The Lawyer’s Compass Series: Breathing Truth

 In Living Our Best Life, Practicing Law and Life, The Lawyer's Compass

After reading this sentence, close your eyes and take three long deep breaths.

As you continue to read, keep taking slow and steady breaths, keeping focused on the rising and falling of your chest.

Imagine what deep success feels like, the kind that comes from the very center of your being. The resonating feelings that lets you know that you are tapped into core truths about who you are. I’m not talking about being good with numbers, being incredibly efficient or any other skill that makes an externally successful lawyer. Being aligned with our deeper truths is more than a “like”. It’s about tapping into a richer sense of being.

You might recognize those deep feelings in some areas of your life and not in others.

Maybe some of these deep truths of who you are have been buried inside for so long that you’ve forgotten about them or, for some reason, you try not to think about them. Every now and then you hear them rustling inside of you. Perhaps they’ve been surfacing in your consciousness and you’ve not known what to do. You may know exactly what they are, but anxiety about change keeps you stuck – seemingly frozen in place. I’ve avoided telling my wife an important concern or feeling that I have out of uncertainty what she’s going to think. It’s essential for me to tell her but anxiety and my imagination are stopping me.

Repeat quietly to yourself, “There are many truths about who I am and who I can become by fully living who I am in each area of my life”.

We live in a world where certitude and uniformity are markers of comfort and security. Knowing the outcome by minimizing risk is what we naturally seek for our client’s and ourselves. Uncertainty and unpredictability often indicates unnecessary risk.

But that’s how some of the most important parts of who we are come into existence. Being willing to take chances in order to fully live is how we continue to explore our lives. Pushing back against inertia is required. Perhaps you’ve wanted to make some changes in your practice or take on a side project and you have no idea how it’s going to turn out.

Living a life of internal and external success can occupy the same life, all the time. But it’s so easy to focus on what needs to get done in a workday that there seems little time to go deep. It’s reserved for places other than work.

So many of the skills used as an attorney are the very same ones needed for living an inwardly vast and rich life. Asking the right questions. Listening for the answers. Following through with what needs to be done, even in the face of adversity or discomfort. Loyalty.

Living a life of deep success is a two-step process. First, a willingness to listen for the sounds and sensations that comes from deep truths. Second, trusting that by living these truths you can be living no better life.

For the next two weeks, try listening for rumblings and rustlings of the truths that are inside of you – waiting and wanting to be lived. Write them in your phone or on a piece of paper that you keep in your wallet or purse. The act of taking what’s been living in you and writing it out is part of the process of dealing with the truths you’ve been avoiding.

Whether you decide to ultimately bring forward these truths into your life is not as important as acknowledging their existence and giving them they respect they are due.

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