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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

Ask Yourself: What Do You Need

When our daughter was little, there were times when she was so out of sorts, I felt helpless in helping her.

One day, I opened up to a friend and shared this with her. In return, she offered the suggestion of asking our girl the simple question – What do you need?

That question became my magical go-to.

I remember the numerous times I knelt down, put my hands on her bony shoulders, and asked her, What do you need?

Often, she didn’t know, but the fact that I cared to ask and listen, seem to be exactly what she needed.

I offer this to you today, because so often, many of us find ourselves in times of uncertainty and feeling out of sorts.

This is an opportunity to ask ourselves this very question– What do I need?

And in response, just listen.

Let your voice from within tell you what you need.

Maybe you’ll hear:

Rest.

A bath.

A good cry.

A long walk.

The cup of tea with a friend.

A turkey sandwich with lots of cranberry.

A romantic comedy.

A night out belly up to the bar with with a salted margarita.

A pillow to punch and get all my anger out.

What do you need?

Your turn.

Ask yourself – What do I need?

Write down the first things you just heard.

And let the Magic begin!

Is Overwhelm a Choice?

Image result for overwhelm

(photo credit problogger.com)

Last Saturday morning the alarm rang at 4:30 am.

A cold, dark sky met my view out the window. I rolled over and thought of all the reasons we should not be going to the scheduled weekend event.

We’ve been traveling so much lately, the house is a mess, the kids are exhausted, I have so much laundry to do, the bills are piled up on the counter, and my bed is so cozzzzy.

Then I heard a voice in my head say, “Overwhelm is a choice.”

I rolled back over and stared up at the ceiling, allowing myself to hear the words again.

Overwhelm is a choice.

And right at that moment, I made a choice.

I chose to not feel overwhelmed.

It was 4:30 in the morning, but I realized I wasn’t actually tired.

And rather than think of all that would be left undone for the weekend, I thought of all the potential joy for us as a family.

I felt my whole body shift and relax.

I easily climbed out of bed to put on the tea kettle, start the car, gather snacks, blankets and pillows for the ride and greet my family with an early morning smile.

And I thought about my role as Mom, and just how much my mood sets the tone for the family.

Overwhelm is a Choice.

What a gift to have received such wise words – and show up calm, composed and open to all the wonders of time spent fully present and engaged with my family.

Remember, You get to Choose How You Show Up in Your Life.

“Your environment does not create your peace, your peace creates your environment.” (momdelights.com)

Do you find yourself angry and overwhelmed? Remember, overwhelm is a choice! You have the ability to re-frame your mindset and choose happiness instead! #overwhelmed #mindset #selfcare

My Boy’s Journey to Manhood

As my 18-year-old son prepares to graduate from high school in just a couple of weeks, a stroll down memory lane led to this piece I’d written six years ago. There’s such magic in seeing the connection between those boyhood moments and his emergence into manhood…

When Tucker was a little guy, he’d fashion fishing poles out of sticks and string and hang his “rods” over the back of the kitchen sofa. A bite from a big one, would require great effort and lots of groaning until he successfully reeled in his imaginary catch.

His first “real” rod was red, all of three feet long, with Mickey Mouse on the reel and a little, yellow rubber fish attached to the line.

It wasn’t long until the rod without a hook was no longer satisfactory, and Tuck graduated to a new real rod, hook and all. He learned how to put on worms and release the fish he’d caught, and every vacation, his fishing pole was the first thing in the car.

But as he grew older, his interest in fishing waned, replaced by more active endeavors like skateboarding, biking and soccer.

Yet on this Memorial Day, there he was casting a line way out into the water. “I haven’t seen him fish in ages,” I said to Lee who was sitting nearby, changing the lure on his rod.

“Look at the picture on the camera and you’ll know why,” he said.


I turned on the camera and saw the picture they’d taken just before releasing the bass my husband had caught.

“No wonder he’s inspired,” I said. But by late afternoon, all he’d caught were five small perch.

“He won’t let these fish go,” my daughter, Andie complained, staring into the bucket where the fish were swimming around.

“I’m cooking them for our dinner,” Tuck said, flipping his hair out of his big, excited eyes. The day’s sun had lured a few new freckles out on his nose.

“Dinner?” I asked, thinking of our nearly packed car and desire to get back home.

“Yeah.  I’ve made dinner, but that food was from the store. This is dinner I caught,” he said.

Looking into the wide eyes of my soon to be thirteen-year-old son, I knew this was a significant event.

“OK,” I said. “Go ask Daddy to show you how to clean the fish.”

My daughter, Andie was distraught. “You can’t kill those fish,” she cried.  “I won’t eat them.”

“You love fish,” Tucker reminded her.

“But those are from the store,” she said, prompting a discussion on food sources.

(Later she “accidently” let one go, but Lee helped her catch a replacement, which she reluctantly put in the bucket with the others.)

As Lee and Tuck covered the picnic table with newspaper and sharp knives, Andie hovered nearby.  She squealed when Tucker cut the heads off the still wriggling fish, but his squared shoulders seemed to say, Look at me providing sustenance for my family.

Five little perch isn’t a lot of sustenance, but with beans and left over pasta, it amounted to a meal.

We each had a couple three-inch fillets that Tuck had dredged in milk and breadcrumbs and fried in butter.  Andie, who wasn’t going to eat her little friends, pleaded with everyone to share a bit more off their plate.

The fish was truly delicious. But even more delicious was witnessing my boy take a step toward manhood, swelling with pride as he demonstrated his ability to care for those he loves.

Then…

 

Now…

His interests may have changed, but that little boy wanting to care for the ones he loves still lives deep inside him.

Many Memorial Day blessings to you,