COVID CURES THE SKEPTICAL LAWYER ABOUT MINDFULNESS & MEDITATION
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
By Carole Levitt, Esq. | Internet For Lawyers and CLEwebinars.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet, 14th edition revised (2019) and 8 books published by the ABA LPM, including the latest, Internet Legal Research on a Budget, 2nd edition.
Carole has been a member of The Legal Burnout Solution's online meditation community since its inception in June 2020. Prior to joining, she had never meditated. Thanks to her consistent participation in the community, she achieved more than 24 hours of meditation in six months-and during a pandemic!
I’m a skeptic, I always have been. I’m convinced all lawyers are skeptics. Then came COVID-19 and the “lock-down.” I was skeptical when friends warned me the lock-down could affect my mental health. I’d been working from home for 21 years, so “lock-down” was my normal. But I also had been traveling all over the country during those 21 years (to present CLE seminars), so maybe lock-down wasn’t my normal. After staying home for three months I began feeling antsy and a little agitated. How could I calm myself?
When my attorney friend told me she was starting a mindfulness meditation group on Zoom (with her attorney friend) I wondered if that could be my answer to calming myself? When my inner skeptic chided me about giving into touchy-feely stuff, I reminded her there was science behind mindfulness and meditation being able to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and improve focus and concentration. So, I kicked the skeptic aside, and joined the group. Oh, and did I mention it was FREE? For THREE months? THREE times a week?
What is mindfulness? According to our group leaders, it’s learning to live in the present and being aware and accepting instead of being overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on. (There’s a lot going on during this pandemic, isn’t there?) They explained that formal meditation practice - intentionally setting aside time to practice meditation - supports the informal day to day practice of mindfulness.
To cultivate mindfulness, we were taught a number of meditation techniques, such as using our breath or visualization (or both), then journaling about our practice, and finally, sharing our thoughts with the group. And all this only took 30 minutes (max).
Did it calm me? Yes! Now that the free sessions are over, am I continuing with the paid sessions ($3 per session)? Yes. If you want to learn more, kick your inner skeptic aside and visit legalburnout.com.
I’d like to end with the group leaders’ favorites quotes that speak to me and I hope to you:
Cindy Sharp’s favorite quote (From: Bil Keane):
Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift, which is why they call it the present.
Becky Howlett’s favorite quote (From Lao Tzu):
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
© 2020. Originally published as part of the wellness series, "Surviving the Virus: Part III" in the Voices of Experience by the American Bar Association's Senior Lawyers Division. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.