Empowering Lawyers to Take Back their Lives and Reclaim Joy
Are you a lawyer or paralegal who longs for more ease, balance, and love in your practice and in your life?
Do Any of These Sound Familiar?
You’re exhausted and overwhelmed. You’re tired of being tired. You long for time to rest and take care of yourself, but more and more is demanded of you.
You dread going to work. Getting up on Monday mornings is hard. You find yourself searching idly for other job opportunities, but you don’t have the time or energy to apply.
You crave balance. You’re exhausted from answering emails at night, juggling work demands with competing family demands, and being constantly on call. But when you unplug from work, you feel guilty.
You’re afraid of dropping balls. Focusing your attention at work has become challenging. You’re putting out little fires day-by-day but you can’t see the big picture. You worry about missing something, making a mistake in a pleading, failing to identify a risk. It looks like other lawyers have it all together, and you wonder how they do it.
A part of you says you should be doing even more than you already are. Even though you work extremely hard, you worry that you aren’t doing enough to serve your clients or advance your career.
You feel like your work isn’t helping anyone. Sometimes you reflect back on why you went to law school in the first place. You wanted to do good in the world, and you viewed the law as a vehicle for change. Now you find yourself working on an occasional pro bono case, but you usually don’t have the time or energy to serve the communities you care about.
You feel like you can’t fully express yourself at work or like you don't quite fit in there. Aside from a few colleagues who have become friends, you feel disconnected from your peers and desire deeper connections.
Feeling well-rested, centered, and present in your daily life.
Having more time for family, hobbies, and other things that matter to you.
Making more of a positive impact in the communities you care about.
Bringing your whole, authentic self to work and all areas of your life.
Staying true to your core values
Signing off at the end of work feeling accomplished and complete.
Experiencing a deep sense of ease, connection, and love each day
You know you need a change. But you’re not quite clear what that change looks like or how to get there.
You’ve probably tried many things in the search for satisfaction. You may have tried…
Changing jobs or practice areas, joining professional groups, or connecting with a mentor
Working harder. Waking up earlier to get more done, staying up late, checking emails after the kids are in bed.
Taking on an occasional special project at work that feels motivating and worthwhile, but when the project ends you’re back to the daily grind
Going on vacations. You may even have taken vacations to places that don’t have WiFi or cell phone reception so that you have to unplug from work.
Exercising. Yoga, spinning, or long-distance running help burn off the stress.
Practicing self-care. Massages. Going out with your friends. But you end up just complaining about work and comparing who is busiest or most overwhelmed.
So, what gives? What do you need to do?
It’s time for a paradigm shift.
Whether you believe it or not, I’m here to tell you that you’re already doing enough.
That you are enough.
You don’t need to work harder. You don’t need to play harder or find more time for stress relief.
Our culture—and especially our profession—wants us to believe that we always need to do more.
But what if you simply tried being kinder to yourself?
Hi, I'm Natalie!
Lawyer, Mom, Coach, Qoya Teacher, Yoga Nidra Facilitator
I help lawyers who are mentally, physically, emotionally, or spiritually exhausted from the high-pressure demands of the legal profession to feel more connected to their hopes and dreams, inner truths, what brought them to the law in the first place.
Photo credit Ashley Hallmark, Gathered and Found
“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
So how exactly do you practice more kindness toward yourself?
Have you ever gotten sick and been secretly glad that you had an excuse to rest? What if you could grant yourself permission to rest without needing an excuse?
You may think, “But I don’t have time to rest! I just need to power through and get everything done.”
In addition to the wonderful mental, emotional, and physical benefits of rest, rest also gives us the gift of discernment. It helps us know what really needs to be done and why.
I offer a powerful practice called yoga nidra that has helped me embrace rest. Yoga nidra is a guided meditation that is practiced lying down. In a 20-40 minute session you can experience deep rest and peace.
Befriend your body
As lawyers we spend plenty of time in our heads, and we risk overlooking the immense wisdom that lives in our bodies. We may be missing signals that we need to slow down and take care of ourselves, or that we need to get up and move. Our bodies communicate our most important needs. A powerful way to connect to the body is through movement.
Slow, gentle movement practices allow you to really feel sensation in the body. I use somatic, or body-based practices in one-on-one coaching sessions to help clients access the wealth of information held in their bodies. I also lead Qoya movement and dance classes.
Enjoy connections with others
Practicing law can be solitary. Many lawyers shut themselves in their offices and work alone for many hours. While this may be necessary at times, it is important to find balance and seek connection.
Humans are social creatures. We have a fundamental need for connection and support from other humans. We need people who will lend a compassionate ear, serve as a sounding board, or keep us accountable to reach our goals.
I encourage you to find these people and make time to connect with them. They might be colleagues, old friends, new friends, or family. Spend time with people who help you feel supported and joyful.
This moment right now, this breath you are taking, is the only moment that is truly available to you. In this moment you can make a choice, shift your attention, take action, or sit still. So much is available in this moment. When our thoughts or attention are focused on the past or the future, we may be missing the chance to live the moment right now.
Learning to pause and be present gives us the opportunity to choose kindness for ourselves.
Focus on what matters
Many modern-day workplaces are rife with distractions. Meetings, phone calls, instant messages, emails. Multitasking becomes the gold standard. But multitasking, in the way it is commonly understood, isn’t really possible. You can’t truly do more than one thing at a time.
The good news is we can retrain our brains to focus, and we can choose to focus on what matters to us.
Mindfulness practices, setting healthy boundaries, and guarding against interruptions are just a few ways to strengthen your focus and ability to be present.