As 2014 draws to a close, I have had some time to reflect upon the year that has passed and some energy and space to make way for another year to come. When I am not mediating, I am often found aboard our sailboat, aptly named “Time Out” and pictured here. Although it has been too cold and windy, even in Southern California, to cruise off shore to Catalina Island or down the Coast this week, we did enjoy some winter sailing in Santa Monica Bay yesterday. After a jam-packed week of mediating disputes, following up with clients, writing, lecturing, attending Bar events and preparing for my next week’s cases, I consider my “Time Out” on the weekends to be an essential way to gain perspective on the week that has preceded me and clear my thoughts and de-clutter in order to be prepared for the next week.
In conflict, too, any parent knows that there is a value in taking a “time out” when a child needs a little distance and some down time before he/she can go on productively in whatever is causing the issue of the moment. In sports, too, there are moments where a referee blows a whistle and calls a “time out” so that the teams and their coaches can re-group and sort out whatever conflict may not be able to be resolved during the game’s play. So why not in mediation? Is it worth calling a “time out” on occasion? Shall we consider carrying a whistle in our tool box at every hearing?
For me, the metaphor works in my life as a mediator. So I want to take this moment to express my gratitude for the friendship and support and fellowship you have given to me over the past year and wish you a hearty and sincere “Cheers” for a wonderful, thoughtful, prosperous and meaningful New Year!
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- Taking Time Out To Gain Perspective - January 1, 2015