Today is Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews around the world. In every synagogue congregants sit in prayer and meditation. Regardless of the time of year, it’s always a good idea for lawyers, both Jewish and gentile, to take some time and reflect on their lives.
Today Jews observing Yom Kippur consider this past year and atone for those things we have done wrong. We ask forgiveness of those we have wronged or slighted. But most importantly, we imagine our own end and contemplate living a fuller life in the year to come, as it may be our last.
Rabbi David Wolpe explains that on Yom Kippur we consider our own death. In that way we can “more powerfully return to life” and be the best parents, spouses, friends, and lawyers we can be.
This past year has seen the birth of my new law firm among many other changes. There have been stressful days followed by long nights. I’ve failed to keep in touch with friends and family, and been brusque with clients or court staff. I’ve talked down to other people, or been sarcastic with them.
As you’re reading this, I will be meditating and praying on these things and contemplating how I can do better in the upcoming year.
Even if you’re not Jewish, you can use this time to meditate on how things are going at home, at work, and in your head. Take ten minutes today to silence your phone, turn off your monitor, and think. Although I’m still new to the practice, I know that it’s incredibly easy for our lives to get away from us. Let today be a day for self reflection. That kind of process can help to clear your mind. It’s been said that even short periods of meditation are like defragging your mind.