Mindfulness for the Legal Mind: a 10-minute talk plus 10 minutes of guided meditation. A brief refuge. The musings of a long-time lawyer, law professor, and mindfulness geek on lawyering from a mindful perspective. Tools to cultivate more joy, ease, and wellbeing in this crazy profession. Ideas to become even better at what you do, and save the world. A few minutes of peace every week, which you definitely deserve.
Crowding Out the "Evil" in the Mind
One way to think about evil thoughts is to corral the mind and not let them in. Good luck with that. Or I should say, I haven't had good luck with that.
My own mind is capable of conjuring up evil thoughts without much provocation at all, then blithely letting them go forth and multiply.
Here's another idea. What about literally crowding out the evil with the good? What if, instead of trying to corral our minds, we filled them with so many wholesome thoughts that there was no room for anything else?
I can't say what happens because I'm definitely still working on it. On today's podcast I've shared a story about my own "evil" thoughts, and unpacked the practice of crowding them out as best I can. Enjoy.
Gratitude Mini-Series S1/E3: First Person Gratitude
It's always easier for me to be grateful to someone else than to be grateful for my own good heart. And yet we all have such good hearts.
On today's Wake Up Call, which is prerecorded, I want to offer space and time for you to be grateful for your good and beautiful heart. I hope you give yourself that time and space.
You can listen to today's recorded Wake Up Call here, and wherever you get your podcasts.
Gratitude Mini-Series S1/E2: 5 Habits of Highly Grateful Lawyers
Gratitude again, this time with a few ideas.
Because again, it's easy to be grateful for the good stuff.
Or is it?
Yes, and. And: it's also easy for me, anyway, to miss the good stuff. To take it for granted - to take people for granted - and to forget that we're just here for a minute.
And to forget that because of that, now is the best time to say thank you. Today is the best day to be grateful. And out loud is the best way to do it.
Plus there's good research on gratitude. And the bottom line is, it's good for us.
I learned some new gratitude strategies and am trying them out. Sharing those in today's podcast. Enjoy.
Gratitude Mini-Series S1/E1: Grateful for the Hard Stuff
Gratitude, that old topic. Really, I was thinking, there must be a new take.
I could talk about how grateful I am for the people I love, the land that supports us, my mini-labradoodle, Bleue, who just turned 14..., but it's the hard stuff that makes gratitude more interesting.
It's so much easier and in some ways, more natural, to complain about the hard stuff. Because it's hard.
But then again, maybe that's a missed opportunity. Maybe the big shift looks something like finding ways to be grateful for the difficult people, the hopeless institutions, our own tangled, impossible minds.
Maybe that's how the light gets through.
Shining a Mindful Light on Brokenness
The ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi is all about the beauty of brokenness. When a vessel is cracked, or even smashed to bits, Kintsugi is about piecing it back together with gold. Far from being perceived as flawed, the vessel, in its brokenness, is then considered better than before, even luminous.
What if mindfulness could help us to approach our own brokenness in this way? Just imagine the light...
Mindfulness & Creating Safety in the Profession
Anne Lamott says, "My mind is like a bad neighborhood - I try not to go there alone." I sometimes feel that way about the law.
There's almost nothing about practicing law that I can recall, that's about creating good neighborhoods or safe neighborhoods, or safety in general.
What if that changed? Could mindfulness support the creation of an adversary system, or could it work within the current system, in a way that allowed everyone to feel safe?
It's at least worth exploring.