Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

  • What Are You Grateful For? Name One Thing

    What Are You Grateful For? Name One Thing

    Every year at this time, I write a post on gratitude. I could just keep repeating the same post: What are you grateful for--family, friends, work, pets, quality of life, peace of mind? If you look around, there's probably at least one thing you can be thankful for. And once you name that one thing, another will probably spring to mind, and then another. And pretty soon you're feeling pretty good.

    Today, I'm grateful my mother is a happy, healthy and active 91-year-old. I'm thankful my family and I worked together to support her recent transition to a wonderful supportive living facility in Illinois. I feel healthy, have a roof over my head, am married to a man I love, enjoy my work, and have a mind that can think and write and be present to this ki moment....

  • Election Day

    Election Day

    I don't have much to say today, except that...

    I really hope the winners of today's U.S. elections devote as much energy toward uniting our polarized sides as they've put into winning votes, so that we can begin to solve the difficult problems facing us. I really hope the sides turn toward each other tomorrow respecting the outcome and showing our country and its people that we can move forward together instead of stagnating separately.

    I'm always surprised when those in leadership focus on talking points that increase divisiveness instead of inviting dialogue that strives to include all points of view. It just seems so harmful to drive wedges and so healthy to unite. Why can't we do it? ...

  • No Regrets: Mothers, Daughters and Families

    No Regrets: Mothers, Daughters and Families

    As I've written previously, I'm quite privileged at present to be part of a family support team for my mother, Lorna, who lives in Naperville, Illinois. At 91, she is an inspiration to her five children, her friends, caregivers, and the managers of the supportive living community in Naperville that she's about to make her new home.

    Since May, when she took a fall in her kitchen, we've all been growing more aware that, while she's completely able in mind, body and spirit, it might be a good idea for Mom to exchange condo living for community living. There have been decisions to make, family conferences, and open, honest dialogue along the way. There has been conflict, too--each one an opportunity to widen our perspectives about what is best for our mother. And I'm grateful for how we're figuring it out together.

    Back in the spring when Mom was recovering her strength after the fall, the situation was more difficult. At the time, I thought a great deal about what was most important when making decisions that affected Mom and all of us, financially and emotionally. And I came up with three directives that I continually refer to whenever a decision has to be made....

  • Big Papi: Unafraid to Fail

    Big Papi: Unafraid to Fail

    I love watching Big Papi, aka David Ortiz -- the Boston Red Sox designated hitter, clutch player, and hometown hero. It's his last season in baseball--he's retiring this year--and there have been numerous opportunities to watch him being interviewed. This past month, I've listened to two interviews on TV and read the special Sports Illustrated issue devoted to his career.

    His comments from a recent TV interview impressed me so much I wrote them down:

    They talk about tools in baseball, and they never talk about the mental tool. But to me it's the most important one, because that's the one that dictates what kind of player you want to be.

    This from a man who was born to poverty in the Dominican Republic and for whom English is a second language. He goes on ...

  • The Dance of Relationship

    The Dance of Relationship

    My last post, "Don't Tell Me To Relax!" drew quite a few email responses--readers grateful for the reminder to center and extend ki (energy) in more intentional ways. The line I quoted from E. E. Cummings--i am through you so I--reinforces the central theme of the post--who we are in any given moment creates that moment and has a huge influence on those around us.

    I'm currently reading, The Elephant in the Room: How Relationships Make or Break the Success of Leaders and Organizations, by Diana McLain Smith. The premise of the book is that the quality of your relationships ultimately determines the quality of your life. More than technical skill, our ability to understand how we "dance" with each other in the complex world of relationship is at the epicenter of social and business success. 

  • Don't Tell Me To Relax!

    Don't Tell Me To Relax!


    “i am through you so I”— E. E. Cummings


    As Sue Shellenbarger wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal article,

    It’s a paradoxical fact: When someone is getting stressed out, one of the least effective (and perhaps most annoying) things to say is “Relax.”


    Have you ever done it? How did it turn out?

    I teach workshops and coach individuals on the art of centering: how to return to calm composure under pressure; how to hold a difficult conversation without stressing out, remain flexible with life's myriad attacks, and remove the hot buttons that hold us hostage in conflict situations.

    I was promoted to third-degree black belt in Aikido this month! Which should mean I'm pretty good at staying relaxed in most situations, right? Well, there's a cute Aikido quip that goes like this:

    What did the 10th-degree black belt say to the 9th-degree black belt?
    Relax!

    That's right--it never ends. And, it isn't the best way to encourage someone else to calm down....

  • Being Present Prepared Us for Goodbye

    Being Present Prepared Us for Goodbye

    Leaving Kids at College
    by Tracie Shroyer

    It’s one of those moments you wait for as a parent: you hold your breath and wonder how you’ll respond, hoping you won’t embarrass yourself or, worse, that you won't embarass your kid who is trying so hard to be brave and cool and grown up at the same time.

  • More Blessed, Less Stressed: My Four Agreements

    More Blessed, Less Stressed: My Four Agreements

    Recently I found myself offering words of encouragement to my nephew and his bride in advance of their upcoming wedding. What interested me was that the words were very similar to suggestions I'd made to a client upon the completion of some work together.

    I had to stop and think about that.

    Was I really saying the same thing in these very different settings?

    I was.

    And when I looked more deeply, I saw how the suggestions suited both circumstances. My intent was to offer support in both cases, and the applications are limitless. Like Don Miguel Ruiz' Four Agreements, they are guides to peace and quality of life--medicine for our volatile and stress-inducing world.

  • Memorable TED Talks and Corporate Empathy

    Memorable TED Talks and Corporate Empathy

    Two recent Wall Street Journal stories caught my attention because they support critical leadership competencies I teach in many of my workshops. Even though the topics may seem quite different from each other--how to give a memorable TED Talk and how to become a more empathetic boss--you'll notice some commonalities, such as empathy, authenticity and practice...

  • Mindfulness and Ki Moments

    Mindfulness and Ki Moments

    My 90-year-old mother is a positive force in my life. She lives independently, walks up to a mile most days, just passed her driver’s exam again this year, and is one of those people who makes you feel better just being in her presence.

    She took a fall in her kitchen recently and hit the ground pretty hard. Luckily nothing was broken, but her body, her confidence and her spirit of independence were badly bruised. 

    Much of my writing is about life’s ki (key) moments—moments of mindfulness in which you are fully aware of your life energy and your ability to influence your environment. Ki moments hold challenge and opportunity. How you handle them is what makes life interesting and powerful. This experience with my mom and her temporary loss of independence gave me a new perspective on life's ki moments...

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