The majestic owl, known for his wisdom, sits high above the chaos perched on a branch watching the world as he soaks in what everyone else is to busy to notice. Divorce is chaotic, and it’s easy to get swept up in the day to day challenges. Life passes by, and many important moments get missed. Moving too fast leads to hasty decisions, poor choices and negative outcomes. Use the OWL acronym as a reminder of how to slow down during divorce:
Observation is the ability to stop for a moment to watch what is happening. You can observe people, animals and even yourself. It requires a person to step out of auto-pilot and become aware in the moment. The process of observing forces you to slow down, pay attention and be present long enough to make sound decisions…an essential skill during divorce.
Just like you can pause your DVD player to go get some more popcorn, you can also push the pause button on yourself. Pausing is a way to slow down when things become overwhelming. It’s as simple as putting a hand up, calling a time out or simply announcing that you need a moment. Pausing makes space for reflecting, which in turn prevents hasty, ineffective decision making, and negative interactions…something you want to avoid with divorce.
Hearing is not the same as listening. You hear all the time, but to truly listen you have to concentrate and focus your attention. Stopping to listen requires effort and patience. To listen well you need to stop what you are doing, focus on the person speaking, and concentrate on what is being said. When you truly listen you are much more available and open to others. You will also increase your chance of getting essential information that might ordinarily be missed…something that might be crucial to your divorce outcome.