Magical Moment: One Day at a Time

Photo by Kelsey Knight on Unsplash

This is certainly a challenging time for us all, and now more than ever, we need to know that we are not alone.

First and foremost, please know that I am here for you. Truly. If you want to just talk or drop a note, if you need someone to listen, I am here.

As the outside world swirls with uncertainty and everything feels out of control, it’s a time to remind ourselves that even though we can’t control what is happening “out there,” we can control what is happening within ourselves.

Now more than ever I’d encourage you to turn to the rhythm and routine of a Daily Practice.

It does not need to be anything more than a few minutes of a consistent routine ~ something you do every day that your body, mind and spirit can count on.

For me, every morning I set aside time to fill out my Daily Planner, sit in front of the little meditation table I created, light a couple of candles, read the daily passage from my favorite book of devotions, read a forgiveness prayer out loud and then sit for a few minutes and let it all sink in.

Yesterday a particular passage from the daily reading really stood out to me. It spoke to the idea of allowing ourselves to be seen for our true self. I offer it to you as a little something on which to ponder as you move through your day.

From The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo:

“I am humbled to admit that the only difference I see on Earth between being strong and weak is the honesty with which we face ourselves, accept ourselves, and share ourselves, blemishes and all.”

So what about you? Are you feeling called to create a Daily Practice? Is there a book of poetry you could turn to? A daily walk outdoors where you could take nice deep gulps of air and listen to the birds? How about a few minutes with some journal writing?

There is no right or wrong ~ this is what resonates with you and allows you the comfort of predicability and consistency when the rest of the world feels anything but.

If you already have a Daily Practice or you’re inspired to create one, please share so we can all benefit and grow together.

As many of you know, I’d been hosting a monthly virtual gathering called A Cup of Tea with Me. Given the isolation so many are experiencing, I decided it’s time to start that up again. But this month I’m going to make it an evening and replace the tea with wine. (You can bring your tea if you’re not a wine drinker!)

Interested in joining?

I’ll keep you posted when I choose an exact evening and time. I’m thinking Thursday evening, March 26th, but I’m not totally ready to commit to that date and will feel it out over the weekend. I’ll send out something early next week with a firm date, so keep an eye out for that email if this gathering sounds appealing to you.

We meet over Zoom and it’s kind of like the Brady Bunch. We each get our own little box on the screen and have the opportunity to interact with each other. Pretty cool that this technology is available for us to connect!

Stay well sweet friend and know that you are not alone.

 

Magical Moment: Managing Fear

As we all know, there is a lot of fear and uncertainty swirling around in the world right now.

It’s hard not to get swept up in the constant and ever-changing news reports.

I’ve really felt the impact lately, especially with our girl out on her gap year travels.

Yet, I always strive to show up as my best self and inspire others to do the same, and can’t do that if I’m full of fear and anxiety.

So it became apparent that I needed to make some changes in how I was moving through my days.

First of all, news alerts were constantly arriving in my inbox and every one was like a jolt of electricity to my nervous system. But guess who’d signed up to receive those alerts? Me. So I made the choice to unsubscribe. Don’t get me wrong, I’m staying informed, but now it’s on my terms. I choose to read the news when I’m ready. And that means I’m in a strong and centered frame of mind.

I’ve also chosen to stop watching television news. Watching meant I didn’t know what was going to come at me, and once again, leave me full of fear. Just another form of media where control was out of my hands.

In this newly aware state, I also noticed that long ago I’d set the New York Times as my browser homepage. They do an amazing job getting to the essence of a story, but every time I opened my computer, whether I chose to or not, I’d get glimpses of people in masks and hazmat suits and my hands would shake and my heart would race. Now I have my favorite home decorating website as my homepage setting, and I can switch over to news sites when I choose to do so.

I also remembered to breathe. To take those deep full breaths throughout the day that get me out of my head and back in my body. Plus, I take the time every morning to fill out my Magical Living Daily Planner which includes time to move my body, sit in stillness and drink lots of water.

Finally, I remind myself that we live in an uncertain world, and yet really, we always have. There just wasn’t a constant stream of noise reminding us of this from one moment to the next. Yet, we need to remember that we have choice. We get to choose how and when we expose ourselves to information.

Staying present when fear and uncertainty arrives is an ongoing practice, but by allowing ourselves to feel our fear, acknowledge it and move it through us, we can open ourselves back up to the healthy and welcome feelings of trust, gratitude and joy.

photo credit: Chris Ensey

What about you? Are there any changes you’d like to make? Tips, tools or tricks you have to share? Please reply here or over on the Facebook Page

Not Feeling the Magic?

Hey Friend ~

Reality is, some days, it’s pretty hard to find the Magic, right?

Even with all of my habits and systems and positive ways, there are just those days.

Maybe I didn’t sleep well. My back is sore. I can’t stop thinking about world events – especially when my daughter is traveling in the midst of them!

So what do I do on those days when I’m just not feeling the magic?

This…

 

I write.

I let the page hold all that I’m carrying.

And as the words find their way to the page, I feel space open within and my breath return.

Sometimes all it takes is making a list…

I’m afraid…

I want…

I need…

I wish…

I keep writing until I let out a big exhale and know I’ve hit a reset button, and I’m moving back to center.

Then I make myself a cup of tea and turn, as I do everyday, to my Magical Living Daily Planner, where I deliberately and intentionally allow myself to move forward with my day. (Is it time to dust yours off?)

And maybe Magic will show up after all.

If she does, I’m open to whatever she has in store for me.

​What about you? How do you hit the reset button when you’re having one of ​those days?

I’d love to hear!

Love and Blessings,

Kasey

P.S. I have two coaching spots that just opened up! If you’re ready to live a life full of ease, joy and purpose, we should talk. A limited number of complimentary discovery sessions were just added to the February calendar. If you’re interested, grab yours today!

Whoa, Slow Down

I’ve just returned from a snowy walk in the woods with my pooch, Georgie Girl.

I was thinking about the new year and all the noise and talk about the “New Year and the New You.”

All the pressure to change.

All the pressure to make promises and resolutions.

It all feels like so much to me. And I wonder how it’s all feeling to you?

I wonder if you’re starting this new year in a place of peace and compassion for yourself…

…or do you have a long list of all the shoulds and have-tos that you must do now that the calendar has turned to a new year?

You know I want all of us to show up as our best selves.

That is my wish for you, for me, for all of us.

Yet, I also know at this time of year there’s a big temptation to make big radical changes and try to jump so high and so far that we risk falling in between the massive chasm that exists between the place where we currently are and the place we want to be.

I invite you to hold up both hands flat in front of you with your palms facing up. Let one hand represent where you are now. Raise the other hand 6, 10, 12 inches higher to represent the place you want to be. Notice the space in between. A lot of space. Space to fall. Space to lose hope. Space to give up.

I believe we have to take small steps to make lasting change and get to the place where we’re living the life of our dreams.

One step, then another. Then another, and another after that.

As we keep taking those small steps, we’re creating new habits and building new neuropathways in our brains.

So what is one small and simple step you can take today?

A short walk outside?
Several glasses of water throughout the day?
Make your bed?
Call an old friend?
Sit quietly with your eyes closed for a few minutes?
Play a piece of classical music while you sit down to answer emails?
Write in your journal?
Read a chapter in the book that’s been sitting on your bedside table since the fall?

You get to choose. Just make it easy, realistic and doable.

And perhaps, after a while, you’ll be ready to take another step and add in another new habit.

And perhaps, at some point along the way, you’ll notice that you’ve made some significant shifts in your life.

Then hold up your two hands in front of you again and notice if that distance between your hands has closed a bit.

And then prepare to take another step.

And then another.

True and lasting change takes time.

Make that your gift to yourself this new year.


I’d love to hear about any changes you’re making in your life! You can email me at kasey@kaseymathews.com or shoot me a message over on my Facebook page.

If you’re looking for digestible bites of inspiration every day, you can check it out here – Kasey Mathews: Author, Speaker, Coach

With love and blessings,

Kasey

Magical Moments Just for You

This is the time of year when we give so much of ourselves to others that we sometimes need a reminder of the importance of caring for ourselves.

I wanted to share a few quick and easy tools that may be just what you need to feed your body, mind and soul and create even more Magical Moments in the coming days.

A piece I wrote last year

A quick read to remind us that holiday perfection isn’t always found when everything is “just right,” but more so when we show up and are present to the quiet, often hidden moments we may miss in this busy time of year – HOLIDAY PERFECTION

 

 

 

 

Warm Layers

A coaching client recently and reluctantly admitted that she hadn’t been moving her body much. “It’s just so cold,” she complained. I shared with her the secret I’d discovered years ago. As soon as the temps drop in the fall, I begin layering with a pair of silky long undies (I love the Cuddleduds brand) and a cozy tank top. “I’m never cold anymore,” I assured her, “And I use to be all the time.” If this is an issue for you, try it for yourself and see if it makes a difference. And if you have little ones, same for them. Long johns aren’t just meant for skiing and sledding. This way our bodies can focus on showing up in the best health possible, rather than putting all that energy toward simply keeping us warm.

Kasey’s Magical Morning Power Bowls

I used to drive out of my way to a local restaurant to get a hot and delicious Power Bowl, until one recent morning I decided to make my own. Now they’re a staple in our house and our favorite breakfast treat, but also a perfect go-to for any meal or snack throughout the day.

Make a big pot of Quinoa, bake a bunch of sweet potatoes, fry up some chicken sausages, chicken breasts, or any protein that you prefer. Store in the fridge so it’s ready every morning to be thrown together.

Grab a bowl, throw a bunch of fresh spinach in the bottom, add a layer of quinoa, then throw in chopped up sweet potato, protein, any leftover cooked veggies and warm it up (lately I’ve been cheating and using the micro, but do what feels right to you). Once it’s warm, throw some chopped avocado, a fried egg or whatever seems appealing on top. Andie’s favorite is a yummy peanut sauce. You can’t go wrong and this will fuel your body, mind and soul for hours to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magic Ginger Tonic

I make up a big pot of warm ginger tonic that sits on the stove and I pour from it all day long. Again, it’s super easy. Add or take away whatever feels right to you!

Slice up 3-4 pieces of fresh ginger, add in a big spoonful of honey, a big squeeze of lemon and a hardy shake of cayenne pepper then pour in the boiling water.

This keeps me warm and toasty on the inside and hydrated thought out the day!

Give it a try and see how it works for you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it!

So simple, right? But a way to give yourself a little extra holiday love this season.


Finally, I’m sending you so much love, gratitude and wishes for peace straight from my heart to yours.

I can’t wait to connect with you again in the new year. 2020 is sure to be special and full of lots of Magic!

With Blessings and Love,

Kasey

Magical Moments Abroad

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!