Proceeding with Compassion, Acceptance and Mindfulness

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I attended an Advanced Collaborative Divorce Training presented by CFLI this past weekend. The keynote speaker, Peter Russell, spoke with us about how using mindfulness techniques in our Collaborative work can help us stay focused on our clients and their unresolved disputes. Being mindful can prepare us for whatever crisis our clients are experiencing and help keep us from becoming a part of it. Proceeding with compassion, acceptance, mindfulness, and gratitude keeps our inner voices in check and keeps us present.

It reminded me of an experience I had recently. My office mates and I had prepared our office for the carpets to be cleaned by a professional carpet cleaner. We moved as much furniture and furnishings from the floor as possible and piled furniture on bigger pieces that could not be moved. We specifically chose to have the carpets cleaned on a Saturday morning so that we could reassemble the office early the following Monday to be ready for business as usual.

We had used this carpet cleaner before. I’ll call him Tony. Tony is a solo business owner and a one man show. He does very good work.

Early on the Saturday morning of the scheduled date, I received a text from Tony saying he had had a death in his family and that he was on his way out of town.

My first reaction was an audible “oh, no!” because I felt compassion towards Tony and his family. Then came the realization that the office was in a shambles. My inner voice became loud: What was I going to do? Why did it have to happen today? Would I have to reassemble the office without the carpets being cleaned, only to have to start all over again? How would I find another company on such short notice? I began to feel panic. And, to be honest, a little sorry for myself.

I took a breath. The situation was what it was and it was out of my control. It was also out of Tony’s control. Panicking was not going to get the carpets cleaned or solve the dilemma. Feeling sorry for myself was completely unhelpful.

In the end, with the help of my wonderful husband, I was able to find another company. The carpets were cleaned and the ‘crisis’ was averted.

Similarly, sometimes in our collaborative work, we find ourselves in uncomfortable situations, stemming from the conflict our clients have. We can find ourselves panicked about the behavior of our clients or worried about whether the process is going to result in an agreement or blow up. We may feel sorry for ourselves, or judgmental towards our clients or the other professionals. Our inner voices become loud.


It is important during times like these to be mindful of what we are feeling. To take a breath. To realize the situation is what it is. Panic is not going to help. Neither are self-pity nor judgment. Some things are out of our control. Breathe.

Mrs. Mazza’s office is located at 12 SE 7th St #704, in Ft. Lauderdale. Contact Mrs. Mazza at (954) 527-4604 or carolann@cmazzalaw.com

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