Archive for Conflict and Change

Designing a Personal Guide Book for Your Life (Part One): Living with Intention


“We hold the power to make things happen
through our intent –
to the extent that we use our intention
with compassion and without ego.”
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The Webster-Merriam dictionary defines intention as “the thing that you plan to do or achieve: an aim or purpose,” “a determination to act in a certain way.”

How often do we move through life, playing a role, doing our part, following someone’s lead, never stopping to ask ourselves, “what is my intention here?” “Where am I going?” “What’s the point?”

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Mediation for Families Who Have Lost a Loved One

An all too common story

Recently I heard a story that touched me and pained me, particularly having lost my mother earlier this year. A mother dies leaving the majority of her estate to her two children. The son is the executor of the estate and seeks legal representation to “renegotiate” the terms of the will after the daughter disagrees to his proposed terms. Basically, he wants more money, justifying his position that since he has children and his sister doesn’t, he deserves more. The sister feels she has no choice but to hire her own lawyer, as the situation has become quite adversarial. Legal fees mount. The dispute gets more heated. And the worst part: the disbelief and deep sadness of the sister and frustration and anger of the brother distract each of them from what should be a period of family uniting in mourning;

Remembering and celebrating the life of their mom.

The focus had turned to one thing:


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What Happened to my Happily Ever After?

I remember being in a bookstore with my significant other/divorcing dad/future husband/future ex-husband during our first weeks of courtship. As it was a new romance and we were completely in our own world, we could have been looking at travel guides planning our next trip, or perusing architecture books dreaming about the house we would one day build, or getting ahead of ourselves in wedding magazines. But instead, we were looking for books on divorce. Or more specifically:

  • How to divorce peacefully?
  • How to tell your kids you’re getting divorced?
  • What is a blended family?
  • Where does the step-parent’s role fit in?
  • What does it mean to live as a divorced and remarried person?
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We learn the ropes of life by untying its knots – J. Toomer

Conflict is a natural, if not necessary, part of life. The more I’m around it, the more I learn from it. The lessons are innumerable if we are willing to “be with” conflict instead of running from it, hiding from it, or avoiding it all together. When did we get the idea that life was supposed to be comfortable and that any sign of discomfort, change or the unknown could send us into a frenzy? Do the trees quiver at the first sign of snow? It sounds ridiculous, but as humans, avoiding conflict and change at all costs seems to me like nature saying “hey, no seasons this year, OK?”

Then there are those of us who LOVE change – I was one of those.
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