From time to time this newsfeed will include a closer look at our attorneys. The posts will be on topics not necessarily about the law, but about what is personally important to our attorneys outside the office. This is the eleventh installment of our attorney spotlight as we feature a personal story from Murphy Horne Fletcher. Murphy practices in several areas including employment law, tax law, business litigation and employment litigation. Click here to see her bio. Read her story below!
I took my first riding lesson a couple of years ago. It was the realization of a childhood dream – I had always wanted to be involved with horses as a child, but it never worked out. Starting out was a very humbling experience. Although my first few lessons were (thankfully) by myself, I was very aware of other women much younger than me fearlessly jumping their horses over giant rails I was sure I would never even try. I can now say that I am comfortable jumping over rails too, although I am not sure I can call them “giant” yet.
There has been significant discussion lately about the idea of “mindfulness” – being aware of your present experience, instead of what came before and what might come after.
When I am in the ring, that is when I experience the truest sense of mindfulness. All I can think about is my current physical experience: the gait of the horse, the tension in the reins, and the balance from my heels pressing down in the stirrups (although I am told I need to work on that last one…). That sense of presence is the only thing keeping me from falling.
Riding has also taught me the power of mindfulness. My early riding experience was heavily influenced by fear: fear of losing control of the horse, fear of falling off, and fear of my inability to correct the situation if it went awry. Because I rode with so much fear of the future, I had no ability to focus on the present—which, if I really wanted to prevent myself from falling off, is where my attention needed to be. Now that I have some experience, I can push that fear aside and instead concentrate on my current experience.
Just last week, my foot slipped out of my stirrup after landing a jump. Rather than immediately panicking, I simply took stock of the situation and found that I was still in good shape: I had not lost my balance, the horse was still cantering, and, most importantly, I was still in control.
In my experience, the practice of law involves its own element of mindfulness—fully understanding the present, so that we can help our clients better plan for the future. That is why, here at MWB, we are committed to a client-focused practice where we learn about your business, your challenges, and your goals.