Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Emotions”

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  • April 6, 2021

    Building Muscle: The Benefits of Meditation

    Building Muscle: The Benefits of Meditation

    A few years ago, I found myself in a skid on an icy bridge. I reacted, turning the wheel in one direction and then another. In that perilous moment I forgot all I knew about how to handle a car.

    High emotion can cause reactive states. Neuroscience tells us that when emotions are triggered, our fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system activates and our mind and body lose connection with each other. At those moments the limbic brain proclaims an emergency, recruiting the rest of the brain and body to its urgent agenda. The hijacking occurs in an instant, triggering a reaction crucial moments before the thinking brain can glimpse what is happening. 

    In this past year of pandemic, according to clinical psychologist Christine Runyan, we have been in a constant state of fight-or-flight, our nervous systems continually on alert. In her revelatory interview--What’s Happening in Our Nervous Systems‪?--on Krista Tippett's "On Being" podcast, Runyan explains how and why we are feeling exhausted, our emotions on short fuses, and tending toward despair even as we begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel....

  • March 23, 2021

    Sleepovers at Baba's: Coming Back to Home Base

    Sleepovers at Baba's: Coming Back to Home Base

    Once upon a time when I was very young, maybe between three and seven years old, I would often stay overnight at my grandmother's house. My grandmother, my grandfather, and my aunt Mary lived together in Oak Park, Illinois. I've written several posts about Mimi, which is what we cousins called our Aunt Mary. My grandmother we called Baba. She and my "Gramps" emigrated from Greece as teens and built a strong life and family in America.

    One of my fondest memories continues to be sleeping over at their house--Baba, Mimi, and Gramps's house on Maple Avenue. The photo that heads this story is that house. Of all the lovely places I've lived in my life, I think my memory of that house brings the most peace. Here's why....

  • March 9, 2021

    Centering, Not Centered

    Centering, Not Centered

    Beginning again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to be overcome.
    --Sharon Salzberg

    How centered are you right now? Are we ever completely centered, or centered for very long? The more I teach and practice centering myself in this life, the more I'm pretty sure (at least for me) that being centered is really a continual RE-centering process. 

    Life is always changing, as difficulty and conflict arise and recede. The continuous losing and coming back to center is natural. There may not be a Perfect Center. Only Centering, as we make continual little adjustments and return again and again--a natural and beautiful part of what it means to be human and to be aware.

    So let's practice....

  • February 23, 2021

    The Requirement of Center in Any Good Adventure

    The Requirement of Center in Any Good Adventure

    ~ by Tracie Winge Shroyer, virtual assistant and launch tech expert

    You know, there’s something funny about adventures. I have a lot of them. I love a good adventure, and I’ve written about many of them. I’ve realized over the years that any great adventure is going to require centering at some point. Because without needing to find center, an adventure is mostly just an exciting day....

  • February 9, 2021

    Reason for Hope: Breathe and Believe

    Reason for Hope: Breathe and Believe

    Some days are harder than others. Some days it takes courage to get out of bed. This was one of those days. Unfortunate news seemed to be everywhere, and I lay in bed longer than usual, wondering if I should even look at the headlines. I was pretty low, and I literally pushed myself out and up onto my feet....

  • January 12, 2021

    What is Leadership Presence? -- Finding Center, Accomplishing Purpose

    What is Leadership Presence? -- Finding Center, Accomplishing Purpose

    Power properly understood is nothing but the ability to achieve purpose...."

    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., "Where Do We Go From Here"

    "Presence" can be tricky to define, and "leadership presence" trickier. Google searches produce thousands of pages and hundreds of thousands of hits. We're interested, it seems, in knowing what they mean, whether we have them, and how to acquire them.

    Fact is, we all have presence--a quality of mind, body and spirit that is us. Sometimes our presence is more evident to others, sometimes less. Sometimes we feel big, sometimes small and contracted.

    When we walk into a room, we influence the people and the environment in that room by our presence in it. It has changed because of us. And we are changed by our experience of what is already there.

    If you're aware of energy flow, you'll observe these changes when people enter and leave, and you'll gain awareness of how you can be more intentional about the influence you have.

    How would you describe your unique presence? ...

  • October 6, 2020

    Everyday Miracles

    Everyday Miracles

    When I started writing this post I wasn't exactly sure what was going into it. I knew the title--"Everyday Miracles"--and the gist, that there are everyday blessings that we take for granted and even stop seeing, especially in this time of fear about pandemics, violence, and polarization. And these miracles are what make my Life--make it worth living. How can I not be present to them?

    These thoughts came to me during a morning meditation when I opened my eyes for a moment and noticed my surroundings. It was still dark, but I could see most of the first floor of my house. There was the dining room table, the hutch, the artwork, and my living room with its furniture and books and videos and CDs barely showing in the moonlight that filtered through the windows.

    So I went for it and started thinking of all the things I could be grateful for but forget about because they are just there every day.

  • July 14, 2020

    That Is Their Story. This Is Mine.

    That Is Their Story. This Is Mine.

    Perhaps others who shared these events with me, whose lives crossed mine, would recount the events differently, But that is their story. This is mine, my life as I recall having lived it, my life as I recall having loved it. --Michael C. Metskas

    My grandfather, Mike Metskas, was a brave young man when he left his native Macedonia as a 16-year-old to come to America and find his way in the world. In short order “Gramps” found work, founded a business and in time returned to Greece to marry my grandmother and bring her back to raise a family of five in Oak Park, Illinois.

    With a third grade education, Gramps eventually wrote and published his autobiography, Journey to Eternity, an amazing story, and a treasure for our family. I began reading it again recently, knowing it is my story, too....

  • June 30, 2020

    Making Assumptions: Why Should You Catch Yourself?

    Making Assumptions: Why Should You Catch Yourself?

    In my last post, I posed a question about whether you can catch yourself when you're about to make an assumption about another person's thoughts or actions, and whether you can choose to move toward curiosity instead of judgment--a crucial awareness if you want to have more skilled conversations.

    I think now a more important question than "whether" you can catch yourself is "why you might want to".

    As I read and re-read the post, I came to see it as naive. Those of us who want to catch ourselves making assumptions will do it and get better at it. And there are some who don't want to get better and maybe don't care. If you just want to be right--or know someone who does--read on....

  • June 16, 2020

    Making Assumptions: Can You Catch Yourself?

    Making Assumptions: Can You Catch Yourself?

    Have you ever wondered what was going on in another person's mind when they spoke or acted in a way that for you was unimaginable? Did you leap into curiosity or judgment? 

    When our indoor pool was still open, I was enjoying the hot tub after my daily swim when I was joined by a fellow early morning swimmer. We know each other by name but otherwise not well. Without preamble, he began talking about the news of the day as if I was in his brain, knew exactly where he was coming from, and agreed with his views on the politics involved.

    He was really upset with what was going on in the primary race (COVID-19 wasn't yet a common topic of discussion) and he assumed I was also upset. I couldn't tell if he expected me to engage in the conversation or if he just needed to be heard. I didn't engage. I was enjoying my quiet time in the tub, and didn't want to encourage his strong emotions. I also felt differently about some of things he was angry about. 

    Regardless, he kept up a one-sided conversation, with increasing anger and frustration....

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