I have been thinking a lot lately about my impact.  How do I show up? What can I do better to see that my children live in a world that is loving, peaceful and respectful?  These questions require daunting self exploration and intimidate me.  They force me to be brutally honest with myself and MAKE CHANGES.  I’ve come to realize that nothing changes if nothing changes.  My approach to life and its various challenges needs to be better.  I want to be better for my family, friends, business, clients and society generally.  Likewise, society needs to change.  We are on the cusp of a global revolution of sorts.  We see this in our financial institutions, governments, media and on the ground.  Society operates under a fear based premise that we don’t have enough, we don’t look good enough and somebody else will take care of it.  However, there is a rumbling beneath the surface.  It’s an energy that I feel, but often overlooked by many, including myself.


Recently, I was a nominated candidate for a political party in the 2015 Canadian Federal Election.  Due to life’s twists and turns, I had to bow out of the race.  This in and of itself required me to reflect and review my life and my values…what was/is important to me?  Who am I?  How do my values align with society’s values?  From this experience, I’ve learned that if I want me and my children to live in a loving, peaceful and respectful society, everything needs to change.  This change must start with me.  I have a great internal desire to serve and challenge the status quo.  I find myself asking the question Why Not? more and more.  Just because our society has operated a certain way for so long does not mean that it is the best way to operate.  This lead me to wanting to start my own political party.  While I am intrigued with this idea, practically speaking, I need to eat and support my family.  While one day this could very well happen, my priorities right now are to my family and supporting them.


While attending a lecture recently by Marianne Williamson, it dawned on me that I already have a platform of sorts to influence change.  I am a lawyer and have my own firm, Law Boutique.  It’s a small firm comprised of me, a few other lawyers and a few support staff.  I state in my bio that I want to offer legal services differently.  But do I?  I primarily practice in the area of Family/Divorce Law and it is challenging to say the very least.  I deal in conflict every day and the common denominator is FEAR.  My clients are afraid and often not even sure of what.  I try my best to navigate them through our legal system, but at the end of the day, the current framework just doesn’t cut it.  Often, people are left fighting and end up with a resolution that is unsatisfying.  Rarely are both parties happy.  The problem is that the current framework is flawed and because it is based in FEAR, the opportunity to incorporate love, respect and compassion, are far down the list of priorities.  Not all of my clients fall into this category, but a huge majority do.  They are frustrated by the process and for having to pay me to take them through it.  When asked how much it will cost them to find a resolution, I often respond by saying that it depends upon how reasonable the parties intend to act.  This response is often met with the look of bewilderment and frustration.  See, rarely do people want to take responsibility for their actions.  They want what they want when they want it.  There’s an overwhelming sense of entitlement.  While there are certainly cases where one party clearly is entitled to justice (in their own right), more often than not, the only possible resolution is found with compromise.


I’ve been growing tired lately of the amount of conflict in my life.  I’ll be honest, I find my job to be exhausting.  I liken it to golf, however.  It’s the one great, perfect long drive that keeps me in the game. When I connect with my clients and feel that the resolution we have achieved is met with pure happiness and contentment, I am over the moon.  This is what keeps me going.


Recently, I formed WAM Quantum Projects.  I knew that if I continued to go along the path of conflict, I would soon burnout.   I determined that I wanted to channel my energy into focusing on a path/projects that put the principals by which I desire to live at the forefront.  As you will read on this website, WAM is committed to healing, seeking, and innovation.  Through WAM I am able to think outside of society’s mainstream constructs and explore the question Why Not?.  WAM also allows me to explore different methods outside of my profession.  My profession is not seemingly ready to change…at all.  I know that if I can operate on the fringe, independently, one day the results will spill over to my business and be part of the change I desire so badly.


What if clients turned to non-mainstream methods to resolve conflict?  Current options available include litigation, negotiation, medication, mediation, arbitration and collaboration.  Some of these alternatives offer the opportunity for people to achieve a happy and compromised resolution, but do they?  The only way they work if the people involved approach them from a heart centered place.  If both parties are able to bring love, tolerance, patience and compassion to the table, I think that a resolution can be found and happiness is achieved.  Real happiness.  However, for reasons already mentioned, rarely is this the case.  Sigh.


I am currently working on a project, which will offer a non-mainstream opportunity and a different perspective on how conflict resolution is achieved.  It will be met with skepticism and likely shunned by my profession.  To that I say GREAT.  If any of what I have said resonates with you and you are interested in brainstorming this with me, please contact me at katherine@katherinekowalchuk.ca.  I don’t profess to know the answers and truly believe that collaborating with others is better than trying to do this alone.

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