The Best Gift Is Being Present

“BANG!” I heard this as my car collided with another and I slammed my brakes to a screeching halt.

I wasn’t sure what had just happened. I wasn’t paying attention.

I allowed myself to be distracted about something that could have waited. I was looking down at my phone. I am mortified and embarrassed that I caused this accident.

And, I am extremely grateful that no one was hurt.

“How Could This Be A Good Thing?”

When anything “bad” happens in my life, I keep asking: “How can this be a good thing?”

One of the drivers in the accident told me she had been struck three different times by a distracted driver. Yikes! This is a problem.

Yes, it is ironic that I caused this accident because I use mindfulness techniques in what I teach and how I coach.

I am always teaching more of what I want to learn!

The idea that “multi-tasking” is productive is a fallacy. Some experts say it is detrimental to our brains.

And there is a culture that says being “busy” is a good thing.

But if we are living with “busy-ness” and not present, we make mistakes, we allow things like our cellphones to distract us, and we miss what is right in front of us.

Being present and doing one thing at a time does not only apply to driving.

Turning off screens during meals, giving our kids our undivided attention, or truly listening to a friend without distractions – these are all gifts of presence.

As these busy holidays approach, let’s all think more about presence than presents!

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Kathy McCabe
Life Coach

P.S. Learn to practice more PRESENCE by giving yourself a 1-Day Retreat to de-stress, unplug and EXHALE!  Sign Up HERE.

More Stress-Free Holiday Tips!

Here is part 2 of the Stress-Free Tips for the Holidays that I shared during the “Mom’s Night Out” event!

For those holiday tasks you “have to do,” use Martha Beck’s “4 Bs” tool.  

The “4 Bs” can be used for any tasks you dread, but here are some examples to apply to those tasks during the holidays.

Ask Yourself, Can I:

  1. Bag It? Do I really have to do this task I don’t want to do? Am I saying “yes” when I really mean “no?” Remember that saying NO is saying YES to YOU! I have “bagged” doing extensive holiday decorations, and enjoyed more free time.
  2. Barter It? Can I pay someone to do this task or can I exchange something for someone else to do it for me? For example, I have paid someone to create holiday address labels so that this task is expedited. Or, trading car pool duties for a different night so that you can attend a fun holiday party.
  3. Better It? Ask yourself: How can I BETTER a task I am not excited about? For example, can I do holiday shopping with a friend or can I ask my kids to address the holiday cards?
  4. Batch It? Can I put this task together with similar tasks I can do all at once? For example, can I organize all of my holiday shopping for one or two days, instead of dragging it out?

Applying the “4 Bs” will increase your JOY everyday!

Here’s to YOUR Stress-Free Holidays!


P.S. Check out more fun photos from my Mom’s Night Out Event.

P.S.S-Space is filling up for my EXHALE Retreat! Sign up NOW!


Kathy McCabe
Life Coach

Stress-Free Tips For Your Holiday Enjoyment

Here are a few tips about creating stress-free holidays I shared last night at the “Mom’s Night Out” event I hosted:

  1. Decide On An Intention For The Holidays. If you tend to get stressed or overwhelmed with all of the “to-dos” during the holidays, remember that it is your thoughts that create this feeling. If you are constantly thinking, “I have too much to do during the holidays,” you will feel overwhelmed. One way to fix this is to DECIDE on an intention. If you decide you will have a “stress-free holiday,” then you likely will feel less overwhelmed. Once you decide what your intention is, REMIND yourself of it on a daily basis. Your attention needs to follow your intention. When you are asked to do something or contemplating whether to do something, ask: “Does this align with my intention?”
  2. Prepare Yourself For Drama From Any Drama-Makers In Your Life! If you have people in your life who tend to create drama, anticipate that they will continue to create drama, expect it – and then prepare yourself! For example, extended family dinners can be full of drama. Let’s remind ourselves that we can’t control others, and people will continue to act the way they act. But we always have a choice about how we will respond. If you mentally prepare and protect yourself for such drama, it will be much harder to get upset or feel challenged by it. If your mother-in-law inappropriately always asks you when you are going to “lose that weight,” be ready with an answer – and an exit strategy – which could be the bathroom, if need be!
  3. Ask Yourself: “What Are Some Experiences I Would Love To Have During This Holiday Season?” Take time to think about what you love about the holidays, and what you really want to do. Do you like looking at holiday lights in the city, having a special holiday lunch or hosting a cookie exchange? Write down your ideas. Now, put these experiences on your calendar. Likewise, if you really want a certain gift, TELL your loved ones, or buy it for yourself! Don’t let yourself be disappointed.

Next week I will share a few more tips… Here’s to YOUR Stress-Free Holidays!

I’d love to hear if these tips help YOU!


Kathy McCabe
Life Coach