Real Good, Real Life, Real Results with Wellness Coach: Koren Barwis

Welcome to KorenBarwis.com Reinvented

GlowThe former incarnation of this site was for my health coaching business, Live It Coaching. While I loved working in wellness and coaching, it just didn’t pay the bills and I struggled with trying to motivate people who didn’t really want to change. Plus, running my own business was exhausting. I could never relax – I always needed to be working on the business and getting more customers.

So in January of 2014, after much contemplation, I decided to go back to AOL where I worked off and on from 2000 to 2010. The team, work, leadership, commute, and benefits are all amazing. And working at AOL allows me to breathe and have down time, which in turn allows me to write more, which is what I truly love to do.

I wasn’t one of those kids who loved books and writing. In high school, I focused on math, which came easily, and trudged through AP English without passion. It wasn’t until I took English 101 at Irvine Community College that the spark was lit. My teacher encouraged me and shared my writing with class, which included a very cute, smart boy that I ended up dating because he was impressed by one of my essays. I was hooked on my ability to invoke an emotional response through my manipulation of words.

Writing took a back seat to life until 2010 when I started a blog, although I wouldn’t consider myself a blogger since I can’t seem to keep a rhythm of posting and I make zero dollars from my pursuits. Instead, I write when I have something to share (and that doesn’t always happen on a schedule). I write when I want to, when I need to think, if I’m in a pickle, or when I’m fired up. I write for the joy of it. And now I write to leave a legacy – losing my mom in 2011 woke up my need to start thinking about what my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will remember me for…so I write essays, blog posts, and now poetry.

Even calling myself a writer feels awkward. Like I need some sort of degree or certification to be official. But the more I do it, the more I believe it. So welcome to KorenBarwis.com, dedicated to sharing what I’ve learned about health, wellness, family, getting older and pretty much anything else I feel like writing about. My more personal pieces, mostly poetry, can be found on joywithwords.com.

2015 Summer Reading List

summer reading
I always have a stack of books on my nightstand: books I’ve started, books I hope to read, and books I’ll likely never read but they looked good on Good Reads or Amazon. Most of my picks are non-fiction, wellness or self-improvement books, with the occasional fictional story of someone I can relate to thrown in.

One of my 2015 goals is to read more and watch less TV (although after working all day, sometimes I just want to veg in front of bad summer TV ala Mistresses). So here is my summer reading list:

 

Started & Need to Finish

Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons

This memoir of a self-proclaimed fat girl talks honestly about sex, body image, growing up fat and more. Very funny so far.

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Was captivated by Brene’s Ted Talk on vulnerability and picked up this book on courage, shame, and living a “wholehearted” life.

Thinking Like Your Editor by Rabiner and Fortunato

I know nothing about book writing or publishing, but want to publish a wellness book, so this is where I’m starting.

Next Up

Quiet by Susan Cain

I grew up thinking I was an extrovert, but as I get older, I find myself savoring my alone, quiet time.

Never Mind by Edward St. Aubyn

I read a beautiful passage by the author and it drew me to this novel.

Living with Intent by Malika Chopra

Always looking for tips on living better and more authentically.
Have any books that you’re hoping to read this summer?

Julia Child Is My 40-Something Spirit Animal

booksA good friend of mine turns 40 tomorrow. On Friday, I joked that she should enjoy her last weekend in her thirties and her response made my day — she said that I am her “40-something spirit animal.” Coming from one of the coolest, smartest hottie moms I know, her comment went beyond complementary, into affirming.

It is nice to know that the effort I put into being my best self is noticed and inspirational, but I do have to work at it.  Most mornings I’m up by 4:45 a.m. to workout and have a little quiet time to myself. Then, I walk the pups with my hubby, rain or shine. Bedtime is no later than 10 p.m. I don’t eat what I want, whenever I want. I give myself one splurge meal a week and boy do I make the most of it. I stretch, practice yoga, and pay a trainer to torture me and push me past my comfort zone.

Unlike many other moms, I am unapologetic about investing in myself. My trainer is just one example. I pay a small fortune to keep looking like a natural blonde. Good-fitting gym clothes, regular massages, quality food, therapy when needed are all expenses I’m willing to bear in order to keep my mind and body in good form.

Mostly, it is the changes I’ve made to my mindset and outlook over the years that have made a huge difference. Instead of assuming the worst, I try to see the good in people and give them the benefit of the doubt. I hold my tongue a few seconds longer than I used to, preventing lots of drama. I don’t feel the need to always be right (my husband may disagree with this one). I try to listen versus waiting to talk. I am less impatient, having learned to breath and relax. I now realize no one is trying to f*ck with me, hurt my feelings, or slow me down; we’re all just doing our best. But most importantly, I refuse to believe that the best years are behind me.

It used to be that women in their forties were considered yesterday’s news, but now we have celebrity role models like Jennifer Aniston and Julia Roberts to remind us that our forties can be fabulous. However, when I thought about who is my 40-something spirit animal, none of those celebs came to mind, Julia Child did.

Julia graduated from Le Cordon Bleu at 38 years old, took nine years to research and write Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and started her TV show at 49. She reinvented herself and found success in her forties. Julia continued her work throughout her 80s and died at 91. She kept improving and never slowed down until the very end.

Doubt that I’ll ever win a Primetime Emmy or be on the cover of Time magazine like Julia, but I do hope to be a published author someday. Instead of waiting for that someday to come, I’ve started writing my wellness book now in my free time. Hopefully it won’t take nine years, but if it does, I know that isn’t the end of the world as long as I’m continuing to move forward.

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Twitter: korenbarwis