“Ride the waves of inspiration when they appear,
paddle when they don’t

M

om. Blogger. Lawyer. In that order. If you crack the blinds on a day in my life, you’d find a woman horse-back riding with one daughter and driving to cheerleading with the other. Juggling a law practice, dashing for groceries, then pulling on running shoes, yoga gear, riding boots or a swimsuit. From sitting meditation to drafting contracts to the rinse cycle, and in between, I write and write.

About Lisa...

I live in Central Ontario, land of lakes, cottages, long winters and magical summers. I am a wife and mother, second-wife and step-mom. Also a lawyer and a black-belt, a gym-rat and a novice yogini. That might sound like a frightening combination, but I assure you, it’s not. I write in peace, with my head bowed and my palms pressed together. I write in the spaces between entries on my todo list, and frequently on the back of ATM envelopes. I write to make light of things, to make sense of life and to inspire myself down a path. I write stories of ordinary life.

Professional Life...

In the sixth grade, after a hard-fought classroom debate on capital punishment, I decided that I wanted to be a lawyer. My mom argues that my best friend’s dad, who was a lawyer and our local MP, was the more likely instigator for my choice of careers. Whatever the inspiration, from age eleven on, life held a single career track for me leading to two years at the University of Western Ontario followed by Osgoode Hall Law School, not once, but twice. Today, my law practice focuses on intellectual property law and trade-marks in particular.

Family Life...

Have you ever heard that quote from Zorba the Greek, the one where the old man rails on about family life? "I’m a man,” Zorba says, “so I married. Wife, children, house, everything. The full catastrophe." That’s where I live, in the modern working mom’s full catastrophe, wired to do and be everything to everybody at all times. I am a cook, chauffeur, seamstress, tutor, chief financial manger, power-drill wielding home-repair person and house-painter, not to mention cat-owner. Running a law firm in comparison? Piece of cake.

Inspiration...

Ride the waves of inspiration when they appear, Paddle when they don’t. Amanda Castleman, offered this advice to me once in a writing class and I’ve been clinging to it ever since. Ride or Paddle fits the situation, always, whether I`m facing a complex legal issue, a daughter who has left her homework on the kitchen counter, again, or a day when I`ve simply been sitting at my computer too long and need to be reminded: you are an animal, too, Warrior Girl, so stop calcifying in this chair. Luckily, the waves of inspiration are everywhere, from bemused look on my cat`s face at 5 a.m. to Eminem on my IPod to a friend’s success on the yoga mat.

I

n my working life, I am an intellectual property lawyer with a particular interest in trade-marks and brand management. I am “of counsel” to US law firm Symbus Law Group, where I serve US clients with trade-mark interests in Canada. I work with businesses of all sizes including companies working in national and international markets, as well as municipal governments, educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations. I have also assisted litigation counsel as an intellectual property consultant in cases at all levels including the Supreme Court of Canada and the appellate courts of other provinces.

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"The best part of my business is
helping people succeed in theirs."

T

IGA is about giving things away and letting go, and about seeing what happens when we do. There is the obvious: too small clothes, outgrown toys, dishes we don’t use anymore. There is what`s past: a photo of my law school graduating class, love letters from my youth, every school art project my kids ever made. There’s the intangible: expectations, control, hard feelings. Thought patterns that serve no useful purpose. Control freak methods of household management. That kind of thing. It’s an exploration and a divine quest, because on the other side of holding fast, of clinging, there lies the opening of a clenched fist. A place of letting go, of open space and freedom.

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W

arrior Girl grew out of a series of posts called Warrior Girl Dashing that I wrote on Things I Gave Away. WGD was inspired by fear, fear of showing up for a 5-km obstacle race, the Warrior Dash, without having trained for it. So, in a three week period from June 13, 2011 to Race Day, July 9, 2011, I kept an online training journal. In the end, I was still not especially well-trained for the Race, but it was a fascinating journey. I became hooked on the training and hooked on learning more about the connection – or as often as not, dis-connection – between body, mind and spirit. I have competed in two more Dashes since those early posts, and have more events on my horizon. Through it all, I fall off training, discover yoga, re-discover the gym, get on a horse, and fall off again. It’s a fascinating journey and a life’s work.

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