Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Happinessoptimism”

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  • December 29, 2020

    Rock Balancing and The Art Of Presentation

    Rock Balancing and The Art Of Presentation

    I have the pleasure today of introducing you to a cool dude and important person on my Power & Presence team--Kirk Roberts. Like my priceless V.A. Tracie Shroyer, Kirk is a longtime partner who keeps my outward facing image looking good in the world. Kirk designed my Power & Presence website, and makes sure it stays friendly, timely, and relevant. 

    Kirk is all about clarity, simplicity and power--in his designs and in his writing.

    Kirk is also a clever and insightful blogger. His interests often coincide with my own--centered presence, clarity of purpose, and the power of curiosity--and I thought you'd enjoy his recent post, "Rock Balancing And The Art Of Presentation"....

  • December 1, 2020

    Shifting Attention: Finding the Gift

    Shifting Attention: Finding the Gift

    The way we know is fateful... Human beings and organizations move in the direction of what they inquire about. 

    ~ Jane Magruder Watkins, Appreciative Inquiry Theory and Practice

    Tell me a story about the best Christmas, best Hanukkah, best holiday season you ever had. What made it so wonderful? Who was involved? What about that time makes you remember it so vividly? How did you contribute to its special qualities? Write the story down if you like.

    As you think about this special time of year, what do you think is at the heart of the holiday you celebrate? Can you look for that this season?

    Sometimes, when the world feels upside down, fear and anxiety dominate our thoughts, and we forget to appreciate the gifts all around us, and especially the beauty and joy of this season. It happens to me, too. Just like any practice, however, we can get better at shifting toward what's good, what works, what is there to be loved and appreciated....

  • November 17, 2020

    Simple Gifts: Making the Most of LIfe's Ki Moments

    Simple Gifts: Making the Most of LIfe's Ki Moments

    Simple Gifts: Making the Most of Life's Ki Moments is a CD I created several years ago about taking time to notice the moment we're in rather than rushing throught it to get to the next. I've been listening to it recently--a respite from election and pandemic worries and a reminder to return to the present moment, the Now. 

    As we approach the holidays, I'm giving away some CDs to emphasize how crucial it is these days to take a moment (or several) to come back from the distractions that call us away from ourselves....

  • November 3, 2020

    Difficult People Are Angels Sent To Help You. No, Seriously.

    Difficult People Are Angels Sent To Help You.  No, Seriously.

    In Which My Difficult Neighbor, Who I Don’t Like, Teaches Me Something

    Many thanks to Joe Dunn, Executive Coach, for his guest post....

    Bob The Neighbor

    I have a neighbor. Let’s call him Bob (it’s not his name). I really, really don’t like Bob, and apparently he doesn’t like me. The details don’t matter a lot, but ten years ago Bob and I got into a nasty altercation involving my young son. It was bad. We got close to having lawyers involved. It was never resolved and since then we ignore each other, cross to the other side of the street when we pass. Ugh.

    This seems unlikely to change. When I think about Bob, I get angry, and a little scared. The sheer rage with which he yelled at me was frightening, and, from my point of view, completely unjustified. Together we entered that place of complete incomprehension, that state where a person becomes the Other, something not quite human, impossible to understand, and definitely not on our side.

  • October 20, 2020

    Email Apnea--Building Body Awareness

    Email Apnea--Building Body Awareness

    Have you heard of email apnea? Suffer from it? I wasn't aware how many people have been writing about it since Linda Stone first named the phenomenon. Stone worked for Apple and Microsoft before beginning a writing and consulting career. She has coined other phrases, too, such as continuous partial attention, and often outlines the detrimental consequences of too much screen time.

  • 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.

  • August 25, 2020

    Awase in the Time of Covid

    Awase in the Time of Covid

    by Aaron Cass

    The word Aikido (合気道) is made up of three kanji. The first character, 合(ai), may be translated as ‘harmony,’ ‘confluence,’ or ‘agreement.’ This kanji can also be used on its own as the verb 合わせる(awaseru) meaning to ‘match,’ ‘fit,’ or ‘join together.’ If I wanted to set my watch to someone else’s we would 時計を合わせる, tokei wo awaseru, ‘set our watches to the same time.’

    In the context of training, much of our practice is 合わせ稽古 (awasegeiko), or what might be called cooperative practice. We refer to the person who applies the technique as 投げ (nage, ‘person who throws’) or 取り (tori, ‘person who executes the technique’). The attacker, who later finds himself on the receiving end of the technique, is called 受け (uke, literally, ‘person who receives’). These are prescribed roles, and in class we alternate between them with our partners as we practice.

    One of the greatest criticisms of Aikido on the Internet--for those who pay attention to these sorts of things--stems from this approach to training. When uke attacks, he knows he’s going to be thrown or pinned. As nage, we know we’re going to ‘win’ and successfully apply our technique to the other person because that’s our role. The criticism then becomes that Aikido is merely an elaborate performance in which people take turns falling down for one another like some sort of martial dance....

  • June 2, 2020

    Not Too Close! New Normal, New World

    Not Too Close! New Normal, New World

    Friend and colleague, Susan Poulin, produced a sweet video--The Coronavirus Shuffle--when the C-Virus first started making itself known here in NH and Maine. Susan's an author, playwright, and performance artist aka her wise and funny alter ego, Ida LeClair from Mahoosuc Mills, ME. In the video Susan/Ida reminds us what we should do to stay safe, while singing, dancing, and gesturing phrases like: "Wash your hands!" and "Wave to your neighbor!", and "Not too close! Not too close!" 

    Ida would be happy to know how often I think of her when I'm washing my hands, waving at a neighbor, or when I've wanted to respond to a close shopper or runner the way she does: "Not too close! Not too close!" Instead, I laugh at myself and regain my center.

    There is plenty about this new virus that doesn't make me smile, of course, at least not at first. One of the changes I've had to make, for example, is moving most of my in-person training (workshops, presentations, one-on-one coaching) to an online format. What?! Aikido movements on Zoom? How could that possibly work?

  • May 19, 2020

    The Tao of Tea

    The Tao of Tea

    My Ki Moments post today, The Tao of Tea, is by Jonathan Blakeslee, who writes about someone from his past, a role model who used aikido principles to disarm and redirect a difficult customer. As Jonathan puts it, I learned a lot from Veerinder, who in many ways inspired me to walk the path I am on now work-wise.

    If you live anywhere in or near the seacoast of New Hampshire, you probably know Jonathan and his work. He and his restaurant--White Heron Tea--are a wonderful feature of life here. Even in the shutdown, White Heron Tea continues to offer healthy and organic signature teas (and delicious muffins, cookies, and sandwiches). Knowing this, I think you'll appreciate Jonathan's essay even more.

    Whether Veerinder knew of aikido, he certaily understood how to turn an enemy into an ally, and how to advocate without attacking. Thank you, Jonathan, for the wonderful story....

  • May 5, 2020

    How Is Aikido Relevant Today?

    How Is Aikido Relevant Today?

    by Brian Maguire

    I’m sitting at my desk, practicing the social distancing advised by the CDC. The kids are off in cyberspace and I’m awaiting news about a friend who is getting tested for Covid-19 exposure. Like many, I’m anxious about this situation. I’ve never lived through a pandemic and I’m trying to cope. Aikido has been helping with that.

    Aikido training does much for a person. It teaches that through practice with scary situations, you can learn to control your emotional response. In aikido, this starts with the initial attack. You cannot stop the attack, just respond to it. You cannot control your attacker, just yourself. The attacker doesn’t have to be a smiling partner that says "onegai shimasu".* It can just as easily be a faceless virus. Maintain your center and calmly meet the attack....

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