September 18, 2014

More than Just Living in the Now

157279084Because modern man (and woman) have struggled to be present to what is happening in the moment, a great deal has been written lately about living in the NOW. The reason for this is that there are grave perils to being captured in the past that actively interferes with how we perceive the present. Similarly, there is propensity to be so focused on the future that we are oblivious to the now.

We should be advised by our past, but not controlled by it.
We should be intrigued by the future but not seduced by it.

I have been thinking about this recently because it offers an insight into one of the profound benefits collaborative practice has to offer.

We now call what we do a healing practice. This is another one of the many principles I am finding that helps me understand how this humble concept has come to literally encircle the globe. We are surrounded with practices that contain within them powerful principles. I wish I could say that we intentionally set about to create this, but it would not be true. I think perhaps it happens when we focused on recognizing flaws and shortcomings in the existing system, and sought to find ways to correct them.

In order for transformation to happen in my life I have come to recognize that it is useful to be advised by my past, that I might understand the things that have shaped me, from my family of origin, my communities in which I live, and my beliefs about them. It has been hard for me to make changes in my life unless I am intentional about changing.

I am fascinated by a newer idea – speaking the unspoken. We need to find better ways to say the things that need to be said. When I recognize how deep seated beliefs advise my thinking, I come to understand more about the consequences of those beliefs. This video of a TED talk captures what I am trying to say:

Applying this to real life, I realize how often the encrusted ways of communicating can severely limit the ability to communicate effectively. It is not like we have ever been trained how to better communicate.

Helping parents look at the unspoken beliefs they bring with them into this process can help being able to better communicate. Being able to see better ways to talk with each other, coupled with the understanding of how we have been shaped by our past, can give the possibility in the here and now to create a new reality. Then we can create changes in our future communications.

This is precisely what I see being done at the highest levels of effective coaching, coupled with the expertise of the child specialists. When we, as attorneys are aware of this in our role, we provide the best opportunity for such a transformation to occur.

Bruce Peck

Bruce is one of the founding members of the Collaborative Law Institute.
Back in the Wonder Years, this small group was trying to figure out what a new way of practicing family law might look like. Today the collaborative law concept has exploded, not just throughout the United States, but also internationally. For over thirty years Bruce has continued to hone his skills to provide the highest quality of services to family law clients. He helps good people make tough choices during difficult times.

Bruce is a laid back and easy going person who listens well to others. He is a shameless optimist who can always see possibility and opportunity. Being very curious by nature, he is a voracious reader. His love for words has drawn him into being an avid poet.

Bruce’s skills supports clients interests without alienating their spouse. When the parties reach agreement, it is not under duress. They have the time to discuss all decisions with their attorneys before signing the agreement. Once completed, the stipulated divorce is filed with the court for a default hearing in which neither party, nor their attorneys, ever have to set foot inside a courthouse. Learn more at

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