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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!

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!

Mother’s Day Magic

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the glorious month or May (or the new June, as many of the moms I know have dubbed it it’s so full and busy!).

With this time of year so heavily focused on getting the kids to the end of the school year, we need to remember to take a few moments for ourselves each and every day!

I saw first hand the power of this when I was up in my hometown of Syracuse, NY for a couple of Mother’s Day events.

The first event was a wonderful gathering for the NICU expansion at Crouse Hospital where I spoke about my first book, Preemie: Lessons in Love, Life, and Motherhood. You can read more about that here – CROUSE HOSPITAL NICU FUNDRAISER

The following day was to be an evening book signing for A Mom’s Guide to Creating a Magical Life at Barnes and Noble, but before that, an opportunity to appear on the local evening news popped up!

Was I nervous? Of course, but mostly I wanted to get it right.

I studied some newscasts and noticed how most of the women dress, typically in more form-fitting dresses.

“I’m going to wear the same pink dress I wore last night for the talk and then quickly change for the book signing,” I declared to my mom and Andie.

“And because timing will be tight, Andie, you and Papa Jer can go ahead to Barnes and Noble and set up the food, drinks and books.”

Everyone nodded their heads.

And then I strode out to the car to pack my extra books, seltzers, cookies and the outfit I’d quickly change into once the news segment was over.

On the way back in my mom mentioned that Andie might want to see the television station, but I assured her we were on too tight a time crunch and that wouldn’t work.

I quickly moved up the stairs to grab a shower, but remembered I’d promised myself to take a few minutes to listen to a meditation.

So I did.

And within moments of lying down on the bed and listening to the calm, serene words of the meditation wash over and into me, I saw a vision of myself on the news, wearing the loose and comfy outfit I’d planned for the book signing – and there Andie, right there watching!

I was tempted to pop right up, but I listened to the rest of the meditation, and found even deeper stillness and quiet.

And once it ended, I took out my earphones, walked over to Andie and said, “I’m back, and I’d love for you to go to the news station with me.”

“What about the bookstore set up?” she asked.

“Who cares if we’re throwing cookies on a plate when people arrive,” I said and went to put on my cozy outfit.

What I realized during that meditation was that the news channel wasn’t interested in having another news anchor on the air. They were interested in a woman who shows up as her authentic self and speaks about what lights her up.

I hope that’s what I did, and I hope that inspires you to do the same in your life!

NBC3 Mother’s Day News Segment

Walking into the news station, Andie looked around and said, “This is dope.”

4

Raising Kids and Renovating Houses

photo credit Nolan Issac unsplash

“Release your attachment to how things ‘ought’ to be and instead surrender to how they actually are.”
Dr. Shefali Tsabary

My husband and I are serial house renovators.

We’ve owned four old homes and our kids have never known one without crooked doors or slanted floors.

Obviously, we love old houses. But the problem is, there’s always work to be done. In other words, the work is never done. As soon as one project is complete, we’re already looking forward and preparing for the next.

The other day, my husband and I were outside walking around the house when he said, “We have so much to do.”

And that simple statement stopped me in my tracks.

For a moment, I knew he was right. But then I looked all around and allowed myself to see all that we had done, rather than all that we hadn’t. It was time to appreciate that. And I asked him to try and see our house through those eyes.

And he did.

We stood in our yard, side by side, looking around like we’d both put on new glasses.

Rather than seeing the landscaping we’d hadn’t done, we saw the aluminum siding we’d torn down and the beautiful clapboard that now took its place. We laughed about the dark brown garages that were now clean and painted white, and as we walked toward our new front porch with the two rockers just waiting for us, my husband let out a big exhale. He was seeing the Magic in what we had created.

As I leaned back in my rocking chair, I started thinking about how we need to do the same with our kids.

In this busy world we live in, we tend to look at all the things they’re not, rather than all the things they are.

Our children are not their spelling tests, SAT scores, soccer games, piano lessons, play dates, prom dates or to-do lists. They’re funny, wondrous, beautiful, amazing beings growing and learning right before our eyes. We just have to slow down, let out a big breath, shift our perspective and allow ourselves to see that.

To see the Magic of who our kids really are – not who they will be someday, but the amazing beings they are right here, right now.

Because the reality is, we’re all renovations in progress.  And from time to time, we need to stop, look around and appreciate all that we’ve accomplished to get to where we are right in this moment. We also need to do the same with our children, so we can model for them, how to do that for themselves.

That’s where we find the Magic.