Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Inner Self Defense”

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  • August 1, 2022

    The Elephant in the Room

    The Elephant in the Room

    My guest post this month is by colleague and friend, Cinnie Noble, whose work as conflict management coach, author and teacher I have long admired.

    We talk about "the elephant in the room" all the time, and Cinnie's post helped me explore my own "elephants" and gain insight into how to acknowledge and work with them.

    THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM, by Cinnie Noble

    As you likely know, when we use the metaphor – an elephant in the room – we mean there’s an obvious problem about which everyone in the room is fully aware but no one mentions. It may be an important topic that is too uncomfortable, controversial, embarrassing, inflammatory, or dangerous for people to raise.

    An elephant in the room might also represent the unspoken hurts or words. They are what is going on between disputing people that isn’t being said. They are the lingering doubts and the niggling feelings. They are the missing pieces of the puzzle. They are present without being identified....

  • July 1, 2022

    Free Will or Free Won't? The Mystery of Centered Presence

    Free Will or Free Won't? The Mystery of Centered Presence

    As I ponder the upcoming month, July 4--Independence Day--comes to mind. While I've written hundreds of posts over the years, my July posts suggest a similar theme--the freedoms we take for granted and how to remember these gifts every day. 

    Today I'm thinking about how we sometimes exercise our freedoms in ways that limit or harm, and what to do about that. In the spirit of free will and the constitutional freedoms we enjoy in the U.S., am I too impulsive? Am I jeopardizing the very freedoms I cherish and that hold our communities together?

    • I have the freedom to be unkind, for example, but should I be? What purpose will it serve?
    • I'm free to speak whatever is on my mind, but who will benefit from my adrenalized rush (besides me)?
    • I can post what I want on the Web, but what effect will it have on the person, the community, humanity, on my future self?

    Are these fair questions?....

  • June 1, 2022

    Simple Gifts and Ki Moments

    Simple Gifts and Ki Moments

    Self-imposed limits often instigate Ki Moments. When my ki feels stuck or restricted, I find it helps to ask how much of the restriction is of my own making? We are always making moment-to-moment choices about how to express our ki – whether and when to communicate about a conflict, for instance.

    My frustration with a neighbor and his new drums caused me to examine my options, when I found my ki stuck wondering whether and how to communicate....

  • March 1, 2022

    Love's in need of love today

    Love's in need of love today

    The gospel according to Stevie Wonder goes like this: 

    Love’s in need of love today

    Don’t delay, send yours in right away

    Hate’s goin' 'round breakin' many hearts

    Stop it, please, before it’s gone too far

    Love’s in need of love today

    And from Thích Nhất Hạnh 

    When you understand and you show you understand, you can love, and the situation changes.

    I recently returned from The Magic of Skiing program, held yearly by my friend and mentor, author and teacher Thomas Crum. It was indeed a magical program--a week of meditation, physical activity, deep conversation and community in the magical town of Aspen, Colorado. And, of course, skiing!! What I walked away with was a renewed sense of wonder at the love that exists in each of us.....

  • February 1, 2022

    this mystery called existence

    this mystery called existence

    Last month I wrote about my intention to be more patient. I would ask for "just a little more" patience with life, with obstacles, with other people, and in general.

    Today I'm being patient with myself. My energy is low, I don't feel like myself, and it's hard not to wish for a different state of being. So I'm just noticing, wondering and writing. As Rumi says in my favorite Rumi poem...

  • December 1, 2021

    The Path Is Made by Walking

    The Path Is Made by Walking

    Traveler, your footprints


    Are the path and nothing more;


    Traveler, there is no path,


    The path is made by walking.

    ~ Antonio Machado, excerpt from Traveler, There Is No Path 
    (Trans. Asa Cusack)

    Last summer my friend Melodee related a story about centering that stuck with me. When Melodee was a teacher she had a centering bell she'd ring for her students as they returned from recess. 

    As they flowed back into the four walls of her classroom, wired with frenetic energy, she'd let them get somewhat settled then ring the bell. She'd explained the purpose on day one, so they knew the ringing tone meant for them to take a breath, exhale, and go to the quiet, centered place that was uniquely theirs.

    There is No Path

    This time of year is alive with energy--frenetic and flowing, excited and solemn, relished and resisted. All kinds of ki flowing in, out and around, so much that we're not sure what to do with it all. Families celebrating, children anticipating, workplaces buzzing with holiday joy, preparations, and even fear about what the holidays might bring this year.

    Recently I was reminded of the Antonio Machado poem, Traveler, There Is No Path, an excerpt of which begins this post, and--for me--its reflection on living a more intentional life....

  • November 1, 2021

    Thankful to Be Thankful--It's a Practice

    Thankful to Be Thankful--It's a Practice

    From early on in my professional career, and probably my whole life, I've been thankful that I'm thankful. Because I'm an aikidoist who teaches conflict skills, and because aikido teaches that the attack can be a gift when we embrace the energy, my ability to notice what's good has grown.

    My first book, Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict consists of 28 stories dedicated to this theme. And my blog is filled with posts about gratitude as a path to center, and the people in my life who have shown me how to be thankful, even when there seems to be nothing to be thankful for.

    And there are days, of course, when I forget to practice. I don't start the day with gratitude and I don't say "Thank you very much," when someone gets in my way. And that day isn't usually as easy or as fun. I notice what's hard and what's not good in my life, instead of what is.

    But because I do practice most days, I usually find my way back. And sometimes I get reminded. 

    I was reminded recently by a movie....

  • October 4, 2021

    Be the Vaccine: An Inoculation for Stress

    Be the Vaccine: An Inoculation for Stress

    My sister works hard. She's a lab tech in a busy university hospital where she's been a valued member of her team for many years. As you might imagine, her workload and the pressure for accuracy have only increased during the pandemic. Sometimes the stress is more than she can take, and so we were talking recently about ways to de-stress in a stressful environment....

  • August 9, 2021

    The Mask as Metaphor

    The Mask as Metaphor

    I had an interesting conversation with a friend recently about masks. Of course I'm always alert to situations in which conflict might rear its head. I'm not looking for it, but I pay attention when it arises. I process, often in the moment, what I do, how I feel, and where I am on the centering continuum.

    I'm also curious about how people are managing this whole crazy pandemic world we're in, and what I might learn from talking with those who feel differently from me. Also, this was a friend I trust to be thoughtful, kind, and as curious as I am about these things. 

  • July 13, 2021

    One Positive Thought

    One Positive Thought

    I'm listening to an audio CD by Pema Chodron, Buddhist nun and teacher. Called Embracing the Unknown: Life Lessons from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, the content is fascinating and readily applicable to everyday living. You can find it on Amazon and on Hoopla.

    Toward the end of the audio, Ani Pema* talks about heaven and hell in the Buddhist tradition. The Tibetan Book of the Dead is a guidebook. In explaining the Tibetan view, she says she's not suggesting we necessarily adopt the view as truth but rather use the teachings as support for living life more mindfully....

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