Friday, August 12, 2011

Too Much On Your Plate?

I was having lunch today with a friend when I realized my life is so full it's over-flowing.  Most of the time I'm really proud that I'm managing to do all the things I am: Ph.D. student, new mom, new wife, private wellness practice (that's successful), teaching at 2 universities... and those are the main highlights.  But when is enough enough?

Doing this much means that I have created self-imposed anxiety.  That translates to lower tolerance for adapting to situations.  For example, going to out to eat with a friend and bringing my daughter is not so easy.  I have to factor in when she's going to eat, when she's going to get her nap, what she's acting like today, hope that I'm hungry but not starving by the time we eat, and hope she likes where we are.  Then I get to worry about if we're irritating the other patrons if she behaves like a baby and cries at all.  Sigh.  Going out makes me anxious instead of happy. 

Even if I wasn't doing all the things I'm doing, I do wonder if going out with my little girl would cause me as much anxiety.  I'm an introvert, after all.  But I know stress is taking its toll on my jolly attitude.  I'm not saying you have to be a parent to understand pressure, I'm wondering if it's just the one more thing that's gotten me close to my tolerance point.  Sigh.  I'm trying to get to the "I don't care, it's just life" attitude...but I do care.  When I do something, I like to enjoy it. Makes sense, right? 

Man.  Life can give challenges!  So I plan on being strategic and practice adaptability.  Plus, I need to get better at asking for help when I need it.  Phew.  If this resonates with you, please know you're not alone!

Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Find Your Edge

Practicing.  It's something you have to do to perfect anything.  Walking (at first), running, speaking, communicating, - everything.  So why are we so hard on ourselves when we don't get it right?  Why do we continually compare our progress with others instead of our own journey?  Oh, those loud judges in our minds keep us on our toes, don't they?

Today, for the first time since having my little girl, I was able to do some stretching that didn't hurt.  I was able to breathe, work out some kinks, and make my little girl giggle as I contorted into much needed stretches.  And I started thinking about how I could be mad at myself for not being in great shape after having a baby.  But then I remembered the great point my client made yesterday, "You listened to your body when you were pregnant.  You were gestating - and you're not 20.  You were doing your job."

I didn't come to that conclusion on my own.  However, what I take away from that is the truth that by listening to my body, I can decide to grow whatever it needs.  Now I can grow my flexibility and ease after a hiatus of growing a life.  That not only feels great framed that way, it is true.

Sometimes we move away from things that make us feel good for a reason.  We can either move toward something else that makes us feel good or we can beat ourselves up about it.  Eh.  I vote for move toward the good feeling stuff!!!  Life is too short.  It's all about PRACTICE anyway, not perfection!

Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Sometimes it's just great to get away and breathe.  Living in an urban center makes that possibility remote and difficult - because there are usually people trying to be alone at the same time you are in the same places.  So what do you do to get to the quiet places filled with solitude?

In truth, I try to skip the country once every few years and make sure to hit a countryside.  When I'm really lucky, I'm able to go to Northern California with my husband - Trinidad.  It's quiet and reminds me of the coast of Scotland with it's jagged rocky shore and cool mists that ease the soul.  Plus, we have a special place there where he proposed to me - Fern Canyon.  It's amazing with the walls of ferns and herds of elk that stroll through the beachfront.  Just lovely. 

If I can't get to any of these places, I find refuge in a book.  Okay, I admit I'm a huge romance novel fan because, frankly, I enjoy the formula.  I like having a certain expectation of happiness in some of my reading.  The academic books will always be there, but that reading is not my refuge. 

Some of my favorite writers: Nora Roberts, Paulo Coehlo, Jude Devereaux, Jodi Picoult, Shakespeare, Clifford Odets, and Dan Siegel.

Who do you curl up to?  Man, I love that we are all blessed with imagination!  How do you use yours the most?  Happy resting!!!

Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Planting a Garden When It's HOT

I'm not a native Californian like my husband and daughter, I'm from the hard-working city of Chicago.  Life is very different here.  Here I can plant and play with plants all year round!  Now, Chicago is in the great planes and has wonderful soil for farming, but only in seasons when you don't freeze your eyeballs off.  In California, this introvert can enjoy warm breezes all year round.

So I started thinking about why I like to tend to my garden.  When I was little, my mother loved roses - but wasn't very good at keeping them.  She also loved to plant herbs.  I didn't always love helping her, but now I can't stay out of my garden!  This love had to come from somewhere.  Spending quality time alone thinking while my hands are busy making beauty is important to me.  I think that's another reason I love the healing arts (Rolfing and maternity massage).

I think of walking, gardening, playing cards, and intimate moments with my husband are the activities that help my mind stop reeling and get me back into the moment.  The latter is my favorite by far.  However, he's not always available.  Slow your world down and enjoy your garden.  Today is a great day to practice - strike now while it's HOT!

Copyright 2011 Heather Corwin