Do you still own a CD player? A lot of folks no longer do, opting instead for downloading their favorite songs to play anytime. Sounds like a good idea. I don't see any downsides--but then I haven't tried it yet. I still sometimes operate from the Stone Age when it comes to video and audio technology.
Because I'd like to get these Ki stories and songs out of my basement and into your hands--those of you who still own CD players--I've reduced the price of ownership by 60%. Instead of $15, they're each $6. You can listen to a few selected cuts on my website, like:
And--before you know it, your Christmas shopping is done! I know it's only June, but this might free up your December quite a bit.
Besides my website, you can find all of the above on Amazon, at their prices.
One of the stories I tell on the Simple Gifts CD is about a difficult moment with my neighbor. This ki moment happened some years ago, but the template I came up with for whether to hold the conversation still applies. Neighbors come and neighbors go. Ki Moments are always gifts to learn from. Enjoy...
Neighbors with Drums
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.
There's a new event in my neighborhood. Every day around 3:30 pm, a neighbor with a new drum set begins practicing–at full volume. The drummer must be on his deck or screened porch, because there doesn't seem to be any buffer to the sound.
Sometimes he practices with a background tape turned up as loudly as I imagine is possible. The combined effect is hard to ignore, especially on warm days when my windows are open. As I sit at my computer, trying to compose sage advice, I have to concentrate pretty hard.
The music is so loud neighbors three blocks away can hear it. On occasion I hear shouts of "Shut up!!" from nearby homeowners. And I've received emails from others (Where is that drumming coming from? How do you stand it?)
It's pretty interesting as a phenomenon. I mean does this person have any regard for the impact his drumming is having on the rest of the neighborhood? Is he aware and doing it anyway? Couldn't he practice in the basement? Does he enjoy being heard, like those cars that go by with the bass so pumped that your own car vibrates?
At first I was outraged. How rude! How inconsiderate! Does he think he's the only person on the planet? What if babies are trying to sleep or people (like me!) are trying to concentrate?
But as my frustration increased I also noticed the ki moment. And I asked myself if there might be something I was willing to do to change the situation instead of stewing and complaining. So I think, well, what are my options here? In my case, I came up with the following four choices:
- Do nothing and continue to complain.
- Change my thinking so that the event no longer bothers me.
- Go over to my neighbor's house and engage the energy; in other words, talk to the drummer and explain the impact of the sound on me and my work.
- Call the police and report a neighborhood disturbance.
I chose Option #2 – I chose to change my thinking so that the event no longer bothered me. And the catalyst was the idea of "neighborhood." In neighborhoods, there is noise. A couple of summers ago, another neighbor took up the saxophone, and I often heard him practicing scales and simple tunes. The sound wasn't always beautiful, but there was something neighborly about it.
What was the difference here? Different sound, different volume, and different music (for sure) created a very different impact at first. But thinking about neighborhood helped me. Suddenly the outdoor drumming fanatic was not an ogre, and I found myself smiling. It felt good to live in a neighborhood where I could hear – music? Well, at least I could call it creative energy.
Now when the drum beat starts rolling, I listen for a moment, smile, and resume my work. I'm still amazed, but I'm no longer bothered. Funny how it no longer interrupts my focus. Funny, and cool.
If Option #2 hadn't worked, I would have chosen Option #3. I would have gone over to his house and talked to him about the impact of his practice – and that is still an option. The point is to know that we have options.
Remember: "Ki" is energy, power, life force. Ki Moments are those moments in which you are fully aware of your life force and your ability to influence your environment.
You can create your inner and outer environment on purpose. And you can do it anytime.