So many people tell me they are conflict averse. And I certainly know that conflict can be uncomfortable. I used to feel uncomfortable all the time; in my teen years I spent the majority of my time in conflict, mostly with my father.

Now, I remember the last time I fought with my dad. I was traveling in Asia, and had been for many months, when my parents came to meet me in Bali. I was 25 years old, and had spent most of my life living at home, with nearly daily arguments with my dad.

On the night before they left for home, and I was leaving for Lombok, my dad started to scream at me. He wanted, or needed, me to make a detailed list of all the things he was bringing back to Canada for me, so he wouldn’t have a hassle with customs.

I looked him right in the eye and asked, “What are you yelling for…?”

For the first time in my life I realized that conflict is merely one way to interpret conversation.

Since that time I have had a few people come at me wanting to start conflict, mostly my children, and I watch my mind wanting to dive right in. But, with awareness, mindfulness, remind myself that this is only conflict if I choose it to be; instead I can pick conversation.

Next time, when you may be feeling a difference of opinion bubbling to the surface, wanna pick conversation instead?

I have a few tricks up my sleeve if it interests you! And practice makes improvement.

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