Intentionally Curious

Part 3: Co-Parenting Conversations

I sat down at my table and took a few deep breaths to calm the nerves or nausea that toiled in my stomach.  I already felt like crying and my former spouse hadn’t even arrived yet.  Maybe I should send a text that I wasn’t feeling well and we would need to reschedule.  No.  That would only delay the inevitable.

Here I was, seemingly poised and prepared to have a challenging conversation with my former spouse.  We would be covering topics induced by an impasse reached weeks earlier.  I started in on my self pep talk:  you have hard conversations every single day – this is no different.  Then, the “aha!” moment unfolded.  Yes!  I do have hard conversations every single day with judges, clients, and attorneys.  I know how to do this!  I dug in my figurative toolbox and then in my messy purse for a pen.

On the napkin in front of me I wrote three words: curious, compassionate, and clear.  (I never really ignore my penchant for alliteration).  This single action I learned years and years ago from my coach remains one of the best pieces of advice I ever received. 

            Set. Your. Intention.

But what does that mean?  It means that you decide how you want to be or how you want to show up in a situation.  It means you are intentional and focused going into a conversation.  You decide what qualities you want to exhibit despite the fact that if you were wearing a mood ring, it would be multi-colored in the span of a few minutes.

The action of deciding how you want to be, is a good indicator of how you will be.  It sets your mind space and allows you to be proactive in an otherwise scary or unknown circumstance.

Below is the list my coach gave to me along with her sage advice I am sharing now:  “Worry less about the words. How you will “be” matters most. The right words will find their way to you.”

Mindful
Compassionate
Empowering
Acknowledging
Kind
Receptive
Appreciative
Focused
Engaged
Gentle
Vulnerable
Spacious
Attentive
Courageous
Flexible
Grateful
Open
Truthful
Clear
Creative
Curious
Joyous
Present

Angela Dunne

Part 1: Time to Talk

Part 2: Parents with Patience

CategoryDoing Divorce