Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

  • Groundhog Day Revisited: The Power of Purpose

    Groundhog Day Revisited: The Power of Purpose

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
    with your one wild and precious life?” 
    ― Mary Oliver

    Five years ago, I wrote a post on the movie Groundhog Day and the metaphor so beautifully expressed in that film starring Bill Murray. I'm one of many who love the movie and its attention to how we can live the same day over and over again without noticing the beauty and possibility it holds.

    An animated film I watched recently--Shaun the Sheep Movie--had a parallel theme. Although  created in a very different style, the story tells us about Shaun the Sheep who, like Bill Murray's Phil in Groundhog Day, lives a life of sameness.

    After a variety of misadventures, however, Shaun sees and understands his life from a new perspective....

  • Centering Help from Harvard: Calming Your Brain

    Centering Help from Harvard: Calming Your Brain

    Practicing mindfulness in the middle of a conflict demands a willingness to stay present, to feel intensely, to override our negative thoughts, and to engage our breath to maintain presence with the body. Like any skill, it takes practice.

    ~ Diana Musho Hamilton

    Emotional triggers--they get me everytime. Values tread upon, injustices overlooked, or just plain wrongheadedness! It takes continual awarenss to notice myself being hijacked and to choose a different path. 

    I do practice what I teach, however, and over the years, I've  become more centered in times like this. Or let me say, I've traveled the path from uncentered to centered more quickly and, generally, lead a calmer and more focused life. But ask my husband, sisters, brother and mom--I hope they'll say the same. 

    Recently, I read an article in the Harvard Business Review by Diane Musho Hamilton, internationally recognized mediator, facilitator and the author of Everything is Workable. The article opens with one of the easiest-to-understand descriptions I've seen of just how and why we get triggered and the consequences that follow from being unconsciously reactive....

  • About Being Wrong: Rediscovering Wonder

    About Being Wrong: Rediscovering Wonder

    Hi -- I watched a great TED Talk recently called "About Being Wrong" by presenter Kathryn Schulz.  And I thought of you. And me. And conflict. And what a great job Kathryn Schulz does describing the upside of realizing we're wrong--that we're seeing life through a cloudy camera lens or a skewed view point.

    She tells us why we grow up with this need--this imperative to be right--and the often disastrous personal and cultural consequences. But she's best when she explores the wonder of not-knowing, of stepping with childlike fascination over the cliff of safety and into the unknown.

  • Tips for Talking at the Holidays

    Tips for Talking at the Holidays

    As you gather with friends and loved ones this holiday season, you may wonder how to navigate the conversations that always come up and often cause conflict. 

    Public Conversations Project

    One of my favorite places to learn and practice healthy dialogue is the Public  Conversations Project in Boston, MA. This past month, PCP blogged about how to manage the difficult topics that often arise at the holiday dinner table. I offer them here. 

  • Your Presence Is the Greatest Gift

    Your Presence Is the Greatest Gift

    This story first appeared on my blog in December 2009. An expanded version is published on my CD, This Little Light: The Gift of Christmas. There's something breathtaking about true presence--when another human being is fully "there" with you. It can surprise you into a state of altered awareness, as it did me when I first wrote the story. 

    If you like the story, there are many more like it on This Little Light. I still catch myself smiling when I listen to it, and I hope you will, too. When you purchase it or any of the other centering resources on my Website, you'll receive a copy as my gift.

    ••••••••••••••••••••••••••

    Your Presence Is the Greatest Gift

    As I was heading through the crowded Westin Hotel lobby toward my last conference session, thinking of a zillion things, including making the bus to the airport, I happened to pass Yoichi. I stopped briefly to thank him one more time for his generosity in volunteering to be my partner for the Aikido demonstrations. Skilled, kind, and adaptable, Yoichi was the ideal uke, the partner who attacks, receives the throw and falls, over and over again.

    I stopped in that way I have of not actually stopping. I mean I pause physically, but my body and mind are on the way to the next thing I have to do. But Yoichi really stopped. Yoichi was centered in that moment - was with me completely - and his presence stopped me, too.

  • Managing Emotions at the Holidays

    Managing Emotions at the Holidays

    Tell me how not to be angry.

    A friend asked me to help him recently. He was having a conflict with a difficult person in his life. When this person did certain things, my friend would get angry and react. He made statements and took actions that weren't in keeping with who he was and wanted to be. We talked for quite a while and I made some suggestions. I was clear that I couldn't do what he'd asked: I couldn't tell him how not to be angry

    Emotions happen. Emotions just are. It's the next step--what we do with that emotional energy--that determines whether we attack, repress, or connect. When uncentered, we're likely to let the emotion drive our actions. When emotions are the driver, usually one of two things happens.

  • Unlikely Teachers and Hidden Gifts

    Unlikely Teachers and Hidden Gifts

    November is an inspirational month. I find the cultivation of gratitude a powerful path to centered presence and to finding the gift in every moment. Thanks-giving permeates my thoughts. And there is so much to notice....

  • Fall Conversations, by Carrol Suzuki

    Fall Conversations, by Carrol Suzuki

    I'm indebted to Carrol Suzuki of Suzuki and Associates for the following post and related links on the importance of listening in our lives and workplaces.

    Fall Conversations

    by Carrol Suzuki

    A perfect day in autumn is sunshine, crisp air and dry sidewalks with a blanket of bright multi-colored leaves. What if the way we walk through those leaves gives us some wonderful hints about how to listen well...

  • Emotional Triggers: Accept and Let Go

    Emotional Triggers: Accept and Let Go

    Only when you accept your emotions can you let them go.
    ~ Joy Jacobs, Author, In A Pickle: Nourishing Recipes & Food for Thought

    "Why don't we take this down to the register," he said with what felt like a combination of condescension and sarcasm. I'd stopped in for a pack of gum--first time in this convenience store--found what I wanted and placed it on the counter. The register was about 5 feet from where I stood, and I hadn't seen it.

    The clerk (owner?) took my gum and walked to the register. I followed and handed him a twenty-dollar bill. The gum was $1.39.

    "Do you have anything smaller?" He looked at me over the top of his glasses. He could clearly see when I opened my wallet that it contained a twenty and a five, and he seemed upset that I'd given him the twenty.

    Me: "I do, but I’d like some change."

    Him: "Well, I need change, too."

    Okay, I'm officially triggered now by the customer service demon who lives inside me and wants to say: "Wait a minute--this is a business, right? My mood suddenly soured...

  • 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...

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