Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stop Whining. Start Doing... With Love.

I am a whiner.

Long story short, I gracefully fell down some awkwardly spaced steps at a dance recital and now have my ankle in an obnoxious “storm trooperesque” boot. Lovely. I whine because I am relying on the help from family and friends (did I mention it’s my right foot so driving is a no go). I whine because I miss my independence. I whine because I cannot do my daily walks with my pal Harper. I whine because my leg sweats in this thing. I whine because my hip hurts. I whine because I can only wear sneakers to balance myself out. I whine. I whine. I whine.

And then, the universe sent me a wake up call (as it tends to do) in the form of an email from one of my best friends who is being "locked up" for a Muscular Dystrophy Fundraiser, and is raising money for her bail. We have a friend whose life has been directly impacted by MD ... And I was like… PERSPECTIVE KATHLEEN. You need to stop whining and start appreciating. So with that… I wanted to share my strong, loving and always smiling friend Rosie’s story below. 

Stop whining. Starting doing… with love.
xo kao

Growing up in South Philadelphia during the late1960's & early 1970's, my family looked forward to the last great event of the summer before heading back to school, the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon. We spent the weekend watching Jerry work his butt off for his “kids,” bringing out star after star, each more famous than the one before, who entertained us thoroughly with their performances and made us laugh out loud as they interacted with Jerry. We didn't have a lot of money, but every year we made a pledge—a “thank you” for the entertainment and a hope that our small gift would benefit those kids affected my Muscular Dystrophy, never knowing that Muscular Dystrophy would irrevocably change my life.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

was still for awhile...

I was driving with the windows down blasting music. I no longer relate to sad love songs. Turn the station. Skipping the “Happy” song because how many times can you really listen to that song? Tune into my ipod. To my songs. Land on a musical theatre tune, Skip it. No longer interested. My standard artist, skip it. Over it. Newly downloaded album I haven’t heard yet. Turn up the volume. I like this feeling of newness. Always evolving. Always moving. Forward.

Hello my name is Kathleen.

Was still for awhile. I wasn’t in a place to write. I wasn’t in a place to share. I wasn’t in a bad place; rather a place I’d never been in before. A place of contentment. A place of spiritual serenity. A belonging. A new beginning.

Although I still make my bed every morning, it now sits directly on the floor. I no longer feel the need to have my nails painted at all times. I still love mascara, but also have a new love of taking it off. I spend my time with someone who thinks I am beautiful with or without it. I still have the dorkiest dog and most carefree cat. I still have fears and insecurities, but they no longer own me. They no longer define me. I won’t let them.

Peeling back the layers day by day to reveal myself. Simplicity. Word is art. Life is to be embraced. Loved. Present. 

I am ready at the moment. Hello again. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Pebble Path

It's a chilly summer day and I'm running down a pebble path winding through a beautiful country estate and out of breath tripping over my heels and trying to hold my dress down as the breeze blows it up. My hair keeps getting caught in my lip-gloss. I reach a pair of doors, compose myself, and walk in and down large white marble steps to find a gentleman in a suit and a brunette in a beautiful white dress with their backs towards me. As I reach the bottom of the stairs, the gentleman turns around, locks eyes with me and says "you're late."

And that was it. That was where the dream ends every single time. Although I haven't had it in a long time, this dream recurred through college, and that gentleman is someone I have known since we were kids. Someone who I always viewed as a person who was going through life at the same speed as I was. I never truly understood this dream until the other evening when this old friend called me to tell me he was engaged. My heart fell into my stomach. Not because I wanted to be the girl in the white dress standing next to him, but because this was the moment where, for the first time, I felt I was behind the curve. Through all of my friends getting married, engaged, divorced and having children, this was a defining moment for me. I was questioning my own path. The point is, he was the person I would compare myself to when others were zipping by. I didn't feel so behind schedule, because he was still navigating his way through his own path. 

Life has changed so much in the past couple of years, and while I don't regret my decisions, I do find myself stopping to think why are you here? What are you spending your days thinking about? What do you truly want out of today? I have answered those questions for myself, and the answers weren't easy to face. I have to change things to make them happen.

Things change - people change- relationships change. We tend to give power to people we can compare ourselves to. We put too much weight on what they are doing. Put that energy into yourself. I have to stop thinking about their paths and focus on my own. Confront your own journey. Voice your needs and follow where you want to go.

I am sure some reading this might wonder if I wish I took a different path. The answer is no. I see that pebbled path as something different now. It's not as smooth as marble for sure but it's exciting and it's mine. I never did respond in that dream. Who knows maybe each time I was happy just where I was and was late because I was coming from somewhere I was really supposed to be. My perfect ending to that dream? He turns around, says "you're late" and I respond "I know and that's okay."

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


How many times a day do you find yourself saying a negative statement… even when it’s not intended? I encourage you to start listening closely to yourself. For instance, when something really cracks my sheit up I say “it kills me”… ummm… no it doesn’t it makes you laugh silly. Or “I am such a dork.” I am truly beginning to realize that our words manifest themselves, even when it is not our intention.

I had my eyes opened to this the other day. A very wise woman told me “every time you say something negative say “cancel” out loud.” So I have been listening closely, and let me tell you, basically all you hear out of my mouth is “CANCEL.”  I play the Positive Polly card but what I really am is a Negative Nancy people! CANCEL THAT! I am positive but my reactions can be negative and I am working to change that. There… that is better. Here I am working diligently towards self respect and understanding, and although my mind is in the right place, my words are not.

Negativity is a drug. A toxic one that can ruin your life. I am making the choice right here and now to say no more negativity. I want a beautiful, happy life and to approach it with grace and courage. No need to hide behind toxic words so I can cheapen situations to make them seem not so bad. I want to wake up every morning looking forward to a new day. I refuse to diminish that because negativity is so much easier than kindness… even to one’s self. Mostly to one’s self actually. Isn’t it interesting that people are more apt to share negativity than joy sometimes? I truly believe there are some people in life who are embarrassed by joy. Meaning, if the joy goes away, or something happens, they have to face others around them asking where the joy went. Does this make sense?

It is like people who say they don’t want children because, they don’t want people to feel sorry for them if they can’t get pregnant. Or those who say they don’t want to be in a relationship, because they don’t want to face the crowd if the relationship ends. Those who say they can’t lose weight, because they don’t want people to think they are insecure. Think about it… you get what you put out there. Stop being a victim in your life—a victim of your degrading thoughts. Living like that… is absolutely exhausting. You are not a victim; truly, you may be the problem. A toxic part of YOUR OWN LIFE.

So CANCEL your negative thoughts. Listen really closely to yourself and respect yourself enough to want the best out of life. It is ok. It is amazing actually.