud to my husband. It is so honest and real and hopeful. I can relate to it on lots of levels. Thank you for this. And I knew I was going to buy the Desire Map eventually but now I want to get it now :)

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6 Corinne December 11, 2012 at 8:14 am

I’m honored that you would share this with your husband :-). Thank you so much for your thoughtful words. It’s nice to know that we’re not alone! xo

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7 katie smallwood December 11, 2012 at 10:52 am

You are such an inspiration Corinne, your posts keep my head in the game in times of questioning or wanting to give up, I know that new doors will open for you as I have seen them do in the last year. Happy Holidays and miss you xoxo

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8 Corinne December 13, 2012 at 7:06 am

Miss you too! Can’t wait to catch up and find out how you’re doing. Thank you so much for your support & kindness. xoxo

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9 Caroline Shannon-Karasik December 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm

Corinne, my mom always tells me that, as a writer, I have the gift of sharing my thoughts with others and maybe –– just maybe –– changing one life because I had the strength to do so. This post is exactly that for so many people, including me. I too have lately found my writing, my words to be “unsteady.” I have forged ahead with the many wonderful things that are happening in my life and forgotten that my truth, my words, need to come along for the ride. Your post reminded me that I am not alone and that we must continue to chase our desires EVERY SINGLE DAY. Sometimes we just need a little refocus … and it sounds like that is exactly what you are doing. Cheers to rejection! ;)

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10 Corinne December 13, 2012 at 7:15 am

Thank you for sharing your experience. We really are together in this and the more that we support each other the more successful we will all be! Writing becomes more joyful when I read comments like the one on this post. I’m truly inspired by you and all of my readers:) Cheers! xo

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11 Cassie January 3, 2013 at 11:31 am

Corinne, I’ve just discovered your blog, and I’m so glad I did. As writers, the thought of rejection terrifies us all. For the first time in my very young career, I’m now stepping out on a very high ledge… one that could change the course of my life. I’m setting myself up for–potentially– huge rejection. Or acceptance. I don’t know. But I think I needed to read this post to remember that no matter what the outcome, I will continue to write. Best of luck to you in your endeavors!

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