Season 1, Episode 014

In this episode of Legally Blissed Conversations, we are joined by Claire E. Parsons, a practicing local government and school law attorney, a mom to two girls, and an active community leader. She’s been practicing law for more than a decade and started meditating early in her law practice. Today, she’s also a certified meditation and yoga teacher and the founder of the Brilliant Legal Mind blog, where she writes about mindfulness in an approachable and practical way for lawyers and professionals. Claire is passionate about mindfulness and loves showing fellow lawyers how mindfulness can take their legal minds from burdened to brilliant.

Shownotes

Website: https://brilliantlegalmind.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/claireeparsons

Instagram: @claire_e_parsons

Transcript

DISCLAIMER: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases, it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

Suzi: I would like to welcome Claire E. PARSONS to the legally blissed podcast. Claire is a local government and school law attorney in the Cincinnati area, a mom to two girls and an active community leader. She’s also a certified meditation and yoga teacher and the founder of the brilliant legal mind blog where she writes about mindfulness and an approachable and practical way for lawyers and professionals. So Claire, thank you. Thank you so much for being on here. I was ecstatic when you agreed. When he accepted my invitation, I was like, yes, because I’ve been following you for for a while. And I noticed recently that you met a big a big milestone for your blog posts. So tell me a little bit about it.

Claire: Yeah, actually, two we approached, we got 5000 views last week. And then this week, I think it’s a milestone that I’ve written 50 posts this year, or actually, it’s since the founding of the blog, we got 250 posts, and I’ve had a few guest posts on there. But I when I started the blog, I did not know if I could keep it up. And I was kind of like a big question about whether when things picked up outside of COVID that we kind of push past into the real busyness of real life like I’d keep it up. But I have even though it’s been really busy this quarter, I’ve tried, you know, almost tried a trial that I settled last minute tried to hearing and kept writing. So that was really kind of awesome that I’m just still writing.

Suzi: So your blog, brilliant, legal mind, will you tell everyone a little bit about the blog, the content itself? And the origination of this? Like, how and why did you begin creating the brilliant legal mind blog?

Claire: Yeah, well, I mean, I love mindfulness. And mindfulness is something that has changed my life. Early in my practice, I had a difficult pregnancy with my first daughter. And it just kind of pushed me into a period of depression. And once I moved past that, and healed and recovered from that, I started to realize that part of what happened with that was that the way I was living my life was kind of problematic. And it was more like I was excluding myself isolating myself not making as much time for friends and loved ones, not relying on help from others. And that I was really overthinking things a lot. And so when I started to recover from that, one of the things I did was start meditating. And then slowly over the course of years, I started to undo some of those negative patterns, change how I live my life, and I just became a lot happier. And my practice did really well. So that kind of put me in the position where I was really passionate and interested in mindfulness. I really like public speaking, and I like writing a lot. And so that has been something that I’ve been doing for my practice, all along the way. During COVID, I had the opportunity to become a meditation teacher and do a certification just because I had more time at home. And I then did a yoga teacher certification to sort of add on a different level of mindfulness. But I have been writing and blogging since 2018, when I did the writers in residence program with Miss JD, which is a program for women lawyers and law students. It’s a really good resource for women lawyers and law students to look into. But I got to kind of play around with writing then and learn to do it consistently. I sort of played around with LinkedIn for a while posted almost every day there. And then once I finished my meditation teacher program, it just seemed like the the idea to move forward with a blog because I realized how much I was read. Art had already written about mindfulness, and already wanted to write about mindfulness. And so it just kind of grew out of that. And so I do find that lawyers and law students and professionals in general, they know that mindfulness can help them but what they struggle with is understanding how it can fit in their life, and what it might do to like their self image. So I think sometimes when you can get beyond that and talk about it in real ways, I think you can reach more people.

Suzi: I love that. So do you find writing the blog? Sort of therapeutic in some ways?

Claire: I think writing Yeah, yeah. Yes. I mean, I think it’s not just the blog, I think writing in general, for me is therapeutic. And that’s kind of what I’ve learned. So I part one of the biggest reasons I continue to meditate, you know, I’m not somebody who really has ever had big bliss experiences or anything like that. I’ve had some pleasant meditations, obviously. And I do like how it feels now. But like, it’s really not about having good meditations. For me. It’s more about when I meditate, my overthinking and a lot of other issues that I have in my life sort of calm down. And so overthinking for me has been something that I have had my whole life. And it wasn’t until I started meditating that I started to see that I could actually not do that. I thought that I had no control over it. And a lot of it was more that I didn’t recognize that I was thinking, or I would always try to think my way out of every problem. Instead of realizing that maybe this isn’t even a problem for today, this is a problem for maybe three years from now. And I started to see how much that robbed my life of joy, and helped me in like, basically, maybe miss good times. So when I meditate, it helps me not do that so much. But part of that overthinking piece is the writing because one of the things I noticed with my meditation practice is I would have a lot of ideas that would kind of come back to me over and over again. And so I finally realized that those aren’t problematic things to just get rid of and ignore, those are ideas for writing. And so I would see them in meditation, I would sit down, and they would just come out really easily. And for me, like I actually like journaling wouldn’t be enough, I have to actually publish the piece to really let the thoughts go. And so the writing is sort of a piece of that. And it kind of fits with meditation, but it’s, it’s something that helps me let go of things and process the world. And I do think that you know, enough people have told me that, like some of the things, the ideas I’ve presented have helped them understand some of these ideas better. And so you know, it’s just been a fun way to let go of thoughts and build a community.

Suzi: I love that. So went, let me just ask you, when you think of mindfulness, like what it what does that mean, to a lay person who isn’t familiar with this space at all? What what is mindfulness mean to you?

Claire: Yeah, and I probably would say that most of us have experienced mindfulness in our lives. And it’s probably like, the times when we feel good and happy and like our lives have meaning. It’s just awareness in the present moment without judging it. And like, intentionally, right, I mean, that’s the definition that the researcher Jon Kabat Zinn would use. And I think that’s a good one. But really, it’s just present moment awareness. But the judgment piece is a huge part of that. And it’s something that we often overlook, we do it so automatically, that we maybe don’t notice how much we are judging, and I don’t always mean judging, and like the, your judgmental sense or anything like that. But just evaluating your experience constantly. And when you evaluate your experience, there’s always this push and pull with it. There’s always this idea that, you know, our brains are even set up, that we are always looking for a reward. And we are looking to push away the bad stuff. But it’s that push and pull that actually creates a lot of unhappiness for us, we can’t change our brain always looking for a reward. But we can sort of game the system a little bit if we can learn how to provide better rewards that are more wholesome for us and watch some of our habits.

Suzi: So are you teaching your children your girls mindfulness and meditation

Claire: in some way, so my daughters are five and nine. And so when they were very little, we did teach them how to take a deep breath. And that helped. I was actually pretty surprised at how much they would do that. I think one of the unintended benefits of it was when I made them take a deep breath. I had to take a deep breath to model it. And so it made us both calm down. And I think like, a deep breath, like I mean, everybody says take a breath, whatever it when people are escalated, but I don’t think people realize how much that really can matter. If you take a truly full deep breath in and out. That could be like five to 10 seconds and if you’re talking about a time when you’re starting to get escalated. You know that’s a time when it is enough time to notice your escalated and start to calm down. out in a deep breath is something that you feel in your body. So if you can come back to that deep breath and feel how you feel in your body for just a second, it may help you get out of the thoughts and come back to reality. So that is one of the the very small things that you can do to bring it to your children. I think a bigger thing, though, is that I do it. You know, we have done some yoga, and we have done some meditations and stuff with my girls. I have like one for kids on the on the blog as well. But I think the modeling it from parents is something that you can do that’s more important, where, you know, you’re demonstrating that you take time for yourself, and that you do things for yourself, and then when they become interested in it, then you can answer their questions and help facilitate, you know, getting them things, they needed resources and meditations and stuff to help them out.

Suzi: Yeah, so teaching by example, rather than a some type of role methodology.

Claire: Yeah, I mean, I think I think like with some of these practices, you know, there are a variety of them. And so not every practice works for everyone. But in particular, with kids, like they, they are gonna model your behavior a lot. And they, but they don’t always like you to tell them what to do. So. So if you, if you kind of push it on them and force it on them, they’re not going to want to do it. But like, there are a lot of things that kids can do. And like, for instance, the deep breath is really important, helping them learn how to pay attention to their body and relax it. You know, that’s one thing that you know, my oldest daughter, at least, we’ve used when we just got our vaccines recently, you know, she’s like, she realized, hey, it actually when mom tells me to relax, I take the shot, it’s because it hurts less. And my five year old that doesn’t do anything for she just fights and screams and we have to like, restrain her. But you know, that everyone things work different for different people. So I think like with kids, the example is the is the biggest thing you can do.

Suzi: For sure. So where do you see this fitting in with law firms? Have you had an opportunity to go in to like a law firm environment and teach mindfulness and or meditation and or yoga to any groups within law firms?

Claire: Yeah, not not physically, I’ve done it via zoom, because of the last few years have been COVID. Because I started I think the first time I even started teaching was in 2018. So it wasn’t too much before then that I began. But yeah, law firms are looking at it from wellness committees. We’ve we’ve done, you know, I’ve done more things also with like my chamber and other professionals, and I’ve done some things with banks and other groups as well. So there’s, I think there is definitely some reception of mindfulness and yoga. I think that, honestly, that firms should maybe more consider, you know, longer term courses with individuals instead of one off events. I think a lot of people know about mindfulness at this point and understand it and are not, we’re not as much in the phase where we have to tell them about mindfulness. I think now we’re in the phase where people need more, more resources in terms of how to actually use it. Because I go out and I teach people and they they asked me questions where it’s clear that they’ve taken yoga classes, or they’ve done some meditation. But the questions they are asking is, how do I actually do it? Because I’ve tried, and I’m struggling with XY and Z. So a lot of my presentations are more aimed at that stuff. But like, I think that having people kind of come in more than just one session is where I think it’s going to be going next, because I do think people need some more direction. And honestly, like, if you go to a mindfulness center, you do a retreat. Those are all led by teachers, and in by and they’re done in community. And the reason is that none of this is easy stuff. So apps are wonderful. And some have question and answer. Opportunities, like 10%, happier. But having a person that you can actually talk to is great. And having group discussion about some of it is also great, because the best thing I have encountered from retreats is honestly seeing other people ask questions, and realizing that I’m not crazy, because I have that same issue. And when you hear enough people ask questions like this, you’re like, Oh, this is really normal. And I think you start to feel not so alone with some of your psychosis and start to realize that it’s not it’s not really that there’s anything wrong with you. It’s just the human condition. And so I think some of those things would be beneficial for firms to think about more like courses or groups or community kind of elements to I think that’s what would be most It’s helpful for people.

Suzi: Right? So the participants could have some type of opportunity for progression or transformation over time, rather than just kind of like a one and done deal. That makes a lot of sense.

Claire: Yeah, there’s a lot of skills, I think that people kind of need. I think that that what meditation does, and a lot of times, the way it’s taught is that you pick up skills along the way. And good teachers can help people progress from skill to skill and sort of move forward. I think sometimes though, a lot of people start out meditating, and they think I’m doing this to get more calm. And so they get discouraged when they find that they aren’t calm at all, that they’re a mess, and they have all kinds of thoughts and judgments, and all kinds of things happen, and they can’t find quiet and peace and all of that, well, you don’t start out calm, you’re doing it to get calm. And so the thing is that you sort of have to let go of that goal a little bit, and realize that you have to build the skills, and it’s the skills that help you come back to calm when you lose it. But that does take time. And, and honestly, with lawyers, some of what we have to learn is that our brains aren’t the only way that we solve problems, we do have to recognize that we have bodies, we have limits of our bodies, that our bodies actually control a lot of what happens in our life. And there’s no fighting that. And there’s also the idea that I think, you know, with a lot of people who come to meditation, they focus a lot on the breath. And they focus on focus, because that’s what lawyers are comfortable with. We’re less comfortable with our emotions, and with feeling lack of control. And so I think if people, you know, kind of understood the importance of care and responding with kindness to themselves and others as they practice, I think they would have an easier time moving forward with it and feeling like it’s adding value to their life. Because that care. And that compassion piece is something that I think is, is has been missing, or not emphasized enough in a lot of the discussion on mindfulness. I’m starting to see it emerge more, which is good. But I think lawyers are still struggling with that, in particular, that actually makes a lot of sense.

Suzi: So what do you do? Like, what advice do you have for that lawyer who comes to you and says, like, I really love to, you know, to be able to meditate, but my brain is going crazy, or I can’t call my brain? Like, I feel like that’s kind of the big thing. People complain about whether or not they’re an attorney. Right. That it’s like an overactive mind.

Claire: Yeah, I think that I think it would be dependent, my answer would probably depend on who I’m talking to, and what I’m observing from that person as they ask it and what the context is. But I think one thing that I think is important is, when you say you can’t calm your mind, why is why? Why do you want to? And if your mind, and all the thoughts are the problem? Why are you using that same strategy to try to fix it? Right? So you’re thinking, I can’t call my mind, it won’t stop. So I need to think of another thing to do to make it stop. So one answer a lot of times, a lot of teachers will tell you, when you are sitting in meditation and a distraction arises, whatever it is, the answer is to observe it to notice it’s there, possibly to notice how it’s affecting your body. And then to go back to the breath. It’s not to force the idea, the thoughts away, it’s not to judge yourself, it’s just to go back to the breath, or to go back to whatever your focal point is. And so the the way that you get rid of thoughts is really practicing, not engaging with those thoughts, and not judging those thoughts and not being disturbed by those thoughts and not pushing them away. Or when those thoughts cause pain to you, or bring up hard emotions, learning how to skillfully care for and hold those emotions. But a lot of what meditation practices is really, instead of making, making the thing go away, like maybe you anger is a really good example, if you get anger feelings, you can’t force anger down and you can’t force it away. But you can learn how to hold it and build space around it. And so in doing that, you realize you have lots of space, that anger in proportion gets smaller, and it controls you less. And you’re not going to be able to do this every time. I mean, even if you meditate for 20 years, you’re not going to be able to do this every time. But if you can gradually build that skill, you can maybe do this six times out of 10 when before you would get knocked down and thrown off balance 10 times out of 10. And that is a huge improvement overall in your life. And so that’s that’s kind of how you deal with the thoughts and the can’t clear your mind. And all of that is that you realize that you don’t necessarily have to, because you build the confidence that you’re not disturbed by every thought, hmm.

Suzi: And then perhaps that capacity to feel anger, or sadness or whatever kind of that negative, I have to be careful about judging our own feelings, right? Whatever that emotion is that capacity actually allows us to have a greater capacity for happiness. That’s been something that I’ve noticed for for me. Let me ask the, this is sort of something that I’ve noticed myself with with meditation. Sometimes when I’m meditating, I have like a really good idea. Like something will come into my head and like, whoa, and I have this urge to stop and write it down. Because I’m like, it’s gonna go away forever. Right? So what is your advice for people who, like, have thoughts like that during a meditative state? Let’s take a quick pause for message from my sponsor, prominent practice.

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Claire: I do find that for me, a lot of the best thoughts come back. I mean, the really ones that matter, and the things that are important, I think that they come back. So I would say there’s some element of trusting yourself. The pure mindfulness response to that would be to, to just watch the thought, and then see if you can come back and let it go. And then see what happens. There’s also, you know, there’s also the school of thought, though, that if it’s going to just totally distract your practice, and you won’t be able to focus anyway, what’s the harm of writing it down? I would say that probably, if you I mean, honestly, some of some of what mindfulness practice is, is it’s it’s SOT being a scientist, and, and being willing to experiment and observe with what happens. So I don’t think it’s a huge deal if perhaps you, if you stop a practice once and write it down. I don’t think that is probably the end of the world. I would observe what happens with your practice, and whether you can go back to the practice and what you feel like after you do. If this is something that is happening to you all the time, though, and you always have the ideas, and you always want to write them down. I think that you might be missing something, if you always do write it down. Because I think that part of what might be going on potentially, is you don’t trust yourself to remember it. Or do you want to not feel something that could come up in your practice, and the mind comes up with this great idea to distract you to get you to stop? Because I’m not saying that’s just you, that’s all mines, they can be kind of devious sometimes and throw stuff at us. And so that’s why just watching and committing to the practice can be very good. But at the same time, if you if you are flexible with your practice, there’s also opportunity to learn there too. So I think it’s, yeah, I kind of, you know, I’ve kind of written this about this for like, for moving when you practice like, should you move? Are you allowed to move when you practice? And my answer is you’re allowed to move when you practice. And so if you, if you kind of set it up as there’s two paths, you can take my foots asleep. I’m in meditation practice and I want to move my foot. So the one path is moving my foot and I’m making myself feel better. So that might be practicing flexibility. And that might be practicing like compassion for yourself, which is good. If you don’t move, and you kind of stick with it and you watch the experience, and maybe you see that it goes away over time, or that it really doesn’t bother you, or you just can ignore it after a while. Well, that’s probably FRAC practicing discipline and focus. And so I don’t know that you can really make a wrong move, right. But I think it’s watching what those patterns do for us and what those choices do for us staying present with it and seeing. But if you are, I will just say that though, watch out for the recurring habits, because if there’s something drawing you away from practice a lot, that could just be the mind not wanting you to feel stuff, because I can tell you, I’m somebody who I have habits of crap up for me all the time, where it’s trying to get me to check out. And it sometimes takes me days or weeks or whatever, to realize that’s what I’ve been doing. And I can kind of work myself out of it. But we all do that. And that’s all normal stuff and meditation.

Suzi: Yeah, I think it’s beautiful that you’re teaching this right now. Because it’s helping people realize that, you know, you don’t have to go into your meditation practice being perfect, and being able to be completely Zen for 30 minutes, or whatever it is, right? Like even highly experienced. meditation teachers, you know, have struggled kind of with don’t struggle, I guess it’s not really the correct term. But, you know, it’s kind of an in and out of meditation state. So I’m curious about, okay, so I got an email from you, I guess it’s part of your blog. And you had mentioned, decision making, and the frame of scarcity, mindset versus abundance. And you also went on to talk about stress management. And I’d like to read a quote from from that, if you don’t mind, because it was. So I think it’s kind of a good segue. Because I think that, you know, attorneys are really wanting to find ways to help them. Manage stress, right. But this is what you said, to be sure vacations and time away are essential to managing work as stressful as law practice. But for me, it’s not necessarily weeks off, or trips to exotic locations, that have helped me find a sense of abundance in my life. Rather, my life began to feel more abundant, more prosperous and open. When I began consistently devoting small pockets of time, to my passions. I just love that. Like, I think my chin hit the floor whenever I read that. So and then he went on to say, and this was kind of highlighted in the pose is abundance is a product of small, small acts done consistently over time. But what I’m curious about here, Claire is what are your passions, right? Like, I feel like your passions are shining through right now. Because we’re talking about yoga. And, you know, meditation and mindfulness. So what are some?

Claire: Yeah, I mean, either, I really like cooking. I like writing is is a big thing for me. I actually really like speaking. And I like teaching. So the blog and mindfulness, it’s kind of the blog right now is a big part of that. But like having, I guess what I what I meant by passions, I guess, is that I have enough energy left after my practice, to do something else for the world. I’m not and I’m not somebody who really cares a lot about like, fancy trips, and you know, clothes and all kinds of stuff like that. The monetary piece for law practice has never been like a huge thing for me. I’m a local government lawyer and a school lawyer. And so doing something good for my community and doing something good for other people, is what makes me feel good. But doing only the law practice piece, I think. It just doesn’t feel like enough. Because there’s other pieces of my personality. And so being able to, you know, talk about the softer side of life, and being able to explain the power of that, for people like, like me, for other lawyers and being able to interpret that. And to be able to write kind of, in a fun way, sometimes humorous, I hope, I think, you know, to be able to sort of use some of other other creative things that I never honestly thought I would have been able to do, like, learn how to make images on Canva because I’m not artistic at all. And to be able to keep expanding that and reach new people. Like that’s just something that, you know, I didn’t really expect and it honestly kind of came out of a dark time in my life. But I’m like, grateful for it now. And so it’s it’s the fact that you can kind of plant these little seeds over over the course of your life. And you end up with something really great that you never would have had. And you can’t necessarily get just from law practice. And I don’t want to make it sound like I don’t like my law practice. I actually love my law practice, but it is it is draining in one way that my other creative in activities with respect to mindfulness kind of, they kind of actually grow together almost symbiotically, so that it gives me energy to go back and do my other parts of my law practice.

Suzi: Let I’m curious, where do you see your own law practice and your mindfulness teaching going in the future?

Claire: I haven’t necessarily thought about it because it wasn’t like a big plan to be a meditation teacher, honestly. I mean, I started talking about mindfulness because I really liked it. And I thought there was some value for professionals. And it went really well, like the first time we ever talked about mindfulness, it was for women professionals. And they were bringing chairs in the room at this this big regional summit, I spoke up. And like I was somebody and I’d never presented before. So it wasn’t like part of a new master plan. I do think like, it’s something that I’m going to be like using as a tool in my practice for a long time. And people ask me, like, whether I use it with clients or anything like that. And I don’t overtly talk about mindfulness with clients, unless, like they asked me a question about it, or it comes up. I do. I did recently, like, use a lot of compassion ideas when I was talking to a witness in a case because she was really kind of worried and scared about testifying. And it was really useful. But I didn’t need to tell her like that researcher, Kristin Neff has all these principles, I just needed to sort of help her through the the situation. Excuse me, I do think like, I am very interested more in conflict resolution, I do special education work for school districts. And I think like, and also as a litigator, I just know that a lot of times, if you can figure out how to solve a problem, instead of making it bigger, there’s a lot of value in that. So at some point, I probably will become a mediator, and work towards some some resolution, potentially also within the special education and school law arena. But I don’t exactly know where the whole mindfulness thing is, is going, I think, like in the future with the blog, I’m gonna be preparing some courses, and I hope writing a book one of these days, but like exactly where this is going, I don’t know, because I think COVID has kind of shown us we need it. But I still don’t know that we have a lot of clarity about where it’s going. But I’m having fun, and enjoying talking to lawyers from, you know, all over the country about these issues. And I do think there’s a lot of need for just practical and useful advice from somebody who actually knows law practice, to help interpret this idea for lawyers.

Suzi: Right. So if you could give a piece of advice to a lawyer, specifically, with respect to maybe mindfulness in his or her practice, like just a little nugget, what would it what would it be?

Claire: I think that, you know, when we’re when we’re talking about the United States and the West, we have a lot of ideas of in our culture, about that kind of give us the idea that there’s something wrong with us that we have to fix something. And, you know, that kind of goes all the way back to Christianity and even beyond that, right, the original sin idea. And I don’t want to argue theology necessarily, but I think a lot of us have this kind of concept. And one of the things that really helped me was I found teacher Tara Brach, who’s really well known. And she kind of says that over and over again, and all her talks, right? There’s nothing wrong with you. And at a certain point, I think when you practice, I hope that’s the lesson you get is that, that fundamentally, you’re good. You have the potential to do bad all the time, right. But I think that a lot of times when when we learn how to manage conditions, to make sure that we feel safe and happy love, and at peace, when we can figure that piece out. I think what you’re going to find is that you do good things, then you are a good person in those conditions. So I hope that the the lesson that people can understand from meditation is that they are not fixing themselves. They don’t need to. What they need to do is get back to what their real nature is and I think they’ll see that it is good. And I think they have to To trust it, right to trust that they’re, they’re good. And so when they do that, I think then the next thing is creating the conditions to let that goodness just shine through. And I know probably some lawyers listening to it and think that I sound like a hippie and all of that. But I think when you practice enough, I think that’s what you will see. And I think that can come through and it can come through even in a contentious deposition, it doesn’t mean that you can’t try a trial. And it doesn’t mean you can’t litigate aggressively. It doesn’t mean you can’t make a good argument in court. It doesn’t mean you have to be soft, but it does mean you have to trust yourself, know your boundaries, and understand that fundamentally, you’re a good person, and you deserve good things. And, and I think it makes it so much easier, when you accept your own goodness, to accept the hard parts of life. But those aren’t necessarily your fault. That’s just part of life.

Suzi: Right? Jewish, like every courthouse had a mindfulness meditation room. So before court, you could kind of go, you know, have a few quiet moments take a deep breath.

Claire: I think every courthouse has that already. I think it’s us realizing it, you know, I, I was at a retreat one time. And I was like, oh, retreat, you’re great. Because I can just set my identity down. Right, I can just not be clear, the lawyer clear the mom, I’m just a being sitting here in a meditation retreat. Then a few months later, I realized, oh, anytime I sit in meditation, I can set my identity down. I’m just clear here sitting, that’s all I’m doing. And then a few months later, I realized I can set my identity down at any minute, I can just take a breath and just be a person just being courthouses already have meditation rooms, if you can learn to pay attention to what’s in your head, and what’s in your heart and watching your body. And be with that experience, that that’s meditation, you’re always there. A nice quiet space is something that facilitates that, but it’s not necessarily necessary to do it. 

Suzi: You don’t need to bring like your yoga mat and your big round, you know, soft meditation pillow. Yeah, that’s a really, really good point.

Claire: To the extent we can facilitate those things by creating rooms that, that give a symbolic gesture towards or a practical gesture towards honoring a need for quiet and contemplation in legal places. That’s one thing. But we don’t necessarily need those spaces to be able to do it. The harder thing is actually doing it in our lives every day. Like that’s the hard thing.

Suzi: Yeah, and just integrating that into your life, right? Like when you sit down, before you start working on a legal matter, right, maybe take three to five minutes to do some deep breathing or whatever works for you. It’s not like me, looking for a meditation room is almost like trying to find some type of external circumstance that would prevent me from just taking a few minutes by myself, right, or just kind of in my own head. No, but I think that that that point is, is very valid. So Claire, I want to be very respectful of your time. Where can people find you?

Claire: Yeah, so I’m on LinkedIn at Claire E. Parsons. And feel free to reach out or message me, I actually look at messages on LinkedIn. And also the blog is brilliant legal mind.com. And we are on WordPress, as well as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Suzi: I just want to say thank you so much for having this conversation with me, Claire, I have been so excited about learning a little more about you and a little more about mindfulness. And before I close, I do want to say one thing I had asked clear, what do you want the listeners primary, primarily young female attorneys to know about you? And she says that I used to be a female attorney, too, that I was scared and had no clue how I can make it work as a mom and a lawyer and then I figured it out. So I think she’s figured it out. We’re all kind of figuring it out, though. Right?

Claire: Still figuring it out though.

Suzi: Thank you so much for hanging out with me, Claire.

Claire: Alright, thanks for having me.

Suzi: Thank you so much for hanging out with us today on legally bliss conversations. If you love this episode, and you want to hang out with other inspiring and light gold female attorneys, be sure to join the legally bliss community at legally blissed.com And be sure to follow me on Instagram at Suzan Hixon. See you next time.

Taking Your Legal Mind from Burdened to Brilliant with Claire E. Parsons

claire parsons

Mindset, Podcast