Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

  • Disrespectful Behavior: It's What You Say and How You Say It

    Disrespectful Behavior: It's What You Say and How You Say It

    Hi Judy,

    I'm a cashier in a large appliance store. I was reported to our store manager for being disrespectful to our Customer Service Department. All I did was make a request of Customer Service, and I'd like to know what's disrespectful about that and what to do about it.  

    Thank you!
    Confused and Uncertain


    Dear Confused,
    Thank you for your note and question. I appreciate your quandary and admire you for wanting to do something about it. While I don't know all the details, I can make some general suggestions that might be helpful to you and others in situations like this...

  • Warrior, Lunatic or Centered Mom: Which One Are You?

    Warrior, Lunatic or Centered Mom: Which One Are You?

    Judy and I have worked together for six years. I’ve told her often how much her work has influenced my life and the way I look at, and handle, conflict.

    A few weeks ago I dropped off our youngest son, age 15, at school four states away. The reason he goes to school so far from us is a longer story than I have space for, but suffice it to say it isn’t because he’s a bad kid. The opposite. He’s a great kid, and it’s really tough for us to drop him off each year. 

    As the two of us pulled up to the aging dorm, sadness overwhelmed me. His campus is old and beautiful--we love it--but his building is not good. New dorms are going up next door, and this building seems anxious to say goodbye to its last boarders so it can be torn down.

    My son was giddy with excitement. When you go to boarding school, you spend all summer away from your friends--friends who are like a second family. He couldn’t wait to get his room set up and find his buddies.

    Arms full of boxes, we arrived at his locked door.

    “Honey,” I said. “I have a bad feeling about this…”

    The door was clearly marked with a handmade sign labeled “Storage.”

  • The Enduring Question: What If They Won't Change?

    The Enduring Question: What If They Won't Change?

    Trying not to change someone--in fact realizing you can't--and holding that space from center may feel like you're suspended in mid-air, not knowing, just taking one breath at a time, one step at a time, relinquishing control. As challenging as it may be, this is a place of learning and growth. Being comfortable with discomfort, as my yoga teacher says.

  • Closure: Ki Moments and the Importance of Ritual

    Closure: Ki Moments and the Importance of Ritual

    There's a song from a wonderful 1970's musical -- The Last Sweet Days of Isaac. The title is: "My Most Important Moments Go By," and in another life I was an actor (yep!) and sang this song. Maybe because of that, I've always appreciated the importance of certain moments in my life. I've tried to take note of them.

    When we let moments go by without paying attention, we lose something--something that won't come again. And, sometimes it makes it harder to go on to the next moment. Something is holding us back, and we're not even sure what it is.

  • Being Present With It: Centered Anger

    Being Present With It: Centered Anger

    My last post was about being present with happiness. I reflected on how it can be as difficult to be present in happiness as in anger and that meditation and reflection offered ways to appreciate happiness without losing ourselves to it or letting it slip by unnoticed. The same principles apply to anger.

    You'd probably just as soon let angry moments go by. Why would you want to stay present with anger?

  • An Interval of Meditation: Centered Happiness

    An Interval of Meditation: Centered Happiness

    Have you ever been so happy you ...

    • were afraid it wouldn't last?
    • lost your equilibrium? 
    • couldn't stay present with it?

    Such is Anne Elliot's happiness at the end of Jane Austen's Persuasion, that she engages in "an interval of meditation" as the best way to preserve and appreciate the feeling.

    I write a lot about centering in conflict. Searching this phrase on my website turns up 112 results. And yet, what about being centered in happiness? 

  • Be More: Turn Gossip Into Direct Communication

    Be More: Turn Gossip Into Direct Communication

    It's always great to hear from past and current clients about how they utilize my work and writing personally and within their organizations. And sometimes I get a surprise, as I did last week when I received an email from someone I'd never met--an employee in a major global financial institution. The financial institution included my Checklist for Managing Difficult Conversations in a regional communication program encouraging staff to "Be More." 

    In the 9-day program, there were a number of challenges participants had to complete that helped them "Be More" in important aspects of their leadership and communication.

    Under the heading of "Be More Honest," the company explored the topic of gossip and encouraged staff to take the challenge to reach out to talk to someone directly if they felt the urge to "gossip" about someone. They then reported their experiences, which the employee gave me permission to share...

  • Managing Stress and Inner Conflict: You Know the Answer

    Managing Stress and Inner Conflict: You Know the Answer

    One of the most interesting things about my work is that I teach skills everyone already knows. If you've been in a workshop with me, you know this to be true and you've even heard me say it. 

    We know we want to be centered and in control of our emotions in difficult moments. We know that putting ourselves in a mindset of inquiry is also really useful. And when I ask, "What would you like to say to this person so that they understand your positive intention?" coaching clients are usually clear, composed, and thoughtful in their message. We also know that putting ourselves in the customer/client/coworker/family member's place and seeing their perspective can absolutely turn a difficult situation around.

    And yet....

  • The Guest House: Managing Emotions with Awareness

    The Guest House: Managing Emotions with Awareness

    This being human is a guest-house
    Every morning a new arrival.

    This is the beginning of one of my favorite Rumi poems. I appreciate its wisdom on how to greet each emotion with gratitude and wonder.

  • Lessons Learned: Losing My Voice

    Lessons Learned: Losing My Voice

    I am now recently and thankfully over a bout of laryngitis that in all its manifestations lasted 8 weeks. That's a long time for an organizational trainer, public speaker, and professional singer. It was traumatic at times, frightening, and fascinating. Friends would say, "this is going to be a story eventually," and indeed it is and has been.

    Have I said that "Unlikely Teachers" are not always welcomed at first? They can seem like annoyances at best and physically or emotionally traumatic at worst. In many cases, the teacher is life-changing in the sense that it shows us something about ourselves and the world that we might not have otherwise seen.

    Enforced Quiet

    I've written about how default programming and ingrained habits can be changed by noticing them in the moment they occur and making a different choice, and advice-giving is one of my defaults. During the first days of the lovely laryngitis attack, I couldn't speak at all--not even a squeak. How fascinating were those moments when I would start to say something and realize I couldn't. Because it was a struggle to speak and because the doctors had told me NOT to unless absolutely necessary, I became acutely aware of these ki moments--Do I really need to say this? Most of the time I didn't.

    A Worthy Opponent

    I began to see my laryngitis as a worthy opponent, with whom resistance was futile and counterproductive. By using Aikido principles, I could metaphorically join the opposing energy to see where led. Several possibilities immediately showed themselves...

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