All Posts By

Corinne K.

Spirituality, Wellness

Getting Chummy With Uncertainty

I know that 2016 has finally settled into the cells of my body. I’m no longer scratching out 2015 at the top of my journal entries as I remind myself that it’s a year later. The holidays have passed – clearly evident in the lack of colourful lights and Christmas decor (which I grew quite fond of actually). And I’m now revelling in the fact that it’s still light outside until about 6pm. (The. Best. Feeling.)

And along with my realization that it’s indeed 2016, I find myself reflecting with friends at how unsettling and tumultuous last year was. The year ended with everything I’d built in my professional life kinda just floating in the air. I had a clear idea of how I wanted to build my business and let’s just say that the universe had other plans. While I often refer to it all as unreal, I now understand that it served as more of a reality check. It forced me to take a hard look at how, and if, I’m walking my talk.

After all, it’s easy to be chill, mindful, present, grounded and aware when things are going well.

When life is all unicorns, ponies and rainbows, there’s no problem with chiseling out ‘me time’ in the day, getting quiet and sitting with nothing but my own thoughts. But when the proverbial shit hits the fan, that’s when I can see whether or not I’m applying all that practice of being with (and not reacting to) the drama. Uncertainty has a clever way of testing us – to see if we know how to just be.

‘Cuz that’s what all this meditation and mindfulness stuff is all about. It’s about sitting with your thoughts – the good, the bad and the ugly – without getting attached. It’s about letting those drifting thoughts, which are as inevitable as the rising and setting sun, to simply drift in and out. Rather than hanging onto any thought – feeding, growing and making it into something entirely different – we have the clear choice to let go of anything that comes into our mind. And then it’s about applying those same ideas to life. What we learn about sitting with ourselves during meditation, we apply to our day-to-day.

“No problem!” I thought when things got knocked off kilter, kicked out of balance and didn’t live up to my expectations. “I know how to rock this. Just keep moving. You got this!” I repeated to myself. (Embarrassingly so when I was busted by the bf talking to myself in the bathroom, reminiscent of the old SNL skits of Stuart Smalley but whatevs.)

That’s when the second part of the lesson came in. I kept moving, reaching out, making connections, planting seeds and following up on opportunities. And y’know what followed?

A chorus of crickets.

“Ah. Right.” I reminded myself, “Things won’t always happen on my time.” Because – let’s be honest – things won’t always fall into our laps, and not for a lack of trying! We can work hard, hustle and put it out there but sometimes, things take longer than we’d hope. And other times, they’re simply not meant to be.

Getting chummy with uncertainty is knowing that we’ve done our best and trusting that our best is enough. {Tweet that.}

It’s about knowing that sometimes the things we think we really, really, really need the most in our lives, truly aren’t meant to be and aren’t always in our best interest. It’s about rolling with the punches and choosing not to close. It’s about being aware of other possibilities and walking through the doors that quietly swing open as a result of our actions but not necessarily of our accord. And it’s about letting those doubts creep in, sitting with them, smiling  at them and letting them go.

xo

Creativity, Spirituality

Channeling Your Inner Rock Star

I’m not a SuperBowl fan. Football doesn’t keep my attention – it just doesn’t rock my boat. I’m way more likely to tune in for the insanely-priced commercial spots (marketing and mass media messaging fascinates me) and the halftime show (if I’m feelin’ the performer). So when I found out that Beyonce was part of the magic, I was all in this past Sunday. Glued to the TV, I watched the woman rock a football field like nobody’s business.

There’s something ethereal about her that intrigues me. If you see her in an interview, she’s a pretty humble and soft-spoken soul. But you put that woman in the spotlight – the thick of her element – and everything changes. Something clearly takes over and she becomes a powerhouse, owning the moment. There’s something remarkable about it to me. Not to mention inspiring.

In fact, she can pinpoint when she first felt like she was clearly tapping into something outside of herself and named her alter-ego Sasha Fierce. She gives herself permission to play big through Sasha. When she taps into Sasha’s energy she’s strong, bold, sexy, powerful and has a clear vision of what she wants.

What would change if we gave ourselves the same permission – the permission to play big? 

Opening To New Possibilities 

When we give ourselves the permission to play big, we open up to big possibilities. Think about the last time you told yourself that something you really wanted to do/experience/be was impossible. How did that feel? I bet it felt kinda shitty, huh?

While analytical, logical left-brain thinking has its place in life, there’s magic in knowing when to throw caution to the wind and be bold. To dream. To take chances and do the things that scare us the most – especially when we know that we’ll look back in regret if we don’t try something out. And more often than not, when we take a step towards something we know we have to try – however small – other opportunities present themselves. Play big. Open up, see what happens and take a chance on yourself. 

Creating Presence By Being Present

When we’re present with every moment, we can see how things shift. We often live in our heads – going through our to-do lists, rehearsing past conversations and obsessing about details that really don’t matter at the end of the day – and this translates to our body language. I know that I’m stressing out about stuff and that I’m stuck in my head when I get clumsy. As soon as I drop something or cut my finger while prepping dinner, I check in with myself and ask if I’m being present with what’s in front of me. And every time, I can honestly say that I’m not.

Getting present with myself starts with getting into my body. Am I sitting up straight or slouching? Am I walking around with my chin up and shoulders relaxed, taking in the world around me or staring at the pavement worrying to myself? When I’m nervous, I tend to fidget so I check in when that starts to happen. Rather than fidgeting, I remind myself to be still, chill out and tune in to what’s happening around me.

Do you have an important meeting coming up? Wear something you feel good in. That feel-good attitude will come through. And ladies – bust out your favourite lipstick – never underestimate what a kick ass shade can do for shifting your energy. This isn’t about being materialistic or focusing more on the outside than the inside – it’s about recognizing that when we do things to feel good, that goodness oozes into our lives. Play big. Feel good, exude confidence and create a presence. 

Creative energy

As we constrain ourselves, we stifle our creativity. When we’re confronted with a problem at work or in our personal lives and get stumped on the solution, it’s often because we’re limiting our perspective. We get stuck in the situation when we need to be boundless to see creative ways out of a muck. There’s a reason why ‘think outside of the box’ has become so cliche. Try shifting your energy. When we’re faced with a problem, sometimes it helps to find something funny about it. When we take ourselves too seriously, we place undue pressure on ourselves to be perfect. Step back and see if things are as bad as they appear to be in the moment. And take a breather. The best solutions come to mind when we let go and let the answers come to us. The more we try to force a resolution, the harder it gets.

I can distinctly remember a situation where I was stuck. I had a rather sticky situation with a friend and no idea of how to communicate what I was feeling in a way that was true to me, set boundaries for the next time and helped her understand where I was coming from. So I let it go. I literally said out loud, ‘Ok universe. I’m done trying to figure this out. Help me here. I’m leaving this to you to send back to me with a resolution,’ and I let it go. I imagined myself crumpling my problem up like a ball of paper and throwing it up in the air. When my mind started to circle around the same thoughts, I just got present to what I was doing. And then it just hit me.

I was sitting on the subway, sitting with the flow of people on the train and the noises around me and all of a sudden, clear as day, I knew what I had to say and when it had to happen. My body filled with goosebumps (my personal sign that I’m tapping into my intuition) and I felt confident in what I would say. 

When we play big, we’re not afraid to tell it like it is and express ourselves.

I may not be Beyonce and I’m sure as hell not gonna sell out stadiums of people waiting to hear me sing. But, I do know that things change when I shift into a space where I’m willing to play big. And seeing someone take on the world with her passion inspires me to do the same – in the way I’m supposed to do it. So when I feel like I need a pick-me-up, you can bet Beyonce’s on full blast and I’m probably dancing. Now it’s not all unicorns, rainbows and sunshine. I’ve stumbled, made mistakes and had ‘wtf was I thinking’ moments too and sometimes playing big means that we screw up. But despite all the setbacks, blunders and doubts, I can honestly say that trying stuff that I never thought I could feels way better than wondering ‘what if’.

Authenticity, Learning, Wellness

The Ever-So-Fine Art of Not Giving A F**k

I’m not sure if it’s the breadth of experiences I’ve had in the last couple of years or the fact that I’m getting older (I surmise that it’s a combination of the two) but as time goes by, I’m really starting to understand the concept of not giving a f**k. I mean, I’ve always agreed that you can’t please everyone all the time on an intellectual level but now, I feel it deep in my bones. The very cells of my body delight when I recognize that I’m actually implementing this attitude in my daily life.

I am hands down a people pleaser. I’ve always been one to be sure that the people I interact with are taken care of in a situation. While this empathy has served me well in life and work, it’s also contributed to a lot of my unhappiness. I’ve said yes in cases where every inch of my being was screaming no, only to look back and think, “I knew that was a bad idea”. I’ve taken on more work than I was able to handle and found myself waking up at 2am tossing in a cold sweat worrying about my insurmountable to-do list and unattainable deadlines. I’ve replayed past conversations in my head, rehearsing what I would say the next time the same situation arose, wasting precious energy and time on things that I can’t change.

So what’s a people pleaser to do?

I’m not saying that I now run around being a jerk to everyone, tossing expletives in refusal whenever I’m asked to do something I’m not really interested in. However, I do think there’s something ridiculously gratifying and freeing in caring less about what other people think and more about what I need personally.

So instead of always putting others ahead of myself and caring more about people’s opinions than my own needs, I check in. A lot.

I check in with myself when I’m feeling anxious to see what’s really going on. Am I having a private conversation with myself about a situation at hand? Am I worrying about stuff that hasn’t even happened yet? Am I having second thoughts about a decision I’ve made because perhaps I clung to a choice in haste, without reviewing all the angles? Am I creating mountains out of molehills or is there something I can do to alleviate my anxiety in that space and time?

I check in with myself when I feel tension in my body. Is there something around me that’s making me feel uncomfortable? Is there something I can change in that moment to feel better and reduce the tension? Can I make a mental note of what I can do differently another time to reduce my discomfort? Our bodies are amazing gauges for the things that we might not be dealing with head-on. Those things manifest in sickness, muscle tension, aches and pains.

I check in with myself when my mind is going 100 miles an hour and I can’t seem to focus. Is there something I’m missing? Am I getting lost in details and not looking at the big picture? Am I losing sight of the good things happening and instead, focusing on the negatives?

And finally, I check in with myself when I’m feeling good. I check in when I’m feeling uplifted, inspired, enlightened and amused. And those times?

I make a mental note of the things that make me feel good – the people, places, things and situations that I know I need more of in my life. I check in and give the universe a nod and say aloud or to myself, “I’ll take more of that please!”

Because not giving a f**k is about letting go of the things that aren’t working for us, worrying less about what other people think and having honest (and sometimes awkward) conversations where we express our true feelings and intentions.

But not giving a f**k is also about embracing the things that we love and going out to do more of that stuff. It’s also about recognizing that those awesome things might not work for other people but that doesn’t make them any less important or vital to our own happiness.

Not giving a f**k is about knowing that we all have our own path to trod, on our own time, in our own space.

Not giving a f**k is about knowing that only we know what’s right for us and that we owe it to ourselves to do more of that stuff.

And the people, places and things that fall off on the way to becoming more of who we are? They weren’t meant to be. The people, places and things that support us through it all? They’re gold. Magic. Love. Worth investing energy and time into. Worth giving a f**k about.

xo

Authenticity, Spirituality, Wellness

January Blahs, Ketchup Chips and Real Conversations

Midnight on New Year’s Eve came in with a bang. Donned with fresh red matte lipstick, I shared champagne toasts, bear hugs and well wishes with friends. But to be quite honest with you, the last couple of weeks have been kinda just ‘meh’. The bang of the excitement of a new year was followed by a whimper and then a drawn-out sigh.

I was sapped of energy and all I really wanted to do was sit on the couch, watch crappy reality TV and munch on Lay’s ketchup chips. And so. That’s what I did. But, I also kindly reminded myself of something. As incredibly satisfying as that cozy couch-lounging, TV-watching, chip-mowing behaviour felt in the moment, I knew it wasn’t going to help much in the long run. So as the blasé of the days passed, I tried to get back on track with my own make-myself-feel-good checklist.

Slowly, I gently began to return to my daily seated position as I took some quiet time for myself and closed my eyes to hush the continuous critic that was telling me that I had to get myself back into gear. See that’s the thing – I got lost in the dialogue that somehow I had to drag myself out of my funk. Here. Now. And I was hard on myself about it. Until I took those breaths and reminded myself that:

A funk, is a funk, is a funk. And a funk too shall pass. [Tweet that.]

And I let it move through me – in every way possible. I let the discourse drift into and out of my head. I gave myself the permission to have those thoughts but I vowed to be conscious about not feeding them, growing them, allowing them to expand and take over my energy. I have a dishwasher but instead of stacking it daily, I washed my dishes. And when I washed them, I washed them. I began to giggle at the voice that was incessantly yelling to ‘snap out of it already!’ – the one that was attempting to pull my attention away from that stuck, cooked-on piece of food that needed to be scraped and washed down the drain. Instead, I chose to just be, feeling the warm water on my skin. I chose to be aware of the dishwashing liquid bubbles glistening on the surface of the greasy mess I was cleaning up.

I reorganized the drawers in my home – the ones that I had to forcefully shove shut because they were far too full with stuff that I barely (never) use. I got rid of the things that I knew I’d never need. I turned on some music and cleaned the nooks and crannies of my living spaces, dancing and belting lyrics on the top of my lungs while I re-arranged some items and furniture – a physical symbol of the fact that sometimes you just need a fresh look at things.

Sometimes you need to clean out the energy in a space, create a new layout and let something else come to rest.

And then I took note of the things that lifted me most. And I consciously chose to keep doing those things. And y’know what topped the list? Raw conversations – the things you share that make you blush to admit because you’re holding yourself to some unrealistic standard. Because somehow you’ve convinced yourself that you’re the only one who’s experienced shame about something in your life.

Like the one I had with a group of amazing women where we shared thoughts about how much pressure we put on ourselves to have positively everything figured out in our lives. Like when I admitted aloud that I married a man in my mid-twenties despite my gut crying out that we just weren’t a good match shortly after we met. And how I found myself newly-divorced and single again at the age of 29, bawling my eyes out on my bedroom floor with a bottle of vino and my two cats. Or those separate conversations I had with heart-centred entrepreneurs – each of us insisting for the last couple of years that we had to follow our hearts and stubbornly pave our own way in the work world – only to admit to each other that (gasp) it’s time to get a job to help support ourselves.

In all these situations, I judged myself. “I can’t say that”, I thought. “What if I lose credibility? What if I get laughed at or blank stares? What if no one gets me? What if I’m the only one?”

And it hit me when a good friend looked me dead in the eye with sincerity and empathy and said, “I can’t believe you were afraid to tell me that.” I smiled meekly and whispered, “I wasn’t afraid to tell you. I was afraid to admit it to myself.”


Tell me something new.
Tell me something real.
Something I haven’t heard before and a million times over.
I don’t want to make small talk about the weather.
Don’t say, “I’m fine, thanks” robotically when I ask how you are when clearly you’re not.
I want to know about what’s tearing you down.
What’s weighing on your mind.
Then I want us to remind each other of what has broken us down in the past and how we picked ourselves up again.
I want to have real conversations about our successes and our failures.
Your experience – while it may be similar to mine – is unique.
Beautiful.
Inspiring.
We learn from each other when we strip off all pretences. When we rid ourselves of the need to fit in. Label ourselves. Categorize our desires and goals.
We realize that we’re really not that different after all.
Let’s challenge each other to move forward.
Shift. Grow.
It might be uncomfortable but it’s so damn worth it.