All Posts By

Corinne K.

Creativity, Learning, Spirituality, Wellness

Self-Help Exhaustion and Moving Beyond A Need for Perfection

There are plenty of things I know that work to get me feeling inspired again when I’m feeling less than creative – from painting just for the fun of it, to free-writing and doodling in a notebook.

I know what gets me feeling energetic when the blahs set in and I never underestimate how a jog or an impromptu dance party in my kitchen to a kick-ass playlist can do wonders to boost my mood.

I’ve also learned that I thrive on getting to know myself better – uncovering the things that I need to feel good and help me grow into a better version of myself.

But despite this long list of things I can reliably turn to – things I know that will get me moving – and despite the fact that I’m all about growth and finding your space in the world, I’m gonna be real straight with you. Sometimes, I’m just too goddamn tired to apply my own advice.

I know that getting active and moving can help me when I need to shift out of a funk but sometimes I just want to plunk myself on the couch with poutine and a glass of wine (don’t knock it ’til you try it) and flip aimlessly through a million options on Netflix, regular cable and Shomi before realizing that I’ve spent a listless hour trying to pick something to watch, only to end up with the realization that ‘there’s nothing on’.

And sometimes. Sometimes I refuse to stop to overthink a situation in which I’m clearly overreacting to something pretty mundane – something that fits into the ‘first-world problems’ category – in order to analyze what’s really bothering me, to dig deeper and take another look at myself to understand what I can change in my perspective. Because sometimes I just want to overreact to something, not exhaust my brain and regroup when things don’t feel so crazy and hairy anymore.

There was a time when I felt bad that I slacked off by not adhering to my self-help to-do list. There was a time when I felt guilty for not going the extra mile every single freaking time I thought I needed to take a closer look at my motivations to find another way to shape myself into a better version of me – into something closer to a poster-perfect depiction, worthy of an Oprah special. And in those moments, that’s when I realized that the work I thought I was doing to help myself and further my growth was actually hindering me and making me feel like shit because I wasn’t taking my own advice. I was judging myself for not following a prescribed set of rules. But y’know what? Rules were made to be broken.

I’m not saying we should throw out the things that light us up. And I’m definitely not suggesting that we stop moving through a space where we can see ourselves continuously changing and learning.

But what I am suggesting is that we can be willing to recognize those moments where every last inch of our being just needs to succumb to what we’re feeling at the time, sit in it, dwell with it and get lost in it.

We can be willing to recognize when we can push ourselves a bit to move forward because sometimes when we nudge ourselves through a lull, we surprise and delight ourselves with our resilience.

But sometimes we need to sit longer with the discomfort and taste it. Because sometimes when we push ourselves out of something too quickly, we actually lose the lesson in it all.

xo

Creativity, Lifestyle, Spirituality

Prince, the End of the Week and a Necessary Soulful Smackdown

“Yeah, everybody’s got a bomb, we could all die any day. But before I’ll let that happen, I’ll dance my life away.” ~ Prince

Music is powerful.

Every cell of my body will forever reverberate with excitement upon the very hint of When Doves Cry. Recognizing that its resonance partly has to do with nostalgia, there’s also a certain something to the song that I can’t quite verbalize. Something that draws me into every note and makes it ridiculously difficult (if not impossible) to remain still and not belt the lyrics on the top of my lungs. After all, Prince was a creative genius.

With his passing, we’re reminded that life is short.
Through his example we’re reminded to love without abandon and play hard.
To embrace our imperfections.
Indulge on occasion.
Flirt with intelligence.
Choose carefully when to ‘do’ vs. when to ‘be’.
To trust and forgive ourselves.
To laugh it off.
Sleep on it.
Stretch.
Dance.
Sing.
And move with intention.

With mad, mad crazy love, TGIF.

Authenticity, Creativity

Life, Art and Creativity: Getting Stuck and How To Find Our Flow Again

“I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink your tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How your writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.” ~ Helena Bonham Carter

Along with art being present in everything we do and who we are, comes the need for creativity, fresh perspectives and inspiration – as it applies to all this day-to-day stuff. Whether we’re plugging away on an assignment at work or staring at a blank canvas with a paintbrush in hand, we need to plug into our creative nature to move forward. But sometimes, we just get stuck.

I can’t possibly recall the multitude of times I’ve sat in front of my laptop, staring at an open Word document, trying to squeeze something out. Just a paragraph, sentence or even a completely random thought, hoping to spark an idea and a narrative thread only to find myself completely uninspired.

But in these cases when we feel like we’re creating something – some concrete form of output – we often assume that these are the only times we need to tap into our inspiration or creativity. But what about the other times we need to get creative and fresh in our thinking?

I was in the grocery store the other day wandering around the produce section when I realized that I’ve been cooking pretty much the same stuff, with the same ingredients on rotation for a long while now. We can often stick to the same old, same old because it’s quick and easy. Couldn’t that use a fresh perspective?

Then there are the times that I bump into a difficult situation with someone. Disagreements and issues are inevitable when we’re dealing with other people but sometimes we get stuck on what to say, how to broach a difficult subject and what really bothered us about it all in the first place. Sometimes we can’t see what’s really bugging us and what we can do to communicate clearly and fairly. Couldn’t that use some creativity?

Here’s the thing though, when we get stuck on something – be that a creative project, a mundane habit or routine or even sticky situations with other people – the more we try to force an outcome or solution, the more we’ll find ourselves stuck.

Inspiration often hits us when we least expect it and when we aren’t replaying details in our head, overthinking every last detail.

We paint the most beautiful pieces of art when we literally turn up the music and get lost in the vibe or find that silence between thoughts where we’re not worrying about things and let that energy take over. We get inspired when we sit back, take a deep breath and just paint, letting the composition reveal itself to us.

We get inspired to change things up when we’re open to it. More often than not, when we set the intention to change something in life, we’ll see things pop up in our days that would suggest how to go about making that change. We might get ideas of who to reach out to, what to do differently and which options are available to us.

We understand how to deal with hiccups in our relationships with others when we step away from a problem and stop trying to ‘figure it all out’. When we gain some distance from our troubles, it’s often easier to see the crux of the issue and get a better handle on what’s what.

Getting creative and finding our flow happens when we open up to possibilities. It happens when we decide to surrender the thinking that we can dig up a solution to every problem as long as we think long and hard enough about it. Getting creative and finding our flow happens when we let go and let inspiration find us.

And sometimes (a lot of the time) getting creative and finding inspiration is about making progress. Sometimes it’s about uncovering a way to move ahead (not finding a way, but revealing it). And sometimes (a lot of the time) progress is about compassion – about being gentle on ourselves and the process. It’s often through this compassion that we begin to move forward and find our flow again.

Painting cred: Patrice Murciano.
Authenticity, Relationship, Spirituality

Letter From Your Future

Dear Human,

Remember how your entire being ached after you lost in love? You vowed you couldn’t possibly ever open up again in the same way. You guarded yourself and tread carefully with matters of the heart. But I was there to give you time to heal, distance to gain perspective and strength to move on.

Remember when you would wake up restless in the middle of the night, your mind racing as you worried about your mounting bills? You felt like you were missing out, lacking something and struggling to survive. Yet you always had a roof over your head, solid ground under your feet and food on the table. You may not have had the biggest or fanciest house or lavish gourmet bites but I was always there to protect, support and nourish you.

Remember when you doubted that your body intuitively knows what it needs? When you dismissed how energizing it can be to stretch your muscles, walk, eat healthy, and breathe deeply. When you could see sickness and lethargy creeping in and instead of heeding the signs, you moved through your days as if nothing was wrong. When you could feel your thoughts reflecting your scattered energy. Yet here you are. You woke up this morning, you walked to work. You didn’t have to ask your body to get you to where you needed to be. You just got there.

There was a time when you felt like you had to have everything figured out. Here’s the thing: you can’t possibly have everything figured out and you’re not supposed to. Your experiences, the things that happen to and around you that make you feel something in the moment, and how you move through them all – that matters.

There was a time when you were obsessed about “finding your passion and purpose” in this world. Passion. Purpose. Those are just labels you use that actually complicate things that can be so very simple.

Does it feel good? Does it light you up? Does it make you spring from bed in the morning to check in and work? Do you fall naturally into flow and lose track of all time as you dive into it? Do you love it? Then go do it.

You don’t need to “find” anything. Your passion and purpose aren’t elusively hiding under a rock. You just need to be and allow things to unfold naturally. Recognize what feels right and trust that the more you make choices based on how you feel, the better you’ll get at knowing where to focus your attention and what to let go of. Don’t try to figure everything out. Just feel everything. Be. Love.

There will be times when you break down and question it all. There will be moments when hearing that ‘everything happens for a reason’ will positively infuriate you in the face of death, loss, sickness and struggle. But I promise you – in even your lowest moments and darkest times – when you think that you’re alone and there’s no rhyme or reason, there’s an invisible thread connecting your experiences resulting in the person you are today. And you’re fucking beautiful.

The point is to try not to busy your mind with over-analyzing and worrying about possible outcomes. Experience your unique experiences. Sit with the emotions. Refrain from judgement. Move through it all. Do everything with love.

Comparison will only rid you of your own personal growth and happiness.

And then.
One day.
You’ll find yourself in some place new, doing something that feels like home. And when your mind is at peace with yourself, your choices and your surroundings, I promise you that you’ll begin to see that invisible thread. And it won’t be about understanding it but rather, accepting it. Being thankful for it. And knowing that the less you try and the more you just be yourself – kinks, contradictions and all – the more things will continue to fall into place.

With mad, mad love,

The Universe XX