Tag Archives: spirit

If Lawyers Can Thrive by Meditating at Work, Anyone Can

Need some proof that meditation and other spiritual practices are useful, not flakey at work?  Need REALLY PRACTICAL stuff like how to get through everyday challenges like too much to do, too little time, too little appreciation or support?

Look no further than the legal field.  Case in point:  Scott Rogers, creator of The Mindful Lawyer,” and his delightful “The Mindfulness Memo: the Motion for an Extension of Thyme.”  Here’s just one tidbit that is useful for any job:

Thoughts like “I don’t have enough time,” or “I’ll never get this done in time” have both a factual quality and a “fear-based” quality.  While it can sometimes be the case that poor planning or circumstances result in a genuine rush, more often than not, the perception of “not enough time” is a conditioned thought that arises and, when believed, creates a “false” sense of crises that undermines performance.”

Rogers’ solution: mindfulness or meditation practices that can “help provide greater clarity of mind, focus, and ease in dealing with procrastination and time deadlines.” For tips you can use right now to turn your day from harried to happy, click here:

For More Peace and Productivity At Work, Imitate Some Lawyers

“The Motion for an Extension of Thyme” is just one of 500 pages of tips and resources in J. Kim Wright’s Lawyers as Peacemakers, which has been a best-seller since it was published by the American Bar Association last spring.  It’s chock full of information on how to bring more creativity, problem-solving effectiveness  and spirit to any job, legal or not. There’s even a reprint of an article I wrote on how to create a sanctuary at work!

At least a dozen mainstream law schools like Harvard and Yale offer courses in meditation as part of a mindful lawyering practice, says an article on meditation in the October 2010 California Lawyer.

For information on contemplative practices and how you can bring a variety of contemplative practices to your work, see also the Center for Contemplative Mind in SocietyCutting Edge Law, and Idealawg.

What Can You Learn From a Lawyer to Improve Your Work and Life?

What kind of hope and inspiration can you take from lawyers who meditate?

How can you bridge the need to be focused, clear and absolutely practical with your own drive for meaning, purpose and joy?

How can you create more productive time and pleasure in your life and work by being more conscious?

As always, comments are welcome!

Best wishes, Pat McHenry Sullivan
Appreciator of Lawyers

Check out my latest project:  a continuing education program for the California State Bar, “From Stress Burnout and Exhaustion to Energy, Resilience and Insight”

Coming soon, a workbook for anyone on this topic. Want a presentation on this topic?  Call 510-530-0284

Kindness: the Best Workplace Spirituality Practice Ever

If you really want to bring more integrity, purpose and joy to work, follow the Dalai Lama, who often has said, “My religion is kindness.”

Kindness includes so many wonderful things, like friendliness, pleasantness, generosity, and understanding.  Where kindness is practiced at work, there’s cooperation, not power tripping.  … Respectful teamwork, not bullying or harassment.  … Welcoming of differences, not hostility or favoritism.

All this makes for a workplace where people are more likely to be excited about going to work than dreading it.  At the end of the day, there’s a spring to their step and time for a rich life, not exhaustion or the urge to escape.

All this means that kindness also is a benefit to the financial bottom line.

As Jodi RR Smith, director of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting in Marblehead, MA says, “People’s discomfort chills the workplace dynamic. When people feel respected, they are more likely to be fully present and engaged, ready to roll up their sleeves for effective work.” Continue reading

All faiths are rich in wisdom for money and work — Part 1

The world’s religions are filled with practical spirituality on how to earn, spend, save, invest and share money. There’s abundant ancient and ever-new wisdom for how to work with less stress and more meaning … how your workplace can be a center of peace and compassion — not fraud, waste or abuse. And more. Much, much more.

Over the past 14 years, it’s been my great pleasure to interview hundreds of people about how their work and their spirituality support each other. The great world religions scholar Huston Smith,  graciously granted an interview of some basic tenets in each faith. Individuals have added their own rich insights, providing a marvelous, ever-growing picture of the many ways to put spiritual values to work everyday. Continue reading

Positive Thinking: Only with Due Diligence Is It A Good Thing

Nothing messes more with real spirituality, with real positive approaches to life, work or money than phoney or illusory positive thinking.

Distorted positive thinking can cost you money, sleep, your job, peace of mind, and maybe your life. It can also be a catalyst or enabler of fraud, waste and abuse on an individual or social scale.

Even the best models of positive thinking, like The Little Engine That Could, can be distorted. Yes, many obstacles can be overcome and dreams can be built when we affirm, “I think I can,” then follow through with action and stay on track. But sometimes, wisdom and integrity call us to accept what we can’t do. Sometimes, our best path is to go off track, even if we don’t yet know the best path to follow next.

However, if you anchor positive thinking in reality, then give it due diligence, you’ve always got the start of something great. Continue reading

Building Your Workday Around Prayer: Guest Post by John Sullivan

Monastic life in all faiths is ordered around prayer. Such prayer sets the rhythm for each day. It keeps members focused on the mission of the order and the life of the community, as well as the spiritual life of each member.

I spent 13 years in the Discalced Carmelite monastic order, which traces its origins to hermits living on Mt. Carmel in the 13th century. As is the case with most religious orders, the Discalced Carmelites prayed together at least six times a day on a regular schedule, using Latin names for the hours. These were also known as Canonical hours, because they have been used by all orders in the Roman Catholic Church for many centuries.

As our Muslim friends have so ably demonstrated, prayer can also provide the framework for secular life, including busy workdays. Inspired by what I learned in the monastery and from the example of Muslims, I adapted the canonical hours to my spiritual practices. Continue reading

Unreported Good News: Business Thrives with Compassion and other Spiritual Values

You wouldn’t know it from the major media, but more compassionate, more sustainable and way more ethical capitalism is thriving. Or, as many call it, “Conscious Capitalism.” Now there are some very easy ways to bring yourself up to speed in how the conscious capitalism movement can impact your individual work, your business and/or your finances.

Just What is Conscious Capitalism and Why Is It So Beneficial to Us All?

The conveners of last summer’s conference on conscious capitalism at Bentley University offered these three key elements of conscious capitalism:

  • companies have a purpose that transcends profit maximization;
  • companies are managed for the benefit of all stakeholders in their ecosystem, not just shareholders; and
  • companies are led by spiritually evolved, self-effacing servant leaders. Continue reading

Getting Back into the Stream of Spirited Work and Life

Yes, it’s been a while since I last blogged. An overload of work has made workdays extra long and my blogging time minimal. The death of a friend across country interrupted the work flow and made me more keenly aware of how short and precious life is. Reconnections with old friends and family there make me feel sad that I’ve missed so much by being too little in their fascinating lives, yet hopeful about the possibilities for richer friendships.

Never has it been more obvious that real life can’t be broken into categories such as work, life, money, children or fun. Everything important always happens right when we’re smack dab in the middle of seeming contradictory challenges. How to do the tasks that need to be done versus the work our soul calls us to? How to find time to mourn and reflect in the midst of work that needs to be done and life that needs to be lived right now? How to follow one calling, complete one task, when there are dozens or hundreds or thousands to be done? Continue reading

Pick a Spirit and Work Practice — Any Practice: a Guest Post by Tricia Molloy

To me, a spiritual practice is any routine or ritual that connects you to your inner wisdom and helps you be less stressed and fearful and more positive, focused and productive. It’s often how you communicate with your subconscious mind. It may or may not relate to any religion or belief. Continue reading

“Julie and Julia” — Great Role Models for Joyous Work

Probably the most under-rated spiritual value is joy. Maybe that’s what Jesus implied when he said that to enter the kingdom of heaven, we need to become again like little kids — especially if we’ve become too accustomed to dry, boring “worship” services, deadly dull diets, and tedious workdays.

True joy is an amazingly unselfish spiritual gift. Joy begets a light heart, plenty of energy, resourcefulness, and the longing to help others find joy. Thanks to the spirit and work movement, I’ve thoroughly learned how to distill joy out of any task, even when reality also includes sorrow, grief or other honest emotions.

Now, thanks to the new movie “Julie and Julia”, my full joy is back in cooking, eating, and sharing food with others. That may not be my paid work, but it sure affects all my paid work and dealings with money. Plus, I’ve got a whole new pair of role models for persisting in any vision around work and money. Continue reading

From Overspending or Tightwad Habits to Wise and Satisfying Financial Management

A guest post by Dr. Nancy Irwin

A Wharton School of Business that finds “tightwads” and “spendthrifts” tend to attract one another, even though they both consciously felt they’d be more comfortable with mates of similar spending habits.   So much for the limited power of the conscious mind!

The subconscious, which is where all behavior comes from, is much more powerful than the conscious mind.  This can be really great news, if you know how to work it. Continue reading