Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's Not All About the Paper

I feel that so many things are competing for my time, that I need to slow down and prioritize. Now that I am an entrepreneur, some ask what I do all day because they somehow think I have the world of time. Little do they know! I stopped explaining.

In my workshop I say that there will always be more: more to create, more writing projects, books, blogs and articles to be done. I am my own boss so I am especially hard on myself. But time is too precious to waste it being consumed with the race to the finish line and not stopping to enjoy the journey....the process...the many pit stops along the way. The people in your life that matter who assist in making it worthwhile.

photo credit - C. K. Correia 2013
Tonight I made the resolution to slow down. I've been burning both ends of the candle for the longest while, sometimes going to bed at the time working people are now rising. 

Although I am encouraged by my friends and others like me who are on a similar path, everyone's threshold for endurance is different. I must strike the balance between not wanting to go to sleep at night and not wanting to wake up in the morning but having to anyway! :)

I also decided to take a time-out from the virtual world of email, Skype, self-imposed deadlines and real life meetings to relax and unwind outdoors at least once a week. So last week and yesterday I did just that. I celebrated with family and took outings in the middle of the day. Things I could not do when I was employed full time. It was refreshing. I returned with a fresh outlook and new energy.

So while I would like to finish my book and get ready for my workshop in April, I must pace myself and do it properly. My research shows that this can take a while. I am now into the third draft of my book. After I get feedback from my beta readers, I presume I would want to make even more changes. But I will ensure that I do not lose my voice in the process. 

After meeting with my marketing person to discuss my workshop, I realized that this too is a work in progress. I am glad to have him on-board with 'fresh' trained eyes to give me objective advice. 

For me it's not all about money. This is an ongoing debate for some, but I don't need a lot of it to be happy. I have everything I NEED. The rest ("the WANTS") will come in time. I must survive, but every now and then, I take a time-out to just be ME. 

How about you? Can you relate? Please log on and post a comment below.

Peace & Love

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Happily Ever After

I went to church today. This is not the norm for me. It was a special occasion, so I made the exception. While I am a prayerful person and pray multiple times a day, I am not very religious. I can't figure out why, but every now and then I try to make an effort to make it to the church on time.
photo credit - C.K.Correia 2012

It was very emotional for me. Several times during the mass I had to blink away tears especially when the choir sang the Kyrie Eleison, as I remembered my Dad. As I sat there I looked around at the wide cross-section of people. 

Some were elderly, there was a young couple with a daughter that I have been seeing for years when I did attend. I even remember when the child was a baby. For a second, I wished I had their commitment. I saw some old married couples and there I got the idea for this blog.

Marriage. What a taboo topic. For a moment, I wondered what it would be like to be married for 50+ years as was the case of the subjects in question. My parents were married for this long. But I digress.

No matter what transpired during the marriage, what would it be like to seem this happy or 'comfortable' as this couple in church? To attend church together and do everything together. To be each other's life companion?

What a thought! To co-exist with another person for this long. To FORGIVE, to forget. To share, to learn, to TRUST, to not 'fret'. 

It's food for thought. How many will win the marathon? It's definitely not for the faint hearted although some fake matrimonial bliss. Will I ever find that? Do I even want that? Does it even exist!? Ahhh...

I was just having a conversation with a friend about it yesterday. In fact she brought up the topic. My friend who is 41 and a very successful, self-sufficient professional does not want the bother. She thinks it is a waste of time at her age and she is better off alone! 

While I do not think I am that bad, sometimes I do like my space to live my life how I wish especially since I have so much planned. I probably should not say that openly as it may ruin my chances, but what the hay! 

Many of my married friends always ask me if I do not want to get married as they think I'll make a great wife. They don't understand my response. But who knows what life may bring...I will still remain open to the possibilities for happily, ever after and prove myself wrong that this actually exists...

Peace & Love

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

My Greatest Fear

Tonight's blog is unexpected. I write this one to vent my feelings which I can't express verbally. Most times I don't even know what I'm feeling till I start writing. If that makes any sense! Can any writers relate?

I am in the final stages of editing my second book. I've completed the second draft and awaiting the revisions from the final few chapters from my editor Patricia. Usually we would connect via Skype, but the last couple times we had a telephone session. I find that these sessions are better and more personal.

photo credit - C.K. Correia 2015 - Chaguaramas
She told me some things that made me think. Some of which my friend Roxanne have told me before. 

They both said that I am a good writer. Roxanne even said on more than one occasion that I write beautifully. 

But I was waiting on the but. lol. There was no verbal "but" but there was a but. 

I need to "get over it" and just write, share more deeply my editor said. She said: "Is it really that difficult for you? It's not that bad Carolyn. Some of these things have happened to other people!"  She said my second draft is a vast improvement, but I still need to connect the dots with my relationships with some of the people in the book including my Dad.

So I asked myself: What can't I let go? What am I so afraid of? She said: "What is the worst that can happen? People would not judge you. That's the only way they can connect. Be honest with yourself and you will be able to motivate others further."

Yikes. I think that is it. I'm afraid of people judging me. But why? I have shared much more by just being on the internet than the average person, yet I am still afraid of baring it all.

There is a need to return to my core and search my soul for the reasons. 

Do I want this book to be read to the end or do I want readers to speed read?

My editor thinks this book can help people. I do too.

I am committed to making it an over-the-top experience that they would not want to put down. I want my readers to refer to it often when faced with a life challenge. 

I want them to connect with me on a deeper level, feel my struggles and gain strength from my experiences and lessons.

I want it all.

Would you want to read it?

Peace & Love

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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

It Felt Good to Get Lost in Time

I just this minute decided that it's too much pressure to get boxed into a daily blog post. It's too regimented and boring. I'm a spur-of-the-moment kinda gal and this is just not gonna work out. I like to write when I want, how I want and see where my fingers lead me. So for now, I will blog whenever I have something to say that can add meaning, instead of filling the empty spaces with words.

For the past few weeks I have been overcome with so many emotions of the past two years of
photo credit - C.K.Correia 2014. All rights reserved
Grand Mal, Grenada
my life in particular. Some good, some painful, some in between. It felt good to go back but not for too long. I think it's because I was writing about it in my memoir, then again it could just be my mind playing tricks on me :(

Time changes so much. I remember a time when I did not want to remember some things and now I find comfort in the good memories...pushing back the bad ones. 

For those moments I got lost in a time that stood still. I remembered it with a smile and took a moment to be thankful for the good that it brought to my life. 

I acknowledged that everything has it's place and time in your life and then you move on. You must move on in order to get to the next level of your journey without pining away for something that was not meant to be. Every perceived disappointment is a blessing in disguise.

I know I am a bit vague. But if you stick around, you can read more in my new book. 

This is my thought for today. Can you relate? Please post a comment or subscribe.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Everything Lasts for a Season

It's Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. While everyone is out revelling: fêting, getting ready for J'Overt and Mas' (street parade of the bands), I am content with being all snug indoors with my manuscript, books, wine and watching it unfold on tele (did I mention my best bake and smoked herring?!). Having plugged into social media, I realize that there are many others like me. 

photo credit - C.K.Correia 2015 All rights reserved
Queen's Park Savannah, Trinidad
Last Friday night out on the town proved that I do not find comfort in those things that once excited me. I guess I am on a different journey. 

I have a ticket for Tobago and while I wish I was there already with my friends, all I can think of is all the things I have to do here in Trinidad before I can totally let go and relax.

Are there things that you once enjoyed but for one reason or another your priorities have changed? What caused the shift? Do you think you would get back into that zone where those things matter to you? 

Although I was never much of a  fêter, I do enjoy a good lime with good company every now and then (did I mention good food and drinks too? lol). Nothing lasts forever and this season will soon pass. I will let loose and have some fun. As we say in trini: "all in ah timing!" 

Popcorn and more wine anyone? :-) The Dimanche Gras now in progress!

What are your burning desires for 2015? What is standing in your way?

Peace & Love

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book #2 Update

At exactly 1:28 am this morning, I finished the second round of revisions on my new book/memoir...12 chapters, a preface and epilogue! 

I'm sooo happyy I could cry! Seriously as I read it over for the umpteenth time, I was overcome with many different emotions. But I needed to experience them all to get the closure I need and get to the next level of my journey.

photo credit - Maurice Burke photography 2011
Now I wait on my marketing guy for feedback from the sample chapters and also my editor for any remaining changes to the manuscript. Then I submit the 3rd draft to her and presto! 

It will soon be that time...I would be the author of 2 books! Whoopee....I could do cartwheels....Can't wait for you to read it! 

Thanks for joining me on my journey....Stay tuned to this space.... 

Peace & heart emoticon

Monday, February 9, 2015

Decisions, Decisions

When it comes to making decisions I used to seldom ask for advice. Now I find that I seek the opinion of others. I am trying to figure out what caused this shift. What does it matter anyway, if I have eggs or fruit for breakfast!?

On  a serious note, do you often find that you need the approval from others before making (life changing) decisions? Whether it is a spouse, friend, parent or sibling...does it really matter? Funny enough I am able to make bigger decisions on my own, but it is the little things that often gets too much thought.

photo credit - C. K. Correia 2014
I have found that on some level, we try to conform and go with the flow. It's almost as though it's been built into our DNA. 

The truly adventurous amongst us, break away from the pack every now and then to do something extraordinary. 

While to us it may seem ordinary and second nature, to conformists it may seem like a drastic risk.

At the end of the day, we have to live with ourselves and our decisions. We must have peace within in order to sleep comfortably at night and wake up with exuberance to start a new day. It matters not what others think of our life, except that we are happy.

I will continue to make my Big decisions and think less about the little ones. Tomorrow I may just splurge and have a big slice of fruit cake for breakfast instead! :-)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Are You Asking the Right Questions?

Tonight I am watching the Grammy Awards. As I listen to some of my favourite performers and a young lady talk about her experience with domestic violence, I feel connected to the purpose. Although I am not a performer nor had any experience with domestic violence I can find value and meaning in the cause. 

Today I had a Skype session with my marketing person to discuss the strategic direction of my business. The dots began to connect as we got to this stage of development. It's funny, I had some of the answers to the puzzle and I did not know. As he guided my responses and future decisions, I realized that perspective makes a big difference. 

When we can add meaning to another person's life, our product or service suddenly becomes valuable. I doubted myself and my offerings for a minute, then he helped me realize it's all about perception and how well you can translate that. 

Another friend at the time once told me in Tobago, it's not about coming up with the answers, but changing the question. If you ask the right questions, you may just find the answers you are looking for.

I feel blessed to have crossed paths with so many inspirational people who believe in my dream.

What question do you need answered? What do you see as valuable to your life?

Feel free to post your comments below or "follow" this blog for more posts.

Peace & Love

Friday, February 6, 2015

What I've Learnt About Being An Author

Yup, I missed my Thursday blog. This is one of the few times I skipped since I began my challenge of blogging everyday last December. A lot going on and nothing at all at the same time! After a super busy 2 weeks, I've finished the revisions to the first half of my new book! Yay me! That would make it 6 chapters, including the preface. The final chapter to end this section is a somewhat painful before I do, I think I need to have a glass of wine (to loosen up and share freely!).

What I've learnt from this book

photo credit - Maurice Burke photography
All rights reserved 2011
Nothing good comes easily without sweat. 

I've spent several sleepless nights to get this done within my deadline. Went to bed at 6 am a few times without naps in between! 

Sacrifice pays off because I'm so glad how it's turning out and how much of my journey I'm really sharing. 

My reward is when my readers get a chance to read and give me feedback. Some people are already lining up to place their order! I'm so thrilled and grateful for the support. Can't wait to hear what they have to say. If it helps only one other person, my work would have been well worth it.

My opinion is relative

I may like my work - a lot. But until someone else other than me feels that way, it's just pointless. Other people have to relate and if they don't, you're writing in a vacuum. The truth is, you're not gonna buy your own books, so test out your market. 

If you're considering writing a book, try a blog or share some sample chapters with a few objective and trustworthy friends. I did not know my book was missing "juice" until my editor read it and told me I needed to "bleed on the page" for readers to connect and resonate with what I was experiencing. 

I've done just that and surprised myself because I told her I couldn't do it because I wasn't comfortable with other people reading all that personal stuff. But it wasn't too much. I love it, my sister and Mom does too. And most of all: my editor makes three! She thinks this is a vast improvement from the first draft, but I just need to hold up on the ellipses! lol...(that's our inside joke:). Now for my marketing expert to bite. He already likes my writing, so I'm hoping he feels the same way about the book.

Give myself some credit!

During my journey, people have been telling me things like: "You are very brave"... "You inspire me"... "I'm proud of've accomplished a lot and come a long way" One of my friends recently told me that not everybody can write a book. I honestly did not know this.

I've been brainwashed so much by a minority of people over the years that tried to convince me that I wasn't writing anything special and it's pointless. One person went as far to say that he can write a book and publish it in the morning! Another said that writers/authors don't make a lot of money and I will never become a best selling author so I should stop writing books!!

My first book was fairly easier as it was a compilation of articles that were already published in the press over a period of time. But this book has been a 6 year journey. Many stumbles and falls along the way. I've had many bouts of writer's block where I shelved the book for a few years due to bad advice and just lack of time and motivation to continue. But now here I am on the cusp of a brand new adventure. 

After these last revisions, I realized that publishing is not for the faint-hearted, even if you're bursting with talent, not everyone has the fortitude and willpower to do this. It takes a lot out of you mentally, physically and emotionally. It's like a marathon! But I'm almost there....
I am happy. I'm proud of myself and I am hopeful for my book's success. 

I can't do it without you, please stick around and join me to see how it turns out...
You can also follow my journey on facebook:

I'll be sure to keep you posted and post excerpts when available.

Thank you so much for staying with me this far.

Have a great weekend everybody!!!

Peace & Love xoxoxox

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Cry No More Because I Learnt From Yesterday

Exercise and laughter does wonders for the soul. Today was a vast improvement from my state of mind yesterday. Although this day was by far way more dysfunctional, I feel an exuberance that I did not feel the day before.

Today everything that could go wrong did. It did however begin on a high point as I sat down at my computer to work on my new book. I felt excited to begin the day as I listened to Diana Ross: "Ain't no mountain high enough" and chatted through my open window with one of the workmen at our house about the book. 
photo credit - C.K.Correia 2013 All rights reserved
Lambeau, Tobago

This was not to last, as I soon  got an email that literally accelerated my heart rate for a few minutes. I responded and moved on. 

Next my brokers called to tell me my premium went up because of a misquote by the insurers! Sigh...I prayed that the situation would remedy itself.

It did not end there, when I returned home from the gym, I walked into a danger zone as my room was turned topsy turvy as the old ceiling was removed without me knowing! In case you don't know what this is like: there was debris everywhere! 

Yes, it really sounds like I didn't have a good day! But my outlook is what made the difference.

I dealt with everything quickly as it happened and although I was angry, I vented at the gym with my friend and trainer and got it out of my system. After 15 minutes into the workout, we were laughing and talking about things that happened a year ago. Funny, she remarked that a year ago, instead of laughing I was crying!

I suddenly remember the words from my first book Thinking out Loud: "Everything lasts for a time and then we move on to the next big thing that takes focus in our lives." So, why dwell and worry about today, because tomorrow is another day!  I hadn't fully experienced all the different nuances of emotions that I have today back then when I wrote that, but I am glad for the inspiration and continue to learn. I am still growing and healing and dealing! 

Today I learnt to change my perspective and change the outcome. I know I need to manage my emotions better but suddenly the things of today, don't matter any more because I lived in the present and I'm now at peace.

As my mother always says: "Thank God and kind friend."

Peace & Love.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Go Easy on Yourself, Tomorrow is Another Day

Today I don't feel like blogging, but I stay committed to at least making an effort. I do not think I have any lessons to impart on this day, but instead share my random thoughts. 

In life nothing ever stays the same. We are in a constant state of change. Even if we do not change, the world around us does and we become stuck. We must move with the natural rhythm of life in order to learn the lessons and get to the next step of our journey.
photo credit - C.K. Correia 2013 All rights reserved
Mason Hall, Tobago

Many of the lessons I've learnt and still learning did not come easy. At first I resisted change. I questioned why and I felt that things should always go my way. Then I matured and realized that it's all a part of life. 

If we don't change but instead constantly question why, our journey becomes more difficult. We can't make excuses or lay blame for our fate in life. We would get nowhere fast. 

Responsibility and acceptance gets us to the other side of our perceived disappointments. It allows us that peace and willpower to truly move on and achieve.

Today I forgave myself for having an "off day." A day to clear my head and slow down. It was obvious that my body needed it too. Yesterday was very busy and today was a welcome change. When I checked my phone for the news, I realized that all is as it should be. I learnt that a pipe ruptured and the road was made impassable with traffic backed up for hours. 

I forgave myself for not working as hard as I wanted to today. I forgave myself for not going to the gym. But I know I made up for it yesterday and the days before. Tonight I continue with that effort and keep on track with my goals.

What do you need to let yourself off the hook for? Go easy on yourself, tomorrow is another day. The world is yours...Take a time out to enjoy it while you can.

Peace & Love

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Monday, February 2, 2015

Hit Me With Music

Bob Marley said it best.

Today I was reminded of how much I LOVE music. I was on the road quite a lot and needed to clear my mind. Saturday night also as I drove home, I found my mind racing with thoughts that should not be there. Today I found so much joy from turning up my stereo and listening in silence to the songs that played. In those moments in between verses I felt myself relax....

Today I sang and jived to Damian Marley on my travels. Yesterday it was the Jamaican gospel CD my Mom loaned me. (Maybe I'm really a Jamaican!:). Tonight it was 80s music. I loveed every minute of it!

I read somewhere recently that playing an instrument benefits your brain more than any other activity. In that case, I need to dust off the old piano and start cranking out some tunes. My Dad would love that if he could see. 

He always wanted me to be a pianist and thought I should play more. He often told me over the years that I cried for the piano they bought me at age 7! I have no recollection of this however and soon grew out of this childhood phase. Although I continued to take piano lessons for many years and aced the Royal Schools of Music examinations, I later found out that my true love lay elsewhere. 

I remember playing to him last September and he could not believe it was me. When I asked if he liked it and knew it was me, he started to clap and said: "Is so?" and his face lit up :-) At Christmastime I would sometimes play carols and the classics. Sweet memories.

It's important to find a release no matter how busy our lives get. I forgot how great it feels. 2015 is off to a good start: meditation for the mind and exercise for the body. Writing, reading and music are my other cathartic releases. A great combination to overall wellness. 

The host of my meditation sessions urged me to keep practising stillness and I would soon see a transformation. Yes, I am in good company. I look forward to getting closer to that target.

What do you do to relax and unwind? 

Divine Order.

Feel free to comment below or drop me a line on the contact form to your right. Oh, you can also join this site to follow this blog...that way you won't miss another post!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Happy February 1st 2015!

Happy February 1st 2015!! Ohmy how and when did we get here! It was just Christmas the other day. Guys let's continue to make it count. Make the most of this moment right here so that we would have no regrets tomorrow. Life is TOO short. 

photo credit - C.K.Correia 2014 all rights reserved
Stonehaven Beach, Tobago.
Let's live in the NOW...not in the past or the future...practice gratitude and acceptance for your present blessings, no matter how small because there's always someone with less. 

You are blessed beyond words. Do what makes your heart sing, it is never too late. 

No more excuses, 2015 is YOUR year to make your dreams a reality! All it takes is baby steps and perseverance. 

Have a great Sunday.

Peace & Love