Mindfulness in Life and Law
To be mindful
to be mindful... to focus your attention, your awareness on the present moment, on your thoughts, on your body, on your feelings – a powerful skill, a way of living, a concept to help improve your physical and mental health and your overall wellbeing. If and how one “practices” mindfulness is personal – only we know what works best for ourselves.
But this does not mean we are alone – build connections with your FIU Law family. We seek to implement programs to help you lead a mindful and conscious life – in law school and in your personal lives. Support, motivate and inspire one another.
Explore upcoming events for mindfulness and well-being
FIU on-campus services
- Organic Farmers Market Consortium: Every Wednesday 10 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. during fall/spring semesters at Green Library breezeway. Visit their page here.
- Recycle: Help the FIU community reach the state-mandated goal of recycling 75% of waste by 2020 and be mindful of making a positive impact upon our planet.
- Healthy Living Program: Services that encompass the 7 dimensions of wellness: (1) physical, (2) intellectual, (3) occupational, (4) emotional, (5) social, (6) spiritual and (7) environmental.
- Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
- Allow yourselves time to enjoy the outdoors, to visit the FIU Nature Preserve, to explore walking and jogging trails – to simply breathe in fresh air.
- Set aside time during your busy schedule to de-stress. The FIU Wellness and Recreation Center offers a wide variety of classes to find the right match for you.
- Yoga / Mind&Body: Yoga provides a holistic approach to building strength, stamina and balance while teaching breathing techniques and meditation to support health and relaxation.
Mindfulness Task Forces
Mindfulness in Law Joint Task Force: The Board of Directors of the Dade County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association’s South Florida Chapter’s mission: “To work together to introduce the South Florida legal community to information on mindfulness, mindfulness programming, and to support the formation of mindfulness practice groups.” Browse articles on mindfulness in law.
National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being: The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change
- iCope: Dr. Anthony R. Ciminero, Ph.D. is a psychologist whose “research and practice has focused on stress related issues and the skills needed to cope effectively with every day problems as well traumatic life events.” His iCope book series covers “four core strategies needed to effectively manage and conquer stress” along with “comprehensive coverage of the various factors and learning experiences that can improve success and increase your resilience.”
Substance Abuse and Mental Health
- ABA’s Mental Health Initiative: The ABA Law Student Division, the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, and the Dave Nee Foundation offer various Mental Health Resources.
- Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs (CoLAP)
- The Mindful Lawyer: “The Florida Bar News introduced a new series on mindfulness aimed at educating lawyers on the issue and on how to practice mindfulness themselves.”
The Wellness Wire
Click here to visit the Wellness Wire.
Explore additional resources here.
- Elizabeth Adams, Too Much Information? Time For Meditation!, Above the Law, Feb. 14, 2014.
- Jeena Cho, How to Meditate: A Guide for Lawyers (Part I), Above the Law, June 8, 2015.
“There are many different types of meditation — insight, mantra, counting, body scan, centering prayer, and Metta or Loving Kindness. In each meditation, you’re intentionally focusing your mind to the object of attention (for example, the breath, mantra, sensations, etc.). This is why meditation increases focus and concentration, because you’re literally training your brain to continually focus on one thing.”
View 6-step guide to meditation and links to 1-minute and 6-minute meditation SoundCloud recordings.
Brian Hamman, How to Pick a Meditation App, The New York Times, Nov. 14, 2015.
Lizzie Widdicombe, The Higher Life: A Mindfulness Guru for the Tech Set, The New Yorker, July 6, 2015.
Meditation through Art
Dr. Kimberly Wulfert, clinical psychologist: “In coloring, you’ve got this physical sensation of the tool you’re using touching on the paper. You also have the feeling in your hands and fingers holding this tool, and moving in different rhythms as you fill in the space. . . . [Y]ou’re being mindful, and when you move in a rhythmic fashion for an extended period of time, that becomes a meditation.” Ashley Welch, Anxious? Break Out the Coloring Book, Everyday Health, May 28, 2015.
“Mandalas are sacred circles that have been long been used to facilitate meditation in the Indian and Tibetan religions. People create and look at mandalas essentially to center the body and mind.” Cathy Wong, Coloring Mandalas as a Meditation Technique, About Health, Dec. 11, 2014.
“Mandalas are entering medicine as a healing tool. An increasing body of clinical trials suggests that meditation may boost the immune system, reduce stress, combat depression, reduce pain, lower blood pressure, and stimulate the release of melatonin, a hormone believed to slow cell aging and promote sleep.”
- Nancy A. Curry and Tim Kasser, Can Coloring Mandalas Reduce Anxiety?, Art Therapy: Journal of the American Art Therapy Association, 22(2) pp. 81-85, 2005.
- Does Coloring Really De-stress? “One of the first psychologists to apply coloring as a relaxation technique was Carl G. Jüng in the early 20th century. He did this through mandalas.” Elena Santos, Coloring Isn’t Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress, The Huffington Post, Oct. 13, 2014.