I recently interviewed the magnetic Kathy Seifert! Kathy is the Executive Director of the Alexandria Seaport Foundation. We spoke for the first time during this conversation, and I felt like we were old friends by the end. She was truly an open book and her pleasure with life is palpable. She is self-assured and self-aware and as a result is completely comfortable with who she is. A place no doubt many of us would love to be. Kathy gently reinforced that as women, we need to stop comparing our insides to other people’s outsides. She is beautiful inside and out and she was kind enough to share the wisdom and impact of her authentic, heart-lead lifestyle.
When Kathy was in her thirties and forties, she cared far too much about what other people thought of her. She spent copious amounts of time making soul-crushing comparisons. It was an all-consuming awareness of who was doing what, where their kids were going to camp, and who had the labels and the fancy second homes. Even now in her 60s, she catches herself noticing what other people have, how much they travel, and what they spend their money on, wondering if she will have those things. But in her heart, Kathy is secure in knowing the life that she is living is exactly what she wants for herself. “Things” don’t fulfill her or make her happy. She is motivated from her heart.
While she’ll probably work until the day she can no longer show up, it’s not just because of the money – her work is where she is able to fulfill her purpose! The bigger houses, the long international vacations, the retired schedule all sound good at face value. But from Kathy’s perspective, if that’s not what one truly desires, why bother with the comparisons? You only run the risk of pulling out of alignment with your values and what makes your heart thrum.
Kathy views her three sons and her grandchildren as the most important things in her life. They’re the drive behind everything she does! She lives each day with the intention to always be a role model for them.
To Kathy, a true role model is defined as an amazingly authentic and genuine person who really loves with their heart and lives life to the fullest! That’s her intention for each day. She firmly believes that knowing what she values and seeking out space to live them every day is what keeps her in alignment with who she is and with her goals. Kathy recharges in simple ways that nourish her soul like sitting with a cup of tea and reading a good book, connecting with her friends over dinner in meaningful conversation, spending precious time with her children and grandchildren, and enjoying a natural, balanced diet of whole-body fuel foods and good sleep habits.
Being in her mid-sixties, Kathy intentionally relishes the here and now. Respecting and enjoying what’s going on in each moment, where her feet are planted today is where she wants to be.
Kathy has seen many of her peers get sick and lose the gift of today, and watching her own mother suffer from Alzheimer’s, she never wants to find herself feeling wistful that she missed out on life-giving opportunities. This perspective would have never crossed her mind twenty or thirty years ago, she didn’t have the same life experience or wisdom to think ahead with intention.
For Kathy, doing what she believes is important right now, not waiting, or rather hoping, there will be time to do it tomorrow is always the right answer. One of her favorite pastimes is picking up the grandchildren and hanging out at the bookstore, talking over cupcakes. Kathy realizes there may come a day when she is no longer able to enjoy even that simple blessing. These quiet, meaningful connections bring the highest measure of light, energy, and love.
With today’s fast-fashion and plastic doll-like standards, our perception of beauty is unavoidably skewed. Kathy tells of a woman in her seventies who is the mother of seven children. She’s deeply religious and has allowed age to come naturally. To see her, to know her, is to appreciate her beauty, inside and out. She has an incredible amount of life experience, and it has taught her to be herself. To exist as only she can. Her inner joy is on display in her outer beauty!
A prayer Kathy finds falling regularly from her lips is “Dear Lord, please give me the physical and mental strength to shine my light on people who need it.” When you no longer care what people think of you, when you’re genuinely living out your truth and letting your inner light shine, that is when you’re the most beautiful.
No one has a perfect life. And the more women are willing to open up and authentically share their imperfections, the more empowered we can all be. Kathy hopes to be a beacon for others who may be struggling with living their authentic truth, to help them grow beyond the false social media constructs and truly shine. She is also hoping to pursue outdoor adventures like sailing and long cycling trips and teaching yoga to children. A wide-open path is before her, and she plans to fill it with possibilities and adventure!
“When I look at my future, I want to continue constant growth, I just want to learn more, pursue more.”
I have no doubt she will do just that!