Archive for the ‘Reflections’ 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.

Each semester I experience a low at the end.  It’s after exams are over.  It’s after my final papers and projects are turned in or left at a resting place until after the holiday break.  And it always catches me off-guard.

Screenshot 2014-12-24 16.13.32This “it” — the low — seems like a consequence of something I struggle with: trying so hard because nothing feels like enough and then being left with a feeling almost like suspended animation.  There is no more I need to do but the need to be doing remains.

I’m sure this is not specific to me as a student, as many if not most of us are consumed by feelings that beg us for productivity all the time.  Yet there is something to being a student that seems to intensify such a condition, especially a law student.  And having an adhd brain may not help.  But what is this low really about?  Or, how can I rebound from it more skillfully?

What I’ve realized is that when this feeling comes it is accompanied by a sense that I cannot breath fully into my heart.  I cannot bring my breath fully into the chest cavity where my heart chakra (if this is language that works for you) dwells.  I  literally have trouble lifting my heart.

So this year, instead of trying to force my heart back open I am trying something new.  I am practicing being okay with how I’m feeling and choosing to trust that my heart will open back up when it’s time, when I am fully ready for more to come in.  I am practicing yoga.  I am spending time with friends and family.  I am just hanging out and watching my feelings shift versus trying to control them.  It is a practice of mindfulness I suppose.  I am allowing my heart to be closed for renovation.  It is the most I can “do” without “doing” anything at all.  Cheers to taking a break from Post-Exam Land, ya’ll…

When Life Gets Messy

Posted: September 19, 2014 in Inspiration, Reflections, Videos, Wellness

Today’s post is credited to Grace Johnston, one of my best friends and most discerning eyes (or ears, as the case may be).  Listen and enjoy courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/AbigailClarkeYoga…  

What terrifies and excites me about becoming a lawyer?  Lots of things.  In the spirit of purging fear and inviting the new, here they are…

  1. the frustration of never being able to help people enough
  2. the frustration of needing to charge people $ in order to help them at all
  3. the prospect of engaging in work that is satisfying only to the extent that it is noble — in other words, not feeling effective personally because the justice system itself is so lacking in its effectiveness
  4. the prospect of being stuck in a practice that leaves me feeling drained rather than energized
  5. what excites me is the idea of innovating better systems, those using processes that integrate and reflect rather than ignore and diminish what is elemental about being human — namely our capacity for conscious change, for transformation on an individual and collective (thus evolutionary) scale
  6. it also excites me to envision my personal potential for transformation, on physical, mental and emotional planes.  It both overwhelms and inspires me to meditate on the ability I have to evolve.

Had an epiphany this morning.  (Sidebar: I used to constantly have epiphanies, like, every day – is that because I was in my twenties??)

Epiphany goes: Me in bed, letting sunlight stream across my face, lingering in the liminal space between starting and avoiding my day, and almost like light finding its way into a crack in my brain, I realized something.

All the different projects I’ve got going on right now, all the different environments I’ll be working in after graduation, all the different types of mode I’ll need to be in to see various jobs and projects through, they will all require me to be in character.  Not for the reasons I tend to associate with acting as a certain type of character though.  And not for anyone else – i.e. not for acceptance, not for legitimacy.  But for my own attention, for my own sake in attempting to organize what’s before me and execute each task in a way that fulfills expectations and feeds my soul, which underlies whatever character I may ever feel I need to invent…Screenshot 2014-09-13 16.50.25

It’s an ADHD thing I guess (again 😉  It’s about finding strategies that work for me in attaching to various projects for the purpose of engaging fully in them, and for the purpose of being able to pull my attention out (in another post I refer to this as having an Off as well as an On switch).  It’s not about making myself adapt in terms of identity to whatever is in front of me, it’s about finding an aspect of myself, a dimension in which I can exist and return to later, wherein I feel connected to whatever it is I’m doing.  And then, again, being able to pull out.  Finding means or vessels I guess for absorption and having a way out of the rabbit hole at the same time.

Don’t worry, at this point anyway, I’ve not considered coming up with names for all of these characters (although it occurs to me this could happen…).  Right now I’m just taken with this idea of connecting with a character in order to trigger my focus for a particular task.  Finding landmarks in a sense, so that I can conjure up those landmarks, the feelings for instance that come with working on a certain type of project, in a way that invites me into that space.  So it’s not focusing on the expectations of whomever I’m working for, which tends to make me anxious, that I can use as an anchor.  It’s the aspects of myself that come up in the process of working on that thing, and allowing myself to feel at home in those emotions, at home in those thoughts…

 

3L year has started.  I’ve re-shuffled classes, spent an exorbitant amount on casebooks that do little but make my eyes glaze over, and the fun has just begun!  In all seriousness though, there’s a difference in me now.  And it’s not necessarily a bad or sad one, as I often report from the dungeon of law school.

1398991_10201622950175624_3601028634142264250_oTwo images came into my mind the other day. First was of a mound of string suspended in front of my face. My arms were outstretched as I furtively tried to gather the whole thing at once.  There were feelings of fear here, anxiety, a sense of urgency I couldn’t unplug from.  The second came right after, and it was of this same string but in the form of an untangled line.  This time, instead of grasping for more than I could even fit in my arms, I simply picked up one end of it, and holding on ever so lightly, began to move forward.  I experienced a sense of peacefulness and stability from the second image.  It felt like I could trust that being where I was, or having pulled through however much of the thread as I was able to, was enough.  I didn’t have to keep reaching; I got this sense I was already where I needed to be.  Instead of feverishly pulling or reaching for more, I could rest in the awareness of where I was.  And from that place, just allow, rather than push myself, to keep moving.

I posted this on Facebook mostly to people’s puzzlement — what does it mean, charitable FB friends chimed?  I’m pretty sure it has to do with being in touch with what is closest to my core as a person.  And finding the delicate freedom that comes with ‘staying true’ to who you are while at the same time recognizing you’ve got to tow a line in this world.  As an obsessive seeker of truth this has always been challenging for me.  I’ve always measured my happiness by the degree to which I could ‘let go’.  Law school’s been tough because it’s forced me to ‘hold on’ for dear life.  Now, it seems, I am learning to find a balance…

From Jacqueline, a rising 2L at NYU School of Law – see below & visit her at http://www.legallyunconventional.com…  1528704_10151839384270872_567966168_n

I have spent the last two days trying to decipher the lingo required to effectively comparison shop a web hosting service for my blog.  This has definitely been the most stressful part of the project so far, even as I am in the midst of completing the law school writing competition.  I have hope though, as I’ve finally decided to follow what should be the guiding principle to my entire life: Don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good.

 My very good friend Michael told me this during a particularly challenging time in college where after a relationship-induced mental breakdown I managed to have six term papers pile up from the previous spring semester.  I had spent the entire summer feverishly researching, keeping my hands and mind busy grabbing new books, expanding the reach of knowledge I needed to consume before I could start writing.  It took Michael literally taking the books out of my hands and putting a piece of paper and pencil in front of me, reminding me again that it doesn’t have to be perfect it just has to get done, and giving me an ultimatum that we weren’t leaving the library until I wrote an outline that I finally became sane again.  I was saved and that rescue occurred through a process of letting go.

For those of us faced with the innate need to consume and comprehend all possible options before taking the next step, this can be very hard to do.  As my mother says, ‘all this technology was supposed to make our lives easier but in reality it has made life so much more difficult’.  I have decided to heed her warning and not let my life, or at least my website, be ruled by the terror of nearly infinite choices.

I may not have researched every single web hosting service out there, but I have read enough articles to understand the main features I should be looking out for.  I’ve decided to use the speed and quality of feedback and communication, from the companies I reach out to, to make my final choice. After three days of research, I’ve chosen one, whether or not it is ‘the one’, I’m actually on my way to setting up my website — which is a lot further than where I was when this week started. So join me in following the mantra of the season and “Let it Go”.