Sometimes you can find spiritual guidance in the strangest places. Like the ABA Journal, an online publication for the law profession. That’s where I stumbled upon an article titled Mindfulness and Spirituality for Lawyers.
I know what you may be thinking. Lawyers? They perennially rate as one of the least admired professions in our society, a notch above car salespeople and members of Congress. But the fellow who wrote the aforementioned article, James Gray Robinson, is not your typical lawyer.
In 2004, Robinson stopped practicing law “to jump into the world of mindfulness, wellness and spirituality” (though he recently began practicing law again). During his time away from the profession, he discovered some profound truths about success and right living that include lessons for all of us.
I’ve taken Robinson’s article and ordered the content into nine key points, lightly editing his words. I believe they are words to live by.
9 Powerful Spiritual Truths
- In order to achieve success or to live rightly, you must have awareness. Are you aware of how you speak to others and how your words affect others? Are you aware of what you are putting into your body? Are you aware of what you are thinking?
- If you’re always criticizing yourself or others, suffering will be yours. If you are always comparing yourself with others and making judgments about who is better, suffering will be yours. If you are focused on making a lot of money, and willing to sacrifice happiness to achieve a large bank account, suffering will be yours.
- To achieve mindfulness, think about what you are going to do before you do it. Is it helpful or hurtful? Does it reflect integrity or conflict? Is it going to resolve an issue or exacerbate it? Seek solutions, not conflict.
- When you foster healthy relationships, it improves your spiritual health. Are you isolated and alone or do you have genuine friendships with people? Is your focus to help others or make money? There is nothing more important for mental and emotional health than healthy close relationships with others.
- In all things, seek balance. Are you a workaholic or do you have a life? Are your significant relationships harmonious or in chaos? Do you balance your professional life, emotional life, exercise, nutrition and spiritual life? Get outside once and awhile, take your shoes off and wiggle your toes in the sunlight.
- When you are happy, let your face show you’re happy. Remove the frown and smile. People who claim they are happy but suffer from stress, addictions or health issues are lying to themselves. Never sacrifice happiness for success.
- Do something for the right reasons and with positive thoughts and the results will inevitably be rewarding. When you do something solely for the reward, oftentimes you will be disappointed. It is more important to know why you are doing something.
- If you focus on what you lack, you are creating a life of lack. What we perceive is projection. If you are aware of your thoughts and discipline your mind to think only grateful, happy thoughts (even when you aren’t getting what you want), you’ll be happy and successful.
- The most powerful prayer is “Thank you.” Even if you’re faced with challenges, whether the challenges are professional, personal, health or relationships, say “Thank you.” It will change how you think about your challenges and more than likely change the possible outcomes. Gratitude changes everything. To be able to change everything is why mindfulness and spirituality are important.
You can see the original story, Mindfulness and Spirituality for Lawyers, here.