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career

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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I’ve been wanting to talk about connection and community for a while, but recently it’s become even more evident how uplifting, inspiring and heart-thumpingly beautiful relationships can be, even the ones that are mostly online or with people who you see 99% of the time via Skype video.

Over the past five years, I’ve found a few things to be helpful in discovering people who will lift you up, make you shine brighter and help you see clearer.

Be vulnerable and speak your truth. It feels kind of itchy and awkward when you start talking about your hopes, your beliefs and what makes you happy. I kept these things inside, for the most part, until about five years ago. I thought that my dream of becoming a writer and editor was silly. I worried about how becoming vegetarian (and then vegan) would be viewed by others. I was afraid that if I said what I was really thinking, I wouldn’t be heard.

In a very small way, some of those things happened. But in a much bigger way, I began connecting with life-changing, joyful, awesome people. I started working toward a career that I love today. And I moved toward a lifestyle that’s aligned with what feels right for me. By being vulnerable, I was able to grow and be happier every day.

Reach out. When I decided to begin a new career path, I started out by talking to people who were already walking the walk. I asked for advice (and took some of it), I shared my dreams, and I really listened to what resonated with me. I wanted to become a yoga teacher at first, so I became a volunteer at a nearby studio and learned everything I could about the instructors’ paths. Later, I wanted to work with Kris Carr, so I took a chance and contacted her. I’ve reached out to editors and agents and other people I admire, and most of the time I come out on the other side with new opportunities and knowledge. My life would be completely different if I had been too afraid to write those emails and make those phone calls.

I’ve also experienced the power of reaching out when building friendships with like-minded folks. I Facebook messaged Jaime Karpovich after seeing her Save the Kales! tv show. I felt drawn to connect with her, so I did. I adore Lori Portka‘s art, so when I did my 30th Birthday challenge, I asked her to be a part of it. (And I met Lori in person just a week ago.) Same goes for Christy Morgan, author of one of my favorite cookbooks, Blissful Bites. These are some of the many kindred spirits I’ve found by putting myself out there and saying, “I really like what you’re up to in the world, wanna be friends?”

Do something. Blog, tweet, write a book, start a meetup group, join an online community, become a board member at your local co-op–you get the picture. If you want to connect with inspiring, positive, interesting people, go find them. They’re out there! Volunteering is a great way to get started–it has led to so many enriching relationships for me.

When you’re giving your talents away, you get so much back. Heck, when I started working with Kris (before Crazysexylife.com even existed), I was a volunteer. When I moved to Baltimore, I joined Americorps Alums and met a dear Baltimore friend who was a huge source of support through my pregnancy and first year of mamahood. I met one of the only vegans I know in Baltimore by striking up a conversation with her at a local vegetarian restaurant and now we’re pals. And just recently I’ve been meeting a plethora of veg-mamas on Twitter (like Janae over at Bring Joy and Darrah Parker).

You know you’ve found a kindred spirit when you’re at ease, not on the defensive. When you dream bigger, rather than hide your hopes. When their experiences make you want to be better, stronger and braver.

I started a Facebook page to create a little space for connecting with anyone who is interested in following their bliss, eating more veggies, raising compassionate kiddos, and cooking with love. If this resonates, I’d love to see more of you there too.

❤ ,
Corinne

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Growing into My Yoga Practice

by Corinne on July 17, 2012

 Five years ago, I spent a month at the Sivananda Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne, NY. I was newly married, newly unemployed and completely lost in most ways. I wanted an escape. I wanted a new path. I needed to heal from some heartbreak and follow my gut somewhere new.

I still remember, months before arriving at the ashram, stopping there on my way home from a weekend trip to Vermont. It was a sunny day in May and the ashram was quiet. As I drove up the long gravel driveway, I hoped to receive a sign from above–something that would tell me that coming here and becoming a yoga teacher was the right path for me. I stopped at the front desk and asked for a map of the property. Then, alone, I walked to a shrine at the top of a hill, waiting for something to click inside me.

It didn’t. A bright light didn’t glow suddenly inside my mind. A deep resonance didn’t sound off inside my heart. The decision to take a leap of faith was never going to be easy. I left the ashram that day just as confused as I was when I arrived. Sometimes you just have to keep moving forward without a strong sense of purpose. At least that’s what I ended up doing; because choosing nothing and feeling the same emptiness, wasn’t an option either.

So, I did it. I spent four weeks meditating twice a day, living in a small room with three other students, waking up at 5AM each morning, doing my karma yoga in the kitchen each night, and learning about the history and practice of Sivananda yoga. And although I was practicing yoga four hours a day at the ashram during teacher training, my yoga practice today is far more powerful, even though I only do it for 15 minutes a day, if that.

I need yoga today in ways that I didn’t when I was twenty-five. Before, I wanted to own my practice. I wanted to achieve poses, not heal through them or exist within them. That’s not to say that my yoga practice used to be less valuable, it just took me a while to be present while doing yoga, accept myself in each pose, and to welcome its gifts.

Today, I do yoga as someone who has carried a child, given birth, and is now a mother. Some nights, everything from my toes to my neck aches, especially after a long day at the keyboard. That’s when I retreat into my practice, whether I’m just putting my legs up on the wall and reading a book at the end of the day or discovering that I can still do a headstand–something that made me realize, months into motherhood, that I’m still me, I’m still strong, and anything is still possible.

Today, that’s what yoga means to me.

❤,
Corinne

Photo Credit: Jennifer May for The New York Times

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Thank you, Mr. Bradbury.

by Corinne on June 6, 2012

“Things that you do, should be things that you love. And things that you love, should be things that you do.” ~Ray Bradbury

I have watched this interview many times over the past few years. Ray Bradbury’s story has eased my fears about wandering off the path most traveled. He has helped me forge ahead with my novel. He has helped me keep my head up when I left a steady job to chase a gut feeling. And he helped me see past my self-doubt when I reworked my career as a new mother.

His words leave me at peace, but also wanting to do my very best to do my dreams justice.

RIP, Mr. Bradbury. And thank you again.

 

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Less Worry, More Joy, and Orange Rind Tiaras

by Corinne on March 14, 2012

Life has been a whirlwind of editing, mothering, cooking, and occasional sleeping lately. Even though days seem to pass in a blur, each one unfolds in a rich, heart-pounding, soul-quenching kind of way.

Penn Station, Baltimore Co-op, Spring Tree

I’m not sure if I would have embraced this pace a year ago. I might not have adjusted to its challenges, twists, and quirks with as many shrugs and smiles. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a planner and I probably always will be. But slowly, I’m letting go of the things I can’t control (the smaller ones at least), so that I can savor the moments at hand. Like tonight, when waiting for a delayed train turned into a twilight walk with my little girl.

From morning until late at night, I find blocks of time to work on editing projects. Currently, I’m thrilled to be the in-house editor for Kris Carr’s upcoming book, Crazy Sexy Kitchen. Not only is this book packed with whole food, veggie-strong education, it’s also chock full of phenomenal recipes (believe me, I’ve been testing them and my husband agrees). I kind of feel like I’m cheating when I work with Kris because no matter how much time and effort it takes to create something like a kick-ass cookbook, it’s enriching, challenging, and a whole lotta fun at the same time.

As I walked through the front doors of Penn Station with Audrey this evening, I remembered the train ride I took five years ago to meet Kris in NYC for the first time. I felt it in my bones even then. When you’re on the right path, it resonates through your whole being. I remind myself of how lucky I am to be in this position, as a writer, editor, wife, and mother, whenever I’m tired and my brain just wants to zone out with a box set of Gilmore Girls DVDs. You know what else helps on the more challenging days?

One World Cafe BreakfastOrange rind tiaras.

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