Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Holidays”

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  • January 14, 2020

    Think of Something Pleasant: Mantras for the New Year

    Think of Something Pleasant: Mantras for the New Year

    How do you regain perspective?

    When I'm anxious, I usually go to the woods or the ocean, take a walk around my neighborhood, or make myself a cup of tea. I get out of that little corner of my mind that likes to obsess about what could go wrong, and instead look for what's right. I find a lot of beauty--in nature and in people--if I can change the filter on my viewing lens.

    Another way I can regain perspective is to watch what others do. How do they manage the obstacles that come their way, sometimes without warning? What mantras, values, and beliefs do they hold that give them back their sense of balance?

  • December 31, 2019

    Looking Back From the Future

    Looking Back From the Future

    When I first met Thomas Crum, my most generous mentor in this work I do with conflict and aikido, he asked the group he was leading to partner up and do an exercise on visioning--a very different kind of visioning.

    Instead of imagining the year ahead and writing down goals, Tom asked us to imagine we were looking back on the year ahead from a vantage point of having already lived it.

    We were to tell our partner all the things we hoped the year would bring--financial well-being, strong relationships, physical health, workplace success--but in a way that told the story as if these things had already happened. 

  • December 3, 2019

    In the Spirit of Giving: Respect, Presence, and Pausing for Breath

    In the Spirit of Giving: Respect, Presence, and Pausing for Breath

    Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

    -- attributed to Ian Maclaren (1850-1907)

    In this month of sharing gifts, I'd like to share four brief stories from Ki Moments subscribers like yourself. Over the years, stories like these from generous readers demonstrate how big a difference it makes when we pause, take a moment to find our presence, and offer respect, sometimes when it is least expected. 

    These writers' experiences highlight real-world applications of aikido principles, such as respect, moving with instead of against, and that the only real enemy is the one within. When we practice inner self defense, we can manage whatever comes our way from outside...

  • November 19, 2019

    Gratitude--A Path to Center

    Gratitude--A Path to Center

    I've written often over the years about gratitude as a path to the centered state. When I catch myself feeling uncentered and think of something I'm grateful for, I get lighter, happier, and clearer about my next step.

    In my CD, Simple Gifts: Making the Most of Life's Ki Moments, the story about Mimi--my Aunt Mary--is a great example of a woman who practiced gratitude when a bad break at an early age might have pushed her toward negativity and depression. Her ongoing choice to be grateful for what she had, rather than sad about what she didn't, not only made her life more joyful--her choice rubbed off on all around her, especially me. Read the story here. Or you can purchase the CD, which is on sale now on my website as part of the "Conflict as Opportunity" bundle of gifts that include all my books and CDs. 

    A Path to Center

    Thinking about Mimi makes me go deeper and look for more people and things I'm grateful for but sometimes take for granted....

  • October 8, 2019

    Life Lessons From a Crying Baby

    Life Lessons From a Crying Baby

    I edged into my seat aboard a recent flight home from a long work trip. I was pooped and looking forward to being quiet for a while, when I heard a loud cry from the seat behind me. I didn't look. I knew it was a tiny baby wanting to let Mom know she was upset! I smiled and settled into my seat, feeling fortunate I was near this "lucky baby." 

    A long time ago, I learned a life lesson from another crying baby that changed the way I view life--and all because of an almost ruined special evening.

    "On This Planet" (aka The Lucky Baby Planet story) is the preface of my first book, Unlikely Teachers: Finding the HIdden Gifts in Daily Conflict. If you haven't read the story, I'd love to hear your thoughts. It's one of those life lessons that seems to show up at just the right time. This timely baby helped me turn a seemingly negative event into a positive one. And it was as simple as telling myself a new story....

  • January 1, 2019

    Happy New Year! What 2019 Will Be Like

    Happy New Year! What 2019 Will Be Like

    "What 2019 Will Be Like" depends on us. If my aunt Mimi is right, and "life is what you make it" -- what will you make it?

    How will you dream up your personal, professional, and relational life? What actions will you take today that will cause you to be grateful a year from now? And how will your ki, your life energy, and that of others be freed up because of your choices?

    As the new year begins, I want to share with you a powerful visualization technique taught to me by international presenter, author, and my friend Thomas Crum a long time ago. Here's how it works...

  • December 18, 2018

    From Grouchy to Grateful: Digraphs, Blends, and The Art of Peace

    From Grouchy to Grateful: Digraphs, Blends, and The Art of Peace

    I had a couple of grouchy days this week. In all the places I practice centering--the car, the indoor pool, on the phone, at the grocery store--I responded to the unexpected with gritted teach and halted breath. Instead of catching myself each time, I let my uncentered self enjoy the ride to self-righteousness and judgment. It was mostly internal. I wasn't mean to anyone--didn't say or do anything I regretted later. But it wasn't fun. It sapped my energy, and lowered my happiness quotient.

    An on-and-off kind of thing, the mood lasted about two days. I finally found my way out of it through curiosity and fascination. What’s going on? Is it something I ate? Drank? Not enough sleep? 

  • November 20, 2018

    Celebrate Gratitude This Week

    Celebrate Gratitude This Week

    I'm grateful to the folks at VIA Institute on Character for today's post. I use the VIA Character Strengths profile in my coaching and training to help clients maximize strengths such as honesty, bravery, love of learning, creativity, curiosity, forgiveness, and zest. According to VIA research, there are 24, and one of my top strengths is gratitude. 

    I invite you to practice gratitude this week. Be more aware today of the good things that happen to you. And enjoy this post from the VIA institute:

    Celebrate Your Strength of Gratitude

    You know that feeling when something "goes your way", like getting a good spot in a a crowded parking lot or discovering an item you really want on sale. It might be quick and fleeting, but what you probably feel is a brief moment of gratitude. "Thank you for this small victory!" ...

  • 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?

     

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