Do you want to be an influential communicator and captivate hearts, minds and brains in these times of short attention span and information overwhelm?
Our Quantum Leaps Mastermind Group is sponsoring a free teleseminar "The Art and Science of Influential Communication" on June 16, 2010 at 8:30pm Eastern time (you can also get the link to the recording later if you register).
Click HERE to learn more.
Meditate NYC begins on Sunday, November 8 with an afternoon of meditation instruction by Buddhist teachers from a great variety of traditions. The event is free and open to all. Meditate NYC's kick-off will be followed by a full week of free meditation instruction, November 9 – 15. People from all faiths, backgrounds, and experience are welcome at Open Houses hosted by meditation groups and dharma centers throughout the NYC area.
Ongoing scientific research confirms meditation's positive effects on body and mind. Meditate NYC offers an accessible way to find out what various approaches to meditation involve and what the benefits are. For more information, visit http://meditatenyc.org
Rubin Museum of Art in New York City will soon host "Mandala: The Perfect Circle" - a series of events dedicated to the mandala:
The programs and events that will take place between August 14, 2009 and January 11, 2010 include among other things a "collection of classic films that explore mazes, keys, and passwords as metaphors for the labyrinthine puzzles of our existence," a problem-solving scavenger hunt that "sends math enthusiasts on a tour of Chelsea inspired by the geometric construction of the mandala," and music concerts inspired by the mandala. Click here for more information.
Between February 21 and April 23, 2009, The Rubin Museum of Art will host its second annual Brainwave, which "explores the intersection of mind and matter with nearly fifty different events, including discussions with some of the world's premier artists and neuroscientists." Here are just some of the offerings:
Click here to read the full list of "Meetings of the Minds." I plan to attend and blog about at least some of these events.
Our Ultimate Mind-Body Makeover team hears it all the time here --
"Things are crazy."
"I am so insecure I keep eating."
Tonight, our three coaches are offering a freebie call on new technologies of human performance enhancement to help you connect with your Best body and your Best future.
Click HERE to learn more.
We are launching a community-based free half-hour program, hosted by Sue Stebbins, Master Coach and clinical hypnotherapist, starting the second of December at 12:30 Eastern Time to GIVE People struggling with Stress and Weight and Isolation a BREAK -- want to join the fun and-- Drop the Holiday Baloney...?? Click here.
If you happen to be in the New York City area, you have an opportunity to explore meditation through a series of free events, workshops and meditation open houses that will take place around New York City from Sunday, November 9 to November 16. (A hat tip to Urban Mindfulness). To learn more, visit http://www.meditatenyc.org
Are you familiar with the term "situational awareness"? It is often used in the industries in which information flows fast and decisions lead to serious consequences, for example, in the military or air traffic control. In the marital arts, this concept is loosely translated as the "reserved mind" or "combat awareness." It is a state of heightened perception and sharpened awareness that enables people to take the relevant clues from their immediate environment and make optimal decisions in a dynamic context because they understand how information, events, and their own actions impact their goals.
If you want to learn more about the use of this state of awareness in the daily life and my integrative productivity system, join me tomorrow, Wednesday, October 22, 2008, at 1:00pm ET for a 1-hour free teleclass "Opening the VALVE of Integrative Productivity: How to Accomplish More with Less Effort". I'll send the link to the recording later to those who register but cannot attend the live call. Just enter your name and email address to receive the teleclass details.
You can learn more at http://www.selfhelpbookmuse.com/teleclasses--events.html
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society is offering Meditation Retreat for Law Professionals and Students on September 11-14, 2008 at Menla Mountain Center, Phoenicia, NY:
Stephanie West Allen of Idealawg wrote about the benefits of mindfulness in the practice of law in this post.
I am making plans to attend the retreat. Who else is going?
You are motivated, ambitious, hardworking, and at the same time, you often feel overworked, overscheduled, overwhelmed. If this rings true, join me on August 5, 9:00pm ET for my free 1-hour tele-coaching class on mind/body approaches to personal energy management. Just fill out the form below and you will receive the details of the call. The recording will be available to those who register but can’t attend the live call. Bring your questions. To learn more, visit http://www.selfhelpbookmuse.com/events--teleseminars.html
It's been busy around here (I will update on the developments soon), and my blogging gave in. Today is a fresh start. It's Spring Equinox. The word "equinox" derives from the Latin words "aequus" (equal) and "nox" (night), which translates into "equal night." During the equinoxes, the Sun is positioned directly above the Earth's equator, and day and night are about the same length all over the world. Some believe that we should actually make our plans for the New Year on Spring Equinox. The winter months preceding the Spring Equinox are good for reflection and contemplation, but now is the time to spring into action. Have you given up on any of your 2008 resolutions yet? Today may be a good day to bring the important objectives back into focus. Let's get in sync with nature, affirm our clear intentions for 2008 and receive the energy boost we need to shake off the winter slumber.
What do "love" and "law" have in common (besides the fact that they both start with the letter "L")?
Service comes to mind. The value of the legal profession is measured by the service we provide. And the service is driven by love. What we love, though, varies from person to person. One could be driven by:
Does the nature and quality of our service depend on what we love? What do you think? What drives your service?
Today, February 1, 2008, is the National Wear Red Day. Its goal is to promote awareness of heart disease and empower women to reduce their risk. Cardiovascular disease is the No.1 killer of American women and the cause of one in every 2.6 female deaths.
Consider these alarming heart health statistics:
It may be a little late for a wardrobe change, but it’s never too late to learn more about your heart. Read about the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women Campaign and take the Go Red Heart CheckUp for a personal heart-health assessment:
"This important tool forecasts a woman’s 10-year risk for heart disease and provides a personalized action plan to help women reduce their risk. Go Red wants women to know their numbers and track their blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose and weight and keep them in a healthy range."
Practice of law can be stressful. Please keep your heart safe and spread the word.
VizThink Conference '08 will take place on January 27-29, 2008 in San Francisco. Even if you cannot attend, you may want to visit the conference website and check out a number of available podcasts and webinars on the topic of visual thinking. They also have a blog and a wiki with additional content.
"VizThink is gathering visual thinkers from all corners of the world to create the first global community dedicated to the use of visualization in all forms of learning and communication."
Blawg Review #142 is here, hosted by Susan Cartier Liebel at Build A Solo Practice, LLC. It is designed as a “Letter to New Lawyer,” and it will make you think, dream, laugh, learn and soar! Be sure to read it.
I have some exciting updates to share with you. I’ve been busy cooking up a few new things for 2008. One of them is the launch of my weekly wellness mindset newsletter “Well-Aware.” I publish this newsletter for my coaching clients and other busy professionals who want to create a healthier lifestyle by building a wellness mindset. The focus is on effective thinking. Some of the topics I’ll be exploring are:
If you’d like to subscribe, just complete the form in the right-hand column of this blog (under my picture) or on my coaching page.
I also plan to focus more on the issue of wellness in the legal profession this year. It pains me to see that so many talented and highly motivated people, who are very good at serving their clients, have trouble making decisions when it comes to their own life and well-being. I know the traditional law firm culture often makes it difficult for lawyers to take care of their own needs. But the bottom line is that the change starts with individuals, and we all need to stay well in order to work and live well.
I’d love to hear what your biggest challenges are when it comes to wellness.
So here we are – already in 2008! Does it seem like life speeds up with every passing year? I hope you enjoyed your holidays and are gearing up for a happy, healthy, and joyous new year.
The year end was sad for us as we lost our first dog, Lusha, to a complete kidney failure. She had a congenital kidney disorder that was diagnosed when she was 2. Despite a poor prognosis, she managed to make it to 5 on a special diet. We appreciate the time we had with her as she was a very special dog, a tough cookie, and the best escapist artist I had known – no gate could keep her fenced in. We all miss her. We are now a one-dog family.
Now it is time to come up with a game plan for 2008. Do you have one already?
"Celebrate the holidays with a different recipe every day"
"Question: What Do You Get When 250 of The World's Leading Experts Decide To Work Together To Help Hundreds Of Thousands Of People From All Around The World Achieve Their Health And Fitness Goals... For FREE?"
I like to cook and eat during the holidays. I don’t concern myself too much with low fat cooking on Thanksgiving, it is a celebration after all. On the other hand, I don’t want to pack on extra pounds either. (By the way, you may have heard that people typically gain 5 to 10 pounds during the holidays. This claim may be a bit exaggerated. Studies show that most people gain about a pound, only 10 percent of people gain more than 5 pounds. Not that it is an excuse to overindulge. The bad news is that those extra pounds are hard to lose and they add up over the years.) I don’t pour spoonfuls of melted butter over food if I can help it, so I was receptive to the idea of checking out healthy Thanksgiving recipes from EatingWell. I think I will give their Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie a try. You can’t go wrong with the pumpkin and ice-cream combination.
For tips on how to avoid packing on extra pounds, check out this article from NIH News in Health.
10am ET: Evangelizing Evangelists to Build a Business and Build Your Brand a panel facilitated by Guy Kawasaki with Krishna De, John Jantsch, Andy Sernovitz, Tim Demello.
11am ET: How To Write A Great Business Blog with Debbie Weil.
12pm ET: How Coaching For Performance Can Help Your Employees Develop Their Personal Brand and Realise Their Potential with Carol Wilson.
4pm ET: Promoting Brand You with Viral Marketing on the Web with David Meerman Scott.
6pm ET: Identity You: Creating a Personal 5x5 Branding Strategy with Phil Gerbyshak.
If you can’t listen to this event today, the recordings will be available as a free podcast on Monday. You need to register to get the instructions for accessing the podcast.
We all have them. Hidden in our own haunted houses, they wait for the right moment to pounce and send chills down our spines. Do you deny the light of day to any of your fears, negative habits or concerns? Halloween is a perfect time to acknowledge their existence and have a little fun with it. Here’s what you do. Let’s say, one of your haunted house inhabitants is procrastination. Pick a monster toy for it. For example, rubber worms in green oozing slime can be a nice representation of being stuck. Get all your monsters and gremlins out of your haunted house and line them up in a place where you can see them. Let them hang out there even after Halloween is over as a reminder of who is in charge. Monsters tend to have less control over you when you see them. Whenever you feel their creepy presence, just take a look at their toy representative and have a laugh. They are really not that scary in the daylight.
I’ve been serving up Lawsagna for a full year now. It’s been an exciting year, filled with blogosphere explorations, new friends, and lots of learning. I am happy to report that many stop by for a Lawsagna bite, and some opt for seconds. I’ll do my best to keep it healthy and varied. And if you like it, I can deliver Lawsagna right to your mail box.
Thanks a lot to all of you for your support!
The 15th of October is Blog Action Day. Thousands of bloggers put their thinking energy into one issue today – the environment. They write about it in their own ways, weaving the topic into the themes of their blogs. So, how are we learning about the environment?
Some learning we do by choice, other comes to us the hard way. Learning about the global warming and its effects is an example of the latter. You may have heard about the four stages of learning:
The events of this year shifted many of us into the conscious competence stage. We know what we should and shouldn’t do to make a difference. We know enough about the issues to start acting accordingly. Sustainable living takes planning, adjustment, and concentration. There is still a lot we need to learn as individuals, families, communities. Any change is hard, and it takes effort. It is easier to leave the computer on because that’s how we have always left it. It is easier to toss a can into the trash rather that look for a recycling bin. It is easier not to think about those habitual actions. After all, they are part of our unconscious competence. And we have to replace them with the skills that we are still learning, and it is a challenge. Practice is really the only way. “Think and do,” “think and do” will eventually evolve into “do and do,” and think about something else. That’s when the environmental consciousness will become part of us, so much so that the new practices will be automatic, just like brushing our teeth in the morning. But even then, we will still be learning about exciting discoveries and new better ways to do things, and we will continue trading our unconscious behavior for the conscious again. It is a never-ending process, but hopefully, the one that leads to a better life on this one beautiful planet.
Young lawyers who are involved or have interest in a cross-border practice may want to check out the scholarships from The Inter-Pacific Bar Association.
The Inter-Pacific Bar Association ("IPBA") is an international association of business and commercial lawyers with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
The IPBA scholarships enable young lawyers to attend the IPBA’s Eighteenth Annual Meeting and Conference which will be held in Los Angeles from April 27 – 30, 2008.
The highlight of the year for the IPBA is its annual multi-topic four-day conference. The conference has become the "must attend event" for international business and commercial lawyers. In addition to plenary sessions of interest to all lawyers, programmes are presented by the IPBA's eighteen specialist committees. The IPBA annual meeting and conference provides an opportunity for lawyers to meet their international colleagues with Asian practices and to share latest developments in cross-border practice and professional development in Asia.
Pull up a chair, get your cup of coffee (or tea) and join our conversation about informal learning and professional development.
Think how rapidly things change nowadays. Successful knowledge workers have the skills to learn fast, think clearly and act decisively. They don’t feel overwhelmed with information because they know what to look for and how to find and prioritize it. Yet, many of us would probably agree that we have very little time to work on the skills we need to learn better. Here’s an idea. Let’s have a conversation about our informal learning and professional development. How do we learn? What works and what doesn’t? How can we maximize our learning “on the job” – by doing what we already do anyways, but perhaps with better approaches, frameworks, and focus?
Are you ready to take charge of your learning? Join our Learning Incubator community to share your learning goals, achievements and tips for success, to inspire and get inspired to be the best learner you can be. Bring curiosity, humor, respect, and appreciation – that’s how we learn best. The membership is free. What’s there to lose, except a good conversation?
I am working on a new idea right now and have a question for you. Even though my posts often focus on the formal legal education, some of you may know that I also have a strong interest in informal learning and professional development that happens on the job and outside formal training programs. It is a fascinating topic for me because that’s how we learn most of our adult life anyways. I suppose, informal learning becomes even more important these days because:
With that in mind, I plan to start a free-membership community to have a conversation about how we learn informally and test-drive some of the approaches. Perhaps, we could share our learning goals, aspirations and stories, talk about what works and what doesn’t work, offer tips and support for our individual learning journeys. It would be nice to know how we can maximize our learning while doing what we would do anyways, but perhaps, with better approaches, structure and focus. It can be similar to weight loss support groups, except instead of losing pounds, we will be gaining knowledge. What do you think? My other site, Buddy-In-Law, which allows forums, wikis and other neat social networking things, can probably accommodate this.
If you think you may be interested to join, please send me an email to ana (at) lawsagna.com, I just want to gauge the potential interest. I’d also appreciate any suggestions you may have on categories and topics for discussions.
How to manage time better:
Time Management Pretest: How Efficiently Do I Manage My Time?
Time management tips and resources from Academic Skills Center at Dartmouth College
Time Management Schedules to download form Academic Skills Center at CalPoly
21 Ways to Add More Hours to the Day at Lifehack.org
How to process information better:
10 Essential Mind Mapping Links at Codswallop
Improving Note Taking with Concept Maps at Mind Tools
Memory Principles: Quick Reference Guide for Brain Compatible Learning Principles
What resources help you study better?
I am brewing my own learning concoction as a guest blogger at Cup of Chai. Inspired by the unique design of My Cuppa, a color-matching guide mug that allows you to mix milk with your coffee just the way you like it by matching the color guide on the inside of the mug, I wonder what kinds of ingredients I would choose for a learning potion. You take a sip and turn into the best learner you can be. Do you want to know the recipe? Follow me all the way to Switzerland.
Liz Strauss at Successful Blog honored me with the title of an Official SOB –
a Successful and Outstanding blogger, that is. Here is what she says about SOBs:
They take the conversation to their readers, contribute great ideas, challenge us, make us better, and make our businesses stronger.
I thank all of our SOBs for thinking what we say is worth passing on. Good conversation shared can only improve the blogging community.
Nice! Thanks to Liz, I am now in a great company of the SOBs. Check them out.
When was the last time you experienced a learning whirlpool? Learning whirlpools happen when the tides of curiosity and synchronicity meet to produce a rapid stream of ideas that spin and jolt you to the core. Learning whirlpools are energizing and refreshing for the mind. Here comes one now...
Begin with a question, or “5.75 Questions You’ve Been Avoiding”. Feel the pull of your curiosity: “I had an ‘itch’ I had no choice but to scratch.” (Danny Meyer, the author of “Setting the Table” interviewed by Rosa Say). Let go of the familiar ground and lead the change: “transform an idea into a plan into an action.” Embrace synchronicity. Feel the rush of thoughts, take a deep breath and submerge into silence, watch a new story unfold in your mind’s eye. Be yourself and notice what makes you happy. Write your story "with all your senses."
I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while now…for almost 8 months, to be exact, filled with my labor of love, lots of learning, anxiety, and anticipation. Finally, I am happy to announce the launch of my internet-based learning portal – Buddy-In-Law.com. I envision this site as a platform where I offer training courses and workshops for legal professionals. The first course on the menu is Introduction to Legal Writing, designed for individuals whose first language is not English and who want to study law, conduct research in U.S. academic institutions or work as legal professionals. The course builds the foundation of effective legal writing while introducing students to the US legal system. Students practice the basics of case analysis and legal reasoning as they learn to structure, develop, revise and edit their writing, and get familiar with some key concepts from logic and rhetoric. Conceived for non-native speakers of English, it can be a good review course for anybody who needs to brush up his or her writing skills.
The course is designed in the Open Source course management system Moodle, which supports the “social constructionist pedagogy” (for those who care). What it means in practical terms is that the course platform allows for good interactive components, including chats, forums, and instructors’ feedback. At the same time, it is very flexible. Students can access lessons at their convenience and progress at their own pace. Please check it out, tell your friends who may be interested in the course. I’d also appreciate any feedback you can give me. Lawsagna, of course, will continue as usual, and hopefully, be even better, with your help and support, my dear readers.
There are ten minutes left. You are done. You look at the notebooks and try to remember if you need to return and check on a section. You could also add this…but no, you are going to trust your initial instinct. Maybe, you don’t really trust it, but you trust your brain six grueling hours later even less. So you just sit and stare at the notebooks, and then you hear: “Put the pencils down,” and so it’s settled. The place is slowly starting to buzz. As you stumble out of the room, you tell yourself: “It’s over…done deal!” The whole thing is a bit anti-climatic. You are tired, and your feelings are numb. But a sense of relief begins to envelope you slowly and cautiously. The following couple of days will be strange. You will have to find something to do to fill the vacuum of the day. But it will be nice so you will let yourself float in this newly formed vacuum. Or maybe you already have booked a ticket to the Caribbean so it’s almost time to pack.
To those of you who are taking the bar this week, good luck! It will be over before you know it.
Inspired by Rainer Maria Rilke’s “Letters To A Young Poet,” Stephanie West Allen of Idealawg invited her readers to post on their blogs their “Letter to a Young Lawyer.” Since I receive correspondence from the ABA Young Lawyers Division, I am among the audience, still trying to figure things out. But I decided I’d give it a shot and write about a few paradoxes that I observed in law school and the beginning of my law practice. So, here we go.
Dear Young Lawyer:
You have chosen a profession and a career that is full of contradictions. By now, you should be comfortable with contradictions as they are abundant in the pages of law books that you are reading. They are just another problem to solve. Isn’t it what we do – solve problems? This brings me to the first contradiction:
I was tagged by Stephanie West Allen of Idealawg to participate in Alex Shalman's "Gotta' Get Goals" project:
In a new blog post, list and write about the top 5 to 10 goals that you gotta’ get so that you can truly say you have achieved your wildest dreams in life. These have to be your best, most exclusive, and over-the-top goals that you can pick off your goals list.
Stephanie’s email created a chain of serendipity as the night before I was reviewing my list of 100 goals that I made after reading The Power of Focus by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Leslie Hewitt. The review, in turn, was prompted by the talk by Dax Moy on the Anatomy of a goal that I recently listened to. He reminded me of the importance of identifying why I wanted to achieve my goals and the price I was willing to pay for it because goals come with a price tag.
I like the idea of letting my goals “age” like Champaign concealed from the world in dark cellars so that when the time is right, they can come to life with a celebratory pop and a splash of energy. That’s why I have taken liberty to cloak my goals in the quotations I like, instead of revealing them outright. Being indicative of my goals, these quotations inspire me and remind me why I do what I do. They are part of my vision board. I had fun selecting them and I hope you enjoy reading them.
If you want to share your goals with us, consider yourself tagged!
Do you want to see an inspirational movie for free? Universal Pictures and Best Buy will give away up to $15 million in free tickets to the nationwide release of "Peaceful Warrior" on March 30 - April 1. Starting March 18, you can obtain up to 10 free movie tickets. For information, go to the Best Buy site. "This truly is an example of an offer with no strings attached," according to Adam Fogelson, president of marketing, Universal Pictures.
For an appetizer, choose among The 29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet, as recommended by Belly Bites (via Lifehack). How about some crab cakes for vitamin B12 and zinc to boost your immunity? Or steamed artichokes with zesty lemon juice on top to give you a nice dose of antioxidants? Plus, the smell of a lemon will invigorate you.
For the main course, fish curry looks good, according to Eat Smart by Christen Brownlee in Science News Online. The foods you eat affect not only your body, but your brain as well. You probably already know that fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your brain. What you may not know is that curcumin - a component of the curry spice turmeric - may reduce the amount of beta-amyloid, a protein that can aggregate into waxy deposits that have been associated with Alzheimer's symptoms.
You can finish your dinner with a choice of Top 10 Foods for a Good Night’s Sleep, suggested by Yahoo! Food. Sleep allows us to consolidate our memories so that we can learn new things. Did you know that March 5 – 11 is 2007 National Sleep Awareness Week? To catch some Z’s, drizzle a little honey in your warm milk or treat yourself to one of the low-fat lullaby muffins, made with whole-wheat flour and bananas (the Yahoo! Food article has the recipe).
But before you doze off, check out the Waffle House grill cook cheat sheet via information aesthetics. It illustrates the way in which a cook marks the orders. For example, a tub of jelly placed upside down at the 6 o'clock position on a dinner plate indicates scrambled eggs and a wheat toast. It made me wonder if a dinner plate could be used to memorize, let’s say, the filing deadlines for pleadings in the civil procedure rules. One minute of a clock can represent one day so to remember the deadlines, you would need to visualize the positions of the clock hands. Then, you can come up with foods for different stages of the process, and you are ready to arrange your “action-plate.” Is it too much work for what it’s worth? I don’t know. Sleep on it.
Last week I wrote a tip bit about the importance of looking at a situation from different perspectives. Later, I received this photo via email, which seemed to be a perfect illustration of how a choice of perspective defined the outcome. It was taken by photographer George Steinmetz for National Geographic Magazine (you can download the image as wallpaper from the National Geographic website, look under Week 4).
Do you notice anything special about this photo? Spoiler:
The actual camels are the tiny white lines on the ground. The large black silhouettes are shadows. This is a view from the top.
Now, that’s a bling worth seeing, but you have to travel far. To the constellation Centaurus, 50 light-years from the Earth, to be exact. 10 billion trillion trillion carats of diamond twinkling in the space. This gem is the crystallized carbon heart of an old star, the so called white dwarf, discovered by astronomers. How is that for a symbol of Universal love? And Universal Abundance.
Give love. Feel love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
The Idealawg and Life at the Bar are conspiring to start The Secret Society of Happy Lawyers, but it looks like some secrets may soon come out. How about opening the VALVE of Happiness as a rite of initiation? The VALVE is a code that stands for:
Are you ready to open your VALVE of Happiness?
"We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
Edith Lovejoy Pierce
Happy New Year!
An appreciation storm is taking over the legal blogosphere thanks to the efforts of Stephanie West Allen of Idealawg and Julie Fleming Brown of Life at the Bar. I got swept away by the idea. Here’s my contribution.
Lawyers appreciate mentorship, especially young lawyers. Practice of law is challenging. The mental, physical and emotional demands of the legal career can be high. Much has been written recently about the fact that law schools don’t prepare students enough for the reality of legal practice. That’s why lawyers appreciate the guidance, care and wisdom of their mentors. Counsels need good counsel. They appreciate the time that mentors take from their busy schedules to teach, lead, encourage, inspire, and pass on the highest standards of work and ethics to the younger generation of attorneys. This season, we take time to give thanks to people who touch our lives in a meaningful way. So much of the law practice is about finding meaning in words, actions, events, relationships. Our mentors help us to find meaning in our work and lives, so let’s not forget to show our gratitude to our mentors, and let’s take this spirit of appreciation into the upcoming year.