The Mindfulness Blog

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One of my personal favorite musicians was Leon Russell. Quirky? Sure. A bit fringe? Maybe. Cowboy hat and long white hair? For sure. And as a lyricist, always self-aware.

I never thought of mindfulness or meditation as anything like a tightrope, but as an analogy I think it works. Fear of falling has never been a concern, but fear of failing-- that's another thing, altogether. We all experience that feeling, from time to time, but lawyers feel it acutely-- it's woven into the fabric of the legal profession.

But what's all this about fear? Please allow me to clarify-- I speak not of fear in the sense of being afraid, but rather, fear in the sense of being aware. Awareness of stakes. Awareness of significance, or consequence. Awareness of outcome, and the role (real or perceived) that lawyers take upon themselves, for the benefit of their clients.

Increased self-awareness has a huge upside. Ironically, however, it also has what some might consider to be a bit of a downside. Things about which we may have previously been oblivious, all of a sudden take on a new significance. The trick is to respond to that new perception in a balanced, skillful manner-- and that's where mindfulness and meditation become particularly handy.

Mindfulness and meditation won't obviate whatever it is that may be troubling or challenging a client (and, by virtue of our professional engagement, us ) but, with practice, they make it possible to respond in a rational fashion, rather than react emotionally.

Lawyers live on a tightrope of expectation and hope, and anything we can do to better meet (and survive) those expectations, is something that should be top of mind. Balance, and equanimity, are a lawyer's stock in trade.

Enjoy the view-- and remember, the most effective safety net is the net in our heads, and in our hearts!


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