Choose Positive Living with Sara Troy and her guest Duane Light, on air from November 16th
Clients often come to me with so much anxiety, sadness or anger that they feel at a loss for what to do. They are often losing sleep, and experiencing negative impacts on their relationships, work, and joy in life.
This is understandable, since an important life issue is at stake for them, and the legal system can be distressing and expensive.
Over my 25+ years as a licensed, holistic attorney, and training as a coach and meditation teacher, I’ve learned and developed essential tools that help my clients to become more calm, clear and courageous so they can more effectively navigate their legal issues.
I’ve handled most types of legal cases, and have done dozens of mediations, arbitrations, negotiations and trials. I’ve seen witnesses, and sometimes clients, not follow the principles outlined in these tools, and end up making their cases costlier, longer and more stressful.
Here are the 5 tools:
1 Graciously Pause
2 Compassionately Move Through Your Emotions
3 Re-Vision Your Legal Situation – People, Circumstance, and
the Legal System
4 Gather Information / Meditate / Pray / Get Clear Guidance
5 Plan and Move Forward
We are on 4 sites and 14 audio and 2 video platforms as seen here.
© 2021 Duane Light, Peace in the Law 2
The first three tools help my clients reduce reactivity that could lead to
actions that could make their situation worse. Have you ever sent off an
angry email and later regretted it (especially if it worsens a conflict)? I think
we’ve all done that!
When we are under stress, research shows that the frontal lobes of the brain
can lose 30% or more functionality. I’ve seen worse – I’ve seen clients and
witnesses freeze, be unable to think clearly in deposition or trial, and answer
in ways damaging to their case.
When my clients are well trained, and can show up relaxed, clear, and with
their brain fully functioning, they become extremely persuasive witnesses. I
have several case examples of how difficult legal situations turned around
with this approach, and you can read a few at the end of this booklet.
The final two tools are practical and are only applied after my client first
attains a more calm, focused, well-functioning mind and emotional tone.
Now, on to more details:
When our minds and hearts are racing, we can’t think straight or make good
decisions. So, we first need to PAUSE. This means that when we are in any
intense emotion – fear, anger, sadness, feeling lost and confused – we take
a break from making decisions or taking actions.
This Pause usually lasts at least one day, so we can “sleep on it” before
making an important decision. Often three or more days are needed, so
there’s time to calm emotions and connect to a more peaceful, enlightened
My clients have successfully used meditation, contemplative prayer,
movement, dance, yoga, nature, sacred reading, journaling, or talking it
through with a spiritually oriented friend to find that place of quiet and
It’s important to practice this, many times over, to retrain yourself from
thinking you must do something right away. We often react quickly, such as
send out a harsh email, as a way to get rid of the negative feeling, yet all we
do is infuse a negative reaction into the situation and create an often-selfharming result.
Compassionately Move Through Your Emotions
There are many effective methods to compassionately meet, be with, and eventually calm your emotions.
This is not about stuffing, over-riding, denying or avoiding what you are feeling. In fact, these processes take some courage, a willingness to be real with ourselves. And you’ll need to invoke some strength and intention to delay at least for a while any response while in the heat of strong emotions.
My suggestion is that you begin by connecting to your inner resource of peace, compassion and wisdom, however you define that.
You might do this through meditation, prayer, reading sacred words, listening to sacred music, time in nature, a hot bath with candles and calming uplifting aromas – whatever works for you. This will provide some support for you before you dive in.
Then I suggest that you gently feel into whatever feelings or emotions are arising (one at a time helps). Then there are processes for inner sensing, accepting, and perhaps dialoguing, to see, hear and feel what may be the source of the feeling. (My free meditation, below, can take you through an
I’ve continuously found over many years of practice that once our wounded, fearful, angry or freezing parts are seen, felt, and heard in a loving way, they can relax. And we often receive an important understanding or message.
The time for the emotions to calm may take minutes, a few hours, or a day or two or three. What is important is quality of the inner listening, with an approach of self-love and patience.
Re-Vision Your Legal Situation – People, Circumstances, and the
When we are facing a difficult legal situation, our defenses can quickly arise.
We criticize and feel angry toward or fearful of the other.
These reactive defenses can lead to our injecting negative thoughts into the
situation. And these usually lead to increased conflict, time, and stress.
So, Re-Visioning takes some more inner work – exploring what might be
judgmental feelings inside. And, importantly, we continue to invoke our
highest beliefs, values, and spiritual principles:
Acceptance. Humility. Compassion. Empathy. Forgiveness.
Trust in a Higher Wisdom, Love and Peace.
If we can move toward seeing everyone as having a soul, a spirit, a Higher
Self connected to the Divine, then we can feel more compassion for them.
Gandhi did it. Jesus did it. Nelson Mandela did it. Martin Luther King, Jr. did
it. And their actions changed the world. I’ve seen application of these
qualities create great relief to my clients, and often create profound
transformations in their cases.
We can be that kind of example in the world—to those in the legal system,
to our family, our friends, our community. What better place to live and
represent the Divine within us?
And this is so effective. If we are kind and respectful, even to someone who
is angry, it tends to defuse the situation.
We do the same inner work with our attitudes toward the difficult life
circumstance we are facing. If we are having resistance to the way things
currently are – with “should haves” and “could haves” and “I wish they
wouldn’t” or “I wish they didn’t” or “why did they have to _,” then
those can also generate more negative thoughts, words and actions, and
unnecessary suffering for us and everyone around us.
With this acceptance, not fighting reality, we are gifted a sense of peace. We
are then able to proceed in a more balanced and effective way.
The same holds true for our attitudes toward the legal system, judges and
lawyers. I probably know more lawyer jokes than you do! (and many of
them are deserved).
However, if we walk into court with judgment, fear and anger toward the
judge, the clerk, other attorneys and our “opponent,” not thinking we’ll be
treated fairly, acting up-tight and defensive, let me tell you, that is not
persuasive or effective!
Imagine this instead – you walk into court like it’s your living room, nodding
and smiling to the judge, the clerk, and even the other attorney and the
person on the other side. You see through their external thoughts and
actions to their souls, and you care for them on that deep level.
You’re relaxed, confident and friendly. I’ll tell you, when any of us raise
ourselves up like this, it is a shock to the system! (in a good way).
Courts are so often filled with people who are dishonest, manipulative and
blaming, that when a “whole human” walks in – kind, fair and friendly – it is
I’ve literally seen a light come into the courtroom when the words I and my
client have spoken, calmly and truthfully, are borne out by the evidence.
Most judges can see and feel who is telling the truth. It’s really a beautiful
experience to see people in the courtroom affected by these expressions of
truth and love.
I’ve been in trials where, at some point, it becomes so obvious who is telling
the truth that the judge and I look at each other, and I know the case is
This is the experience that I deeply want for you.
- Gather Information / Meditate /Pray / Get Clear Guidance
Once you have worked with your emotions and attitudes, you will be better
able to access that “still, quiet voice within.” You will have access to higher
wisdom, higher truth, and more clear guidance on steps you can take to be
as strong as needed, while also moving toward peaceful resolution.
You are now ready to gather necessary information. That includes facts and
evidence you may need for your case, and some understanding of the laws
and procedures that apply.
If you are representing yourself in your legal issue, then you should at
minimum do some research online. I often recommend Nolo.com books for a
good overview of law and procedure (they have books and materials on over
150 types of legal issues).
Even if you have an attorney, it’s best for you to be more informed as a
client. You might also consult more than one attorney, or people with
experience or expertise in your type of issue (doctor, accountant, etc.).
Some attorneys will act as your coach for you.
For the meditation / prayer stage, one of my favorite spiritual teachers,
Marinda Macpherson, counsels us to “come before God with empty hands.”
5, Plan and Move Forward
Only after we have attained some degree of inner calm and peace,
compassionately met our emotions, re-visioned our attitudes and feelings
about people, the situation and the legal system, and taken time to seek
higher guidance, do we plan next steps and take action.
Planning is best done on several levels, including:
(a) The big picture. How do I want to BE in this situation? What kind of
example do I want to set for my family, friends and community?
(b) This specific life issue: What would be the highest outcome, on a
soul/spirit and practical levels, for everyone involved?
(c) The next significant stage in this process: This might be in the next
month or three months. What is most important to focus on right now?
What are reasonable goals? With my new approach of being
compassionate, defusing tension, and raising the vibration, how can I
reach out, how can I show some empathy, respect and care to
everyone involved, while also being strong and taking care of myself?
(d) The next week or two: What can I do on a personal level to ground
these attitudes and practices of humility, respect, compassion,
forgiveness, trust, and prayer or meditation? What can I do right now
to begin to shift the energy and focus? Write an email or letter? Talk to
my attorney about how I want to proceed, moving from “war” to
“peace with strength?” Where can I find support from specific family
members, friends, teachers or spiritual resources to help me ground
more in this approach?
6. Peace in the Law 6
That means relaxing, even if temporarily, our judgments, criticisms, pain,
anger, fears, plans, and whatever else is churning in heart and mind. We can
then approach the Divine with empty hands, in humility, completely open to
This also means letting rest, at least for this time, our preconceptions about
what would be the best way forward or even the best outcome. If we
believe that there is a higher truth or wisdom, then we need to “empty our
cup” so it can be filled, and we can be guided.
Humility, surrender, and trust serve us best here.
7. Peace in the Law 7 (e) Today: What can I do today to connect to my Inner Peace, compassionately meet my emotions, re-vision my legal situation, gather needed practical information and seek higher guidance, so I can effectively move forward? Rinse and Repeat! Make sure you keep cycling back through all 5 of these Skills for every major decision and action. The most important to train yourself in is the first part of Tool #1 – The GRACIOUS PAUSE – and then take time to find your Ground of Peace, Compassion, and Wisdom before taking any important action. I wish you the best in your personal life as well as for your legal issue. And let me know if I can help you through personal coaching or my weekly low-cost online holistic coaching call.
Beginning November 10, 2021, I’ll host a weekly Zoom call through my DISTRESS TO SUCCESS: Holistic Legal Coaching with Duane Light, JD private Members group. I’ll answer questions that are emailed to me at least a day in advance, selecting from the most universal or relevant each week. To find out more and take advantage of my special launch price of just $29/month, available until December 1, 2021, click this link: https://peaceinthelaw.kartra.com/page/Transformative-LegalCoaching
Offerings for Further Support Personal Coaching from me? Rarely is a legal problem purely legal. Almost all disputes involve emotional and interpersonal dynamics. If you are in a middle of a difficult legal situation, I currently have space for five more clients. To sign up for a free 45 minute Empower Your Case phone or zoom call, where we will explore whether it would be beneficial for you to work with me, click this link: Weekly Holistic Legal Coaching onlin
Disclaimer: This material does not constitute legal advice and does not create an
attorney-client relationship. When you are making important legal decisions or
taking action, please consult an attorney. By following these steps, I cannot
guarantee success in any life or legal situation, or guarantee the actions of any
third person, company or government agency.