Free diving skills in Alternative Dispute Resolution? Yes!



As always I blog in peace. And today I blog having just completed a level 1 free diving course. This equips you to dive to depth on one breath and with no artificial breathing apparatus. Crazy, no?

It’s a dangerous challenging sport. So why did I want to do this?

I have shifted into a space in my life where the stuff I do is about the stuff I do and it’s about me, but it’s also not about the stuff I do and also not about me. So a year ago when I took up swimming again, it was about the swimming and it was about me but it was about more than that and about many more people. It helped me further develop life skills that I am passionate about: courage, intention, commitment and the ability to win with any hand.

I have always loved the ocean, and in my twenties, I scuba-dived a lot. But learning to free dive, for me I looked forward to learning to get into a peaceful state under any circumstances, to operate in fearful conditions and to remain focused. All skills that I need in the life I have chosen and the work I do in pursuit of non-adversarial justice. I think a learnt way more than I bargained for.

Firstly I learnt some fascinating physiological facts. That physically we are capable of way more than we know. I learnt about the mammalian reflex that we have and that allows seals to dive to amazing depths on one breath. This reflex is triggered in us when our faces encounter water.

I learnt that at depth there is a fine line between life and death but for some the challenge is irresistible. I learnt that fear can be life-sustaining as it keeps you sharp and that the aim should not be to obliterate fear but to build courage to operate even when there is fear.

I learnt that 90% of the dive happens on the surface. Preparation is profoundly important. Life and death important. Your surface work determines the dive.

I learnt that most freediving fatalities happen in the pool. It is often the thing we are least scared of that kills us.

I learnt that positive thinking is no guarantee of success, but that negative thinking guarantees failure. I learnt the difference between negative thought processes and realistic problem solving. It is all very well to visualize peaceful conditions during your land training, but how does that help you if there is actual danger on the dive and at depth. Do the peaceable training, but prepare for dangerous eventualities. Visulaize yourself handling curve balls well.

I learnt that good diving decisions in the moment are critical. I learnt that self-preservation is a life skill that is to be highly valued. If someone is willing to risk there own life, are they the appropriate person to teach you?

I learnt about athleticism and I learnt about the central nervous system. Under stress, 80% of your oxygen is used up by the nervous system.

I learnt that I am not special, we are all special. I learnt to start thinking about where my strengths lie and to be free in this.

I learnt to balance my focus on the goal with focus on the skill. It is excellent skills that will get me there, not merely setting and envisioning the goal.

I learnt to intentionally do everything with a certain quality, a certain presence and to conquer fear by diving skilfully. Confidence is accomplished through effectiveness.

I learnt that is important to acquire excellent skill and to use resources frugally. The more skill we have, the less energy we need to use. Your behaviour under water (under stress) is key.

Are you seeing this stuff? Are you seeing the life application and the application in what we do, in our fight to restore the template, in our resistance of adversarial and violent methods of dispute resolution? Do you see?

I was so honoured to learn this stuff from Trevor Hutton, professional free diver, and deepest spear fisherman in the world. And I was honoured to learn this stuff alongside my colleague Andrew McGibbon and amazing young orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Pieter Mare.

And I was honoured to feel closer and gain more knowledge of our great King.

I will be unpacking the skills learnt in our Mediation Training Programs and upcoming seminars.

I am also super chuffed that I will be practising the diving skills in the future with my friends and Traveor Hutton

Until next time, peace.



The Blessedness of Everlasting Light

Beautitudinem lucem sempiternam

The blessedness of everlasting light

Salve Amici!

I blog in peace.

We had the first of our Half Day Seminars yesterday in Durban. Restoring the Template. Revolution is not so much about doing new things, but it is about restoring things to the way they should be. And that is our pursuit: that justice is accomplished reconciliatorily, restoratively and non-adversarially.

Our ultimate pursuit is peace.

We live in a crazy world right? And I won’t subject you to my views on how crazy it really is and how the agenda of mass media is to dumb us down.

My friend, Luke Holden quouted Mario Murillo yesterday as saying: “You cant stop a child of God who know’s what’s going on.”

We need to be truth seekers and not naive to the extent of evil in the world. And it’s extensive.  But I also profoundly believe in the increase of goodness and I fervently hold on to the blessedness of everlasting light. Beautitudinem lucem sempiternam

Of the increase of His government and peace, there shall be no end


I have been chilling with the writings of Milton, Chesterton and Tolstoy over the past week. Chesterton begins his book What’s Wrong with the World by saying that “What’s wrong with the world is that we don’t ask what is right with the world”

I am committed to seeking out the good, inclining my intention on that and watching it increase. My own particular brand of doing that is by bringing back resonance with non-adversarial processes, like mediation to accomplish peace and justice.

Yesterday’s half day seminar was amazing. It really was. The purpose behind these seminars is to up the conversation around what we are doing and inspire government, civil society, the private sector and individuals to favour non-adversarial ways of dealing with all conflict, be it in their families, schools, businesses or workplaces. We had the most amazing group who contributed such profound insights to our efforts in bridge-building.

The way I see it, these seminars will inspire us at three different levels. One, to change the way we deal with conflict in our daily lives. Two, to become a part of helping others settle disputes non-adversarially by becoming mediators or just using mediation skills to assist others. Three, to become part of the freakin revolution! If you join us at this level, you get a beret! No really.

One of the most powerful starting points in conflict resolution and peacemaking, aside from restoring honour, as I have written much of before, is to demonstrate to parties in conflict the existence of other options. In conflict, we generally assume a position and so “resolving” the conflict is about asserting our own position and being attached to the win.

True peacemaking, true justice restores both parties, yes even the wrongdoer, or the poor choice maker, to where they should be. This is generally accomplished through creative solutioning.

Bill Johnson says that every four year old is an artist. And then they go to school. We need to foster the creative genius that is intrinsic in our kids. That exists in us all. It is not too late! It is creative minds that open businesses, employ people, solve life’s problems. We need to value creative genius. We are created in the image of the Creator Himself. We must honour that.

Upcoming seminars half day in Johannesburg on the 20th and Cape Town on the 25th. Please email to join us.

Also, please keep up to date with us on our facebook page and our You Tube channel. Keep watching for our series of videos on Access to Justice and the role of Mediation.

Please send me your comments. I really love hearing from you. This week we move into offices with DreamCo which is producing our videos, our upcoming talkshow and The Influence Project. Drew McGibbon, Creative Director of DreamCo is creative genius at it’s finest.

Until next time, victory is certain. No surrender! No retreat!

If you wish to train as a mediator or arbitrator, or you wish to refer a dispute, please email



Twitter @sheena_ostjon, @drewmcgibbon, @in_fluence