Friday, March 5, 2010

Don’t Just Do--Be

“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being.”
- Thomas Merton
, March 4th entry from The Reflective Counselor: Daily Meditations for Lawyers, by Coffey & Kessler.

Coffey & Kessler encourage professionals to experience the fullness of their humanity in their work—“body, mind and spirit.” They believe that despite the necessity of limiting certain aspects of ourselves in professional interactions, full awareness of our varied facets is crucial.

The more we are able to self-reflect and be true to our deepest selves, the more satisfaction and richness we will experience in our daily lives. When life seems to be veering off course, the more likely we will be able to find our way back to an authentic path. When going through difficult times, our connection to body, mind and spirit can steer us through and provide the sense of perspective that softens even the most bitter realities.

What better time for this March 4th entry to appear than today, as the weekend approaches and the temperature is rising, the rain and snow are stopping, and the sun is appearing. Take time this weekend to honor your body, mind and spirit. Remember to bring them to work with you on Monday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Reflective Counselor - Friendship

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’”
- C.S. Lewis
, March 3rd entry from
The Reflective Counselor: Daily Meditations for Lawyers, by Coffey & Kessler.

The fortunate among us have experienced the relief of sharing with a trusted other our secret fears, shame, or guilt . There are few to no feelings, regardless of how dark, that have not been felt by another human being. Trusted friends, even if their “secrets” are different, remind us that we all have aspects of ourselves that we would not want to see on the front page of our local newspaper. Our truest friends also remind us that there is more to us than our secrets; they remind us of our strengths and our likeability.

Sometimes, it is easier to share difficult feelings with a mental health professional who is not involved in one’s life outside of the professional relationship. Professionals bring knowledge, skill and patience to the therapeutic relationship, in addition to confidentiality. The secrets we keep buried weigh us down. They tend to have causes and effects, the complexity of which are often outside of our awareness. A foundation of the psychodynamic therapeutic approach is that the more a person is able, when ready, to bring things from an unconscious state into conscious awareness, the less power those buried thoughts, feelings and memories will have on the person. When things are brought into conscious awareness, provided one is psychologically ready, a person can experience more choice and flexibility in the present. When shared with a compassionate, trusted other, long-held shame can be healed.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Reflective Counselor - Creativity

In the February 28th entry of The Reflective Counselor: Daily Meditations for Lawyers, by F.G. Coffey and M.C. Kessler, the authors define creativity as “the gentle art of allowing our playful spirit to permeate our life’s work.”

By giving voice to our playful spirit, our work, leisure and relationships will begin to reflect the freshness and vitality we long for. Do you allow yourself to imprint your unique, playful stamp on your words and actions? If so, reflect on how it feels to do so. How do others respond? If not, what gets in your way of being your unique and playful self?

Experiment with letting your playful spirit emerge in small ways. Notice how you can do this while not losing sight of the serious aspects of what you are doing, and while being respectful towards yourself and others. Your life is meant to be savored.