Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Happinessoptimism”

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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 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....

  • 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.

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