Bench & Bar

SEP 2018

The Bench & Bar magazine is published to provide members of the KBA with information that will increase their knowledge of the law, improve the practice of law, and assist in improving the quality of legal services for the citizenry.

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| SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018 44 KYLAP I n the last issue of the Bench & Bar, we focused on the first of the "3M's" which was "movement." We discussed the pos- itive impact of exercise on physical and mental well-being. In this issue, we'll focus on how the act of mindfulness can improve your mental functioning, reduce stress, and make you a better lawyer. WHAT IS MINDFULNESS? It's a Zen-in- spired blend of meditation, breathing, and focus techniques that has been adopted by employers like Google, Inc., as a simple but effective mind-sharpening tool. e term has been used in the Buddhist tradition for thousands of years to describe a state of well-being. Other religions and philoso- phies recognize the practice of mindfulness in similar ways. St. Francis of Assisi and Christian texts describe it as "the peace that passes all understanding;" e Buddha called it "awakening;" and athletes call it "the zone." What each of these descriptions has in common is that they all squarely focus on the now. Mindfulness is being aware. It 's noticing and paying attention to thoughts, feelings, behavior, and everything else. Mindfulness can be practiced at any time, wherever we are, whoever we are with, and whatever we are doing, by showing up and being fully engaged in the here and now. at means being free of both the past and future — the "what ifs" and "what maybes" — and free of judgment of right or wrong — the "I'm-the-best" or "I'm-no-good" scenarios — so that we can be totally present without distraction. 1 Being mindful means "paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present Are you of Your Law Practice? Mindful By: Yvette Hourigan, KYLAP Director

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