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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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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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Follow Your Bliss

“Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you,  and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be. If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn’t have opened for anyone else.” ~Joseph Campbell

cameras

Joseph Campbell’s quote has become my reality over the past three years, culminating in a visit to Woodstock last week. The Follow Your Bliss collage has hung in the Woodstock office during those years, but today it sits at my desk in Baltimore thanks to Kris Carr. When I embraced Mr. Campbell’s advice and pursued my aspiration to work with Kris, work stopped feeling like work and my job transformed into a fulfilling (and challenging!) experience.

buddha

Looking back at my time at CSL, I know that it has changed me for the better as a whole person. I think that when you do what you love, even if your goals change over time, your work experiences will enhance and inform your entire life. Although my recent trip to Woodstock wasn’t a true goodbye (I’m still collaborating on writing projects with Kris), it was certainly a new beginning for me as a writer and mama-to-be.

Elvis

So once again, I’m following my bliss because I know myself better today than ever before. There are no guarantees (are there ever really?) that this transition will work out, but I know now that if one direction doesn’t work, I’ll try another path, and another and another if needed. And that’s enough to keep me grounded and happy for now.

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