From the category archives:

Writing & Editing

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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October in Photos

by Corinne on October 16, 2012

October is turning out to be a marathon…in a good way. I’m starting to figure out the work-at-home mom thing (such a gift, but comes with its own challenges). I’m discovering where my creative side can stretch and grow again (hello crack-o-dawn writing sessions). I’m cleaning up the “what-ifs?” and “should-haves” that have been gathering dust in the back of my mind (less obsessing and worrying, more speaking my mind and letting go). And in the midst of that, there’s a lot of cooking, mama-ing, writing, and traveling going on.

October has been a tiring month so far, but a rewarding one. I’m grateful for all the delicious meals that have been coming out of my kitchen courtesy of Crazy Sexy Kitchen. I’m pressing pause on my to-do list to take walks with my daughter and read her books and soak in the ups and downs of her toddler-hood. I’m celebrating unexpected thrills like being mentioned in the latest issue of VegNews Magazine and holding a hardcover copy of Crazy Sexy Kitchen for the first time. And I’m reveling in the happy exhaustion that comes after a day well spent–when I’ve worked hard, tried to be the best mom and wife I can be, and taken care of myself as much as possible.

That’s all we can do and the rest can wait til tomorrow.

❤,
Corinne

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Ten Little Things that Make My Days Brighter

by Corinne on September 11, 2012

While cleaning up after dinner tonight, I realized that I felt great–lots of energy, happiness, and calm. As I look back at my day, I realize that it’s the small efforts that culminate in a feeling of wholeness and satisfaction as the day comes to a close. Here’s a list of those things and many more. If I manage to make about half of these efforts, I sleep easier, I’m happier, and I just feel better.

1. Waking up early. I try to get out of bed at least an hour before Audrey. This is writing time–fiction, magazine articles, KrisCarr.com projects, blogging. I feel ahead of the game before the day has even really started. Starting off on the right foot makes a BIG difference for the rest of the day.

2. Making green juice. Green juice sets the tone for my diet (more plants) and my mindset (clear head!). If I’m drinking it, I’m more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day. Juicing may seem intimidating, but it’s not. Learn everything you need to know here.

3. Going outside. I’m a hermit. I could stay inside for days and not notice. Frankly, I don’t realize how much I love/need the outdoors until I’m actually out there. Fresh air and human contact (in addition to my family and KrisCarr.com Skype meetings!) make me a much sharper, upbeat gal. Added bonus: sharing the walk with my little family.

4. Doing yoga. I don’t do enough yoga and my body is crying out for it. Note to self: It only takes 5-10 minutes/day to reap the benefits of a yoga practice! 

5. Reading a novel. A good book completely alters my daily life. I’m on a continual quest for novels that pull me into their worlds completely. When I do, my days are brighter and my chores get finished quicker because I can’t wait to return to its pages.

6. Giving thanks. Lately, I’ve been giving thanks with Lori Portka’s Month of Gratitude Kit. Writing my daily postcard of love and thanks anchors my whole day. Make gratitude part of your daily life and watch it transform and fill with light.

7. Stopping work before 7PM. Luckily, I love my job and I work from home, so it rarely feels like a chore. On the other hand, since I enjoy working and I find it fulfilling, I have more trouble detaching from it…especially at night! Now that I’m a mama (and thirty years old), I value sleep and family time more and more. When I power down my computer by 7PM, I sleep much better and I spend more quality time with some of the people I love most.

8. Making dinner for my family (and making their lunches with the leftovers!). I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, cooking is healing and enriching. Putting together a meal is my daily meditation, sharing it with my family fills me with joy and packing their lunches with the leftovers gives me an extra shot of happiness and accomplishment.

9. Reading to my daughter. I’m not sure who is getting more out of Audrey’s new obsession with books–her or me? There’s something so precious about her sitting in my lap, listening intently while I read the Little Critter books for the third, fourth, and fifth time in a row.

10. Writing. When I write, I feel balanced. When I don’t write..I’m off. See #1.

❤,
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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