Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mediation!

A year ago yesterday was my last day at work. I had three goals for my first year:

(1) to learn to teach English as a second language. I completed a 140-hour online course and learned I don't want to teach English as a second language. Good to know.

(2) to help build houses for Habitat for Humanity in my community and then to help in an area affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. I did that. I learned I love the idea but, unless I'm working with a group of seniors, I don't have the stamina to go the whole day. I need to take a nap after lunch! Also good to know.

(3) to take mediation training . I did that this week. I learned I love, love, love the concept and the process and the possibilities, that I've got what it takes, and that I will continue the practicum and the advanced training to become a certified mediator in the State of Washington. Wonderful to know!

The basic training was 8:30 to 5:30 every day this week. A combination of lecture, discussion, individual and small group work and role playing. It was one of the finest trainings I have ever attended - very well organized, with skilled teachers, and experienced coaches for the mock mediations, and completely appropriate manual and handouts. Time passed quickly each day, and though I was tired as I drove home, I was exhilarated. I found that my ability to listen, to ask questions and speak clearly, my prior experiences facilitating in the workplace and mentoring in my private life, and my interest in helping people resolve their differences, have prepared me for this new avocation. As I said to one of the trainers, "It feels like my whole life has led me to walk into this room."

Usually, the work required for a certification takes a year or two, depending on my availability and the learning opportunities that come up. I'll take the test from the basic training, interview with the staff, and then earn credits by observing mediations, taking a course in family mediation, co-mediating 12 times, doing inservice tasks or role playing or observing/mediating in small claims court, or attending outside trainings or conferences. Almost all of this sounds interesting and exciting to me.

In the last two days of training, three of the trainers and coaches talked to me privately. They had all noticed my excitement or observed my work. They all said they'd been affected the same way when they'd attended their first training, and that mediation had remained a sustaining satisfaction for them for the years they'd been doing it. One of them concluded our talk with "Welcome to the fold." The mediation community is welcoming me already.

If I become certified, my work will most likely be as a volunteer, which is fine. I'll still be able to do all the other things I love, including travel.

Even though I had this training as a goal, I still feel like I've stumbled into something for which I feel a passion. Like it's been waiting for me, you know? And like it's what I'm supposed to do.

I love it when that happens!








19 comments:

Teresa Evangeline said...

I'm so happy for you, Linda. It does feel good when one finds a calling. No matter where we are in life, there's always opportunities to do something new, begin a new adventure. I'm certain you will bring meaningful mediation to whomever is blessed by your presence.

Olga said...

Wow, good for you. Your excitement comes right through. I think mediation is a positive thing and I'm wishing you the best with this endeavor.

Lynilu said...

It is so good when things come together like that, isn't it? I'm glad you're enjoying it!

Rita said...

That is so exciting! I'm so happy for you! When something feels right like that you know you have stepped through the right door. Just like you knew teaching ESL was not the right door to walk through. Wow! Can hear your excitement! And they welcomed you into the fold. Nice! Will love to hear how it goes. Congrats! :)

Terra said...

You have a great attitude Linda, trying several things and finding one that suits you to a "T". The mediation could be a spiritual practice, as you aim to bring harmony to people.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

That is very cool. It's really exciting to find something that makes use of your abilities and experience, at a time when you're ready to go in a new direction! I hope you'll tell us more about it as you take the training and move forward.

DJan said...

This really does sound like just what you were looking for: some way to use your considerable talents that benefits everybody, including you! It sounds really interesting, too. I hope you keep me informed on this blog of how it develops. Kudos to you, Linda. :-)

June said...

Absolutely true that your excitement comes through in your words! How wonderful to find a new "job" to do that makes use of all your life experience and your talents!
What kinds of situations will you deal with? (I don't know much about mediation...all I can think of is marital difficulties.)

Beth from Maine said...

I concur. It was your next step. No more EMAILS.

Linda Reeder said...

This does sound interesting, and perhaps something I would be good at too. But I just don't see me making the time committment that you will be making. I admire your decision.

Retired English Teacher said...

I love how you have acted on your goals. Congratulations on doing that. I also like that you have sifted through the training and experience and determined which goals fit you and which one don't.

Perhaps the reason you were so successful with the mediation training is because you seem to know yourself well and have thought about what really interests you vs. what you thought would interest you.

I am intrigued by the mediation training. I hope you tell us more about it.

Deere Driver said...

Love to hear this. We'll talk about this more...

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Congratulations on embracing all of your first year goals! Finding out what works for you, what doesn't and what is likely to be a new passion in your life is so great! I'm so happy that you're so excited about mediation. Isn't that wonderful to feel that you've reached an important new pursuit in life at this stage?

Out on the prairie said...

This sounds fun,many just flip out and continue having problems

Deb Shucka said...

This was so wonderful to read. I'm really happy for you, and inspired to know a passion can be found in the most interesting of places when you're least expecting it.

Grandmother said...

How good for you that you set goals, tried them, eliminated the ones that didn't fit and found one that did. Good for you!

marciamayo said...

Good for you! It sounds exciting.

wheels4me said...

Congratulations on finding a new passion in life. Way to work your goals and find something you love. We should all be so fortunate to find something we love while being able to help others resolve their issues.

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Incredible feeling to discover something you truly love. I wish you the best in this mediation venture. I need to get back on track in this area. So difficult for me to meditate, but I love it so.