What’s on your mind? For most of people, there’s a steady stream of ideas, concerns and musings reams of information to digest and act on. Lawyers tend to consider the mind a great ally. After all, it churns out the clever insights about rules, arguments and strategies that build your business and boost your reputation.
Unfortunately, such productive thoughts usually come bundled with others such as fear, anger and stress. These challenging thoughts run something like this: Can I cover my overhead and mortgage this month? My adversary is such a jerk. What do I do now that the computer is down? This isn’t why I went to law school!
Given the well-documented mind-body connection, all the unproductive thoughts you entertain daily inevitably take a toll on you physically. They promote a weakened immune system, raised blood pressure, and insomnia. Under their influence, you feel burnt-out and your work and personal life suffers.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could control your mind’s inventory by cultivating useful and uplifting thoughts and disarming the useless and harmful ones? What a competitive edge you’d have. What a boon to be free of the physical fallout negative thoughts engender.
This is not a fanciful notion. You can retrain your mind. Like any new skill, it simply takes understanding and practice. And the foundational practice is meditation.
Meditation rests on the premise that the mind works best when it’s quiet and poised. When the flow of thought slows to a trickle in meditation, any ideas, questions and understanding that do arise are often inspired and profound.
Imagine your listening to Beethoven on your car radio when, all of sudden, your flanked by SUVs blaring hard rock and rap. The dissonance is intense. You can’t hear the nuances and sweetness of your music. That’s just how it is with the mind. It serves us optimally when unencumbered by dissonant thoughts that don’t serve us at all. Meditation helps turn down the mind’s noise and tune into a place of calm and clarity.
If this has whetted your appetite for meditation, stay tuned for the next article in this series: Meditation: How to Get Started. In the interim, if you want to try meditating, follow these simple instructions. Remember, even a few minutes is fine to begin with:
Close the door, silence the phone and take a seat with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on your lap. Closing your eyes, inhale deeply and exhale long through your nose. Continue to breathe in this way, focusing on the rhythm and flow of your breath as it moves in and out. When you’re ready, slowly open your eyes and notice your improved state of being.Arnie is a lawyer, mediator and speaker nationally recognized for his practical and inspired approach to conflict resolution and client counseling. He regularly gives seminars on helping lawyers achieve work-life balance. Arnie also writes the popular blog, legal sanity at http://legalsanity.com. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.