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Jul 2021

Emotional Control: A gentle way can win the day.

When we are able to control our emotions, we are in a better position to steer conversation in our favor. The “just do what I tell you” may work in the short term, but it does damage to the relationship, and also damage to the credibility or regards of how the other party will continue with you.


As I was walking this morning, I was listening to the audio book Wabi Sabi by Beth Kempton. In a chapter about calm communication, she talked about a situation where many sides had differing opinions, language and cultural misunderstandings, and high tension. But she said, “A gentle way won the day”. This is Wabi Sabi in others we are dealing with. We ALL want to be heard and understood, but aggressive and forceful can shut a person down and push what you are saying out, even if you are speaking truth from the mouth of God Himself. 


React / Response

This is so good. Write this down! 

*** You can communicate WHAT you feel without reenacting HOW you feel. ***  - Beth Kempton, Wabi Sabi

You can let someone know that you have a lot going on at the moment without snapping, and making it known through yelling and threatening people with violence or quitting something you have worked hard at maintaining. Most people get it. They can read the air in the room. BUT. Remember, that everyone wants to be heard and understood. Depending on their level, many times it doesn’t matter how others may feel at the moment, they have to get it off their chest.


Emotional Control is this: “We have a choice: we can choose to react in a way that escalates the negative energy and aggression, or we can choose to respond calmly in a way that brings a more considered discussion or even closure of the conversation.” - Beth Kempton, Wabi Sabi


Understand what I’m saying, I’m not saying forget your beliefs and agree with anything and everything people come at you with. No. I’m saying an effort to understand the other person can help you seize the moment, and turn it into an Ichigo Ichie that may change the course of your relationship forever. 


A gentle way can win the day.


“Soft words can turn away wrath” - Proverbs 15:1

Jul 2021

Kaizen Moai Habit of Providing Safe Places to Connect

“The world’s longest lived people chose–or were born into–social circles that supported healthy behaviors, Okinawans created ”moais”–groups of five friends that committed to each other for life. Research from the Framingham Studies shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious. So the social networks of long-lived people have favorably shaped their health behaviors.” - Bluezones.com


Moai means "meeting for a common purpose" and kaizen is the approach to continuous, incremental improvement.


There are three Japanese terms from tea ceremonies that I would like to foster in this environment. Also, being aware of this as we start to come together will get us in the habit of having a safe place to be open and enjoy a full life without judgement.


  • Wabi Sabi - “Perfectly Imperfect” Each person is working towards a perfect version of themselves because of the imperfections they have accepted about them. Simply put, you are you, and I love you for that!


  • Ichigo Ichie - “Once in a lifetime encounter” We are trying to get together and be intentional in enjoying the moment. Every moment we meet is a once in a lifetime encounter that will never be the exact same again. To capture that, we try to be in the habit of the concept with everyone we meet.


  • Ikigai - “The reason for being” Life is a giant exciting puzzle given to us to make use of every experience. Every person we encounter adds to that puzzle. God puts people in our path that needs what you live for. This also applies to the other person too, You need what they are living for also. It all works together. It also applies to groups. The groups you choose to associate with needs to represent you, offering what you live for, but also at the same time providing the things you need to keep going.


This was the idea I had when I first read about it, and forming a Moai came up over and over as it was something I must do, no matter what.


I look forward to living life with you!

Jul 2021

Kaizen Moai Habit of Intentional Moving

“The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work.” - Bluezones.com


Moai means "meeting for a common purpose" and kaizen is the approach to continuous, incremental improvement.


Today’s habit I want us all to work towards is being intentional in our moving. The “Kaizen: incremental improvement” thought to moving a little more in a natural setting would be parking a little further than you normally would. Or if you are in a plaza shopping, park at one end, walk to the opposite end, and work your way back to where you parked.

Intentionally go to places where everything you need is clumped together, and it would make the most sense just to walk. I like outdoor malls that will have everything from restaurants, clothes, bookstores, games… etc.


Another thought on moving more intentionally would be to pick up a hobby or activities that require movement. In the blue zones, everyone has their own garden. Successful gardening requires a lot effort, like planning, planting, watering, weeding, constant checking, and harvesting.  


One more, is to really be intentional in exercising. The new trend out now is wearable technology, and health wise, you can keep up with pretty much anything you want to track, from blood glucose, calories burned, how much time you spend exercising, to counting your steps for you. A lot of them will even reward you with badges as you reach your goals.


Striving for a strong healthy body in this day where technology makes everything easier for you, can be achieved if you are intentional about it!


Jul 2021

Kaizen Moai Habit of Having Mindful Meals

“80% Rule

“Hara hachi bu”  – the Okinawan, 2500-year old Confucian mantra said before meals reminds them to stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it. People in the blue zones eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening and then they don’t eat any more the rest of the day.


Plant Slant

Beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets. Meat—mostly pork—is eaten on average only five times per month.  Serving sizes are 3-4 oz., about the size of a deck of cards.


Wine @ 5

People in all blue zones (except Adventists) drink alcohol moderately and regularly.  Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. The trick is to drink 1-2 glasses per day (preferably Sardinian Cannonau wine), with friends and/or with food. And no, you can’t save up all week and have 14 drinks on Saturday.” - Bluezones.com


Moai means "meeting for a common purpose" and kaizen is the approach to continuous, incremental improvement.


Today’s habit will be covering a “kaizen” approach to eating, in which the people studied (who lived over 100 years young) mostly shared.

I have pulled them into one habit under “mindful meals”.

First off, they would drink wine, and I know that many in my area would not like that so much. I’ll start off with the intention, the intention of a glass of wine once a day is not to get hammered and forget the troubles of the day, but to have preventative affects on the body and mind:


10 Health Benefits of Red Wine

  1. Rich in antioxidants.
  2. Lowers bad cholesterol.
  3. Keeps heart healthy.
  4. Regulates blood sugar.
  5. Reduces the risk of cancer.
  6. Helps treat common cold.
  7. Keeps memory sharp.
  8. Keeps you slim.
  9. Reduces risk of depression
  10. Has positive effects on the digestive system


Also from medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265635#benefits, 

Red wine also helps with:



Next would be the habit of an increase in plants in meals, and a decrease in so much proteins from animals. I listened to a talk from Dr. Sebi where he talked about the damage we cause our bodies due to eating “dead food”, where we cook out all nutrients and are left with “not food”, and raw and living food, where as  if you did not eat it, it would grow. (Fruits and Veggies)


And the last part would be “Hara Hachi bu”, eating until about 80% full. An easy way to do this when you eat out is to order your meal, when it comes cut it in half, box that and save it for later. It’s harder to eat till you hurt that way.

Jul 2021

Kaizen Moai Habit of Prioritizing Family

Successful centenarians in the blue zones put their families first. This means keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home (It lowers disease and mortality rates of children in the home too.). They commit to a life partner (which can add up to 3 years of life expectancy) and invest in their children with time and love (They’ll be more likely to care for you when the time comes).” - Bluezones.com


Moai means "meeting for a common purpose" and kaizen is the approach to continuous, incremental improvement.


One way we can improve our lives is to pay attention and prioritize our family. Although we may be doing everything in our power to protect and build a future for them, our focus being beyond them may very well neglect the present day needs they have for you right under your nose.


When I would teach kids the ten commandments, instead of “thou shalt not commit adultery”, I shifted the focus and said, ”Always keep the family together”. It’s hard work, but keeping the family first is the best way to ensure your legacy. The story of you will not impact anyone more than the people who are in it. 


Have a tea time with your family. Enjoy an Ichigo Ichie (a once in a lifetime encounter) by being intentional in creating a memorable moment to go in the family history.


Your family is under your direct circle of influence. The things you say and do greatly build them up, or tear their world apart. Be careful with your words. Imagine that this is your legacy you are dealing with.


I started playing genshin impact, and a little story in a side quest happened. A hunter was chasing a boar and they ended up being frozen in ice for 300 years. The ice thawed. The hunter went back to the village and yes, everything had changed, but his great, great, great, great, great grandson remembered his name in the family tree! 


What about you? What can of impact can you have now that could touch your lineage generations from now? Or even the community you live in, or the world for that matter! It can start today with the habit of keeping your family first!

Jul 2021

Kaizen Moai Habit of Fulfilling Purpose

“The Okinawans call it “Ikigai” and the Nicoyans call it “plan de vida;” for both it translates to “why I wake up in the morning.” Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy” - Bluezones.com


Moai means "meeting for a common purpose" and kaizen is the approach to continuous, incremental improvement.


The “sweet spot” in living your life is found in the middle of:

  • You focusing on what you love
  • You doing the things you are good at
  • You get compensated for what you do
  • You fulfill needs


Your ikigai is found in the middle of all four, in short, your “reason for being”. Another common way of describing your ikigai is, “why you gladly get up in the morning and face the day”.


This Moai is intentional in helping you grow continuously (kaizen) toward living a full life of fulfilling your purpose, your ikigai. In business leadership models, you learn to set goals, and then action plans to achieve the goals. This is great, I set up smart goals and miracle one sheets all the time. But when I accomplish that, something bigger and better has to come next. Your ikigai, however, is a way of life. There is no end. You keep fulfilling your passion until you cannot anymore. Sorry to all the absolute, black and white, cut and dry people, “it just don’t stop!”. 


Listen, there will always be people in your circle who will try to take advantage of your gifts, talents, personality, and everything that makes you so wonderful. (Can you really blame them?) Do not get discouraged in this. If you go along with them (because you want to) know that you are filling a need. That person may get the help they want, but until they start to fulfill needs and do the things they were called to do they will certainly STAY EMPTY. You will always look and feel more successful, because success is you doing the things you were fearfully and wonderfully made to do. 

Jul 2021

Kaizen Moai Habit of Belonging to Something

“All but five of the 263 centenarians we interviewed belonged to some faith-based community.  Denomination doesn’t seem to matter. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy.” - Bluezones.com


Moai means "meeting for a common purpose" and kaizen is the approach to continuous, incremental improvement.


Church groups, charities, civil organizations, even gym memberships all give a sense of purpose and place for the members to belong. 


The habit that we focus on today will be on belonging. It seems that most of all animal kind, to aquatic all the way to humans, group themselves together. They keep each other alive:

  • Share common goals
  • Hold each other accountable
  • Everyone has purpose
  • Protection
  • Reproduce 


Belonging to a group of friends addresses the areas of unblocking yourself:

  • Mental - Having someone to talk to and live life and keep your mind healthy
  • Physical - Having a people to help you be accountable to yourself, eat better, and stay physically healthy
  • Spiritual - Share in your walk with God and help with your vision for your life
  • Financial - Help with ideas to sustain yourself and have a future for generations
  • Social - Having friends to enjoy life with helps you to survive the toughest of times
Jul 2021

Kaizen Moai Habit of De-Stressing

Moai means "meeting for a common purpose" and kaizen is the approach to continuous, incremental improvement. 


Blue Zones’ 3rd principle of the “power 9” is Down Shifting.

Even people in the Blue Zones experience stress. Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease. What the world’s longest-lived people have that we don’t are routines to shed that stress. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap and Sardinians do happy hour.”


So, one of the habits that this Moai will focus on is the Kaizen approach for improving our Ikigai (our reason for living) through finding ways that help us de-stress from our busy day.


On a daily basis:

  • As An Individual: Stress relief can come many ways, one suggestion would be to have a set tea time with yourself. You can have an audience of one, reflecting and learning about yourself and the events of the day.


Weekly / Monthly:

  • As A Group: I’d like as a group to find activities for us all to do monthly that will be relaxing and fun, not adrenaline inducing, heart pounding competition, but something that would promote a stress reliever. 
    • Sip & Paint
    • Nature Walk
    • Aquarium
    • Picnic
    • Tea Service
    • Winery
    • Art Gallery
    • Cooking Class
Jul 2021

Kaizen Moai

Moai (/mo,eye/):

  1. A group of lifelong friends
  2. A social support group that forms in order to provide varying support from social, financial, health, or spiritual interests


Moai means "meeting for a common purpose" in Japanese and originated from the social support groups in Okinawa, Japan.


Kaizen (/ky,zen/):

One approach to continuous, incremental improvement is called kaizen. It originated in Japan and the word translates to mean change (kai) for the good ( zen).


Blue Zones has a study of common things that the longest living people share. They call it the “Power 9”.

  1. Move Naturally
  2. Purpose 
  3. Down Shift
  4. 80% Rule
  5. Plant Slant
  6. Wine at 5
  7. Belong
  8. Loved Ones First
  9. Right Tribe


The people in your life have habits.

Habits are contagious.

Can you imagine how much better off you’d be if the people in your circle (your Moai) had a Kaizen (continuous small improvements) approach to their Ikigai (reason for getting up in the morning, and facing the day)?

Jul 2021

An Ichigo Ichie Through Taste and Smell

Smell is linked to the learning parts of the brain. 

We roughly remember about 3% of what we see, 5% of what we hear, and 35% of what we smell, varying on what kind of learner you happen to be.


I think this difference is so great because we like to attach emotions to taste and smell. Thinking about it, when I smell chlorine, I think of swim class, trying to see underwater, being scared to do a correct dive off the diving board, lining up, and who could make the biggest cannon ball to get everyone on the side wet.


Another one is the smell of a landfill. I know it is strong and gross, but my grandfather lived near one, and we had sooooo many adventures in the actual junkyard, in the nearby woods, and that smell would let me know as a kid that we were there. So smelling that stench reminds me of how fearless my cousin and I were, just to keep from being bored.


Tasting in the physical is a great vehicle for experiencing new cultures and trying new things through food.

Taste mentally boils down to your personality, what you like and don’t like, your character and your integrity.


But overall, taste and smell evoke Ichigo Ichie by incorporating all the senses into that moment in time. Ichigo Ichie was achieved when you can look back and taste and smell the tea for instance, you’ll be about see the surrounding, and hear the conversation during that time, and know the warmth of how you felt from the tea, but also the sense that your mind and heart were touched too.


Look for an opportunity this weekend to experience an Ichigo Ichie to log in to the history of you!  

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