From the category archives:

Following Your Bliss

Patience & letting go (a new way of being)

by Corinne on December 29, 2012

Here we are. Three weeks since my last blog post and still feeling cautiously…better. I’ve allowed my freelance writing to take a vacation and I’ve created space–to breathe, to think and to enjoy the holiday season.

I’m still afraid to let go–worried that if I’m not constantly working toward mind-blowing dreams (the kind that weave killer conversations and make for best-selling memoirs) I’m not worth your time. But simultaneously, I’m realizing that I’m a lot happier on a day-to-day basis when I’ve got some free-time on my hands.

I have the next four days off (thanks, boss!) and the only things I have planned are cooking, reading and spending time with my family. I just spent an hour working on Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map program while Audrey napped and now I’m writing this blog by candlelight. The house is peaceful and so am I. I stocked up on groceries earlier today and I can’t wait to try out five different recipes in the coming days. No deadlines looming. Just space, joy, and re-charging my spirit while nurturing my family.

The icing? This space is allowing me to be more creative. Ideas for future freelance articles and books and KrisCarr.com content are flowing into my mind effortlessly. Concepts that fill me with excitement because they aren’t forced. I’m writing them down and letting them marinate–letting them just be for a little while, until they’re ready to be explored and pitched into the world. And in the meantime, I’ll be patient. I’ll wait for that stirring inside that tells me I’m ready to bring more onto my plate. It could be next week or months down the road. For now, just writing it all down is enough.

Patience and letting go are my two biggest teachers right now. Something that has really helped me embrace these principles has been the latest post at KrisCarr.com. Kris broke down the beliefs many of us have built around purpose–the biggest being that our purpose is tied to what we do for a living. When I read the following list, my shoulders relaxed, my mind sighed a big breath of relief and I smiled (you can read the rest of the blog here). Kris writes:

What if your purpose is very different than what you’ve been taught to believe?

  • What if your purpose is to build an everlasting relationship with yourself? To fall deeply in love with precious you? This isn’t self-centered or selfish, it’s self-expansive. Interconnected. Conscious.
  • What if your purpose is to forgive yourself and others? And by doing so, to allow warm waves of compassion to wash over the entire planet (yourself included).
  • What if your purpose is to gently heal all self-injury? And by doing so, to become a mentor and role model for others to do the same.
  • What if your purpose is to release all shame and feelings of unworthiness? Guess what you’ll find behind those feelings? Vulnerability. Roll out the red carpet for the V word because vulnerability is where your true strength and glory resides.
  • Shall we talk about perfection? Yes, I think we must. What if your purpose is to teach yourself that there is no such thing as perfection and that your never ending pursuit of it is destroying your life and your relationships. Let it go.
  • What if your purpose is to speak kindly to yourself so that you elevate your energy and the world around you?
  • What if your purpose is to develop an everlasting faith in yourself? To remember your holiness and treat yourself accordingly. The deeper your faith gets, the stronger your connection to a higher power.
  • What if your purpose is to take impeccable care of yourself so that you have the energy and joy to serve others?

When I begin to embrace these questions, life doesn’t seem so complicated. I’m not my job (although I’m grateful for it and I love it), my worth isn’t attached to the next thing I publish, and my value doesn’t depend on what someone else thinks of my productivity or what kind of mother/wife/friend I am. I’m just here to be a human being. My favorite point is the last one in Kris’ list. It really makes sense to me right now. When I am rested, healthy and happy, I’m also kinder, more understanding and ready to give, give, give because I’m all fueled up. When I’m in that space, the rest just falls into place. I think it will for you too.

❤,
Corinne

 

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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

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You can have it all…well, sorta

by Corinne on November 21, 2012

I’ve really been struggling lately to nurture one of my biggest commitments.

Family and health come first, but how do you prioritize the rest of the stuff? Writing is at the root of my passions. Luckily, my job is one of these passions. At work, I get to write all day long, interact with inspiring people who challenge me everyday, and focus on a mission that resonates in my heart–helping others achieve inner and outer health. I am truly grateful for that.

But there’s another part of me that loves writing fiction. And over the past year, through new motherhood, a new job and a lot of traveling, it hasn’t received the attention I used to be able to give it. And that didn’t feel right. I started to doubt myself. Can I do this? Am I being naive? Is this what I have to accept–that I have to let go of some dreams? Frankly, it was making me feel pretty blue.

Then, I saw Marie Forleo’s interview with Steven Pressfield about his book, Turning Pro. And it’s changed my life in a BIG way. Steven and Marie talk about the difference between pros and amateurs. A pro doesn’t hit the snooze button in the morning when they need to get up and write. A pro takes care of herself because she needs to be in tip-top shape to get her work done. A pro succeeds because she doesn’t give up. Amateurs give up. And I’m not an amateur.

The next morning, I got up at 5AM and wrote for two hours before Audrey woke up. And I’ve done the same ever since, including weekends (I get up at 6AM on Saturday/Sunday). Here’s what this small change has done for me:

I’m taking better care of myself: I start the day with lemon & warm water. I’m only drinking one cup of coffee per day. I’m going to bed earlier. I’m turning off my computer a couple hours before bed because I’ve already done my fiction and freelance writing in the morning. More sleep, more peace, more space for creativity.

I’m more in the moment with my family: I’m not distracted in the evenings because I know I have that sacred morning time to get my writing done. I’m not tuning out with the TV at night. Instead, I’m tuning in with my family at the dinner table, reading stories with Audrey or enjoying a glass of wine with my husband.

I feel passion for my fiction again: Now that I’m investing daily effort into my novel–the love, the drive, and the excitement are all coming back. And that feels really good in my core. Those feelings seep into every other part of my life. Making me a better wife, friend, mom, employee…you get the picture. When you feed your needs, especially the biggies, you have more energy and joy to give everything else you love.

I believe that you can have “it all,” depending on the things that fall into that category. For me, having it all means two simple things:

❤ Trying my best each day to love and care for my family, friends and myself.

❤ Working with people and on projects that are aligned with my beliefs and my passions.

I encourage you to watch Marie’s conversation with Steven and put a new habit into practice that will feed your dreams. Try to stick to it and watch how it transforms your life.

❤,
Corinne

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My New Job: Creative Director at KrisCarr.com!

by Corinne on August 31, 2012

Crazy Sexy Kitchen

This month was a biggie–for facing fears, taking leaps, and new beginnings. August kicked off with a biz trip to Woodstock, NY for a week…without my kiddo (for the first time). I was worried that I’d be a mess or she would be a mess or both. Luckily, we both had a fantastic week–Audrey with her Dad and grandparents in Baltimore and me with Kris Carr on her little farmette.

We spent our time planning out the launch of Crazy Sexy Kitchen, working on an awesome new program, eating some seriously delicious food (and drinking green juice, of course) and rescuing butterflies. I got a little break from mamahood and Audrey had a blast with her extended family. When we were reunited, it was pure joy and I had a renewed sense of gratitude for my family and my life. Win!

Rewind back to my last day in Woodstock. I was sitting on Kris’ porch, wrapping up our whirlwind week of work, when she asked me, “Wanna be my Creative Director?” (She was much more eloquent, but you get the idea.) As we discussed the position, I began to realize that this was the job I’d been working toward my whole life and it felt like the position was just falling in my lap. I finally understood one of the many wise things Joseph Campbell shared with the world:

“We must let go of the life we have planned,
so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

I couldn’t have predicted that Kris would offer me this position or that it would be exactly what I wanted to do. I couldn’t have planned it out or forced it to happen. I just had to be my best self and be open to the possibility of good things happening. And they did.

Since I’m part of Team KrisCarr.com nowadays, I won’t be taking new copywriting/editing clients for the foreseeable future (Our new KrisCarr.com website launches 9/17!). If you’d like to receive my monthly newsletter (and you don’t already), which includes updates on all things writing, mamahood + vegan cooking, I hope you’ll sign up here so that we can stay in touch.

Sending you best wishes for September and a big thank you for being one of my readers!

❤,
Corinne

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Crazy Sexy Biz Trip

by Corinne on August 17, 2012

On Monday, I packed up and set off for a quick biz trip to Woodstock. I didn’t know how I’d feel the first night away. I was nervous to leave my baby girl, but also excited to work in person with Kris Carr for the first time in many, many months (and have a few days off full-time mamahood). I gave Audrey a quick kiss on the head and hurried out the door before she could see me tear up.

Six hours, a couple green juices and a kombucha later, I arrived at Twin Gables B & B.

The next morning, I left downtown Woodstock and set off for a day at Crazy Sexy HQ.

Each morning I was greeted with a big glass of green juice. Kris and her husband make the best veggie juice on the planet. You know what else Kris makes? Superb sandwiches. In case you’re wondering, this magical sammie contained: sunflower sprouts, avocado, tempeh, heirloom tomatoes, and Vegenaise on Ezekial sprouted bread.

Kris’ hubs, Brian, found an injured butterfly in the driveway. We made friends and gave him a little watermelon snack.

I spent the second two nights at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary B & B. It’s charming, cozy, and surrounded by happy, rescued creatures.

Crazy Sexy Kitchen

We brainstormed, wrote like crazy, dreamed big (and then bigger), and when we had an EUREKA! moment, Kris jumped in the pool…with her clothes on.

It was a week of renewal, immense creativity, and lots of joy. I missed my little one, my husband and our Charm City rowhouse, but I knew that our reunion would here before I knew it. Those three days were a gift–something that I’ll always cherish.

And it’s just the beginning.

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How I Handle Uncertainty

by Corinne on August 8, 2012

I’m not sure where our family will be living one year from now. I’ve been browsing real estate listings, checking out school districts, and imagining what it would be like to return to my home town or make a pit stop in another city for a couple years, before finally settling somewhere.

The uncertainty of our next step is driving me up the wall.

I’m naturally drawn to making fast decisions in the face of uncertainty. I want to choose a path and move toward it as quickly as possible. I love “wiping the slate clean” and starting something new. Except, I can’t do that right now. Our destination will depend on jobs, the housing market and a variety of other factors that I can’t even begin to predict.

I have a couple options: feel stuck and frustrated or be present and figure out what I can do now.

I chose the latter and got started by making a list of everything that needs to happen before we move. These are things that I can do right now. Seeing the list puts my impatience on hold. There’s a lot to do. Now that I’m more in reality about that, I can focus on the here and now a little more and be grateful that we have time to prepare for our next step, whatever that may be.

1. De-cluttering our home. Donate what we don’t need + organize what we do need.

2. Home improvements. What do we need to do in order to make this house an attractive rental or purchase?

3. Savor time with our Charm City pals. We love a lot of people in Charm City and if we do move away, we’ll miss them.

4. Get educated. We’re talking to real estate agents and friends living in different areas to get a feel for our options. Knowing more about the possibilities makes me feel more grounded and prepared for whatever happens.

5. Dream about the future. What kind of home do we want? Rent? Buy? Temporary or forever house? City? Country?

The last point on my list is a biggie. It’s okay to dream, even if my hopes might not work out. There’s a little voice in my head that says, “Don’t dream TOO big. You’ll never be able to swing THAT.” I’m trying to quiet the voices that tell me not to get too excited about the beautiful places my imagination takes me. I’ve found that most ideas that I think are impossible, usually work out if I just hang in there and keep believing that they just might be possible.

From hope to house.

When I moved to Baltimore with my then boyfriend, now husband, I dreamed of living in Hampden–the kitchy neighborhood that everyone has probably seen in a John Waters’ movie. We lived in a tiny carriage house downtown at the time. I started telling anyone who would listen that I wanted to buy a house in Hampden, although I had no idea how to make it happen. (I even went to a Hampden Community Council meeting to scope out my potential neighbors!) One of my trusted Baltimore friends recommended that I speak to her beloved real estate agent. Just for the heck of it, I did. Then, we started looking at houses. Then, we walked into the house that I’m living in today. “This is it,” Steve told me, minutes after stepping inside the hundred-year-old rowhouse.

From first hope, to closing on the house = 5 months. You just never know.

❤ ,
Corinne

 

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