Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Inner Self Defense”

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  • February 1, 2024

    Seeing Things as They Are

    Seeing Things as They Are

    My husband called me to the kitchen window a few days ago and asked me what I thought was attached to (and hanging from) the squirrel's nest in the bushes that line our driveway. It looked like a dead rabbit, but it couldn't be, right? Too heavy! We stared at the thing for several minutes trying to understand what we were seeing. Then it moved--Woh! Could it be a live rabbit? A squirrel? Something else? 

    The bush is only ten yards from the window but we couldn't figure it out.

  • January 1, 2024

    Happy New Year 2024!

    Happy New Year 2024!

    It's New Year's Day and I'm thinking about and visualizing the year ahead.  My friend and mentor, author Thomas Crum, introduced an experience at one of his Magic trainings many years back. We were asked to imagine ourselves a year ahead and to write down all the things we were grateful for that had happened in the year just gone by. 

    So... if I were to do that exercise today (and I did), I would be visualizing myself on January 1, 2025, and writing down all the events, experiences, people, and actions that happened in 2025 that I was grateful for....

  • December 1, 2023

    The Indicator Light: Reinforcing Presence

    The Indicator Light: Reinforcing Presence

    Last December I wrote a post titled "Death as an Ally" about the preciousness of each fleeting moment. In the past year, I've come to appreciate this sentiment even more.

    As you move into the month of December with its accompanying demands on your time--the cards, parties, family visits, joys and conflicts--maybe take a moment each day (oftener if you're willing) to stop and notice this moment, moment, a moment that will not come again. Find ways to reinforce presence....

  • November 1, 2023

    Looking Back, Moving Forward, Feeling Grateful

    Looking Back, Moving Forward, Feeling Grateful

    My last two posts in September and October gave some context on the next steps I'm taking into the unknown. It's weird. I don't know how not to be busy, how not to be engaged in an endeavor that gives back so much. I'm not sure what that's going to be like. 

    You may ask, "Then why stop?" And I'm not totally sure of the answer. I love what I do - I still have some work as I write this - and I also have a sense that this is a good time to bring this part of my worklife to a close. It's an interesting, thought-provoking, exciting place to be.

    I sometimes listen to the Calm app when I'm meditating. Recently Jeff Warren, one of their authors and a meditator, said...

  • August 1, 2023

    Unresolvable Conflict? Maybe It’s You

    Unresolvable Conflict? Maybe It’s You

    Have you ever tried to resolve a conflict where one of the parties wasn't all that interested in resolution? Maybe it was you.

    Perhaps you acted as if you wanted to find resolution and said all the right things: 

    • “Let’s find a way to move forward”
    • “I know we can work this out.” 

    Maybe you did your best to adopt an inquiring stance, saying things like,

    • “Please tell me how you see it.”

    But nothing seemed to work because you weren’t really that interested if it meant you had to change—and so you didn’t commit to the process.

  • July 1, 2023



    When life was easier, I would sometimes look around and wonder how I would manage the things life might throw my way--if and when--life being what it is. "I teach this stuff," I would say. Will I practice it in times that are not so easy? Recently, I found out...

  • June 1, 2023

    Tension Contagion: Watching and Noticing

    Tension Contagion: Watching and Noticing

    When I watch aikido students in action, I always learn. At a recent seminar at Portsmouth Aikido, the dojo I founded in 1995, I had another opportunity to reinforce an awareness I've written about before.

    I'm not often on the mat these days, and it's always an experience in discovery to sit on the sidelines.

    For example, as I watched two beginners struggling to get the technique just right, their focus and commitment was intense, and I began to notice my own body tightening. I sensed the tension in the students' bodies as they practiced the technique, and I could feel it in my own as I observed...

  • April 1, 2023

    Curiosity Revisited

    Curiosity Revisited


    I visit curiosity often in these posts. Curiosity--a key communication skill that helps us manage our ki (energy) in times of stress, struggle, and conflict.

    One of my favorite curiosity stories was written back in August, 2013: "I'd Actually Have to Be Curious!" I was reminded of the story recently when my husband said: "I'm just curious," and asked me a question like, "What makes you want to do it that way?

  • March 1, 2023

    Breathing Our Way Back to Balance

    Breathing Our Way Back to Balance

    Recently, I was playing with my niece and nephews, 4-year-old triplets full--really full--of rambunctious energy. It was total fun, and they wore me out. At one point, as I saw them headed my way for more playtime, I suggested we all take a breath.

    I demonstrated what I meant by breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. After a few conscious breaths, I invited them to "play" along.

    There was an immediate change...

  • January 1, 2023

    Life is what you make it, Judy. -Love, Mimi

    Life is what you make it, Judy.  -Love, Mimi

    I read again one of my posts from 2012. Life Is What You Make It: Constructing Meaning tells a story of my aunt Mary (Mimi, as we lovingly called her). She was a special person in my life, an encourager, teacher, loving supporter, and never-ending inspiration.

    As I read the 2012 post, one paragraph took me aback....

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