THOUGHTS FROM A HOLISTIC LAWYER

BUILDING A FIRE

I just moved to a home in the mountains. I did this to be closer to nature, to slow down, be more mindful. As a city girl, I had loved to go to the country to hike, camp, and backpack. I have developed a comfort with discomfort. But my first winter morning waking up in the unfamiliar cold house forced me to finally do what I had been avoiding: build a fire in the wood-burning heating stove.

In my lifetime, I have sat near numerous campfires, fireplaces, and fire pits. I have been in places that did have such a stove that brought warmth. But not until I was busy making my first fire, did I realize that I had never done it myself. The previous owners left me supplies and instructions, so I went for it. And to my surprise, it felt natural. You just had to be present with it. Give it what it needed to ignite, then tend to it so it didn’t go out. You want there to be air circulating, but too much would put it out. You do watch it, but you also want to leave it alone to do its thing.

In learning how to do this task, I put my WHOLE self into it. I watched the flames, I listened to the crackling wood; I smelled the ash; I felt the heat; I tasted the smoke. In addition to my senses, I brought in all experiences I have had in my life – from watching others tend fires to seeing artificial ones and how they looked when burning. I also tapped into my confidence, which is needed with any task worth doing. I took ownership of the task.

People ask me what Holistic Legal Services means. While there are so many definitions and explanations, it means bringing your whole self to the case. Both lawyer and client are committed to work together to understand what is needed to be done and to accomplish it with confidence. And they are both ready for when the flame starts to go out or the log just won’t ignite! We adjust, look at the whole picture, and carry on, doing our best.