Archive for the ‘Holistic Thinking in Law & Policy’ Category

Wow, even WordPress’ Dashboard is different now that I’m back attempting to blog…

I am eating Trader Joe’s Thai Chili almonds over a 9 oz glass of Chardonnay at the Las Vegas Airport.  Truth.  So to speak 😉  It’s a far cry from where I was months ago when blogging about being an integrative law student was one of the lifelines I had holding me in check as I anxiously completed and then emerged from the nightmarish cocoon of law school.

The short story?  Ha.  I’ll try.

Screenshot 2015-03-16 03.17.44

It started last spring when I began meditating on my intentions and actively began envisioning how I could manage to make a decent living/improve my circumstances financially (and this definitely falls under the umbrella of “self-care” by the way).  I kept asking myself, almost in a chant, almost like a mantra: How am I going to advocate for policies I believe in AND support myself economically?  A quarter of a million dollars in educational debt I was (and am, thank you).  But beyond the debt, what kind of opportunity was I working on manifesting for myself?  What would be the texture of the “work” I would do in the world?  My goal has always been and continues to be service, making the world a better place — more specifically, helping to facilitate healing in the world, not war, not divisiveness, not convenience or expediency over thoughtfulness and integrity and cogency — not without connection between what feels to me, and to others, like what’s REAL for people and what’s IMAGINED TO BE REALITY for policy makers.  Hmm…  What does all of that mean?  And how does one even purport to hope to “manifest” such a proposition?

Well, I’m not great at telling stories in a linear fashion.  And although our lives creep by in years, which is a chronological measure of life lived, I’m not sure the actual telling of our life stories comport with this version of “reality”.  With that said (yes, you lawyers out there, consider this a disclaimer of sorts), I’d like to make this post the first in what will probably become sort of a collage depicting from various angles of time, experience and emotion what my journey since finishing law school has been and what I am projecting for it into the future…  This has basically been how a lot of HolisticToolKit.com has chronicled my path, but moving forward, I just thought I’d clarify that yes, this is my story.  And yet, no, it is probably not easy to follow.  LOL.  Rather, it’s something I guess I’d like to invite you, my dear reader, into.  That perhaps, is actually the purpose of this post.

I invite you to join me as I plunge into even deeper waters of finding out how law and an holistic mind, body and spirit can find not just overlap but a place of belonging in the world of social justice, in the world of corporate finance, and part and parcel for me, is how this occurs in the legal cannabis space…  That is where my journey has brought me and my triumphs, bitter failures and intimate gleanings from it will be what I write about for the next several years.

If you are down to share this journey with me in any way — by reading random blog posts, sharing them, commenting on them, seeing my posts on social media & offering a little smile even if all you dip into the waters of this crazy world of HolisticToolKit.com is a toenail — it is all good.  In the words of teachers and friends and mentors and collaborators I have come to love deeply, these sentences and paragraphs are being constructed out of the energy of solidarity, affection and a fierceness focused on facilitating critical reflection, compassionate acceptance, radical honesty, vulnerability as it bleeds into strength and, always, more love.

Namaste and more about the cannabis industry itself next time.

This video is a surface-scratching.  It’s almost like there is this subterranean tunnel that it feels like some of us humans can often do little but claw at through a thick layer of dirt.  Our goal is gaining access to what feel like pathways toward truth, whatever that is, although for me, it means access to healing for all.  And that is justice.

An intense analogy, I know, but this video is me beginning to claw in a public forum.  It is also an invitation for others to begin following this thread of conversation so we can build more pathways of communication, & eventually, the conversation can more and more happen aboveground.  I’m nervous to share, but it feels important…

This post is in honor of my friend and mentor J. Kim Wright.  Her thoughts have been posted in this blog before.  Today though, I offer her words not just as inspiration, but as a complementary piece in the puzzle I am working on conveying through HolisticToolKit.  This puzzle is the whole of our justice system, the whole of our lives as human beings who must organize themselves somehow in order to survive.  Kim’s vision is shared below as a means of illustrating what the integration of mindfulness into our concept of justice can mean, what it can translate to in the lives of real people.  It is about social change.  It is about peace.  And leaving fear, leaving attachment to the past, behind. Many thanks to Kim for sharing her view of what the field of law may become and for including HolisticToolKit’s take on what legal education can become… Screenshot 2015-06-15 17.24.23

What does “socially conscious contracts” mean?  Well, can you be socially conscious if you aren’t conscious?  Listen to this talk I recently gave to a class in New Paradigms at the Touro Law Center in Central Islip, NY…

Click here to watch the lecture Sharing Law & Conscious Contracting: Facilitating Socially Conscious Contracts

Photo on 3-31-15 at 12.02 PM #3

Originally an assignment for a class, this is my presentation on lawyer stereotypes that are reversed through film.  Please enjoy this light-hearted look at what lawyers can bring to the table…

I’m nervous about this one, y’all — it’s my first podcast & I recorded it in four stream of consciousness gasps for expression…  So much more here to talk about, for decades…

A Heart Problem…

Screenshot 2015-02-14 18.04.27

for Society and Law

Screenshot 2015-02-14 18.09.19

Breaking it Down

Screenshot 2015-02-14 18.06.11

Cor Publicum

Screenshot 2015-02-14 18.10.11

My first attempt at sketching out some of the ideas on this blog…  The question is, what does wellness LOOK like and what does it look like for groups, or for society, when “we” as individuals, attain it?  There is a feeling generated is my theory, a wavelength of attention that facilitates communication on deeper and deeper, more efficient, levels…

This video was inspired by a talk Michael Stone recently gave on mindfulness and social action (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xIq_yfybMM).  Especially as actors in the legal field, it’s arguable we, as lawyers and law students, have a heightened responsibility to be trained in the art of observing our own motives, and holding ourselves accountable in a loving way for the ways that we think and act in the world…

I came across a great illustration the other day of what the morass of legal issues can look like for, and from the perspective of, regular people.  Humans we may call them.

Screenshot 2015-02-07 09.02.52The graphic was created and posted by a Stanford Law grad who is obsessed with bridging her design training with her legal studies to produce solutions that work for people — both from the vantage points of clients and from the vantage point of lawyers.  You might even call it an economic efficiency model.  But you could also look at it as a means of understanding why ‘the law’ stresses so many of us out, both when we are engaged as consumers in the legal system and as advocates. (check out https://twitter.com/margarethagan)

The idea is, the systems we tend to design often function not so much to serve us but to complicate our lives.  In other words, whether it is a transportation issue, a medical issue or a legal issue, our bureaucracies frequently create more problems than we start with, which inhibits our ability to effectively (and efficiently) problem-solve.  That is, in short, what I think this picture is trying to convey.

There is a flip side to this too though.  And that is how representational this illustration is of what is going on within individuals when we are confronted with such an external morass of problems.  My take is there is an internal aspect of this bureaucracy, an emotional, psychological dimension of this stressful problem-solving landscape that generates fear in us, which further inhibits our ability to move forward in innovative and sustainable ways.  Essentially, the systems we have created to serve us actually shoot us in the collective foot.  And this phenomenon, this feedback loop of anti-progress is what keeps us often from feeling functional (well), and by extension, from remedying the underlying issues which have created the conflict we are experiencing in the first place.

My solution?  Let’s attempt to deal with the morass as it exists inside us as well as the morass as it exists outside, so that our process for disentangling what is at issue can emerge in a way that is fundamentally different from the mode of or approach to thinking that has gotten us to a place of challenge originally.  Let’s address the problems facing us from an internal (human) perspective as well as from an outside, tactical one.  Let’s use our understanding of how inefficient systems effect us internally in order to affect them externally…

My interview with Elon University School of Law’s Professor Steve Friedland, on “modern learning” in legal education (from Elon’s Second Symposium on Experiential Learning in Legal Ed)…