Last Saturday night I attended a memorial service for a friend of mine: Kenny Mateer. Kenny was a man of MANY talents: a Zen Body therapist, a Master at listening, At transformational thinking and coaching, full self expression and most of all at making a difference for those who wanted to make a difference. Kenny could look at you INCISIVELY and see what was in the way that needed to get out of the way such that you could make the difference you wanted to make. He broke down barriers for people, often all it took was a word or a phrase… he spoke to the heart of the matter. Kenny was someone who asked,”What do you need?” and never once said to me “Here’s what I need from you…” Even when my job was to provide things for him. To say he lead an extraordinary life is to minimize the gift he was to all of us who had the good fortune to cross his path.
Kenny would say whatever needed to be said inorder to reach you and make a difference with you in the moment. He didn’t care if you didn’t like it, that carried NO weight with him. We bonded in our love of profanity. He used the profane as a samuri weilds a sword. To cut through the noise and land a well placed blow for freedom~ more frequently your freedom than for his! He didnot overuse it, however was deft in his application, never resorting to shock value only, that would be a rookie mistake. His presence was at once magnetic and grounding with occasional bursts of lightnening. When I was caught up in the PRESS!!! a moment with him would calm me and get me into the flow.
I was not around in Kenny’s last year wrapped up as I was in my own dis-ease. And I do regret not consulting with him regarding my own diagnosis. Kenny had stage 4 pancreatic Cancer and far outlived his 4 month expiration date. As someone said last night Kenny set the standard for “How To Live with A Terminal Diagnosis”. He chose LIFE everyday in the FACE of his diagnosis. In a short video shown at the memorial – Kenny spoke about what it was to be “up against” something and how when you indulge in that conversation…ie: I’m fighting this/ I’m up against this/ I’m resisting this… you are relegated to bucking and bumping against the thing you are fighting all the time and that ends up comsuming your energy, versus being FOR WELLBEING or being as well as possible in the moment. This choosing of wellness converts thats energy and enhances wellbeing rather than exhausting oneself by fighting against the circumstance. What you resist persists with a vengance.
Kenny also inspired me with a project in that video. One of the things he said was when you find out you’re looking at the end of your time you’ve got to get busy! There is alot of acknowledgement and appreciation to be doing. I fell in love with this sentiment. What a great way to spend the minutes of your life… acknowledging the people who made a difference for you all along the way. What a LOVE FEST you could create! So I’m now on a mission to reach out and acknowledge the people who were there for me, who were important to me; my intention is to leave them thoroughly present to the difference they made and the impact their actions had on me. I’m putting it in my plan and I’m going through my rolodex… what a great practice to have in place to presence joy and love and appreciation.
Thank you Kenny! You’re the BEST!