Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts in the category “Newsletter”

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  • May 1, 2022

    The Struggle Between "For" and "Against"

    I've been reading a book called The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, by Jonathan Haidt, where I found the poem that leads this post. It should be no surprise that the poem struck me as a huge reason people are so divided these days. I don't know about you, but whenever a potentially divisive topic comes up in conversation, like vaccines, school choice, parent's rights, pro-life/pro-choice (I could keep going), I feel I should take a side. And if I won't, I feel judged as having taken one anyway! ...

  • April 1, 2022

    Finding Joy in Difficult Times: Being Intentional

    Finding Joy in Difficult Times: Being Intentional

    I introduced last month's Ki Moments post, "Love's In Need of Love Today," saying I can see love everywhere if I look for it. I feel the same this month about finding joy.

    While I'm sometimes happily and luckily surprised by joy (a butterfly floats by, my crocuses are coming up!) it seems that lately I have to make a more conscious effort.

  • 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....

  • September 6, 2021

    Managing Difficult Conversations as You Return to School, Work, and Post-Pandemic Life

    Managing Difficult Conversations as You Return to School, Work, and Post-Pandemic Life

    There seems to be a surfeit of difficult conversations these days that hover around topics like masks, vaccines, back to school policies, world affairs, and the federal budget, just to name of few. I'm not even sure the title of this post accurately reflects our current state, as the "pan"-demic, according to many scientists and medical professionals, is becoming "en"-demic. The Covid 19 virus, they say, will be with us for a while, endemic to our health landscape, though that is also up for debate.

    An article by Meg Griffiths about the kinds of questions we have as the pandemic changes and continues to affect our work, family and communities came across my screen recently. Please read on to learn Meg's background and thoughts about transforming anxiety-ridden conversations into opportunities to listen, learn, and clarify intention....

  • 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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