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Reiki: Be Humble…

1024 768 Dawn Waterhouse


Be humble… Humbleness is used in so many phrases – humble apologies, humbly accepting a gift, or being a humble servant, but what is it to be truly humble?

In modern society, it is generally considered that humble people are meek, have low confidence and are too easy going. In reality, this is really not so. It takes a lot of strength to be truly humble, and it is a huge gift to have this skill – but humble people do not shout about their skill as that would be proud… so to learn from a true humble, you will need to observe individuals and decide upon who to look to for yourself.

Some of the skills you are looking to observe and learn are:

  • Being able to treat others as equals, be they a cleaner or the Chairman. That does not mean being overly familiar with them, but treating them with the same humble respect.
  • It means being able to accept compliments with the same dignity and consideration as criticism, as both are equally important for personal growth and development, but it also means being able to process those comments without being egotistical – for we all have days where things go right for us (and days where things go not so right).
  • It also means being able to accept a situation, regardless of being good or bad for themselves, for the greater good of the whole. It does not mean sacrificing ones-self for others, just a point of acceptance so that a situation can move forward with positivity.
  • Being able to make decisions (no matter how tough) based on moral values, rather than ego.
  • The ability to give credit where credit is due. A humble will actually praise others and speak positively (and humbly) of others successes. This is partly why they are such good team players and leaders, as this skill helps them to motivate their staff and those around them.


  • To lead humbly will involve being able to delegate clearly to those working with you, and allowing them the space to do the work and potentially identify different ways to do the piece of work. The humble leader will be able to take the feedback that there are new ways of delivering the work, and also lead team members (rather than squashing them) when they are perhaps heading off on a wrong tangent.
  • The humble person just is. They are striving to act within their morals, or with respect or kindness, or to be a good but fair leader, they are not trying to be humble. As soon as you are trying to be humble, the ego steps in and the essence of your actions is lost.

My eldest daughter gave me a profound statement the other day. She said an ignorant person thinks they know everything, whereas a wise person, no matter how well-read and researched, knows they know nothing in the whole scheme of things. What a beautiful example of being humble: the wisdom of knowing you do not – and never will – know everything.

Humbleness cannot be claimed, it is an action from the very core of your being – the ability to act with your inner truth for the good of all. Next time we will explore being true about your way and your being as a principle of Reiki, until then I will let you ponder the thought of humble actions that go on around you.



7 Signs Your Law Firm Really Cares

830 1024 Caroline Flanagan


Your employer may be creating lots of fanfare around its gender credentials, but is this just a smoke screen, or do they really care?

One of the tasks I impress on my clients is the need to do their homework. This involves digging deep into the culture of their organisation before they have children so that they really understand what they’ll be up against when they do. Armed with this information, they can make informed decisions about their career strategy within that organisation or, in the worst-case scenario, whether it’s time to build a future elsewhere.

Ideally, any research or investigating you do would take place before you decide which firm to join, but for many this isn’t the case. It’s only later, once the reality of working long unsociable hours sets in and the (im)possibility of having a family becomes an issue, that most of you begin to wonder. No matter. If you’re already working it’s not too late. Some due diligence, even late in the day, is better than no due diligence at all if you want to avoid any unpleasant surprises in the future.

So at Babyproof, when we help clients do their homework, what do we help them look for? Well all sorts of things. A female employee who wants to increase her chances of a career that can survive the tornado-like impact of starting a family, needs to read all the signs: the attitudes of co-workers, the HR policies and the underlying culture of the organisation. You want to be able to answer questions like: How difficult is it going to be to transition from where you are now (potentially available 24 hours at day) to where you’d be if you had a small baby at home that you couldn’t abandon or cancel at a moment’s notice? How will you be treated when you have to start saying no to meetings at anti social hours and to questioning impossible deadlines? How will you be made to feel when you have to leave the office at 6.30p.m. to collect your baby from nursery, and when you work from home one day a week during busy periods?

There is a wonderful movement towards better flexibility and work life balance these days, even in the notoriously exempt world of law. The industry is awash with firms boastfully displaying their gender credentials, equality targets and flexible working initiatives. Most of them seem to be saying the right things, and for the impartial observer, what your firm says is probably enough.

But is it enough for you? If you’re on the inside, it’s what your firm does that counts, not what it says. Scratch the surface of some gender initiatives and you’ll find that old values maintain a stubborn and sinister grip on the firm’s culture. And the evidence will be right before your eyes: brilliant talented women leaving in droves because when they crossed the threshold to motherhood, the gender initiatives made no difference at all.

Is this the fate that awaits you in your firm when you have kids? Not if you’re in a firm that really cares. Here are 7 signs that your firm is one of them:

1. They ask the right questions
Does your firm regularly circulate surveys (or other means of obtaining feedback) asking for your honest feedback on existing practices, on what matters most to you, and giving you an opportunity to express, both honestly and anonymously, any concerns or areas of dissatisfaction?

2. They listen to the answers
Does your firm listen? Do you see any evidence of their conscious attempt to address your concerns? Is there any evidence that they are listening, or do you find yourself raising the same issues again and again only to hear the same rote responses?

3. They value your track record
Has your firm ever promoted a woman to partnership on her return from maternity leave? Are the female partners in your organisation positive role models whose way of balancing work and life you aspire to?

4. They put their money where their mouth is
Does your firm actually invest real resources in its gender initiatives? If you have a networking group, does it invest time and effort in finding the best speakers? Does it pay outside coaches? Do high-ranking partners endorse and openly support the gender initiatives?

5. They lead rather than follow
Is your firm open to new ideas and enthusiastic about trying different solutions, or are you usually the last law firm of your size and nature to embrace a new gender initiative? Are there a variety of different flexible working options available, or is it just one size fits all?

6. They focus on prevention as much as cure
Is your firm looking to do more than address the symptoms? A firm that gives support to women on maternity leave, and encourages women returners is a good thing, and deserves huge credit. But a firm that really cares is going to look at the root cause, and invest time and resources to stop the problem arising in the first place, for example by supporting women long before they have children, to prepare themselves and their careers for what’s to come.

7. They value results, above all else
When they have conversations about flexible working, what language do they use? Do they talk solely in terms of numbers of hours, or is the conversation about an employee’s ability to deliver value and achieve high performance?

These are not the only requirements that we would expect a firm to meet in order to receive a Babyproof approval mark, but they are a great place to start. If you answered yes to most of the above questions then from the point of view of balancing work and family, the future for you looks bright.

Have you come across other evidence that a firm does or doesn’t care? What other criteria would you apply to determine whether a firm cares enough about keeping talented women in their organisation, even when they start a family?