Walking a labyrinth can be good for your health: it encourages you to slow down, calm your mind, and find healing. It is an antidote for lawyer burnout.
By Dorothy M. Pritchett, Certified Coach
Working with family law clients can be exhausting, emotionally draining and frustrating for lawyers who choose to practice family law.
It takes unique skills to thrive in this environment where clients live with anger, resentment and for some, profound fear of the future. The business of family law can also be challenging when clients:
- Run out of money before the case is settled,
- Frequently contact staff members (to save attorney fees) for status updates, and
- Have unrealistic expectations about resolving family issues in court
How can you keep from “burning out” in the practice?
Some lawyers solve the daily stress by not getting emotionally involved with the cases. Others rely on structuring the process to focus on results. What if you could add something to your family law practice to prevent burnout and it was:
- Calming to your mind and body
- Focused on your wellbeing?
The Labyrinth: an Antidote for Lawyer Burnout
For 5,000 years, people around the world have found walking the labyrinth transforms lagging energy into positive energy. It is a cross-cultural tool of wellbeing. It can be an antidote for burnout. It also reduces the damaging effects of stress on the body and mind.
In the past 15 years hospitals, homes, spas and retreat centers, public parks, churches, colleges, schools, and businesses have incorporated the labyrinth inside and outside of their properties. There are approximately 233 labyrinths in Canada and 2,970 in the US. There is a labyrinth at the City University of New York School Of Law.
The labyrinth, unlike a maze, has only one route to the center and one route back to the beginning. It is not designed to trick you with many paths and dead ends.
On the winding path, people going in will meet those coming out. There is a sense of connection: with others and with whatever is happening in your professional/personal life.
Walking toward the center gives space to let go of worries and distractions – to quiet the mind. Pausing at the center permits meditation for guidance. Leaving the center and following the path back out can create a strong sense of clarity and resolve.
Lawyers benefit from this mindful walking experience to bring the emotional challenges of practicing family law into balance. It can also increase tolerance with clients and their emotionally charged legal issues.
If you are interested in locating the labyrinth nearest to you, go to www.labyrinthlocator.com.
Dorothy M. Pritchett, CEO and founder of Andrew Grace Associates, coaches individuals to sustain high performance by expanding their energy and enhancing their competencies. Her Legal Goddess Network provides opportunities for women lawyers to develop relationships for business referrals.
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