Let’s face it, lawyering is difficult. We all have days where it feels as though the ground beneath us is about to give and we’re spiraling out of control. When you feel this way, what coping mechanism do you use to feel grounded again? Practicing mindfulness allows us to pause, reflect, and respond from a place of calm rather than reacting.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that practicing mindfulness is good for you. It helps to decrease the impact of stress on your body, allows you to manage anxiety better, and lowers blood pressure and a host of stress-related psychosomatic symptoms. The list of what mindfulness can do seems to be growing daily.
As I tour around the country, traveling to dozens of cities, giving talks, having one-on-one meetings with lawyers, and engaging in honest dialogue about life as a lawyer, one common theme I see is this: too many of us are living a dream that wasn’t meant for us.
A few years ago, I went to an all-day meditation retreat for women at Green Gulch. Most of the day was spent in silence, in meditation, in reflection, practicing mindfulness. When you take away the ability to talk, I find that all of my other senses come alive. I look, I listen, and I feel more attentive.
The impostor syndrome is a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as
You can blame or target the person, thing, or event that initially caused the anger but the only thing you can change is your relationship to anger.
This is the essence of mindfulness. Opening to whatever life may be presenting to you in this moment, and taking a gentle stance.
lawyers are taught to suppress or deny their emotional world. I’ve heard lawyers frequently say something like, “I never bring my emotions into a case.”
One friend shared that once you know someone who committed suicide, the idea of taking your own life goes from abstract to a possibility. Another friend shared “it can happen, it does, and still, no one seems to know how to handle or discuss it.”
Being a “good lawyer” requires more than the ability to get the facts, apply the applicable law, analyze and advocate for your client’s position.