I return often to the idea of finding my joy. I have had many humbling experiences not so long ago that helped me see a reflection in the mirror that bore little resemblance to joy. In Master Resiliency Training, I was reminded of the power of positivity in “Hunting the Good Stuff.” I am a (fairly) recent devotee to meditation, and I continually remind myself there is value in rest.
In my quiet reflections, what I realize is that I never feel more alive (in my professional world) than when I am teaching. It is my joy. And it takes many forms.
Teaching is more than standing at the podium with a slide deck to lecture, though that piece is certainly part of it and part of my joy, and makes me feel alive, rejuvenated, and satisfied.
Teaching comes into my profession when I am guiding an expert through a direct (and even a cross) examination. It teaches the fact finder.
Teaching presents itself when my esteemed firm members ask for a “gut check” or want to strategize next steps for a client.
Teaching even finds itself at the white boards of our family “kid lounge” when me and my teenagers solve for x, and always at my kitchen table when I *get to* work through curriculum for my youngest’s next sacrament.
COL (Retired) Michael Mulligan imparted to me and to so many of my peers that when a person asks any of us a question, that in doing so they are paying us a significant compliment. Because, you see, it means they value our answer. Otherwise, they would not ask.
When presented with the unique opportunity to travel to Arizona to teach at a DCAP led event, how could I ever decline? I am eternally grateful for the chance to receive questions, to try to impart my best answers. In doing so, I promise I have received. I am better for the questions posed, the chance to be thoughtful in considering each one, and in giving my best effort to respond.
I am never more alive than when I am teaching. Gratitude washes over me, and I am renewed and invigorated in hearing the tales of my brothers and sisters in the field who are all fighting the good fight. Their energy warms me.
The added chance to address issues of resiliency, vicarious trauma, and burnout, healthy (and unhealthy) coping mechanisms is nearly indescribable. As many know, I have been vocal about my criticism of the military’s failure to take care of its first-responder lawyers from a wellness standpoint. I see change, and I am proud to be even a small part of it. I shared a lot about my journey, and I shared even more about my struggle. If even one person feels less alone, then I succeeded.
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