The Mindfulness Blog

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"Holistic" Means...

Basically, one who is holistic in his/her approach believes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts-- and that all "parts" can help us better understand the "whole". That may sound a bit trite or overly simplistic, but I think it captures the essence of the word-- not to mention, the idea.

A holistic approach means endeavoring to see the entire picture-- both up close, and at a distance. Seeing both the forest, and the trees. Tasting the whole enchilada. I think we all get the idea.

And if we're talking about lawyer wellbeing (holistically, that is) we're talking about both existing ideas and new ideas. Everything that touches upon our wellbeing should be subject to examination or re-examination, and the result can sometimes be surprising!

For instance, what do mindfulness and meditation have to do with supplemental health insurance? At first blush, nothing. But on second thought, a lot-- particularly, in terms of acceptance and participation. If we're comfortable that our physical health needs are taken care of, we're much more comfortable-- and likely-- to also take care of our mental or emotional needs. It's not any more complicated than just that.

Counterintuitively, two seemingly unrelated things (or, more accurately, in this case three seemingly unrelated things) really do reflect upon on each other. That's the way holistic thinking works.

The mind/body health model is one of the oldest (and most holistic) models known to man. Sadly, however, many of us raised in Western cultures-- and pretty much all of us who make our living in the legal profession-- have given mental health (the mind's health) short shrift. The results are apparent, and they're not encouraging. As a matter of fact, they're downright discouraging.

Maybe we can start thinking about lawyer wellbeing a bit more holistically? Maybe re-examine seemingly settled solutions, at the same time we examine other new solutions? Maybe save some of the proverbial bathwater, while we're devising new ways of taking care of the baby?

What does holistic mean to you?


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