This is a guest post from Brandy Wilson Edwards as part of Lawline's Well-Being in Law Week. Browse 200+ diverse attorney well-being courses today. Not a Lawline member yet? Start a Free Trial during Well-Being in Law Week (May 1-5) to be automatically entered to win a free year of CLE.
The fact that you exist is significant and makes you valuable, even if you are exploring the meaning of life and your purpose in the world. Every moment in time since you were born has contributed to your uniqueness and all your life experiences have led you to where you are meant to be, and your future experiences will pave a path to wherever you are going. While so much of life only makes sense looking back, because it is easier to connect the dots of how one thing led to the next thing and how one choice was a stepping stone to the next choice, trust that you are being guided and you can get to where you desire to be if you simply listen, then act.
Pursuing, experiencing and understanding both peace and purpose will require you to listen to something beyond the expectations, limiting beliefs and judgments of society. Peace and purpose will require you to put in both time and effort to become intentional with your life and no longer accept living on autopilot. Of course, while it is easier to go through the motions, an easier life does not always lead to a fulfilling life. By that I mean a fulfilling life will require you to make certain choices that are not always easy but challenging and simultaneously exhilarating.
Defining Peace and Purpose
Whether you call upon your higher power for guidance, seek wisdom from your intuition, or evaluate information you receive from a variety of sources, how you define both peace and purpose are personal choices.
What does peace mean to you, and why?
What does purpose mean to you, and why?
Prioritize Fulfillment Over Fear
Living a life of fulfillment requires courage and taking action despite fear, which is why spiritual well-being is essential for the legal community. You are a zealous advocate for everyone else, so why not be a zealous advocate for yourself and prioritize the fulfillment you desire in life?
Our profession has too many statistics and alarming stories, but change is possible, even if it is challenging. Imagine a future with shocking statistics about happy legal professionals. If that sounds impossible, why? While it is great to focus on what you might be able to do to help others, try focusing on and helping yourself first. To start, how can you make your spiritual well-being a priority and not an option?
I attended a personal development event recently, a hobby I am obsessed with, to hear one of my favorite motivational speakers share his gifts with the world. Trent Shelton told us that “SETTLING IS SUFFERING.” Those three words were powerful and resonated with my soul. I felt a spiritual sense of urgency to start taking action in certain areas of my life because the time is now, not when we feel ready or comfortable. If you are not prioritizing peace and purpose, you are suffering. I hope those words speak to your beautiful soul and trigger self-reflection followed by immediate action.
If you are currently going through the motions, be kind to yourself and know that today is a new day and a new opportunity to make new choices. I was on the hamster wheel of life day after day, year after year, accomplishing and achieving what I thought I desired, but often felt a lack of fulfillment in many aspects of my life.
Fortunately, I started to listen to more of what my soul was calling me to do, which was easier when I took time to pause, slow down and notice how I felt, and why. Over time I have worked on letting go of trying to control various situations and instead try my best to take inspired action while detaching from the outcome. Personally, I feel a sense of peace when I make more intuitive choices, even though logical choices might appear convincing and feel safe. Change has been gradual in my life, but it became possible when I started to prioritize purpose in my life.
How can you replace surface level happiness and mediocre activities with more soul level fulfillment? Give yourself permission to be curious, and try to release any expectations while you experiment.
What Does Spiritual Well-Being Mean To You?
Defining spiritual well-being is subjective because it is personal to you, your values and your beliefs. Your spiritual well-being practices are unique to you, and how they make you feel is what is important.
If you created your own definition of spiritual well-being, how would you explain it to a friend or to a connection on LinkedIn? In the spirit of Well-Being in Law Week, after reading this article I invite you to share your personal definition of spiritual well-being on LinkedIn. Feel free to tag me @BrandyWilsonEdwards so I can support your post, and consider using the following hashtags: #SpiritualWellbeing #WellBeingWeekInLaw #WWIL #Lawline #LawyerWellBeing
While spiritual well-being has many components, peace and purpose are essential because they provide a sense of meaning, connection, contentment, and fulfillment in your life. There are many examples and possibilities for creative definitions, but overall peace provides comfort, a sense of calmness and feeling at ease with your life, and purpose gives you direction and allows you to exist with intention in your life.
When you think about prioritizing peace, ask yourself what you need to subtract from your life, or let go of. Allow yourself to have compassion for yourself with your responses.
For example, the idea of blessing and releasing has been very healing for me. It is a way to acknowledge what was while simultaneously letting it go, which will allow you to create space and invite more peace into your life.
You take control of your life with your choices:
What would your life look like if you made more choices you felt called to make, even if it did not make sense?
What if you allowed yourself to be guided by your higher power or your intuition, rather than prioritizing the logical choices you think you should make, or the choices society tells you to make?
Can you consider letting go of a certain habit or disempowering routine, just for today, or this week?
How do you feel about editing your social circle like you might edit your closet when you want to elevate how you feel?
If you were not worried about the opinions or judgments of others, what choice would you make?
Letting go creates space, which can include letting go of the expectations that you or others have for your life. While making a safe choice is easy, making a courageous choice is rewarding and nourishes your soul.
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Purpose can motivate you to stop waiting so you take action on your audacious goals and dreams, or decisions that deep down you know will significantly impact your life. When you think about prioritizing purpose, ask yourself what you need to add to your life, or what you need to invite into your life. Allow yourself to be creative with your responses.
For example, a concept that has been instrumental in my journey to prioritize purpose is understanding that sometimes a dream must die so another dream can be born. All dreams serve a purpose, whether they are fulfilled or not.
Whether it is a personal dream or a professional dream, purpose can be found in a decision to move on by inviting something or someone into your life that ignites a spark inside of your heart and soul. Meaningful and magical experiences will replenish your spirit, so listen to what you are feeling called to do and then take action when you have the opportunity.
As you consider adding something into your life to explore purpose, think about where you can add joy. Balance some of the mundane parts of life with more meaningful moments. Meaning can be found in savoring small moments, as well as appreciating simple, everyday moments.
To experience more purpose, consider the following questions:
What do you lose track of time doing?
What do you love that you stopped making time for?
What would you do for free because you love it so much?
If you had more time what would you do, and why?
Prioritizing a passion project gave me purpose, transformed my life and rejuvenated my soul. Empowering professionals like yourself to pursue and achieve your potential in life with a sense of urgency lights my soul on fire. Using my voice, sharing my stories and following my happiness, all while inspiring the legal community, has allowed me to experience spiritual fulfillment and it is how I turned burnout into a blessing.
What positive ripple effect will happen over the years for you when you replace surface level and status quo happiness with purpose and spiritual fulfillment?
More Courage, Less Regret
Your purpose is more than your profession and peace is more than profits. Without purpose you might feel lost, stuck, bored or unfulfilled. Without peace you might feel stressed, overwhelmed, unhappy or anxious. Fortunately, you do not have to settle or suffer because you can start to prioritize peace and purpose today instead of waiting to start tomorrow.
Live a life of significance, defined by your own perspective of peace and purpose, one choice and one spiritual practice at a time. When you prioritize peace and purpose you prioritize your spiritual well-being in a unique way, which allows you to have less regret and exist with intention.
Brandy Wilson Edwards is an Attorney, motivational speaker and well-being advocate. You can find more of her work at BrandyWilsonEdwards.com
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