Thursday, January 26, 2012

To Speak or Shut Up

In this information age and the validation of experiences through writing and sharing through online forums such as Yelp, Facebook, or Blogger, are there times when it's better to just shut up and not share your thoughts?

Well, I think I may have found an instance to shut up.  Recently I went to a few yoga classes where a friend/colleague of mine works.  The classes were not as I would wish; I'm very clear on the elements I enjoy when being in a class.  So I thought I would exercise my online voice and let my experience be known.  Well, I had already shared my experience with my friend earlier in the week, so I knew my sharing would not be a surprise.  In cases like this, which is a mediocre review, I don't like to surprise anyone.

My dislikes that earned an average review were:

  • climate control (68-70 degrees) - someone might LOVE this
  • class led by instructor and no adjustments given (not my preference) - again, someone might LOVE this
  • too many people in the classroom (not my preference)

My friend emailed me incensed by my lack of support and wanted to know why I would do such a thing.  I think his beef was do such a thing "publicly."  I'm torn.  I value my friendship more than the review, so I've offered to remove the review to save the friendship - though I do wonder if the damage is already and cannot be undone.

What I weighed in this contemplation was the value of the relationship with my colleague versus my want to share my experience.  My real life relationships are more important than expressing myself to an anonymous audience.  What would you do?

Copywright 2012 Heather Corwin

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Anxiety Dreams

Want to know when I know I'm doing too much?  I start to problem solve in my dreams OR I have anxiety dreams.  My favorite one lately had to do with my child's daycare provider.  I dreamed they called me to ask if I wanted my child to continue in the program.  The tell-tale sign that the communication was not real was the fact that they told me if I didn't let someone know by next week that my child would simply not be allowed to attend anymore.  They just don't operate like that.

But today, just in case, I asked if someone had called me to ask about my daughter's enrollment.  Knowing I was probably imagining things did not stop me from making sure my daughter was going to stay at this great daycare.  My feeling was right, it was a dream.

So I started to think about what might cause a dream like this...  The answer rolled around in me: Anxiety born from the idea that I'm not enough. Now it's not often I grapple with this personal theme in this way.  What struck me about this dream is that this theme seems to be trickling onto what I perceive as a great opportunity for my daughter.  Even if my personal theme is NOT trickling on to my daughter, I want to make sure it doesn't.

So what am I going to do about it?  Go back to my amazing therapist and work on myself.  When I'm a healthier person, all who come into contact with me can enjoy me more.  Conversely, I can enjoy them more too!  I know I'm at the end of a long road with my Ph.D. coursework ( it's almost complete!); the road has taken a toll on me.  I'm tired, you see, from doing too much.  When I'm tired, I look to the resources around me for support.  Therapy, here I come!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Days My Heart Hurts

Today I woke up knowing I was going to be able to have a little time to myself to read and watch THE HELP.  I'm a SAG member and I was delighted to receive a screener for it.  Watching THE HELP, I started to think about my life and the mean people who have tried to scar me in my life.  People who have bullied me or tried to take advantage of me.  Somehow in defining moments, I had the courage and strength to stand up for myself.

One such occasion was in 8th grade.  A girl named Jinx in one of my classes who had been held back, had a reputation for fighting and winning, and who was reputed to have a criminal record took to calling me "Duchess." She called me Duchess because I wore a pair of my mother's heeled clogs to school.  I LOVED those clogs.  They were my favorite shoes to try on when my feet were at least 4 sizes too small to fit the shoes.  When I wore those shoes, I knew I had become a woman.  And this bully was making fun of me for wearing them.

Red-faced, ashamed, and scared to death that she even noticed me, I let her call me Duchess that day and I didn't say anything, hoping her name-calling would blow over and go away.  That was not to be.  The next week, she thought it would be funny to start in on me again.    With every ounce of courage I owned, I asked her to please not call me that.  The girl stood up, all 200 or so mean pounds of her, looked me up and down, and said... "okay."  Blotchy-faced and sweating, I said "thank you."  She laughed at me and sat down.  She never bothered me again.

When I think of all the people who don't have the courage to stand up for themselves or who can't, it makes my heart hurt.  If it's the last thing I do, I want my daughter to know she deserves to be treated well and should not tolerate anyone to treat her otherwise.

I am scared to the core of my soul.  For the first time in my life, I understand what might compel me to become violent toward another human being...if someone hurt my little girl maliciously and knowingly.  I pray that day never comes.  If it does, I hope to God I can have compassion and give my little girl all the love I have in my heart.  Thank God I have a loving husband who stands with me in this world to raise our little love. You see, I prefer my heart to sing, not to hurt.

Monday, January 16, 2012 great!

There are times when the world is too much and I need a little rejuvenation before tackling the hassles that challenge me.  The simplest and quickest way for me to feel solid again is some affection from my husband.  I'm not talking about sexual touch, I'm talking about sensual touch.

When I wasn't married, I knew sensual touch - which is touch directly to my skin with a loving kindness intention - was something I craved.  I lived in the middle of Ohio, had no boyfriend, and very few people touched me (literally) when I lived there.  To remedy that problem, and it was a problem for me, I sought out regular massage therapy.  That choice was a successful do-fer (as in "it will do fer now").

Everyone has their own resources that help salve the wounds of the world and we all are wired to crave touch.  Touch releases hormones in our bodies that keeps us happy.  In the awful event that touch has been used as weapon against us, healing can begin with professionals in a safe setting who support our need for touch.  Plus, touch is non-verbal and can help get underneath all the brain chatter to help soothe our souls.

Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who I can go to anytime I want for an embrace to soothe my soul.  I have the added joy of having a massage therapist and Rolfer who both work with me to keep my body rejuvenated as I bombard it with the stressors of my life.   If you crave touch, you might consider the loving and trained hands of a massage therapist or Rolfer.  I know I'm gratful every time I visit!

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When Friendships Fade

I have a friendship that I really enjoyed with a woman who I met in one of my many education endeavors.  I had just moved to a new state, just graduated from my MFA in actor training, and was looking for some great friendships.  Enter my friend, we'll call her "Jane".

Jane and I had many similar interests.  She is a few years younger than me, which seemed to encourage our relationship as a little bit of a mentor relationship.  Perhaps that was just my point of view.  Maybe that was why the relationship faded sadly into nothing.  Jane and I both lost a parent and that bonded us.  Well, that may have been another reason our relationship faded, for her the reminder of loosing her parent may have been too much.

Friendships come and go.  Some friendships last and some fade.  When you are not the person who ends the friendship, it can really hurt.  Well, even when you do end the friendship it can hurt.  What I'm trying to say is that letting this friendship go was hard on my heart.  Jane never said she didn't want to talk to me or end our friendship, she just stopped talking to me.  It's been almost 3 years since last we spoke.

Actions speak louder than words.  Since Jane has made it clear she doesn't want a friendship, I have to honor that in my own way.  I don't have to like it, and I don't.  If Jane every comes around to wanting to be my friend again, the road will be an interesting one to negotiate because trust has been broken.  The trust I refer to is the knowing that the person who calls herself my friend will be there for me when I need her; Jane abandoned me without warning or reason.  I don't hold a grudge, I'm sad about the way in which our friendship died.  So today I let it go fully and wish her a great life.  If she won't give me closure, I'll take it.

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Time is Money

Paying for a session of time that you reserved is absolutely understandable when you attend the appointment and enjoy the service, but what about when you forget?  Or your car breaks down?  Or you are 20 minutes late?  Or (insert your excuse here)?

If you've ever known someone who works for themselves, owns her own business, you know that if the person doesn't work, the person doesn't get paid.  So, if a person doesn't show up who booked an appointment, the business person suffers as a result.  That's why many owner/operators have a policy that requires 24 hours notice for cancellation or rescheduling.

As an owner/operator, I have a heart and have a few exceptions to my rule.  However, the time that is reserved for the client is precious.  That time does not go to another, it is set aside especially for the client at the client's request.  You know, sometimes mistakes happen and people forget.  AND that translates to the owner/operator taking a financial hit that was unexpected and could have been avoided if the client had cancelled with enough time for the owner to fill the slot with another client.

I never enjoy enforcing my own rule when people forget or have a car break down or whatever.  When I am the person who misses an appointment, I don't like paying for a service I didn't receive.   However, the policies are clear and laid out from the beginning so I know what I'm getting into and so do my clients.  I can say I'm slightly more fierce about my policy these days because I have more responsibility. what you can to be on time and present for your appointments.  And when you cannot make your appointment on time or you forget, please gracefully fulfill your agreement which is: when you reserve someone's time, you pay him or her for the privilege of doing so.

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dates are Wonderful

Last night my husband and I went on a date to the Melting Pot in Pasadena.  We haven't been able to have many dates since the arrival of our daughter for the simple fact that she wakes up at 6am and so do I (during the week, my husband gets up on the weekends).  That translates to an early bedtime for me because I like sleeping and being rested.  Sadly, that also means that going out at night means I turn into a pumpkin at 9pm or so.

However, last night, caution was thrown to the wind!  As a thoughtful and terrific Christmas present, Doug's sister not only gave us the funds to have a night on the town, the offer came with babysitting!!!  So after a fun afternoon of playing a board game together with my sister-in-law and her honey, my husband and I fed the little one, loved her up, and tucked her in for a restful evening.  Then ... we hit the town!

We had reservations in "lovers lane."  This meant we had a cozy booth where other patrons did not have a view of us, nor did we have  a view of others.  The privacy was dreamy.  We enjoyed the classic fondue menu and relished the time to reconnect.  My husband is a great guy who is fun to be around.  That's why I married him!

This semester (I'm a Ph.D. student as well as a professor), my husband and I have dedicated one night a week to date night.  We're planning on having a babysitter (who primarily watches TV and calls if anything suspicious happens) one night a week so we can have a date.  I'm thinking we'll sometimes go out to eat, but more likely is us going to a great bookstore or walking around old town Pasadena.  Dates don't have to be an expensive dinner to be terrific.  Just having the time to laugh with and enjoy my man does the trick for me!

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Magical Powers

I am fascinated by the idea of magic.  I love the thought that I could conjure energy to open doors without moving or fly to transport myself without a plane.  But is there magic in the world?  I really think there is.

When I work with people through Rolfing or Somatic Psychology coaching, I partner with them to change both structurally in their body and mindfully.  I witness a spine lengthen, breath increase, and balance prevail.  The body mirrors the mind and vice versa.  So...that transformation is magical to me.

Another form of magic is the ability to help another perceive the gifts they bring to the world.  As an educator in my wellness practice and at the colleges where I teach, I witness students discover elements about themselves they may not have been aware of; these elements give these students courage to follow their dreams.  That's powerful and magical.

Remember that tingling feeling of your skin when something is just perfect in your life?  Or the buzzing in your belly when you know something is just RIGHT?  That's your own personal magic cheering you on!  Do you believe in magic?

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin

Friday, January 6, 2012

Not Just a New Year's Resolution

It's the time of year when many people are baffled that the holidays are over and that there are no more parties with great food and drink to attend.  Some feel relief at knowing there are no more surprise gifts needed (for those who do gifts).  Some are thrilled that the travel and niggling discomfort at sleeping in another's bed, no matter how lovely, is OVER.  Many will be pondering if the resolutions thought about will ever come to pass.

Well, I stayed home with my family this holiday season and we had no visitors from afar.  Sickness plagued our house, so that validated the decision.  During the care-taking of others, I had plenty of time to think about what I would like to experience in the new year.  I'm not necessarily a "resolution" girl, I just like to take the time to review what's happened, what I'd like to happen, and how to make things happen in my life.

Here's what I came up with:
1.  More time with friends
2.  Dating my husband
3.  Me time
4.  Family time

Memories inspire me and make me happy - and making them is a joy!  Thankfully, I have great people in my life to make memories with.  Now I just have to see them to do so!

What are the happenings you'd like to create this year?

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fruit of your Labor

Today as I was picking the oranges and tangelos and Meyer lemons from my back yard to share with my clients and friends, I started to think about all the fruit that might not get picked off the trees just because I don't have time.  What happens to fruit that stays on the tree?

Well, I'm no arborist.  However, I have some ideas what I think happens to the fruit that doesn't get harvested.  The fruit either falls off and rots on the ground waiting for me to dispose of them, a squirrel feels lucky to have a great meal, or it dries up and stays on the tree far longer than it should.  I started to think how that might apply to my life.  What happens to the unrealized opportunities in my life?  Do they get taken by others?  Dry up and rot?  Or do the fruits get composted to turn into another version of opportunity for me?

The interesting aspect to this pondering for me is the fact that the lens I choose to use determines how I am affected.  For example, if I go with the idea that the fruit I eat is the perfect fruit for me and the others all go to good and appropriate ends makes me feel like all is right in the world.  This idea feels right to me.  I also like the idea that the fruit all returns to the earth in some way thereby feeding the earth and it's inhabitants in the circle of life.  Maybe a little airy fairy thinking, but I like that idea too.

What I'm NOT going to focus on is the stuff I can't control: the idea that the fruit left on the tree is all missed opportunities.  That's just plain foolish.  I'm lucky to have these fruits in my backyard at the ready for juicing and enjoying.  That's just what I'm going to do with them - enjoy the fruits!  I think I started off the New Year in this celebration: mimosas with fresh orange juice that I squeezed myself.  Sigh.  Life is good.  Let the fruits of your life be plentiful and overflowing!

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


There are days where no matter what I do, I just can't seem to be comfortable in my skin.  Some of these days are inspired by lack of sleep, hormones, or simply needing to take care of others.  Other times I wonder what the restlessness is about.

I am a firm believer in pursuing the career that makes you happy - and I'm doing that.  I am an educator, wellness facilitator, wife to a wonderful husband, mom to a sweet pea, and Ph.D. student.  All of these things make me happy.  Plus, I've already acknowledged that too much of a good thing can make me unhappy too.  So what's missing or needed that I'm NOT doing?

Motion.  All my life I've loved to move and stretch and dance.  The past two years have been so full that I've either not been able to or not had the energy to move in an enthusiastic stretch.  In truth, I just wanted to nap if I had the time!  But as the restlessness creeps into my skin, I recognize my need to move.

So, with a joyful heart, I'm off to MOVE!  Let the restlessness dance right out of my soul!

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin

Sunday, January 1, 2012

My Thoughts for the Year

Wow.  It's been the hardest year of my life and I can safely say I'm glad it's over.   I did too much and was not able to find the simple joys as often as I like.  Teaching too much, finding my footing as a new mom, taking the gargantuan and terrifying statistics classes in my Ph.D. classes (that I thankfully passed - a C is failing), and running my private wellness studio all added up to very little time to rejuvenate and enjoy life.  I'm NOT going to do that to myself again EVER.

How am I avoiding over-committing this year?  I've backed off of one teaching engagement so I'll only be teaching at PCC this coming semester, 2 classes.  I'll be taking more normal courses for my Ph.D. that should be challenging in a way I enjoy.  I am going to re-dedicate myself to my yoga practice and GO TO a class weekly to remind my body of the joys of motion.  I'll be seeing more clients in my BodybyHeather practice in my new studio because I'll have more time (without loosing my personal time).  And my husband and I are making a date night at least once a week.

I have much to look forward to this year.  Most of what I'm looking forward to is exercising my ability to choose how my life happens.  Thankfully, I'm really clear on the things that make me happy and how I can incorporate them back into my life.  Now, I just need to do it.

No better time than the present!  I'm off to read a book.  Happy New Year!

Copyright 2012 Heather Corwin