Magical Moment: Will I Ever Stop?

Our daughter is traveling abroad on a Gap Year.

My hubby and I were so excited when she called to catch up over video the other day!

We sat side by side on the couch as close as we could to get both our faces in the screen and be able to see hers.

Our girl was walking along the streets of Stockholm, Sweden where she’d traveled with friends for the weekend on a cheap flight from Barcelona. She was talking about remembering how much she loved the cold and that she had to buy a knit cat and fuzzy jacket to stay warm. She kept turning the screen so we could see the cafes and shops that she was passing.

As she talked, I delighted at how cute she looked in her new hat and found myself, rather than listening to what she was saying, rather than being present to her experience, trying to capture that moment with her on the phone by taking a screenshot of her. I kept fumbling with the buttons, checking the screen, and imagining the someday we’d look back at that photo and remember the moment we sat on the couch and had a video call with our girl while she walked the streets of Stockholm.

Or…

You could have been right there, right then in that moment, listening to everything your daughter was saying and sharing!

Oh yeah.

It reminded me of how often I do this.

Rather than being in a moment, I try to capture and hold onto the moment.

Am I the only one who does this? Do you?

Anyway, that moment reminded me of a piece I’d written about this exact subject a couple of years ago for Thrive Global.

I’m sharing it here, so if you’re like me, trying to capture the moment, rather than truly experiencing the moment, I hope this will resonate.


The Gift of Impermanence

Every day on the way to the kid’s school we used to pass a big, red barn. Boy, did I love the sight of that barn. Every morning as we drove up the hill, with the blue sky and fluffy clouds in the background, I’d think, “Man I have got to get a photo of that barn.” But we were always running late, or my phone was too full, and I just never did. And then one day, on the way to school, a swarm of workers surrounded the barn, and by the next morning, the barn was gone. Gone.

Next year my son will be gone — gone off to college. And two years after that, my daughter will follow suit. The other day my son and our dog, Ed were curled up on the couch — it was a magical moment — “Please let me take a picture,” I asked, and surprisingly he said OK. But once again the screen on my phone was black with the message Cannot Take Photo…

So for the past week, I’ve made a concerted effort to “de-clutter” all the photos on my phone and computer. My phone is so full, it can’t take new photos or even receive voicemail. And my computer, well let’s just say that if my computer wore pants, it would be up several sizes. Both my phone and my computer are backed up; so all I really need to do is delete the 5,147 photos on my phone and the 31,498 photos on my computer. But I worry. What if the backup on the external hard-drive in the fireproof box didn’t really back up all those photos? And what if the second backup external hard-drive in the other fireproof box didn’t work? And what if all those backup discs with the photos melt in some unexpected New Hampshire heatwave?

It would be a disaster.

Those photos are of my kids. My kids in Florida visiting my parents. My kids blowing out their birthday candles. My kids picking apples and petting goats, and studying the dinosaurs at the science museum and swinging on the swings at the park and running down soccer fields and canoeing on lakes and playing dress-up with our much-missed English Mastiff, Meg.

Those photos are our life.

Occasionally my 16-year-old daughter shows me a photo she’s posted on Snapchat. “That’s so cute,” I say. “Save it. Save it.” But she usually just shrugs and casually says, “It’s gone.” Gone. An adorable photo. A precious moment in time. A special memory. Gone. Just like that.

I think of those monks who travel with the Dalai Lama. The monks who spend days bent on their hands and knees creating a beautiful, intricate mandala out of sand. And when the Dalai Lama finally arrives to see their work, he gazes upon their creation and with one sweep of his arm, wipes the entire thing away. God, almighty, I hope someone at least snapped a photo.

I worry that I didn’t take enough photos of my kids when they were little. Now at 16 and 18 they hardly ever let me take their photos and my whole body aches when I think of all those lost moments I failed to capture. I’ll never get them back again.

And then it hits me…

Read the rest over here – Thrive Global

 

Are You Kidding Me?

Before I write these Magical Moment Blog posts, or what I think of more as my love notes to you, I take time to contemplate upon the messages that you’re most likely needing to hear right now.

I may sit quietly for guidance, but more often than not, the inspiration for these writing pieces come to me while I’m on my daily walks with Georgie Girl.

Perhaps it’s because we’re in the busy month of September, but the message I was told to share with you today is around Being Present in our day to day lives.

There is a funny passage in my first book, Preemie, that touches on exactly that.

It’s what I fondly refer to as my “grocery cart moment.”

I’m sharing it here in the hope that it inspires you to ask yourself, Am I present!

Enjoy!


 

From Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life and Motherhood – Chapter 30 – Moments

Karen McCarthy, the energy healer we worked with, talked a great deal about my inability to stay present.

She leaned forward in her office chair and touched my knee.

“You’re always checking out,” she said. “Try staying present and really be in the moment. When you’re with your kids, be with them. In the grocery store, really look at the fruits and vegetables. Appreciate the colors. On your walks notice the trees, feel the wind on your cheeks. Be in the moment.

By the end of that appointment, we came up with the technique of asking myself Am I present?

It actually helped.

During the morning drop off at Andie’s school, I talked more with other parents and even arranged a few date play dates without Andie’s prodding.

I felt more comfortable inside my own skin.

Then I had what I come to call my “shopping cart moment.”

It was one of those mornings when I’d raced the kids to school and zoomed off to try and do way more errands than time could possibly allow.

I was in the grocery store, throwing things in my cart, thinking about my next stop and checking my watch, when the question rang in my mind.

Kasey, are you present?

I laughed out loud.

I looked down at my shoes. “No,” I whispered to the shopping cart.

I took a deep breath, held up my to-do list, and scratched off all the other errands.

I decided that while I filled my grocery cart, I would stay fully present and enjoy the experience.

In the produce section, I studied the bright red tomatoes, smelled the strawberries, and rubbed the melons. I wandered around and found foods I never even knew the store carried. I was delighted when recipe ideas popped into my head.

Eventually, I arrived at the checkout. The lines were several customers deep.

I wanted to fret, but instead took my spot third in line and waited while two more shoppers fell in line behind me.

Yes, I boasted out loud in my head, I am present.

The line moved, and I was up next. Preparing to unload my cart, I looked down. And then I looked down again. I looked behind me, and then back into the cart.

It was empty.

My shopping cart was empty.

I’d stood line for ten minutes clinging to the handle of an empty shopping cart.

Later I’d laugh when I told Lee, but in the meantime, I had to excuse myself, reverse my empty cart under the scrutiny of other shoppers and find my way back out of line. “I forgot something,” I mumbled. “Yeah your mind,” their looks seem to say.

I searched several aisles and finally found my full cart waiting patiently alongside the canned tomatoes and imported olive oils.

I must have walked away with an empty one that had been sitting near mine.

I swapped carts, and as I pushed my loaded cart back down the aisle, I asked out loud, “Kasey are you present?”

That time, I refused to answer.


Do you ever have those moments?

I’d love to hear!

And please share this with anyone in your life you feel could use a little reminder to Be More Present!

Do You Need Permission?

So here we are.

September has arrived.

Classroom bells are ringing.

Summer is in the rearview mirror.

Many college-aged kids have flown the nest.

And how does all of this leave you feeling?

The other day I was sitting out in the backyard Adirondack chair, catching up on the phone with a friend.

She brought up a difficulty she was having.

“I feel angry and upset,” she had said. “But I know I should be feeling fortunate and grateful.”

I sat for a moment and watched the clouds slowly drifting by.

When I responded, the words came from my mouth, but they didn’t feel like they’d really come from me.

“What if you just allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling?” I asked.

We were both quiet for a few moments.

Feel what I’m feeling? she tentatively asked.

“Yeah,” I said with growing confidence, “Give yourself permission to feel exactly what you’re feeling, rather than what you think you should be feeling.”

I could feel a charge through the phone line as we both absorbed this concept.

In the following days, my friend would report how liberating it felt to truly allow herself to feel the actual, real feelings that emerged within her.

I too put this new method into practice.

I had the perfect opportunity, as suitcases were pulled down from the attic, and our girl prepared to leave for her Gap Year travels.

At first, I was doing exactly what my friend had done. Feeling one way, but dismissing those feelings for the feelings I thought I should be feeling.

When I thought of the airport departure, when I thought of the empty bedroom and breakfast table, I felt sad. But I told myself I should be feeling excited for my daughter. I should be feeling grateful that she has this amazing opportunity.

But I caught myself and gave myself permission to feel what I was really feeling…sad.

And I noticed an amazing thing started to happen.

When I really allowed myself to feel that sadness, it seemed to move through me, as if it had been heard, acknowledged and didn’t need to take up so much residence within my body anymore.

And I noticed that beneath the sadness, there was excitement, gratitude, and joy.

Later, when the sadness reemerged, I welcomed it. I felt what I was feeling.

I welcomed Sadness and offered to pour her a cup of tea. To sit together and wrap ourselves in a blanket and chat about how much we were going to miss our girl.

And later, when she said goodbye, I was free to welcome whatever other emotions arrived at my door.

Please, come in Gratitude…

Welcome, Appreciation…

Let us sit together and discover what brings you here today.

And let’s imagine all the amazing tales our girl will have to share when she returns from her travels!


(The morning of her departure – airport goodbye kiss)

Plain and simple…

if you feel it, feel it.

Give yourself permission.

With love and blessings,

Kasey

I Finally Got It

Hello Sweet Friend,

I hope that summer is treating you well, and you’re enjoying every magical moment that comes your way!

If you’re like me, you probably hear it all the time – Just Be Present – right?

But does anyone ever tell you how to just be present?

Me, either.

But I think I may have figured out a way.

It happened recently at a concert with my hubby.

A 90’s throwback band was on a reunion tour and we’d bought tickets in the winter, long before we knew it was the night before we’d leave for a week long family vacation.

Needless to say, I had a few things to do that day, and we’d ended up arriving late for the show, walking up to the venue just as the warm-up band was playing the final notes of their encore.

Hearing those familiar notes I said, “Aw, I’m bummed we missed that.”

“I’m totally bummed,” hubby replied.

I kinda took his response like a kick to the gut.

As I followed him to our seats, I was thinking about how I could have managed my day differently so we’d made it to the show on time.

As the headliners emerged on stage, and the crowd started screaming, I was still wondering what I could have done differently.

As my hubby and the audience were all singing along to the familiar tunes, I was still in my head, replaying the day and how I could have gotten us there on time.

Three songs in, and I finally caught myself.

Hubby had turned to smile at me and squeeze my hand.

I’d squeezed and smiled back, but realized I was barely there.

What would you tell a coaching client who was in this situation? I’d asked myself.

And in that moment, I realized I had a choice. I could keep replaying the day in my head, or let it go.

And then these magical words floating across the screen of my mind – Oh well.

Oh well.

It was like an anchor around my neck fell away. Like the record player in my head finally shut off.

Oh well.

And then, I too began to dance and sing along.

Until…

A couple of songs later when my mind began listing off all the things that needed to happen tomorrow for us to leave.

But I caught myself pretty quickly and actually laughed out loud. I’d left the past for the present and then jumped right into the future!

We’ll see, were the words I heard next.

We’ll see.

And there is was!

A simple, beautiful, perfect mantra for calling myself back to the present moment.

Oh well, we’ll see.

I invite you to try it, or create something similar on your own.

Oh well, we’ll see.

And then open your eyes wide and witness all the Magic right in front of you!

My Least Favorite Word!

I was recently inspired to take to Facebook and record a quick video in which I spoke about my least favorite word in the English language.

What prompted this was a moment during a recent coaching session with one of my life-coaching clients. We were talking about her relationship with her hubby. “Things are fine,” she had said.

I tried not to wince, but she saw me.

Then we dove in and I shared my detest for that word… Fine.

“Fine?” I asked her. “And that’s working for you?”

She smiled shyly and shook her head. I watched as her eyes lit of up and the realization come over her. “No,” she had said. “Fine is not working for me.”

What about you?

Are there areas of your life that you would you describe as fine?

Are you ok with that?

I’m not!

I didn’t come here for fine. I came here for an exceptional, outstanding, terrific, fantastic, knock-it-out-of-the-park life, and I refuse to settle for fine!

(Can you tell I’m a little passionate about this?)

It all began the day my hubby and I were preparing to go to a wedding. I’d come down the stairs in a dress and heels and asked him how I looked. “Fine,” had been his response.

Can you guess mine?

Let’s just say, he doesn’t use that word anymore to describe my appearance!

And my coaching client? We came up with easy and practical changes and goals in regard to her marriage, which she recently described as “wonderful,” and added, “I kind of hadn’t noticed how we’d just fallen into a routine and settled for the same old, same old.”

What about you? Are there areas of your life you would describe as just fine? Are you ok with that? Do you want to make a shift?

If you’re ready… if fine is no longer acceptable, I’d love to help.

I’m offering 6 free life coaching sessions, and I’d love to give one to you!

We’ll meet over video, and explore what your knock-it-out-of-the-park-life looks like, any blocks and limiting beliefs that are keeping you from getting there, and create a road map that ensures you do. It really is magic and I’d love to share it with you!

This is my mission, my passion and my calling… to help others live exceptional lives full of love, joy, abundance.

First come, first serve, so schedule your session today 

You can also read more about my coaching here or email me at kasey@kaseymathews.com 

And watch the fb video here –

The Magic and Messiness of Motherhood

Hello Friend!

This weekend I’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day with my mom and my daughter, as we travel up to Syracuse, NY for a couple of book events!

On Thursday, I’ll be speaking at an event for a local hospital that’s doing a huge NICU expansion to better meet the needs of families throughout the greater central New York area!

Friday evening, I’ll be at the local Barnes and Noble, reading and signing from A Mom’s Guide to Creating a Magical Life.

Both events feel so timely with the arrival of Mother’s Day weekend!

As I plan for travel, making sure I’m packing all I need, while at the same time ensuring all is taken care of at home, I got thinking about the role of Mom and all that entails.

In particular, the way we need to be so flexible, especially in times when all our planning doesn’t exactly go the way we intended!

I thought back to the time when Preemie was about to be published, and my publisher suggested I make a promo video for the book.

A videographer was arranged, a date was picked, and a basic concept for the video was created.

Lee, myself and the kids on the lake, just being us, just being together.

At ten o’clock the night before we were due to film, the letter I read to my daughter in the video came pouring through, and I knew it was meant to be a part of the video.

I was delighted to have received such a gift and felt it would really enhance the video.

Then at ten thirty, that same night, just as I’d finished writing that letter, the front door opened, bringing in a warm summer breeze, along with Lee and Tucker, who’d been spray painting boat parts in the garage…

And they were both BLUE – like Papa Smurf and Baby Smurf!

I had to hold on to the door frame to keep myself from falling over!

I had to unclench my fists before running over and punching Lee!

I had to take several deep breaths to keep myself from screaming!

And then I had to figure out how we were going to get out of this mess!

Every surface they touched on the way the shower turned blue. The shower curtain had to be thrown out.

An hour later, they were both wrapped in towels, shriveled and shaking – the hot water long gone, but they were mostly not blue.

Then the laughter began. Laughter that could not be stopped.

And I knew in that moment that much of the magic of motherhood comes from those unpredictable, unforgettable, messy moments!

To this day there’s still a blue handprint on the towel rack in the bathroom. For a while, I tried to scrub it off, but it wasn’t going anywhere. Now I look at it and just smile.

And remember. And rest assure, that it’s all perfect.

Messy and perfect.

And here’s the video to prove it!

A Letter to My Daughter

May your Mother’s Day be full of memories, Magic, and maybe even a little messiness!

With love and blessings,

Kasey

 

Getting Creative

For the longest time, I’ve held the belief that there are 3 key practices that are foundational to creating a Magical Life.

1. Movement

2. Meditation

3. Hydration/Nutrition

But lately, I’ve come to realize that there is a 4th necessary element that may be missing in many of our lives.

4. Creativity.

I made this discovery while working with many of my life-coaching clients. They were getting really deliberate and mindful about their daily movement and meditation, drinking water, eating healthy foods, but still, there seemed to be something missing.

And that missing element turned out to be an outlet for creativity.

I invite you to think about that and notice if and how you’re expressing yourself creatively.

Just like movement and meditation – if you’ve only got 5 minutes, spend 5 minutes.

* Put pen to paper and write – make a list of all the places in the world you’d love to visit

* Work on a jigsaw or crossword puzzle

* Pick up a few containers of play dough

* Doodle in a notepad

* Plant some flowers

* Open a tray of watercolor paints

* Pick up a coloring book

* Strum a guitar, play a keyboard, bang a bongo

* Play with yarn and knitting needles

* Make a fairy house in the nook of a tree

* Try a new recipe

Your turn…

*

*

*

…and then notice.

Notice what happens and how do you feel when you start getting deliberate about bringing creativity into your life. Perhaps this new practice ignites something that may have been dormant within you for a while.

I can’t wait to hear if discovering creative outlets that feed your soul, creates more Magic in your life!

The Gift of Connection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 2019 word of the year is Connection.

Which reminds me of a story about the incredible power of connection.

A few weeks after my first book, Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood was released, I was traveling to speak at an event in front of a large crowd in Forth Worth, Texas.

The airport parking garage was full, which meant a satellite lot and a shuttle bus to the airport. I was already nervous about my talk, so this just made me more stressed.

On the bus, the only seat left was next to an older gentleman in a navy sport coat. The gentleman whose name I later learned was Jim, asked where I was headed. We chatted about my book, and then about his daughters.

Just as we were about to get off the bus, a little voice in my head suggested I give him a copy of my book. I was reluctant, because all my other copies had been shipped to the event, and it was the only copy I had with me – but I honored the voice, and put the book in his hand.

Six months later, I received a two-page handwritten letter. “I’m not sure if you’ll remember me, but a while back we rode a bus together, and you gave me a copy of your book.” I smiled, remembering Jim. Then I read on: “Your beautiful story and positive outcome were, for me, the encouragement and validation I needed to help my wife and me through the deep grief of losing our daughter last January.”

I keep that letter in the top drawer of my desk, and often think about the circumstances that had to occur that day in order for our paths to cross.

I can’t help but wonder if we’re always being guided toward those with whom we are meant to connect.

That moment continues to inspire me to stay open, to listen, and to act upon that quiet voice from within. I hope it does for you, too.

Feed Your Body and Soul

Do you ever have those days where you’ve got tons to do and feeding yourself ends up at the bottom of the list?

Or the better question may be – do you ever NOT have those days?

To show up as my best self and take care of everyone else, I know I have to make sure I’m eating, and often when I’m on the run, there are not a lot of great choices.

That’s why, when my nutritionist introduced me to these amazing no-bake protein bites, I was so excited!

The recipe is super easy, gluten-free, and packed with protein. I took a batch to my daughter’s ski race last weekend and they were gobbled right up!

Here’s a video I made a while back to show how I make them –

Don’t mind me licking my fingers as I cook!!!!

If you have a favorite go-to healthy recipe, I’d love to hear about it! Please share in the comment section below!