The Voice of Compassion: Podcast with Psychologist and Public Speaking Coach Doreen Downing

Voice is really important to my history but I probably wouldn’t have recognized this so clearly if I hadn’t met Doreen Downing through the Mindful Professionals Network. Doreen is a therapist and public speaking coach, the author of The 7 Secrets to Essential Speaking, and the host the Find Your Voice Change Your Life Podcast. As I learned, she’s also a gentle but powerful soul and asks some really great questions.

During the interview, we talked about my history with perfectionism, overthinking, introversion, and doubt. But we also talked about how voice was a surprising lifeline for me. Unlike many people and despite my introversion, I had always been drawn to speaking because I loved teaching and explaining things to others As an auditory learner, I have found that teaching and speaking out issues helps me understand things better.

When I stated meditating, I learned to trust my voice and let it guide me. As I have discussed here before, the first step with this was to begin writing regularly. Eventually, though, I also began speaking and teaching mindfulness, meditation, and compassion too. As you can imagine, this was not an easy process and I had to learn to figure out what voice corresponded to this new piece of my identity.

And you know what I learned? It wasn’t a new voice at all. My meditation teacher voice was the same as my lawyer voice and my mom voice and my good friend voice. This new part of me had been there all along and what I needed to do was trust it and start using it more.

If you are someone who hates public speaking or wants to think about your inner voice, this is an interview for you. Doreen is also an excellent resource on this and I hope you connect with her and check out her book. As for the full interview, You can check it out here or watch the full episode on YouTube.

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.

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It Was a Great Well-Being Week in Law

It was a busy week but a great week for me. I got to celebrate Well-Being Week in Law in several different ways.

First, I got to present on mindfulness and confidence for a law firm. The session was well-attended and the engagement from the audience was excellent. I shared how mindfulness can help build confidence because it can help you break down fear and doubt into component parts and learn strategies to care for each aspect. A

On Wednesday, I connected with Kristin Tyler, a founder of LAWCLERK Legal and a long-time friend of the blog, and coach and one of my co-authors from the book #Networked, Olivia Vizachero, to discuss mental health in the legal profession.

We discussed everything from strategies for time management and reducing decision fatigue to the practices that support our personal and professional well-being. It was a fun conversation and I was so proud that LAWCLERK chose my book, How to Be a Badass Lawyer, as a giveaway item to support lawyer well-being this week.

You can watch the recording of event here on YouTube:

For my last event of the week, I came back home. Specifically, I did a brief talk and guided meditation for my local bar association. I’m a proud member of the Northern Kentucky Bar Association Lawyers Living Well Committee. I talked about how to manage the early phases of meditation practice when you may not immediately feel calm and relaxed. In the guided meditation, I focused on ways to learn to practice relaxation and rest.

To listen to the talk and try the meditation, check out the recording of the event here:

Did you do any activities for Well-Being Week in Law? Leave a comment to let us know what you tried.

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.

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Living a Rich Life with Stage IV Renal Cancer: Interview with Lawyer and New Author, Joel Stern

Q. Joel, tell us a bit about yourself, including your status now and a brief history of your work. Where were you in your life and career when you received your diagnosis?

For the great majority of my career, I was a corporate attorney leading large groups of legal and contract management personnel.  I started off at Allstate Insurance Company and then was General Counsel of a Sears/IBM telecommunications and data processing joint venture. I then moved onto Accenture where I was the Deputy General Counsel managing the Americas legal team, global contract management team and COO of the legal group.  After achieving everything I wanted to achieve in my legal career, I became the CEO of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms – a non-profit organization now made up of over 215 minority and women-owned law firms seeking the opportunity to compete for and win business from fortune 500 corporations.

I have always been passionate about DEI and frustrated by the lack of progress in the legal profession so decided to become the change in the world I wanted to happen and make DEI my full-time focus. I also thought it was critical for me (a white male) to play a role in this because change is not going to happen without everyone in the fight. Affinity groups are critical, but they can’t move the ball forward without the majority working towards the same goals.  I’m proud of the work I have done at NAMWOLF and for my DEI efforts generally but there is so much more to do.  Even though I am retired, I am still actively involved in DEI efforts by serving on an internal advisory board and as a mentor for Diversity Lab’s On-Ramp Fellowship program. 

In November of 2020, I was diagnosed with stage IV renal cell carcinoma (“RCC”).  I was having terrible back pain that I thought was just a continuation of history with my back. When they did an MRI of my spine, they found a large tumor destroying my iliac bone. When they biopsied the tumor, they concluded it was kidney cancer and I had several tumors up and down my spine from the back of my skull down to the hip. I also had a small kidney tumor that was causing no harm to my kidney.  Coincidentally and thankfully, the diagnosis came three months before my long-awaited retirement from NAMWOLF, so I was able to seamlessly transition my job duties to my successor and begin to focus on my battle with stage IV cancer.

Q What were the most important practices or supports that helped you cope with the diagnosis and treatment? 

The stages of dealing with cancer are real: shock, anger, sadness, anxiety, depression and then “I’m going to kick the you-know-what” out of this disease. Some get to the last stage sooner than others. It took me four months to get to that stage and I remain at the stage today. But for many, including me, you must get into some pretty dark areas before you can finally see the light.

Several things helped me get through this. First, I have an incredible family (“team Stern”) who refused to let me get too down in the dumps. They pushed me when I needed to be pushed and let me rest and wallow in self-pity when I needed to. Second, I have a great group of friends who were very helpful in supporting me. Third, having an excellent medical team composed of experts in the disease who combine great skill and bedside manner is critical. I’m a great believer in large teaching hospitals in big cities if possible. 

I also must thank my mother for teaching me how to fight this disease. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was five and fought the disease for 15 years as it spread throughout her body. She never complained about her plight, raised three sons while fighting, and fought until the very end. While I never appreciated her lessons while she was alive, my mother is a role model now that I am going through a very similar fight. I also love to write about my disease. Writing has been extremely cathartic for me and helps me deal with and express emotions that I would struggle to say verbally.  

Q. What made you decide to write a book to share your experience? 

I joined a Facebook community of stage IV RCC patients and caregivers and started to write “thankful Friday” posts every week. I shared the lessons I learned and how, in some ways, I am a better person now that I have this disease. The group suggested I compile the 18 months of weekly posts and put them in a book and my family supported it.

I decided to self-publish and donate all proceeds to kidney cancer non-profits. I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of people who have written to me, saying they have gotten a lot out of the book even though they don’t have cancer. I know doctors around the country are recommending this book to their patients. 

I wrote the book for three reasons: (1) to inspire people dealing with life’s challenges not to give up and find the sun in an otherwise very cloudy day whether cancer or not; (2) to collect the lessons I learned as a reminder during tough times; and (3) to leave a gift for my three grandchildren so they would know who I was as a person in case I am not around when they are adults. 

Q. We often hear about the bad aspects of social media, but part of your story includes a support network you found on Facebook. Can you share a bit about why that group was so important to you? 

I was a very late joiner of Facebook and started post-COVID because I had more time on my hands. When I got my diagnosis, I used Facebook to see if there were communities that could be of help to me and was pleased to find several. The group I am currently in “Our Stage 4 Journey Renal Cell Carcinoma” is a community of kind and informative RCC patients and caregivers who love to share, listen, and help others.

I admit I am addicted to this group, but have found it extremely helpful in dealing with this disease.  We have members around the globe and I’m proud to say that we truly respect and love each other, and our primary motivations are to help people dealing with RCC. It is an incredible group of people who are passionate, caring, loving, helpful and are all warriors.  It’s a private community, but if you have kidney cancer or are a caregiver, please join.  

Q. You have written a lot about having a positive outlook in response to your diagnosis. This is one of the most impressive things I noticed in reading your book. Do you have any secrets or wisdom you can share about how to do this when life does not make it easy? 

While there may be no empirical evidence definitively confirming that having a positive attitude makes a difference with having a prolonged and quality life with a terminal disease, my doctor and many others believe having that positive attitude truly makes a difference. I agree. Having a positive attitude allows you to dream, make plans, get out of the house when you want to stay in bed all day, give the next new treatment a chance to work, not give up before it’s time and find opportunities to enjoy time with friends and family.

I believe dreaming is one of the most important pieces of dealing with this disease. If you are always negative, you can’t dream; if you don’t dream, you will not accomplish. And, assuming I am wrong and there is no correlation in attitude and response to diagnosis, what is the downside? Having this positive attitude has allowed me to have a great two plus years despite this disease. It has allowed me to watch my grandchildren grow up, take several vacations, go to my first Super Bowl, enjoy nature in ways that I never appreciated, and help others. 

There are a few things I do to try to maintain the positive attitude. They include:

  1. giving myself 30 minutes each day to think about the worst and be anxious, negative, angry or whatever. After thirty minutes, I don’t allow my brain to take me anywhere negative for the day.  It’s not realistic to expect that we will never have down moments, but being able to compartmentalize them into just thirty minutes each day helps. I do this at 1 AM every morning and then done for the day. 
  2. appreciating that anxiety for tomorrow just ruins today and that anxiety is almost always worse than reality. When nervous, I repeat this as a mantra.
  3. make a bucket list of things I want to accomplish in the next 12 months. This has been extremely helpful to me and I’m shocked at how many I have accomplished;
  4. living in the moment and focusing on today and tomorrow and not the negatives that may occur six months out.
  5. asking “why not?” versus “what if?” For example, “why not continue to beat this disease?” versus “what if I have progression?”
  6. continuing to write my “thankful Friday” posts every Friday and help people.
  7. focusing on my legacy and trying to ensure that I leave a positive imprint on the people I touch.
  8. finding joy in all the positives that happen in my life every day which can be as simple as spending time with my grandchildren, having lunch with a friend, or reading a good book.  
  9. journaling my thoughts and having an open book with respect to sharing.
  10. staying active both in DEI and the kidney cancer space. The Board I am on and speaking I do keep me going. 

Q. Are there any resources, besides your book, that you would like to share with our readers? 

Other than the Facebook community I already mentioned, two of my favorite books dealing with cancer are When Breath Becomes Air and Tuesdays with Morrie.  

Joel Stern is an attorney with a 25-year career as a general counsel attorney for corporations. From 2014-2021, he served as CEO of NAMWOLF and his service to that organization and DEI efforts were recognized when the organization created a scholarship in his name in 2021. Currently, Joel is successfully waging a two year plus war against Stage IV RCC and writing and speaking about the challenges of dealing with a terminal disease. He recently published a book titled, My Journey with Renal Cell Carcinoma: How to Make the Most of a Dire Diagnosis. Joel sits on the Boards of the Kidney Cancer Association and the Judy Nicholson Kidney Cancer Foundation. Joel resides in the Chicago area with his wife, Donna, and his now three grown up daughters, who all live within twenty minutes of Joel’s home, Brittany, Amanda, and Taylor. He is a grandfather to five-year-old Aidan Joel, sixteen-month-old Oliver, and seven-month-old Lucas.

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.

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Mindfulness, Compassion, and Meaning: Guest Appearance on The Mindful Fire Podcast

I really love appearing on podcasts and it’s not just because I’ve got some books to sell. I love answering questions. This sounds kind of weird but I love the way they put me on the spot. It’s almost like a jungle gym for the mind. If you give it an obstacle, you will be amazed to see the connections and insights it offers.

Many times when I am invited on podcasts, the hosts present me as an expert. Even so, I find that I learn so much from thinking about things in a new way and getting the perspective from the host. When I appeared on The Mindful Fire podcast with Adam Coelho, I was not disappointed.

Most frequently, I have appeared on podcasts with lawyers or for lawyers. Adam however, is not a lawyer and he’s somebody I never would have met but for LinkedIn. Adam works at Google and he teaches mindfulness there as part of the Search Inside Yourself program.

Like me, Adam has a side hustle and a goal to help other professionals use mindfulness to achieve financial independence and build the life they want. Because of this background, Adam knew the questions to ask to fully explore mindfulness and compassion practices to professionals of all kinds.

As such, we talked about various topics during the interview, including:

My favorite insight from the interview, though, was when Adam asked me what I would tell other people who were starting to build “a life they loved.” This is a great question for many reasons because it forces us to focus on two things: what we want in life and how we feel in our lives. It also assumes we can and deserve to be excited about our lives.

Though I didn’t feel any hesitation as I started to respond, my answer surprised me. The key, I explained, was meaning. Mindfulness and compassion helped me because the practices helped me manage stress, build inner resources, and connect with who I was. But mindfulness and compassion changed my life because all of those things allowed me to connect with my deepest values, build a community, and create meaning in my life.

If you want to dive into these topics more, you can listen to the episode here or on your normal podcast platform.

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.

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What Is the Enneagram? Interview with Type 6 Coach Kristin Messegee

A few weeks ago, I called my lawyer friend about a totally unrelated matter and she revealed that she’s a Type 6 on the Enneagram. How the conversation made that turn I do not recall. What I do recall, on the other hand, is exclaiming “I’m a 6 too!” I hadn’t thought too much about this until she told me that there’s a coach, Kristin Messegee, the subject of this interview, who works with Enneagram sixes.

I checked out some of Kristin’s content and a lot of rang true from my own experience. If you are a six, you may know that anxiety, overthinking, fear, and doubt are part of life. Since I had not covered personality types yet for the blog, I asked Kristin to do the following interview to share some information about the Enneagram. Keep reading to learn more.

What is the Enneagram?

The Enneagram is a system that projects onto a 9 sided figure. This system is used to help people on their life journey. It has value in relation to self as well as others. This system helps reveal personality traits that are separate from our core self; like a truth revealing mirror of who we are actually being in any given moment.

And why! Then the system is used as a map back to our core selves. We often move through life asleep, ending up feeling lost. The Enneagram can wake us up from our wandering sleep and then show us the way home. 

Why is it helpful for people to learn their type?

Learning type is useful because it orients to what our core wounding is and what our adaptive strategies look like in our lives today.  We developed these strategies to get through and cope with the realities of childhood. Well done adaptive strategies! We made it.

However, these same automatic patterns are often what end up being in the way of us having more of the life we want. Our relationships can be impacted, our sense of ourselves, our work. Our automatic patterns are playing some part in all the things we want to change.

We often end up trying to change things about ourselves through more “push” and “effort” and wonder why we can’t just do what we think we should do, so we can finally enjoy our lives already!  The Enneagram points us toward healing what was wounded rather than ending up on the never ending self improvement hamster wheel. 

Can someone be more than 1 type and what does that mean?

People can only be one of the core 9 types. Of course as humans, we hate that. It can feel boxy or limiting in the beginning. However, within each core type is a world of variability and nuance. The “core” type functions to reveal our deepest fears, the particular (and most fundamental) way we are disconnected from true self, spirit, God, the source beyond our own “efforting”.

From there, we all have ways we move around the enneagram figure itself to reveal more depth in what we experience in terms of inner life and outer behaviors. One example would be the wings. Each number touches a number on either side which has influence on what personality strategies we use to compensate for discomfort.

This is just one of how each of us uses different “types” in our whole make up. At the end of the day, of course, the idea is that we are not a “type” at all, but rather have predictable type patterns in the way of who we really are.

One interesting thing about the Enneagram is that the report shows how your “type” can manifest in positive and less wholesome ways. Can self-care strategies impact which of these ends of the spectrum show up? 

Yes! Absolutely. Learning to take care of ourselves increases our capacity to see ourselves in more true and honest ways. We could say that self-care increases our tolerance to clean the mirror and not totally freak out over what we see, namely, the less savory parts of ourselves.

I don’t see any Enneagram work actually being useful without self care strategies going along with it. Otherwise it can become just another list of “things that are wrong with me” and “tools to use against myself”.

Mindfulness training, self compassion work, body practices…any and all of the modalities help us slow down and be with exactly what is present. These practices help us to notice when we are “being our type” and insert a pause to make a choice instead of acting automatically.

What resources would you recommend to someone interested in learning more about the Enneagram, including their type?

The Enneagram Institute is a wealth of information for someone getting started. There are lots of free tests and resources online and it’s important that people only use those as a starting off point and places to get curious. They aren’t to be trusted as accurate for type, yet can be fun to jump off from.

If someone is new, I recommend reading the core fears, desires, general description of each type and feeling what comes up. When we get close to ourselves, usually there is bit of a sting or internal cringe, even a hint of embarrassment like someone knows your insides more than you might like! When that comes up, it’s a good sign to keep exploring.

Kristin Messegee is a Life Coach for Enneagram Sixes. As a six herself, equipped with years of training and coaching experience, she knows the blessings of burdens of the six brain, and helps guide sixes back to their lost connection to their inner authority. She brings a trauma informed, unshaming approach to all of her work. You can find Kristin on Instagram @kristinmessegeecoaching or Facebook inside the group Life Coaching For Enneagram Six or visit her website at

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.

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Don’t Do the Hustle: Interview with Authority Magazine on Hustle Culture

What do you think when you hear the word “hustle culture”?

Would it ever occur to you that a side hustle might be an answer to this?

I recently did an interview with Authority Magazine where I shared how adding creativity into my life helped me avoid hustle culture at work.

In this interview, I talk about the human realities and workplace practices that lead to hustle culture and she offers some insights about how to get out of the trap.

Her five steps include:

  1. Cultivate self-awareness.
  2. Cultivate self-compassion.
  3. Honor all your needs and respect the needs of others.
  4. Move and create.
  5. Grow and expand outside of yourself.

To read more, find the full interview here.

What is your definition of hustle culture? What are the strategies that you have used to avoid it?

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.

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Confessions of an Emerging Content Creator: Interview with Attorney, Lin Walker

Founder’s Note: I have written here before about how much networking on LinkedIn and creativity have done for me. Even so, I know it’s hard to do at the beginning because you are trying to learn something new and engagement may seem slow. I recently came across Lin Walker on LinkedIn and found her comments to be thoughtful and well crafted. We chatted and I was inspired by her willingness to jump in and get started with content creation to promote herself and her firm. I think you will be inspired by her too, so read on and consider following her for more great content on LinkedIn.

Q. Lin, you are getting started on LinkedIn and with content creation. Tell me why you decided to take that leap to support your firm and practice?

I decided to start marketing on LinkedIn for a number of reasons that centered on accessibility issues for foreign nationals and for female and minority attorneys, like me.

U.S. immigration law is unnecessarily complex, involving at least five different governmental agencies, with policies and procedures guided by statutes, regulations, internal memoranda, administrative case law and executive orders. So much of what is written by attorneys is for other attorneys – the language and terminology is often complicated and relies on terms of art that someone without legal training would struggle to understand and apply, let alone someone whose first language is not English.

I wanted to provide a service for foreign nationals and non-attorneys to make immigration law more accessible, but also for people who are new to the practice, whether they are paralegals, attorneys or human resources managers. My goal is always accessibility–no matter a person’s background or training, I want to make U.S. immigration policies and procedures understandable to remove some of the fear and anxiety in dealing with the various governmental agencies.

I also felt like there was an absence of voices from people like me. I am a first-generation immigrant and first-generation attorney. Most legal publications do not make it easy for someone like me publish an article–they want a pedigree and lived experiences that I do not possess. In addition, in the past, when I was asked to write articles, they were published under the partner’s name (usually male) and I was lucky if I received a byline or footnote with my name. With LinkedIn, I have an equal opportunity to express my opinions and experiences in a way that is authentic to me–where I get credit for my own hard work. LinkedIn = freedom for me.

Q. Isn’t this somewhat scary for you? How are you dealing with that?

Initially it was terrifying – I was never given an opportunity to use my own voice before, so I was out of practice. I worried about posting something that was viewed as awful or unhelpful.

I can’t say I’m over this 100%, but I was able to quiet that fear and make the practice more tenable by focusing on my goal to make immigration law accessible and by sticking to what I knew best (immigration law) and the issues that I was passionate about. If I read an article and it caused a reaction, I knew I had to write about it. Instead of venting to my husband about how terrible an immigration policy, procedure or decision was, I wrote about it.

I have also found a measure of peace in the process by following other attorneys and seeing how they made topics accessible and inspired engagement on LinkedIn. A trusted friend recently offered me great advice: even when a post is authentic and right for you, there is a still a level of discomfort and vulnerability. Part of the process is becoming comfortable with this level of vulnerability.

Q. Is any part of content creation fun for you? What have you liked?

I absolutely love collaborating with other people–attorneys or not–to create accessible content. One project that I love is critiquing the way popular culture (movies and television) portrays the U.S. immigration system and providing guidance on what is real and what is dramatized for entertainment purposes. There is so much misunderstanding of how the immigration system works and so many stereotypes about immigrants – by critiquing these portrayals, it is my hope to educate the general public about the realities of the U.S. immigration system and immigrants.

I have been fortunate enough to work with a Social Media Content Producer who shares my goal of providing educational and accessible content. It was actually his idea to critique how films portray U.S. immigration and immigrants. With his guidance, I was able to combine my love of researching, writing and educating into creating content for LinkedIn.

I’ve also been lucky enough to work with a Digital Marketing expert who introduced me to several attorneys who are doing amazing things on LinkedIn, which is how I was introduced to you.

Q. Part of content creation, especially in the early phases, is feeling like you are screaming into a void. Do you have a dream or goal that is helping you keep moving forward?

Initially creating content was really a struggle because I thought, “why post that – everyone knows that!” But in reality, the opposite is true – my lived experiences have given me a different perspective and goal – to make U.S. immigration law accessible to anyone who needs it. Being able to offer guidance, as a first-generation immigrant, and first-generation immigration attorney, outweighs most of the fear that I have about my content.

Q. What resources would you offer to other lawyers who are trying content creation for marketing or networking purposes?

If you are struggling to create content – that’s normal, we’ve all been there. Try starting by addressing questions that clients ask you all the time. It doesn’t matter if other attorneys know the answer – you’re not writing for them. You’re writing for your current or future client(s).

If someone criticizes your content without providing actionable feedback – ignore them.  If the feedback isn’t geared towards improving your content, then serves only one purpose–to muzzle you. Your LinkedIn profile is your party – you decide who to let in and how wild it gets.

If you can’t get support within your firm or practice area, collaborate with people outside your firm or practice area. There are so many areas of law that overlap and so many industries impacted by your particular area of practice. And, there are so many amazing people on LinkedIn who can mentor and support you.

Lin Walker is an attorney whose practice has focused on all aspects of employment- and family-based immigration law. As an experienced attorney, Lin has represented diverse corporate and individual clients, focusing on outstanding researchers, individuals of extraordinary ability in the arts, sciences and business, and individuals whose work is in the national interest of the United States. Prior to joining Meyner and Landis, Lin worked at several immigration law firms, where she handled various employment- and family-based immigration cases, including O-1, O-2, H-1B, L-1, TN, EB-1 (Extraordinary Ability, Outstanding Researcher/Professor and Multinational Manager), and National Interest Waiver petitions, as well as adjustment of status applications, naturalization applications, and PERM Labor Certifications. In addition, Lin served as a high school science teacher in New York City for six years, working with at-risk teenagers and young adults, where she received a prestigious Math for America Master Teacher Fellowship in 2015.

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.

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Mindfulness, Self-Compassion, and Being a Badass: Interview on The Write Approach Podcast

“You’re doing something wrong. You are about to do something TERRIBLE and you need to just stop.”

How many times has the voice of fear said this to you?

Fear for me used to sound like this about almost everything. If I am being honest, it still sounds like this sometimes.

So what changed? The simple answer is that I learned to manage it and see fear in a new way.

Mindfulness and self-compassion helped me break fear down into pieces – thoughts, physical sensations, emotions – and respond with more skill to each one.

As I discuss, this is an essential skills for lawyers handling big cases or anyone who wants to get more creative.

In addition, my meditation practice helped me get some mental space so I could recognize ideas for writing in the midst of all my other thoughts.

Ultimately, this is how I increased my own confidence, started writing and engaging on social media, and ultimately published my first book.

If you have experienced anything like this or are interested in writing, this episode of The Write Approach podcast with authors Barbara Hinske and Jeremy Richter is for you.

You can find it at the link above, most podcast outlets, or watch it on YouTube here:

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.

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Can Mindfulness Help You Find Polaris? Our Founder’s Interview with Author and Coach Bob Levant

It should come as no great surprise that someone who loves writing enough to have written a book and founded a blog loves to talk about writing. But do you what’s even better? Talking about writing with another writer.

This week, I got to do that two times in one day. On Wednesday I recorded a podcast for The Write Approach podcast with my lawyer friend and fellow author, Jeremy Richter. (Stay tuned for that one. It should be released soon.) That evening, I also got to talk to coach, author, and former attorney Bob Levant for the Iron Advocate Mindset Virtual Book Club.

The conversation with Bob was great because, like me, he’s also a fan of mindfulness. He does yoga regularly and explores the concept in his own book, Finding Polaris. Since as Bob describes, he covers the topic in less of a “deep dive” than my book, we get into some of the finer points in this interview.

During the interview, we discuss things like loneliness, managing fear and anxiety, and break down why mindfulness and compassion can help with these things. I had such a good time talking with Bob and reading his book that I wanted to share the interview with you here.

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.

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Inspirational Interview with a Lawyer Who Climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro

This month, I am talking and thinking a lot about possibilities. It’s a fitting theme for me because a totally new possibility opened up for me when I published my first book How to Be a Badass Lawyer. No, the world didn’t stop and it wasn’t an international bestseller overnight, though I was ecstatic when it attained #1 New Release status on Amazon.

Still, I have wanted to write a book for years. When you achieve a long-term goal like that, it causes you to reconsider who you are and what you can do. I have a lawyer friend, Christon Halkiotis, who recently did something that caused the same reflection. She’s a lawyer in North Carolina and climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro this September to raise money for Multiple Myeloma Research. All told, her group raised $200,000.00.

It’s a pretty amazing story and Christon has some others to share too. She started her law practice just before the pandemic started, she learned to market her practice on social media, and she is one of my awesome co-authors for the bestselling book Networked.

I had Christon join me on Instagram Live for one of the blog’s Easy Like Sunday chats. She shared her story and dropped some knowledge, badassery, and inspiration. What I loved most was that Christon explained that mindfulness helped her get through the toughest parts of the climb. Check out the interview here.

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