Happy New Year! No matter how 2021 went for you, I wish you more joy, prosperity, and connection this year. May you know where you belong and find the courage to live true to yourSelf.
How’d you spend your New Year’s Eve? For years that predate the current pandemic, I’ve been more reflective than celebratory. For me, it is time to look back at what I managed to get done and to start visioning what I might be able to do in the coming year.
During the day on December 31, 2021, I did some bookkeeping and wrote myself a check, reimbursed some expenses, and sat back to think about what has been important to me over the years.
I realized that I wasn’t yet satisfied with my accomplishments in a few ways. Ending climate change and healing Mother Earth is core to my beliefs and I wanted to put my money where my mouth is. I struggled with where to donate to make the biggest difference but I came across a Facebook post and decided that this time I would support 350.org. My vision calls for a world with no prisons and I hadn’t taken any meaningful action on that goal in 2021. I was happy to write a check to my friends who are working on that goal. Designing Justice + Designing Spaces was nice enough to send me a convenient link so I clicked through and showed my commitment. Vera Institute of Justice got some love from me, too. In the last few weeks, I have contributed to Dig Deep, bringing water to the Navajo people, many of whom live in my home state of New Mexico; with a gift to the Native American Rights Fund; and some more to the Council on Aging which provides Meals on Wheels in the community where my mother lives. I shared some money with a family member who could use it and made sure that during the year I’d made donations to some other organizations whose work I support: my alma mater, the ACLU, New Mexico food banks, hospice, women’s causes, and several others.
In my business bookkeeping, I noted how Cutting Edge Law Enterprises, Inc. had supported the Integrative Law Movement over the last year. Building and managing the website, hiring staff to make sure things get done, a Zoom account, producing the podcast, and producing the online conference cost about $7,500. The community supported the conference with contributions of around $4,000 so my investment was about $3,500.
I think my contributions to everything came out to about 25 to 30% of my income when all was said and done. Being as purposeful as I have been all year, I also managed to end the year with no credit card debt and feeling pretty good about my finances.
It felt satisfying to know that my time and money have been invested in creating the world I want to see. I wish everyone could experience that sense of purpose and alignment.
And, you may not be surprised to know that this story is leading up to an invitation for you. If supporting the Integrative Law Movement is something that is important to you, we’ve set up some ways you can do it.
Because we like to give people choices, we have the on-going monthly options of Patreon where you can choose a level of monthly participation. Or you can make a one-time donation through PayPal. Our friends and colleagues at the Renaissance Lawyer Society have agreed to be fiscal sponsors for the activities of the movement so US givers can take a tax deduction. (Other countries, check your local tax laws.) We’ve set up an Open Collective transparent plan to track how the community money is spent.
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Yes, some of the levels are pretty high levels of commitment. Others are more modes. It isn’t up to me to tell you what level is appropriate for you so choose the level that matches your budget, resources, and level of commitment to this movement. I trust you to be true to yourself.
One of my goals is that the Integrative law movement become a community project and that I become just another member of the community. I want there to be clarity between my for-profit Cutting Edge Law activities and the work of building and supporting the integrative law movement.
Supporting what is already happening with a financial contribution is awesome! And there are so many other ways to get involved, many of which take very little time and align with what you’re already doing.
- Write articles and mention the movement.
- Add a mention of the movement to your existing speaking and training gigs.
(Many of you already write, speak, and train. Just adding a few words can make a difference, even something as simple as: “I am not alone in these ideas. There is actually a movement in law, the Integrative Law Movement, with many lawyers who share my values. Look up the website and connect.”)
- Join the community conversation and POST your triumphs, accomplishments, and challenges with people who want you to succeed!
- Stay inspired by listening to the Integrative Lawyers of the World podcast and those of our friends. Share with your friends.
- Recommend integrative lawyers to other podcasts.
- Like the social media pages. We’re on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Share our posts! Search for Integrative Law and Integrative Lawyers of the World.
- Volunteer your specific skills in a project. Bring your own idea or we can offer one. For example, the Integrative Law website needs some updating. Propose a conversation for the Community Conversations and participate.
- Sign up for courses and services offered by members of the community. (If coronavirus numbers allow us, we have some plans for a retreat in South Africa!! And a gathering in New Mexico. And some regional events by Zoom or inperson.)
- And yes, you can even get a t-shirt!
Last year, we launched a website, gathered in a global online conference, created the online community, initiated the podcast, and launched this newsletter. In 2022, we already have a second series of podcasts interviews, launching soon. We’re planning a second online conference (watch for dates in March!) We are going to continue opportunities for us to gather and connect with the Community Conversations, social media, the Mighty Network group, and this newsletter. As soon as it is safe to travel, we have a lot of ideas about bringing people together and I am eager to be traveling soon.
All this activity helps find our kindred spirits, those who thought they were alone in the law, empowering and emboldening us all to stretch and be more like ourselves, each being a part of creating a new paradigm of law.
Love and gratitude for being in my life,