Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Holidays”

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  • July 3, 2018

    The Freedom to Choose This Moment

    The Freedom to Choose This Moment

    Each year around the fourth of July, I become more thoughtful about freedom -- external, internal, mental, emotional, and psychological -- the freedoms I often overlook in the normal everyday "stuff" of life. For example, two earlier stories from my July 4 ruminations...

    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness -- about choosing and practicing happiness, even when there seems to be no reason to.

    -and-

    Inner Freedom: Celebrating the Freedoms We Take For Granted -- about the freedoms we have to laugh, smile, breathe, and choose our attitude, even when we can't choose our circumstances.

    How free are you right now? ...

  • December 19, 2017

    Don't Take Anything Personally: Three Suggestions

    Don't Take Anything Personally: Three Suggestions

    There's no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.

    When I ask workshop participants and coaching clients what they're hoping to gain from our work together and we begin to write down goals, they often say they want to learn how not to take the conflict personally. It's a very common theme.

    I look at this a lot, because I want that, too. In Don Miguel Ruiz's insightful book, The Four Agreements, one of the agreements he suggests we make with ourselves to have a happier life is just this: "Don't Take Things Personally."

    Benjamin Zander, author, motivational speaker, and conductor of the Boston Philharmonic, often quotes his father as saying, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing."

    I live in New Hampshire where winter can make each day a challenge. And, especially when I have to travel in snow and ice, I can even take the weather personally! 

    So how to we actually do it--not take things personally?

     

  • December 9, 2017

    This Little Light

    This Little Light

    I decided to listen to my own CD yesterday. Driving home from a long distance errand, I put the disk in and was surprised at how it calmed me down and lifted me up--support I needed in that moment. 

    I wrote This Little Light: The Gift of Christmas a couple of years ago, and I hadn't listened to it in quite some time. In addition to my work as a conflict and communication skills trainer, I'm also a singer, and holiday carols are some of my favorite songs to sing. And, I like to write. So I combined these two loves in This Little Light--stories and songs of the season...

  • December 5, 2017

    The Power and Presence of Forgiveness: Letting Go

    The Power and Presence of Forgiveness: Letting Go


    Such a big topic, isn’t it? Forgiveness? 

    I’ve written about it in various contexts before, and it came up again recently. A subscriber wrote about "a family situation where there has been a lot of hurt," tracing back to growing up without learning how to share feelings or manage conflict well. He asked me for advice on how to practice forgiveness and offer an apology when they might not be reciprocated.

    "I know that I've hurt them, too," he said. "But I'm not sure how to forgive when I haven't received an apology. And I don't want to appear to be the one giving in, though I know that's not the most sacred approach."

    I was touched by the writer's honesty and grabbed once again by the questions surrounding forgiveness. When I think of forgiving my own difficult people, I have similar questions...

  • November 21, 2017

    Thankful: A Ki Moment at Portsmouth Harbor

    Thankful: A Ki Moment at Portsmouth Harbor

    My early morning walk takes me by the waterfront in Portsmouth, NH, where I live. I see the sun rising over the fast-flowing Piscataqua River and the fishing boats moored nearby. I feel the cool autumn breeze and hear the seagulls calling to each other.

    I have my headphones on, listening to an audiobook. It's a good story, and the audio takes me away from where I am in time and space. I lose my sense of place, and pretty soon I no longer see the harbor, feel the breeze, or hear the gulls.

    But.... this particular morning the sunrise over the harbor pushes its way into my consciousness: Stop! Take those headphones off! Look, listen, feel. Be. Be present to the awesomeness of this moment.

    And I had to take the headphones off. It was an exciting chapter, too!

    I watched myself make the decision to stop, take them off and look around...

  • July 4, 2017

    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

    I was a grouch yesterday morning. Not sure why, but I arrived at the pool noticing all the things that were wrong--Why is everybody so noisy today? She never turns the shower off! Oh, that swimmer practically ran me over!

    Luckily (!) I noticed and centered myself. As I've often written in these posts, centering doesn't always make me a nicer person or make difficult emotions go away, but it does show me I have a choice in this moment about how I respond.

    When I centered myself, I could see that I was the one who needed to change. And I decided to smile. At myself. Then I decided to smile just because it's a lot more fun than the alternative. And then I decided to appreciate what I could about the day, the water, the weather, the people, and whatever else I could find.

  • January 17, 2017

    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....

  • January 3, 2017

    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.

  • December 6, 2016

    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?

  • November 22, 2016

    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....

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