Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

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  • Downward Dog and Playful Puppy: Many Paths to Center

    Downward Dog and Playful Puppy: Many Paths to Center

    My VA, Tracie, tells a story of how there are many ways to return to center. A 7-month old poodle puppy helping with yoga is one of them!

  • Sophia and Sam at the Beach

    Sophia and Sam at the Beach


    In February 2007, I wrote a story about Sophia and Sam. My friend Linda is their Mom. Sophia and Sam were newborns at the time, and Linda and I made a date for me to visit and meet them. It was a visit that stayed with me. A centering moment that returns often and reminds me how I learned and experienced the meaning of presence by watching them that day in their crib....

  • 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.

  • 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...

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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? ...

  • 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 ...

  • 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....

  • 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.

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