I recently attended my local bar association's seminar on Mediations and there happened to be a presentation segment by someone with the Lawyer's Assistance Program. He asked if anyone meditated regularly and I raised my hand. . .along with one or two other people in a crowded room. There was some chuckling and whispering. Then the presenter challenged us to a guided meditation for a few minutes. I didn't open my eyes to reveal if everyone was participating, but I felt skepticism surrounding me.
I'm wondering if the general population thinks meditation is just for people who practice yoga? I got the feeling from the group of lawyers at the seminar that either they know nothing about meditation or they think that it's a practice to be scoffed at. Actually, meditation is quite beneficial for many reasons, and lawyers particularly could benefit from it.
Meditation is the practice of training your brain to quiet---to become mentally clear and calm. In so doing you achieve a positive mindset and stabilize your emotions. Doesn't that sound like something useful for attorneys? Moreover meditation is quite challenging. Recall Elizabeth Gilbert's struggle with meditation in her book Eat, Pray, Love and the lengths she went to in order to achieve a successful practice and a bit of peace. As lawyers, we are always up for a challenge and working hard to repeat success.
While I began to practice Meditation about ten years ago, only recently have I instituted a daily meditation practice. I believe I have a positive mindset and I further believe I am a pretty happy person. So why institute a daily practice? Meditating helps me in the following ways:
1. Keeps me focused, happy and positive
2. Gives me quiet to understand my brain and expand it.
3. Reduces my daily stress that is a natural part of being a human. Meditation is relaxing and gives me an overall sense of well-being
You don't need a lot of time to meditate. Taking just five minutes if that's what you can spare is all is needed. You don't need to sit in a fancy position---just sit in your chair with your feet planted on the ground. You don't need special music or a program---although some people like guided meditation (listening to the voice of someone instructing you what to do) or to meditate to a soft music. Currently I meditate in the morning but when I was working in an office I did it at lunch. I simply closed my office door, put my phone on DND, turned off the lights and took five minutes for myself. I prefer guided meditation or listening to some soft music. However, meditating at the lake, the beach or outside on a sunny day can be just as interesting.
Learning how to take time for yourself and be in control of your emotions and your mind is powerful. It really can make a difference in how you respond to your colleagues, co-workers and clients. It can be very challenging to achieve that desired "quiet" of the mind---to train yourself to let go and not have any thoughts. However, just sitting for a bit and taking some deep, calming breaths is really beneficial.
Try meditating this week and let me know if you experience any difference. If you are having difficulties with it, just find a meditation app on your phone that can help you---there's plenty out there. I look forward to hearing your results.