Welcome to October's Ki Moments ...
And thank you for subscribing. "Ki" is Japanese for life energy.
My goal is to provide useful information and inspiration on ways to extend our "Ki" more purposefully and turn our "key" moments into "Ki" moments of opportunity and power.
I had a wonderful time in Colorado last month at Tom Crum's Journey to Center Program. My story "Being the Mountain" shares just a bit of that journey. I hope you enjoy it.
"Purposeful Conversations" is next, with helpful suggestions on how to hold difficult conversations well.
Being the Mountain
As I hiked up the path to the Peaceful Valley Chapel, I relished the quiet of my early morning solitude. After many years, the ten-minute hike is now a personal ritual. Each morning of each Journey to Center week, before our breathing and meditation at 7, I go to the top of this small mountain to be inspired by the view of a much higher mountain range in the distance.
I stare at the 14,000-foot peaks, open my arms and breathe, inviting their energy, power, beauty and peace into my being. I contrast their stability and their "just there-ness" with my own approval-seeking energy, their effortless poise with my striving to do the right thing, and their natural and graceful essence with my desire to appear knowledgeable and beautiful and centered.
Could I possibly just BE? Like the mountain? There.
That turned out to be my practice this year - and I let the mountain be my teacher. Each time (well, most times) that I found myself in striving or approval-seeking mode, I stopped, breathed, and thought about the mountain. Thought about just BEING - like the mountain.
Each time I practiced, I felt my body come back to a relaxed stance, mind clear, my being at rest. It was as if I had been leaning forward - out of myself - looking for something, someone, to be okay. As I thought of the mountain, I came back to center.
Is there a place that helps you return to your own powerful presence? Your needs are met, you are okay just the way you are. Find it now - in your office, your home, your cubicle. Bring your mountain back into view. And have a great journey to center.
This is the second in a series of brief articles on how to prepare for and hold difficult conversations. In September's Ki Moments, I suggested some ways to open difficult communications in ways that create mutual respect.
Today the Topic is Useful Purpose
Think of a conversation you need to have. What is your purpose for having the conversation? What do you hope to accomplish? What would be an ideal outcome?
Some purposes are more useful than others.
A useful purpose is one you have power over. For instance, you can control your own reaction; you can share your view; learn about your partner's view; work toward a sustainable solution.
Examples of purposes that are NOT useful are: trying to change the other person; attempting to control their reaction; using the conversation to intimidate or coerce; going in with a hidden agenda.
Watch for unconscious purposes.
You may think you have honorable goals, like educating an employee or increasing connection with your teen, only to notice that your language is excessively critical or condescending.
In general, prepare for the conversation by working on yourself and your purpose. Increase your awareness and enter with a supportive attitude. And read next month's Ki Moments for more conversational tips.
Good luck and good communication!
This winter I will be publishing my first book! Titled Unlikely Teachers: Finding the Hidden Gifts in Daily Conflict, it contains personal stories, practices, and reflections on conflict and the surprising gifts it offers. The final draft is complete, and it is currently in the design phase. I'll have more information next month, but wanted you to be the first to know.
Would You Like To Practice Aikido?
Many of the principles reflected in Ki Moments come from aikido, the Japanese martial art that teaches self-defense through the redirection of energy. Some Ki Moments subscribers have asked where they can try out aikido practice.
Portsmouth Aikido is an ongoing martial arts school located at the Seacoast Family Y in Portsmouth. Classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:45 p.m., and Sundays at 1:00 and 2:15 p.m. You can stop by anytime and watch a class. Or you can visit our web site - http://www.portsmouthaikido.com- or call 603- 431-8560 for more information.
The next Aikido Beginner Class will start November 6. The six-week course will run through December 11, from 1:00 to 2:00 each Sunday. The cost is $65.00 per person for the course and includes a Portsmouth Aikido t-shirt. Anyone aged 12 or older is welcome.
Learn more about Portsmouth Aikido
Power & Presence Training
76 Park Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801
Judy Ringer is Founder of Power & Presence Training, a Portsmouth, NH company specializing in unique workshops to help you and your organization manage conflict, communicate effectively, and co-create a more positive work environment. E-mail Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free initial meeting to discuss your training needs.
Ki (from Ai-ki-do) is Japanese for life energy. Ki Moments is a complimentary monthly "e-zine" with tips and how-to articles to help you manage the key moments in your life.
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