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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!

10 Lessons on Having a Preemie

photo credit: barycenter.com

10 Lessons on Having a Preemie

1.) You didn’t do anything wrong.  After having a preemie, it is completely normal to feel guilty, ashamed and terribly afraid after giving birth to a preemie, but It Is Not Your Fault. You might never know Why your baby arrived early and sometimes you have to let go of the Why in order to move forward.

2.) Not everyone is a “baby person” and nurturing is not automatic for every mother, even mothers of full term babies.  It’s o.k. if you feel this way; many women do but don’t speak their feelings out loud.

3.) Speak your truth. Don’t let your fears and anxiety breed in the dark.  Bringing your deep felt emotions to light keeps them from growing and festering inside you.

4.) Motherhood can be lonely, even for mothers of full-term babies. Ask for help. When others offer help, accept it.  By receiving with openness and grace, you are in fact giving in return. And believe it or not, to show your vulnerability is actually to be at your greatest strength.

5.) Create a vision of your baby in the future and hold on to that vision.  Write a list of all your “some days” – walking on the beach, eating ice cream cones on a hot summer day, flying a brightly colored kite, lying in the grass looking for shapes in the clouds…

6.) Don’t believe everything the doctors tell you. Create your own expectations for your child and don’t allow your child’s potential to be limited by anyone else.  Use your voice.  Speak up for yourself and your baby.  You are your baby’s voice.

7.) Cover your baby’s isolet with a dark blanket.  If your NICU is too bright or too noisy, speak up.  Your baby will grow and heal best in a dark womb-like environment.  Post-NICU, explore alternative therapies to compliment traditional medical treatments, i.e. Reiki, energy healing, cranial sacral therapy, Brain Gym.

8.) If you can’t shake your deep anxiety, it’s highly likely you’re suffering from PTSD.  Posttraumatic Stress is very common among preemie parents. (Resources to help – EMDR, Support groups, Peer to Peer support through Hand to Hold, therapy, writing),

9.) Take care of YOU.  Like the oxygen mask on an airplane, you have to breathe first before putting the mask on your child. It’s ok to take time for yourself and let someone else care for your baby.

10.) Choose love over fear.  It’s the hardest thing in the world to love when you’re so afraid you might lose, but our babies came here to love and be loved.  And remember, no matter how bad things get, no matter how lonely you feel, You are not Alone. Someone has walked this path before you and someday you’ll be on the other side sharing your story.

Ready for more? Join me and other moms in Igniting Your Magical Life; Becoming a Happier Mom Workshops

© Kasey Mathews, 2012