Note: while my philosophy on working together is specifically tailored here to lawyers, it’s likely you can relate if you're a heart-centered leader or human.
After working with lawyers over the past few years, I’ve noticed focusing on two components are key to allow for the greatest and most profound transformation: the people who become lawyers and the environments in which they practice.
People Who Become Lawyers - most lawyers are perfectionists and high achievers by nature, always wanting to do more and better for themselves. They can also desire to be of service in a significant way in the world. While the desire to grow and challenge yourself is a wonderful thing, lawyers' focus on perfectionism and high achievement often speaks to deeper self-abandonment and codependency patterns, difficulty setting boundaries, and confusing love and self-worth as things one “earns” rather than seeing them as inherent qualities.
This personality type can be pushed to its limit in the exact environment that is common in the legal profession (and entrepreneurship) today.
Environment & Identity Expectations of Lawyers - in the current legal profession, common experiences include: long hours; high stress; isolation; a disapproval around vulnerability by attorneys; an expectation of constantly being online (phone, email, text) for clients; an expectation that attorneys are meant to be emotional ports in the storm for clients without training as therapists, counselors, etc.; and work that is generally antagonistic and conflict-laden such that our nervous systems are almost constantly in “fight, flight, freeze, or fawn” mode - where an attorney’s mistake is often acknowledged and utilized by opposing counsel to “win” the game.
Additionally, many lawyers don’t know this is what the legal profession entails when they apply to law school. Nor do they know about the long-term financial impact investing in law school can have on their lives or the impact trading time for money can have on relationships (as lawyers advise and write for a living, which often translates to giving up vacations, weekends, evening times, and special occasions with family, friends, a partner, etc.).
So: when you put perfectionist, high-achiever types in an environment that expects them to give all of who they are, and add the fact that these high-achieving types may not have known the full extent of what the profession would ask of them, it’s no wonder that many lawyers feel alone, abandoned, isolated, and disconnected from themselves and the life they want to live, as if no one gets what they are going through.
How do we change this dynamic? By supporting the people (lawyers) in their environments (legal profession) and setting our own expectations for ourselves!
People: those who are high achievers and perfectionists oftentimes don’t feel good enough internally. (I know I didn’t.) If this resonates with you, deepening your relationship with yourself and learning to love yourself is key. Who are you inside? What makes you feel alive and lit up? How do you want to develop harmony in your own life and in the relationships you have with loved ones? Developing a strong sense of self and identity to avoid codependent relationships with work or self-abandonment patterns (like working long hours for a client even when you’re utterly exhausted or running from an emotionally intense client situation because you don’t know how to handle it) is key. This is how lawyers begin to take our power back.
Environments: once a loving and strength-based identity is formed, then we can begin to ask the questions - who do you want to relate with? What are your boundaries? What will bring you joy, peace, success, and delight in your profession? How can we place you at the center of your world and build a life around all that you are (so that you can fully express yourself in all aspects of life) - rather than attempt to fit yourself into a box that has already been created based on an old, out-dated system? This is how lawyers begin to surround themselves with the people and spaces - personally and professionally - that nourish their souls and light a fire to serve from a place of Love.
These are the core foundations that underpin each of my services working with lawyers, leaders, and humans - whether it’s 1:1 or in community. The goal is always to come home to ourselves, to encourage positive, loving, human-centered relations between ourselves and others, and to inspire and encourage us to be leaders in our lives by forging our own unique paths that honor our mission and our hearts.
I can’t wait for you to join us in the heart-centered revolution. Because we need you out there exactly as you are.
All my love,