Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

  • Coaching Corner: 4 Centering Practices to Increase Confidence and Focus

    Coaching Corner: 4 Centering Practices to Increase Confidence and Focus

    How do you practice centering?

    It's been a while since I've written about specific ways to get centered and to incorporate the practice of centering into your daily life, and it's best to start with the basics, like breathing in and out consciously. One of my personal favorite reminders to center is to notice when I'm holding my breath--it happens more often than you'd guess--and to open my throat and let the breath come in.

    We're usually not breathing when we’re upset or in conflict, but sometimes we stop for no real reason--opening a car door, for example, or sitting at your computer. You could be doing it now. Are you breathing? Just try to notice more often. It's a simple and powerful practice.

  • Conflict as a Gift

    Conflict as a Gift

    A key belief and teaching in conflict resolution is that conflict can be useful--an opportunity to learn, grow and see something the conflict is trying to show us.

    Why then do we run from conflict or turn it into life- and relationship-threatening wars? Why do we behave as if conflict is the opposite of a gift--a terrible, negative thing? Some reasons are fear, poor role models, and lack of skill, to name a few...

  • Naive Realism: Cornering the Market on Truth

    Naive Realism: Cornering the Market on Truth

    It's been a crowded few weeks since our new year began. I've been busy working on my second book designed to help managers, supervisors and leaders work with coworkers in conflict. I'm really enjoying the process and learning a lot.

    It's also been a turbulent and dramatic time in the U.S. and the world. As citizens of a great nation, we continue to take positions rather than work together to solve our differences. People ask me what they should do. I tell them to work their side of the street. Don't expect to change people--their beliefs, values, or politics--with physical or verbal force.

    The majority of the work in any successful conflict conversation is work you do on yourself. No matter how well (or poorly) the conversation goes, you need to stay in charge of yourself, your purpose and your emotional energy. Breathe, center, and notice when you lose center--and choose to return again. This is Aikido.

    To that end, this post offers some insight into a concept called naive realismNaive realism makes conflict conversations difficult, because we think we've cornered the market on truth...

  • Power & Love: What Would MLK Do?

    Power & Love: What Would MLK Do?

    Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political, and economic change.... And one of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with the resignation of power, and power with the denial of love.... Now we've got to get this thing right. What [we need to realize is] that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic.... It is precisely this collision of immoral power with powerless morality which constitutes the major crisis of our times.
    ~Martin Luther King, Jr.
    "Where do We Go From Here?"

    The next time you find yourself choosing between power and love, see it as a false choice. You can be powerful and loving, assertive and understanding. Like courageous leaders everywhere, you can have strong opinions and be open to influence. It's a practice worth cultivating....

  • What We Do Matters: Thoughts for a New Year

    What We Do Matters: Thoughts for a New Year

    Look at this window: it is nothing but a hole in the wall, but because of it the whole room is full of light.  Being full of light it becomes an influence by which others are secretly transformed.

    – Chuang Tsu

    What we do matters. Our lives matter. Some days it may not seem so. Some days nothing makes sense, obstacles abound, and life is hard. Especially on those days, it matters. How we live our lives, the way we walk into a room, smile and continue moving forward with--and toward--purpose makes all the difference--to us and everyone we touch.

    In this early part of 2017, recommit to creating your life each moment. Know that you make a difference every day, whether for good or ill. I know the choice isn't always easy. It's easy to pretend the choices we make don't matter. They do. What you do, what you say, matters.

  • My Invisible Earphones

    My Invisible Earphones

    This holiday season if the conversation turns difficult, notice if you've tuned the speaker out with "invisible earphones" and are listening only to your own internal voice.

    Enjoy this brief post by Carrol Suzuki, recognized as one of North America's premier business and workplace listening coaches.

  • It's All So Simple

    It's All So Simple

    In his thoughtful and thought provoking song "Anyone Can Whistle," Stephen Sondheim writes:

    It's all so simple,
    Relax, let go, let fly.
    So someone tell me, why can't I?

    In this month of giving and gathering, when we all do more and push harder, we don't have much time for relaxing and letting go. In our bustling and striving, we barely remember what we're bustling and striving for. In our rush to find the perfect turkey or bottle of wine, we forget why we're looking. Mindful of the next task, we miss being present to this one.

    Sondheim's words make me stop and think about simplicity. As the song says, we can dance tangos, slay dragons, and read Greek. What's hard is simple. But to be simple is hard. I don't know about you, but my growing up was about working harder not easier. Case in point ... this article was originally twice as long and said less.

    I'm just thinking out loud, but what if this holiday season I drafted a new blueprint for success?

  • 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....

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