Thursday, January 13, 2011

It Begins

OMG I did something I never thought I would do! I fired a client today! the reasons are long and boring (besides being confidential). but i have to say two things:
1. i knew from the beginning I shouldnt have taken this case
2. i'm glad i got out when i did.
i have to say that generally, i'm smarter than this. more savvy than the average bear. but i let my emotions get in the way of my common sense.
after writing my last blog i resolved to evaluate my life as it is. and this particular client fell into that evaluation. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt. If you fail that benefit, you will never get it again. Unless of course you are one turtle. But thats a different story.

so in evaluating my life, i dont look for the easiest cases. i look for client's whose ideologies are similar to mine. i took a case knowing that this was not it. for many reasons, i cant even tell you. but know this,i wont make this mistake again.
nor will i let my lapse in judgment deter me from knowing i am a good lawyer. that i have earned my stripes and i have earned my reputation.
cleaning house is full of the purest joy and the strongest anxiety. its like breaking up when you do the breaking feel scared but also free....
my business success is of my own making. i will not doubt. i will not second guess. even after this one mistake. she will say what shes wants about me. but in the end i know, i made the right decision for both of us.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Shows over

We work on ourselves, in order to help others, but we also help others, in order to work on ourselves. Pema Chandron
I'm better now that we are done making our trail. I feel honest and available and less afraid to choose things for myself.
Somehow, somewhere  I came to  believe that selflessness was the greatest virtue. To give to everyone and ask for nothing in return--not even gratitude. That the lack of gratitude somehow meant I needed to work harder, give more, please everyone.
I had a discussion with JB the other night. He said why do you give so much to people, especially people who take advantage of you? The answer used to be that I wanted to give for the goodness of giving, I believed that people would bring back that goodness to me, when I needed it or when my family needed it. 

I tell my cousin/sister all the time how much I enjoy being with her, specifically for two reasons 1. she always asks me how i'm doing and really wants to know the answer. and 2. she doesnt call me only when she needs something.

Growing up, I saw how much my parents gave to people and how often people took advantage of them. Even their own relatives only come to them when they need something. Dont ever call just to see how they are. And I hate it. It was one of the reasons I learned to distinguish relatives from family. I tell people I have a lot of relatives but I have a very small family.

So i'm going to be honest with myself and with people around me. I need to work on myself. I'm going to be selfish and that may be one of my most difficult tasks. So I'm setting my boundaries. Dont ask me to help you with advice or money or anything else, if when you think about it, the only time you call me is when you need something.
There are people who might not consider themselves part of this but who do only call for advice or to get the answer to a question. But fail to even say "hey how are you?" Its those people, I'm cutting out. Not necessary stopping my relationships completely with them but limiting what I can give and when.

I know who my friends are. I know who I can call on when I need help, support, encouragement or talk about the weather. And I know who isnt there.  For years, JB has been telling me to say "No!" when people call asking for things. But I rarely ever let myself say no. After this year, I realize that now is the time. I want to spend my time giving to those who give back. To support those people who are truly my family and my friends. To work on myself in order to give better...but with boundaries.

I want to learn the delicate balance between selfishness and selflessness...


Christmas is over! Thank God! (some puns intended) I hate Christmas. I have always hated Christmas. But when I had Rose, I chose to try to bring to her what I never felt the holidays brought to me or I to, peace, fulfillment.

And honestly, a holiday, a day cant do all that without some effort.

for most of my adult life, christmas was just a barrier i had to get through to get to what was really important to me...which is the ceremony that people partake of in the winter to start their new year.

to pray for every minute....of every day for the next 3 seasons...until its time to pray again.

i know that often we forget how precious our moments are...but i am reminded each day that rose will soon leave to college. every holiday, every late night chat, every chance to be her mom in all the ways that are important causes me to be teary and thankful and afraid and her shelter.

my daughter has grown into a beautiful young woman. its hard for me to acknowledge that she is so grownup...that its possible for her opinions to be different from mine, for her to be a mediator and a peacemaker without even knowing the impact of her words.

i remember being pregnant with her. i was 20 and had ended a relationship that would bring no joy to the life of a child. i remember the distress of telling my parents that their baby daughter was going to be a mother. and i remember everyday to this day, my own mother's words...a baby can only bring joy if you let it. 

(and dont tell my mom) i followed her advice...and while things weren't ideal, i let her bring joy into this world. and on any given day, you can find her doing the same. sometimes, she breaks out into dance in the grocery store, or she sings silly songs, or she laughs at her dog in the same baby laugh that she was born with.

and when i see her with my parents, i pray that they are here on this earth to see her achieve every dream she has. the bond between them cannot be lost emphasizing the brevity of life.

shes in the paper last week for personally taking on something important to her and doing some thing to help. her christmas fundraiser for the animal shelter was just something she wanted to do. i remember when she mentioned it, think uh...this is going to be a pain in the ass.but the more determined she became, the more ashamed i was of my non-supportive thoughts. i have externally supported her through things that my internal voice said no to.  and her drive was a great success.

today when i read the article, she said mom dont cry....behind every every minute since the day she was born...that I have been scared for her and proud of her. parenting isnt rocket science. it is the desire to give your child something better than what you had, by exploring their world, the people in it and their own dreams. and by challenging yourself to do the same...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I am Apsaalooke.
I am Selis.
I am Anishinabe.
They are all different but the same in that each one, has time during which people focus their prayers for the coming year.

I wait all winter for this night. Every holiday is just one moment closer to me making changes, making offerings, want to share my prayers for you and with you.

I am committed, without fail, to this moment.
There are songs that can only be heard at this time of year. A few nights ago, they were in my sleep with me. Letting me know, that they were here now.

In the dark, waiting for our wishes, our sorrows, our worries and our dreams.

That it is time to smudge away what is left of this year and to kick my dirt, my earth, my ancestors forward, not back.

There is  a lot of good to reflect on and to propel those wishes forward. There is much sorrow that sits with me and I want to leave it behind.

To see the good in you,
to see the good in me.
To build my people
All people.

My family reminds me through this process--not to just ask things to be taken away, but to also ask for what I want to replace them.

health, family, wellness, strength, security, prosperity,joy, peace and forgiveness.

say your wants, your needs, your wishes, your prayers and your deeds.

your universe is listening.