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VETS-4212 Reporting Deadline (CLICK FOR HELP): EXPIRED

Meditation, Not Mediation

Focus on meditation as a positive rather than mediation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a mediation program that has been in existence for many years. I decided that I wanted to get training in mediation to consider if I wanted to be a mediator for EEOC. I went through training at Sullivan University. After completing the training, I realized that mediation was not my strong suit. By the time I completed the training, I had been doing compliance work with the Federal government for about 25 years. As we all know, mediators are facilitators who assist the parties in resolving their own conflicts. Mediators don’t provide solutions. I quickly discovered that I am better at telling others what to do rather than letting them come to their own solutions. We all need to recognize our own limitations, and I think I know that mediation is not one of my skills.

I would encourage you to participate in EEOC’s mediation program if it is offered. It is a very good program, and is a more expeditious way to resolve a charge. The program provides an opportunity for the parties to come to a meeting of the minds, rather than what might be called for if the charge was investigated. The process may also be less expensive for the company considering the time required to respond to the charge and possibly go through a complete investigation.

Now that I’ve given you some information about EEOC, I want to talk with you about meditation. I’m not very good at doing nothing. I can always find something to do. I very rarely sit down and watch a whole movie. I have tried yoga a few times, but found I had trouble with the discipline required to actually fully engage in the relaxation and mindfulness required. The one time I tried yoga, the class was in the basement of a church. The exercises we did were on a concrete floor with only minimally sufficient mats. The instructor told us to relax at the end of the class and enjoy the time. All I could think of was that I could be home in my own warm, soft bed relaxing.

I did enjoy one yoga class I attended. It was called laugh yoga. We did some of the regular yoga exercises first, but then went on to some non-traditional exercises. One of these exercises was to just start laughing. It is really difficult not to laugh when everybody else is laughing. And, if you are the first one to begin laughing at nothing, it makes you feel silly, so you laugh more. Laughing has many benefits for the body and the mind. You can google laugh yoga and I think there are online sessions for it.

I listened to a counselor on TV the other day, and she suggested doing short meditations throughout the day for only a few minutes. She said one of her clients called it a pause for power. I decided to try it. I sat in a comfortable chair and began paying attention to my breathing. The counselor suggested taking a deep breath in, and then blowing it out through the mouth. You just do this for two minutes or so. She stated that many people think you have to completely clear your mind to meditate and, especially right now, that is hard.

What I found when I tried the exercise is that it did make me feel better. It made me feel relaxed and ready to take on the rest of the day. I plan to continue with the exercise. It does not take much time, and does put my mind at ease if only for a bit. We are bombarded with information and much of it is not positive. Give it a try, and see how it works for you. And I encourage you to laugh as often and as hardily as you can! Share your laughter with others. Everyone needs it right now.

I wasn’t good at mediation, but I hope to be better with meditation. Let’s focus on the positive, and be ready to emerge from our current situations stronger and better than before!

If I can help you with any issues, feel free to reach out to me at (502) 553-7648 or eeoadvantage@gmail.com. And, take a deep breath and move forward.

EEOC has again updated its technical assistance about COVID-19, the ADA and Gina. The new guidance is posted on EEOC’s website, www.eeoc.gov.

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