Posts Tagged ‘rebellious lawyering’

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.

I went to Yale for a conference on Rebellious Lawyering this past weekend. It was a blast. Lots of great conversation, a wide range of issues and approaches presented, a very intimate setting for every panel and workshop, and excellent speakers. Unfortunately my flight was severely delayed and so I missed the Healing and Vicarious Trauma workshop that was offered, but there were many other moments that were relevant to my externship as well. One was a “caucus” convened on Faith and Religion.

As neither one who identifies as being “of faith” nor as “religious” (although I do identify culturally as Jewish), I attended this because my sense of spirituality is very much at the heart of what makes me me, and what makes me a lawyer/activist. It is something that seems to cause a lot of divisiveness at Elon, to the extent that students refuse to speak publicly about their beliefs – and I mean in the classroom. It also creates an air of separation because once you find out where one falls here in terms of Christianity, you seem to also know their politics. This can’t be true, but it’s the way it feels.

At the conference I was able to hear from students who are Christian but also choice activists. I got to hear from two Saudi Arabian women who are students here and wonder how to conceive of law in a secular society, or how that approach may be applied in their own country. I also got to speak about “wellness” as a litmus test, basically, for freedom, and for a well functioning system or democracy. When you have justice, a system is well. When you have disease that is not addressed, you limit your society’s capacity for being just. On a more personal level, we can all agree that wellness, being healthy, is important. What it means to be healthy is something we can discuss in a more complex way. And maybe through that discussion, we can find solutions to problems that would otherwise not seem even the slightest bit related to wellness… Such as poverty. Such as civil rights. Not to mention issues of environmental degradation. Or education…

I also had a friend die this week. A young lawyer I’ve known since college. He even had an L.L.M. from the London School of Economics and helped keep me inspired last year with phone calls and Facebook posts. He apparently overdosed on painkillers and alcohol… Feeling really sad. Remembering what this work is about…

Enroute to a Rebellious Lawyering conference I’ve been looking forward to for weeks, I am “stranded” at the airport in my city of departure.  Technically, I am “stranded” at the airport bar..

With a book entitled Conscious Business on my lap and a Bloody Mary now in hand, I am attempting to detach from the frustration and sense of self-entitlement that makes me so irate in situations–moments–such as this one.

Thoughts that have entered and flitted around my mind in the last several minutes: Dammit, I’m already spending my cash on drinks and I haven’t even left Greensboro!  Relax (I tell myself), this is SPACE in your day, time to be quiet, reflect, organize, WRITE…  Dammit (again with this one), I’m hungry and everything is salt-laden and eight times too expensive!  Relax (I tell myself) (see a theme here?), this, like all other moments, like all other days, regardless of what I tell myself, is part of the process…

New thought: I am happy.  I get to attend this conference, even if I’m late.  I get to see my friend, Julia, who is graciously hosting me and being as flexible as I could ask.  I may be upset at having to spend more money on what seems superfluous or unnecessary, and yet, why shouldn’t I enjoy this time of “delay”?  Why shouldn’t I take this moment, and as many as I am able, to enjoy myself?  B.K.S. Iyengar wrote that enjoyment is actually the awareness of all of one’s senses…  That is my new focal point.  That is my new orientation.  And that is what I will bring with me to this conference on “rebellious lawyering”…