Mediation or meditation?

Mediation or meditation?

So the schools in Scotland have closed for the summer – and the rain has poured down ever since.

I have to confess that this has suited me very well as it has meant that I am quite happy to be at home and getting on with completing my written assignments to gain accreditation in family mediation. It is difficult to turn down offers of lunch, afternoon tea or shopping trips when the sun is shining so I may be the only person in Scotland who is happy to see a change in the weather.

It’s back to the laptop for me and – yet again – becoming sidetracked by further reading on aspects that catch my interest. Who knew there was so much information about mediation out there? All fascinating stuff. Mind you, I still come across people who think that I am training in meditation. This would include the lovely lady from my local library who left me a phone message to tell me they did not have the book that I had tried to reserve on meditation – this despite the fact that the words “dispute resolution” and “justice system” appear in the title. I wonder what her concept of meditation is.

I can’t quite believe that it is almost a year since I embarked on the path of mediation, but I have found every aspect of the training to be thought-provoking, challenging, enjoyable and, at times, downright scary. I can only compare my first co-mediation session to my first day as a 20-year-old newly qualified schoolteacher standing in front of a class and thinking: “Just what am I supposed to do with these innocent children? Someone should tell them to run away and find a real teacher.”

So I adopted the same approach in the mediation room – took a deep breath, smiled and launched into the process. After all, just like the pupils, those clients had no idea how I was feeling – they just wanted me to get on with the task in hand, which I did with the support of my co-mediator who is also my mentor.

To describe it as a difficult session would be an understatement, but we all survived and with joint reflection I can see that this kind of baptism of fire can only serve me well when I begin my practice unaccompanied. I am hoping to be flying solo in the near future and while I am excited I also feel worried and unsure – after all these are real people we are working with and we are trying to improve the testing situations in which they find themselves.

However, I know that I have to “feel the fear and do it anyway” and that even experienced mediators admit that there is always an element of anxiety when beginning a new case. It occurs to me now that the reflection that we allow to every session could be looked upon as a kind of meditation so perhaps the librarian was not so far off the mark after all.

Now, which learning activity was I working on?

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