Ki Moments Blog

Support for life’s “key” moments.

Showing posts with the tag “Unlikely Teachers”

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  • July 2, 2019

    Another Lesson at The Pool: Being a Good Neighbor

    Another Lesson at The Pool: Being a Good Neighbor

    I'm a swimmer. Not a competitve one, but one who enjoys getting in the water for 30-45 minutes each morning to center myself and begin the day. I usually swim between 6:30 and 7:30 am. It's a busy pool at that time, and I often run into "unlikely teacher" lane partners--which I've written about in the past.

    I've been swimming at my pool for almost 40 years (since it opened), and I can get territorial. I have a favorite lane, which I think of as "my lane" (I know, I'm not proud of this, just telling it like it is). And I think new members should familiarize themselves with pool rules about circle swimming, showering, and the lanes designated for faster swimmers, leisure swimmers and so on. So I see myself as an elder at my pool, if you will, and do my best to respectfully enforce some of the etiquette. But today I received a well-timed and delivered etiquette lesson from Sam (not his real name), who didn't even know he was teaching.

  • May 21, 2019

    Finding My Better Self: How About a Cup of Coffee?

    Finding My Better Self: How About a Cup of Coffee?

    An article I wrote many years ago has seen a lot of play recently on various internet sites. It's called "Working with Difficult People: Turn Tormentors Into Teachers". The article has been generating a lot of comments from readers hoping to think differently about the unlikely teachers in their lives. It seems clear that most of us have these folks in our lives and just as clear that we’d really like to change them from tormentors to teachers.

    I’m certainly no different.  And maybe because of the article, and maybe just because I want to walk the walk as well as the talk, I decided to practice one recent day with a "tormentor" of my own...

  • December 6, 2016

    It's All So Simple

    It's All So Simple

    In his thoughtful and thought provoking song "Anyone Can Whistle," Stephen Sondheim writes:

    It's all so simple,
    Relax, let go, let fly.
    So someone tell me, why can't I?

    In this month of giving and gathering, when we all do more and push harder, we don't have much time for relaxing and letting go. In our bustling and striving, we barely remember what we're bustling and striving for. In our rush to find the perfect turkey or bottle of wine, we forget why we're looking. Mindful of the next task, we miss being present to this one.

    Sondheim's words make me stop and think about simplicity. As the song says, we can dance tangos, slay dragons, and read Greek. What's hard is simple. But to be simple is hard. I don't know about you, but my growing up was about working harder not easier. Case in point ... this article was originally twice as long and said less.

    I'm just thinking out loud, but what if this holiday season I drafted a new blueprint for success?

  • November 10, 2015

    Unlikely Teachers and Hidden Gifts

    Unlikely Teachers and Hidden Gifts

    November is an inspirational month. I find the cultivation of gratitude a powerful path to centered presence and to finding the gift in every moment. Thanks-giving permeates my thoughts. And there is so much to notice....

  • May 26, 2015

    Lessons Learned: Losing My Voice

    Lessons Learned: Losing My Voice

    I am now recently and thankfully over a bout of laryngitis that in all its manifestations lasted 8 weeks. That's a long time for an organizational trainer, public speaker, and professional singer. It was traumatic at times, frightening, and fascinating. Friends would say, "this is going to be a story eventually," and indeed it is and has been.

    Have I said that "Unlikely Teachers" are not always welcomed at first? They can seem like annoyances at best and physically or emotionally traumatic at worst. In many cases, the teacher is life-changing in the sense that it shows us something about ourselves and the world that we might not have otherwise seen.

    Enforced Quiet

    I've written about how default programming and ingrained habits can be changed by noticing them in the moment they occur and making a different choice, and advice-giving is one of my defaults. During the first days of the lovely laryngitis attack, I couldn't speak at all--not even a squeak. How fascinating were those moments when I would start to say something and realize I couldn't. Because it was a struggle to speak and because the doctors had told me NOT to unless absolutely necessary, I became acutely aware of these ki moments--Do I really need to say this? Most of the time I didn't.

    A Worthy Opponent

    I began to see my laryngitis as a worthy opponent, with whom resistance was futile and counterproductive. By using Aikido principles, I could metaphorically join the opposing energy to see where led. Several possibilities immediately showed themselves...

  • November 13, 2012

    Respect Is Like Air: Finding the Hidden Gift

    Respect Is Like Air: Finding the Hidden Gift

    Respect is like air, I’ve heard it said. When it’s plentiful, you never think about it. But when it’s missing, you can’t think about anything else.

    I was swimming at the Portsmouth Indoor Pool early one morning. My lane partner was taking up more of the lane than I thought necessary, more than his share. I was grouchy, shrinking and trying not to be run over as he swam by in the other direction…

  • September 18, 2012

    Running into a Ki Moment: From Resistance to Connection

    Running into a Ki Moment: From Resistance to Connection

    I huffed and puffed and made myself more and more depressed about the fact that I was engaged in one of my least favorite activities… running.

  • May 15, 2012

    On This Planet: Unlikely Teachers and Hidden Gifts

    On This Planet: Unlikely Teachers and Hidden Gifts

    The game of “Let’s Pretend” is a game we probably all played as children. I think we continue to play as adults—we just forget we’re playing.

  • July 1, 2009

    Ki Moments July 2009

    True happiness connects us with what’s meaningful in life. We learn to develop gratitude, awe and wonder, central characteristics of happy people.

  • February 1, 2007

    Ki Moments February 2007

    Notice the rhythmic constancy of your breath. Be thankful for one thing you don’t have to control.

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