New beginnings

A whisper in the wind

A blank page untouched by time

In the sliver of dawn

Where shadows fall back behind

The horizon line

Faith blooms anew

In the silent space

A promise of what may yet unfold

Among the secrets

Still untold

Like dewdrops on petals

In soft morning light

A dance of potential

With a wiggle of might

New beginnings

Like a canvas wide

Invite us to paint a journey

Much obliged

For in the beat

Between breaths and sighs

Is where the magic quietly resides

Okay, your turn:

New beginnings…love ‘em or dread ‘em? Does it depend? If so, in what ways?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2024 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

June’s solstice brings

Tall flowers

and a shower or two

upon the desert

An oasis

is forming

and bubbling

beneath the surface

Oh gathering

solstice

sympathy of souls

When the sun is done

and down

Is it really ever down?

As we honor June’s solstice

may we see its shining

wisdom

among the shadows

peeking out

at us

As we journey through time and space

May the solstice’s gleam

Guide us as we weave our soul’s own dream

And esteem

Gathering steam

On this auspicious occasion

Once an earthly year

Let us smile and behold

In our soul’s delight

And welcome all wonders

seen

and unseen

With all our mighty

fire

and light

Okay, your turn:

What about June’s solstice arises in you? …anything in particular that has come into sharpened view for you this year?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2023 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

A moment of repose

As we approach another changing of the seasons

and a close to the year

I pose

this question

to you and for you

to consider

In a moment of reflection and repose

I suppose

It’s not too much to ask

Not too much to request

and suggest to myself

and to all who will receive it

That we take a breather

and embrace the stillness

the isness

and

the ever-available forgiveness

of the moment.

For your consideration:

Among the hustle of the holiday season, may you set aside a quiet moment of reflection and repose? Heck, set a timer for 22 minutes, if you must.  Yeah, okay, that may not sound particularly spiritual, but it works!

For me, this holiday season so far has been one of deep study and stillness amongst the storm of society, external influences, and seemingly endless unrest.  I go within, where all is well. I invite you to do the same. Let your soul be your guide.

Okay, your turn:

Would you rather plow through the holidays, making lists, and checking things off the list, going back to the list, checking the list again, and on and on? Or, would you rather smile at the joys of the season, the light, the shimmer and the glimmers of hope? What you see is what you get. The light is what you are.

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

“Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”

This phrase, popularized during the 1960s and ’70s has a nice ring to it, indeed. A catchy phrase, so to say. It’s a way of reminding us that we can start fresh, start over, each day brings a new dawn. It’s the latter part of the phrase, though, that can be confounding. The “rest” of your life, as in the remainder of your life, what is that, exactly? It’s unknown. It’s the grand mystery. The remainder could be years, months, or an instant.

Today IS your life, yes?

Sure, there’s the unfolding. There’s the becoming. There’s the planting, the cultivating, the growing, the expanding, followed by the harvesting and the fruits of our labor. There can be beauty, grace, lessons, and meaning in all of these. Heck, many a Soul Notes article has been devoted to these topics. In my own life, and in others’ lives, I advocate for the process of envisioning, and easing into the flow, and merging with the natural cycles.

There’s wisdom in setting sail and course-correcting with awareness and intention. It’s not an either, or. It’s an all-in. All-in this moment. All-in with all senses engaged. All-in awareness. Now. And again. And again.

For your consideration:

Here’s another popular phrase: “We have time to kill.” If we’re simply treading water waiting for the ‘real’ event to happen, then what happens in the meantime? It’s ALL in the meantime!

As the signs say along the tracks of the London Underground: Mind the Gap.

Living with awareness brings the present moment into focus. Living without awareness is a life, erm, not really lived — a life suspended, like a tolling of a statute of limitations. Don’t be that person. Be you. All of you. All the time.

Okay, your turn:

Rephrasing the ‘the first day of the rest of your life’ into: Today IS your life — When you read this, what comes up for you?

I invite you to share your observations, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

Second things first

“It’s become so automatic, I don’t even think about it when I’m doing it.”

“It is so ‘second nature,’ I could do it in my sleep.”

What if we put our second nature first? What if our second nature became our first nature?

When we say something becomes second nature, we mean that it’s not something we’re consciously aware of when we’re doing it. For example, once you learn how to drive a car, you’re not consciously aware of all the movements you’re making to drive the car, and to navigate from point A to point B.

It could also be something that we say we do by instinct — again, without really thinking about it.

“I don’t know how I reached out and kept that child from falling over the railing, it was just a knee-jerk reflex.”

In other words, it’s living from your subconscious. I wouldn’t say it is unconscious — it’s anything but that. Rather, it’s consciously living from what is there all along. Instead of relying on thinking to make it happen — we let the thinking take a back seat, and elevate the subconscious up to the surface.

We can invite it up and out to play all the time! Radical idea? Maybe. Worth it? Absolutely.

Is thinking overrated?

“I never gave it another thought.”

“I just did it without thinking.”

We say things like the above statements as if thinking is the central benchmark, the kingpin, the main yardstick by which to gauge our actions and experiences. Why have we given thinking such an elevated status?

Of course, in any given moment your brain never truly shuts off. It doesn’t completely disengage from your bodily functions any more than your lungs keep from expanding and contracting, or your heart stops beating.

It’s merely a part of you, and yet it’s not all of you. When your second nature kicks in — during any emergency for example — you bring your awareness into keen focus. You are bringing a blending in of all of you into and to that moment. You are one with the situation, each person in that moment, and truly one with all of creation. There are no boundaries real or perceived. I know this may seem trippy, and I assure you this is not a drug-induced blog post, if that’s what you’re thinking. What you’re thinking, see what I mean? We are a thinking-obsessed so called modern society.

For your consideration:

What if we allowed our thinking to fade into the mix of our lived experiences, almost as if we swirled our thinking into a can of paint, using a wooden dowel, and letting the thinking disappear into the whole of the paint? Would we miss it ? Or, would we simply allow it to swirl into the mixture that becomes the fully blended vibrant paint color? Did the prior paint in the can cease to exist, or did the new paint that was added in — did that no longer exist, once we mixed it all in together? Nope. It stayed. It melded. It only seemed to disappear.

We can step out of our thinking brain and experience all of creation in a 360-degree (up down, all-around) way. We can live life in a way that I would deem to be spherical.

I contend that our lives would take on a, pardon the pun, whole new dimension. I’ve been living this way the past few weeks, and it’s been wild as heck and soooo nice to give my brain a rest. I’ve been putting my brain on an ongoing moment-by-moment ‘time out,’ and it’s been wondrous. And, in living this way you’re never alone, because you are living from a place of being one with everyone and everything.

Okay, your turn:

Does this idea of living from what I am calling a place of spherical awareness — living wholly and completely from outside the thinking mind — does that appeal to you? Are you willing to give it a go?

I invite you to share your feelings and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

Things we rotate

 

“Rotate your tires”

“Rotate your mattress”

“Rotate your crops”

 

 

Evenly distributed

wear and tear

 

threadbare

tattered

torn

 

instead

 

tread

tread lightly

 

leaving a gentle footprint

and an easeful sharing and carrying

of the load

 

For your consideration:

There is something to be said about consciously evening out the wear and tear on something as much as possible.  It keeps it refreshed. It prolongs its life. It prevents undue strain on any one area or facet.

Take a moment to reflect:

What in your life right now could benefit from a little rotating? Sure, it could be your mattress (ha!), but what about different parts of your lifestyle or your life’s journey? Is there a particular area of your life, or your thought patterns or beliefs, that’s been stuck way too long in the exact same position?  Has there been so much pressure consistently applied in a single place, that it’s worn out?  If not physically, then intellectually or emotionally?

You’re at choice to do something about it. Can you flip it? Rotate it? Turn it upside down? Inside out? Even simply envisioning doing this can create a magical revelation for you.  Try it!

Okay, your turn:

Did you try rotating something in your world?  If so, what did you notice?  If you haven’t tried rotating anything, will you soon? 

I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2021 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

From disciple to discipline

 

Once a student

always a scholar

 

Disciple comes from the Latin for student

and Old English for scholar

 

Who is teaching

and who is learning?

 

A disciple:

One who follows

and yet who is leading?

Truly?

 

What does it take to lead

Or to follow one’s lead

 

Is it discipline?

 

A steady, consistent

grounded

follow through

in a way

that invites a welcomed result

without leaning too hard

on specific expectations

rather on beautiful outcomes

 

and remaining open to surprises

not unlike

the writing of poetry

or the reading of poetry

 

the writing of a poem

the reading of a poem

 

Did this take an unexpected turn?

Are you surprised?

I smile as I write this

I hope you do too

as you read this

 

Following

a follower

or a following-through

of sorts

 

Hopefully devoted

to devotion

or so it seems

at the seams

along the edges

then all-in

fully immersed

in the sea of wishes

and dreams

and with the continued discipline

to see them emerge

in their fullest

expression

 

And we’re back.

 

For your consideration:

What about following, or leading, evokes a stirring within you? Anything?  All things? Certain things?

For me, curiosity runs through me almost like life’s blood. It doesn’t waver. To try to stop it would be like trying to hold my breath.

Questioning, seeking, learning, solving, not quite solving, learning again, solving, not quite solving. Life offers a Rubik’s cube of possibilities.

Okay, your turn:

Would you consider yourself a follower, or a leader, or both? Are you always learning, studying? When do you turn from being a learner to a doer, to an experimenter, an explorer, an adventurer? Or, do they blend into one another?

I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

It is a matter of what matters

Isn’t it?

Don’t you think?

Actually,

don’t.

Don’t you,

think.

 

Don’t think

Instead, feel

into what

matters.

 

What matters to you, to your soul?

A few things that matter to me:

 

In addition to money as currency

(not to be confused with ‘currentness,’ which is something different, altogether)…

 

Love as currency

Caring as currency

Compassion

Respect

Understanding

Empathy

Oneness

Wholeness

 

The sustainability of each of us

And the planet

Depends on it

On us.

 

What matters to you?

Does it matter?

Yes.

It matters

No matter

what.

For your consideration:

Set a countdown clock on your phone or computer, for a quick 11 seconds.  Without thinking, blurt out (and write down on a piece of paper), the first three things that matter to you. They can be lofty or grounded, simple or complex.  No editing allowed. No filtering. No worrying about what others’ opinions may be. This exercise is for your eyes and heart only.

Repeat this process as many times as your heart desires.  By the end of the day, take the entire list or sets of lists (remember, no editing), and put the paper under your pillow and sleep on it. Dream on it.

The next morning (again without thinking, without editing), jot down anything that arose for you since the previous day.  Anything new that you discovered really matters to you?  Anything that really doesn’t matter to you, after all?

On each new moon, if you so desire, revisit your list and see what still matters.

Okay, your turn:

Have you really felt into what matters to you?  If not, why not?  If so, what has been revealed?  Anything surprising? Anything unusual? Anything you’d like to reprioritize?

I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2020 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

 

All that is holy

With this season of holy nights and holy lights illuminating the darkness and lighting our path, we await each new dawn. We emerge into the day’s light, having risen from our moments of respite and retreat.  I write this symbolically and yet from the physical realm, too.  The deeper the well, the deeper the water; the deeper the reach down fully into the source.

At this, the final new moon of 2019 and among the few remaining nights and days of the 2010s, we are each about to step across a threshold from one decade into the next.  It’s a time of high energy and high holiness.

All are sacred

All are holy

Are we wholly holy?

Yes

Does our wholly holiness show up wholly?

Not always

 

We focus on the season

We can focus on a lifetime

Well spent

Well enjoyed

Well served

Well shared

Deep from within

our own well

 

Our whole selves…

 

Sacred

Sacral

Sacrificial

Sacrum

Consecrated

Chamber

Heart

Night

Day

and

Light

again

For your consideration:

As we leave behind 2019 and cross into 2020, I wonder this: What’s on the horizon?

What is it that you hold most high? Most holy? Will you express it? Wholly?

I invite you to set a timer for 11 minutes, take three long deep breaths, close your eyes and allow an image, a word, a phrase, a feeling of what the next decade will represent for you and how you will move through this new decade as we approach that door, our front foot resting serenely and confidently upon the threshold.

Okay, your turn:

When you hear, read, or contemplate the word “holy,” what comes up for you? Is it tied to a particular holy-day, or a certain season?  It is something to which you aspire? Do you bring it into your interactions at work or other communities, with your family, with your friends?

I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2019 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.

Imagine if you will

Where in your life does your imagination play a role? Where does it fall on your priority list? Okay, so I’m not here to cause any panic or self-criticism.  As you’re reading this, I gather that the idea of invoking your imagination is now in your field of awareness.

In this edition of Soul Notes, we explore the ways in which imagination can take you to places well beyond what your mind, your intellect, your braniac brain can take you, and why that matters.  – Why that matters for you, your loved ones, your law practice, your trial team, your clients, the litigation process and legal system as a whole, and anywhere else that the ripple effects of your presence in the world may produce a valuable result.

I realize that is a tall order, and I’m confident that the tapping into the full extent of our imagination truly is that powerful. I invite you to welcome it in, and to use it as fuel for bringing forth outcomes that are beyond-the-beyond, as I like to say.

I know for me, when I stay too much in my head, I miss out on so much.  So, let’s dive deeper:

“Think like a lawyer”

Remember how we were often told that law school purportedly was designed to teach us to “think like a lawyer”? That has its place in our role as lawyers, for sure. Does that, however, make for the best of all possible outcomes? What about our imagination, our intuition, our instincts, our inner knowing…you know, all those things that come from the heart and spirit, our bodies even, and not from our intellect?

What if we were to bring all of ourselves into the practice of law?  What if we were to approach litigation, including our early case assessment (ECA) strategies and ideas generated from those processes into play, so as to produce wildly different and dare I say even surprisingly novel results?

Back when I was a law clerk, I was put in charge of ECA on a few of the firm’s incoming cases, including one involving defamation allegations. Upon my initial review of the Complaint, along with spending some quiet time pondering the underlying scenario and fact pattern, and mulling over the details a bit – a line of inquiry led me to pose this question to the lead partner on the case:  What if the alleged defamatory statements actually may have improved the plaintiff’s reputation, rather than damaged it?  That one question completely turned our ECA on its head, and changed dramatically our defense to the lawsuit, on behalf of our defendant client.  In our sometimes rush to draw quick conclusions, we run the risk of missing entirely different angles.

Setting aside time to think (and then some)

Once when traveling for work several years ago, I was reading the in-flight magazine and delved into an article where a CEO was describing how he prioritized his work day, and his work week.  He emphasized the importance of and the value he gleaned from blocking out time in his calendar for thinking.  He set aside specific hours as purely “think-time.”

I would suggest that we take this concept even further….MUCH further.  Let’s decide to extend our analysis beyond the mind and into the feeling and the emotions and the instincts, the “hunches” we may have about something, and following the intuitive bread crumb trails.

Yes, we CAN bring our hearts into the practice of law.  For many of us, our hearts (as well as our minds, of course) brought us to law school and to the legal profession, with the intention of making a positive impact in the world.  Why should we leave our hearts behind?  Why should we compartmentalize ourselves, and so much so that we feel ‘cut off’ from what we’re doing whenever we put our lawyer hat and heels on?

The so-what:

Succumbing to the industry-wide leanings toward intellectualizing the approach to law means we’re not only contorting ourselves to leave our internal, true wisdom behind – we’re also bringing less than the full plate of possible results and outcomes to the table for our clients.  And that, I contend, IS a big deal.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

– Albert Einstein

Yes, expanding the circle of possibilities may also bring up the dreaded ‘irrelevant’ along with the relevant. Some sifting through the sand may still be required.

The importance of discernment:

Your lawyer brain is still going to be put to good use. Don’t fret. (I can hear your brain protesting already…”But what about thinking like a lawyer?  That’s what I sweated through law school for!  That’s what my clients pay me for!”)  You’ll still need to invoke a certain amount of discernment.  You’ll need to make a few (or several) precise demarcations – before proceeding with your case strategy, for example.  I’m suggesting, however, that be made from the full array of options that only your imagination can bring to the forefront – and not from the limited array that your brain can come up with on its own.

And, this need not be done solely on your own. Inviting others into your imaginative process can be helpful as well.  Inviting in other points of view, and asking the question, “what am I possibly not seeing with regard to this case?” may reap substantial rewards. For more on this, and ways to bring this to your work team or other groups you’re a part of, take a quick view and listen to my short (6-minute) video, here.  Also, for more on the ways to facilitate a ‘talking circle’ so that each person’s voice is fully heard, review my previous blog post here.

For your consideration:

What all would be possible, if you evoked and invoked a spirit of imagination in all aspects of your law practice and in your life?  Where has your intellect only taken you ‘so far’ and stopped you short of reaching a full understanding of a scenario?

If you need help with this, leave a comment below or book an exploratory session here. Together we’ll see where you can bring more creativity into your law practice.

Okay, your turn:

Where, if at all, do you devote time and space in your day or week, for day dreaming?  Or, for creativity? Or, pure imagination?  When has going beyond using only your intellect brought you surprising (or at least more creative) results?

I invite you to share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences by leaving a Reply in the Comments section, below. Soul-to-soul!

© 2019 Lori A. Noonan. All Rights Reserved.