Offering practical mindfulness instruction, tips, and resources to help take your legal mind from burdened to brilliant.
Mindfulness Basics: Emotions Are Feelings in the Body
I have a love-hate relationship with the month of February. I love it because my birthday and Valentine’s Day fall right smack in the middle. Associating things with chocolate and pink cupcakes tends to help improve my view of them. But February is also right smack in the middle of winter. It’s almost always grey and super cold where I live and I am restless and ready for spring.
To try to make it a bit more fun, I am going to accentuate the positive and view February as a month of love. To that end, the basic tip for this month is this: emotions aren’t in your head; they are in your body.
“What?” You may be thinking. “I know when I am mad or sad or happy or whatever my mind if churning and churning and thinking away.” Of course it is. That’s because your mind and body work together and they do so almost instantly and usually without our knowledge.
But, if you slow down and actually watch, you will see that emotions play out in the body. If you can let them do just that, they don’t last nearly as long as they do when your mind gets involved to keep them churning. The most common places that you might see emotional reactions arise are in the area of your heart, belly, face, neck, shoulders, and hands, but with additional study you may see more subtle reactions elsewhere.
Want to learn more about mindfulness and compassion? Check out my new book, How to Be a Badass Lawyer, for a simple guide to creating a meditation practice of your own in 30 days. And to share mindfulness with your little one, check out my new children’s book, Mommy Needs a Minute.
Like this post? Subscribe to the blog here or follow us on social media:
Claire E. Parsons is a Member at Wood + Lamping LLP in Cincinnati, Ohio. She has practiced for the last twelve years in the areas of litigation, employment, school law, special education, and municipal law. Claire lives in Union, Kentucky with her husband, Brian, their two daughters, and two dogs.
Claire is an active leader in her community and in the legal profession. She has led innovative charitable programs in her community, statewide legal organizations, committees relating to the promotion of women professionals. Claire is also a frequent writer and speaker for these and other organizations. She has published and spoken about numerous topics, ranging from complex legal issues, to law practice, networking and marketing, as well as mindfulness and wellness for lawyers and other professionals. She writes regularly on LinkedIn and even co-authored a book this year with 19 other women lawyers about how they used the platform to network and pursue career goals during the pandemic.
In 2013, Claire began a mindfulness practice early in her law career and as she was learning to be a new mom to her eldest daughter, Sophie. When Claire began the practice, she saw it gradually transform her life for the better by helping her to reduce overthinking, manage stress, and infuse compassion practices into her daily life. Over the next few years, she continued to study mindfulness practices and attend retreats.
In 2018, Claire began speaking and writing on these topics and she quickly became regarded as a resource for professionals as someone who can explain meditation practices in an approachable and practical way. In 2020, she completed the online meditation teacher certification program with The Mindfulness Center founded by Deborah Norris, Ph.D., to refine her understanding of the science of mindfulness and its practical applications. In 2021, Claire also completed the 500-hour yoga teacher training from My Vinyasa Practice as well as numerous courses relating to compassion practices, including Mindful Self-Compassion and Compassion Cultivation Training. Claire enjoys sharing her experience with mindfulness in her practical, and often humorous voice, to help humanize the legal profession and to make life a little easier for her community.
View all posts by Claire E. Parsons