TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Suzanne Craig Robertson on Sep 1, 2016

Journal Issue Date: Sep 2016

Journal Name: September 2016 - Vol. 52, No. 9

“One of the many things cancer taught me was to commit to my health, to make that one of my primary concerns,” says Mary Griffin. After her breast cancer diagnosis she took an eight-week course on meditating “for people who have been through a health scare, because I didn’t have a way to relieve stress” and because she found it difficult to start a practice on her own.

Mary Griffin“I have high-energy border collie personality,” Griffin laughs. “Meditative mindfulness is the only thing that holds me in my seat sometimes. Everybody can do it. It’s easy.” She even meditates walking from her car to her office.

“You can do it anytime, even in middle of the workday.” To do this, she may plant her feet on the ground and breathe deeply or take a body scan (she explains this is being mindful of the state each part of your body is in). She tries to get out of her office at lunch every day, walking and meditating, “paying attention to those details that normally would pass me by. This is meandering,” she stresses, “not exercise.”

Some meditations are as quick as a minute, Griffin says, “and everyone has a minute!” She suggests starting with guided meditation, although that may be the “hardest part for attorneys — listening to someone else tell you what to do.”

Pat Blankenship also recommends working in short periods of meditation throughout the day — even just 10 minutes. “It gives you a break, a vacation,”?she says. “You can drop out of any stressful situation — you can change your physiology and your psychology about what’s happening as well. … It becomes a tool you can use at any given moment as the need arises,” she says.

“The busier you are the more you need it and the more you’ll benefit from it,” Blankenship says. “It’s becoming critical. The statistics about how we are suffering bears that out. You’ve got to slow it down for a moment.”