Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

  • 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...

  • There Are No Guarantees

    There Are No Guarantees

    You spent time and energy preparing and holding an important conversation. You developed a useful purpose, acknowledged your conversation partner, and framed your message with skill. But, in spite of your best efforts, the situation does not improve: a direct report continues to be disrespectful; an important member of the team persists in showing up late or not at all; your teen's room remains a mess.

  • Lessons Learned: Do I Need To Fix This?

    Lessons Learned: Do I Need To Fix This?

    Chatting with my friend Amanda Ridings recently about lessons learned from our work, I realized that "fixing" is one that I continue to learn again and again. It seems to be in my nature to help, to offer, to be ready to do. I like that person in me who looks to solve problems and facilitate ease. It's just good to notice when I'm on autopilot and to be intentional about it. 

    It's an occupational hazard in my work. People come to trainings, request coaching, and look to my book, articles, and CDs perhaps hoping to be fixed. It's tempting. But....

    When I think I'm the one with all the answers, here's what happens:

    • I begin to believe I actually know what will help them.
    • I begin to believe my answers are their answers.
    • And I forget that all learning happens from the inside out.

    After 21 years, I've gotten better at noticing when I'm on autopilot. I recall how I felt in Year One of Power & Presence Training, when I knew I didn't have the answers. I could only present the Aikido principles in physical form and ask the learner how it made sense for them, for their conflicts, their stress points, and their relationships. 

    I know this to be true:

    Learning happens when the student has the Aha! When they understand something in a way they will never forget. They feel it in their bones, and they are changed because of that moment. I'm a lucky bystander.

    It happened in Arizona recently when a student working through an Aikido movement had an insight...

  • What Makes A Presentation Powerful?

    What Makes A Presentation Powerful?

    What are the characteristics of a powerful presentation? Are you engaging your audience with every means available? What is your primary message and how will you convey it?

    Whether presenting to an audience of one or one hundred, the quality and effectiveness of your presentation is influenced by many factors, and the most important factor is you. The success of a presentation is a direct result of your stage presence and your ability to communicate your core message. 


  • 5 Tips for Introverts on Tackling Difficult Conversations

    5 Tips for Introverts on Tackling Difficult Conversations

    Do tentative conversation skills get in the way of your work? Does lack of confidence stop you from offering a different opinion, saying no, or asking for what you want? As a conflict coach and introvert who engages in difficult conversations, I know we’re not born with these skills. It's all about understanding how to use your natural abilities and have the conversations you want to have with ease and true connection.

  • Control Your Temper, Improve Your Life

    Control Your Temper, Improve Your Life

    "Let's hope this is the worst thing that ever happens to me."

    Have you ever said that to yourself in a  moment of frustration? These minor energy drains can add significantly to your daily dose of stress. Or.... these "ki" moments can provide perfect practice opportunities to control your temper and improve your life, because ...

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