Our guest for today’s interview, Franca Baroni, shares how we can break out of that mold and bring our hearts into the work that we do. She talks about what HeartMath is and how coherence plays into an overall healthy well-being, which ultimately leads to a better impact in the industry. Yes, this might sound a little “spiritual”, but trust us, it’s all backed by science!
In the podcast, Franca also tells us how her career has shifted from being a full-time lawyer to being an actress, how HeartMath principles helped with her well-being, and her take on governance. If you want to listen to all of that, click here to get to the full episode!
It’s Not About Winning or Losing
It’s easy to accept the mindset that finding success in the law is all about winning or losing. After all, this industry stands on an adversarial system, where everyone’s so focused on the results. Many think that lawyers have to be tough all the time, like robots that just need to get the work done. But we’re humans, not machines. It’s not natural for us to be consistently insensitive to the world around us. As much as we lawyers may want to avoid the word “feelings”, our emotions are still a part of how we function and make decisions. Why else would there be so much conversation surrounding mental health and burnout among our peers? It’s because we’re not bringing our hearts to what we do and our continued acceptance of these practices hinder us from what we truly want. Franca emphasizes that no one has to go through this conundrum and shows us a path to a win-win situation where you don’t have to change what you for your clients, but only how you do it. As you change your ways, the outcomes become more fulfilling, creating satisfaction for yourself and those around you.
The Relationship Between Our Thoughts and Emotions with Physiology
The world’s accustomed way of thinking is undeniably outdated. These thought patterns have led us into a state of incoherence, which Franca describes as driving a car with one foot stepping on the gas pedal and the other on the breaks. This phenomenon results in an unfortunate wear and tear situation, which causes unnecessary stress. And because our nervous systems regulate 90% of our body functions, our physiology is significantly affected when we work with a harmful mindset. The manifestations of this would be all too relatable to us, like migraine, headaches, adrenal exhaustion, and many more! Franca also paints this idea of wear and tear through the analogy of drained batteries. We may feel that our energy runs out quickly throughout the day. Some of us could even claim being consistently exhausted from the time they wake up to the moment they go to bed! If that’s you, then you now know what’s going on.
Being in a coherent state makes the driving experience a lot smoother. If only one foot steps on the gas and also steps on the brakes whenever needed, there’s noticeably less stress (mentally and physically), and you also get to your destination much faster. Not only will you be able to control how you drive yourself, but Franca says that you could also develop the ability to charge your batteries and even increase their capacity!
HeartMath and Coherence
If you think that all of this sounds a little too far-fetched, don’t worry, there’s a science to the process called HeartMath. Research in this field has shown that the heart has its own energy center, which can be observed and measured. If you can link the heart and the brain, you get into the state of coherence, where stress is neutralized! In this state, you can radiate the same energy through the measurable electromagnetic field of the heart.
Franca shares that before meetings, court proceedings, or any other problematic negotiations, she would always utilize various HeartMath techniques to prepare herself for potential frustrations. She’s even extended her energy through an entire courtroom and managed to positively shift the behavior of immigrant officers to make interviews less challenging!
Just because you’re putting HeartMath principles into practice doesn’t mean you’ll win all arguments in court. We’re only human, and we can still get stressed out no matter what “anti-stress measures” we employ. But what’s happening is that when we utilize our hearts, we can access solutions that are not available when we’re trapped in our own heads. It becomes a new resource for answers to questions that you once couldn’t figure out. To put it into simpler terms, a “connection” with a stranger makes for better conversations since both parties are “in the same wavelength”.
So if there’s such a dire need for a change, what exactly do we need to do? How do you put HeartMath into practice? What are the steps to start moving out of an incoherent state? Make sure to listen to the episode to learn more about the benefits of HeartMath and coherence.
About Franca Baroni:
Dr. Franca Baroni is an award-winning author, actress, intuitive trainer and practicing immigration attorney. She holds a Doctorate in public international law and Master of Laws and is admitted to practice in New York, Washington State and Switzerland.
For over 20 years, she has assisted individuals to maximize situational awareness for greater well-being. She has offered several CLE programs to inspire greater resilience and heart-intelligent lawyering & mediation.
As a certified HeartMath® resilience trainer, she shares valuable knowledge that has helped thousands of professionals in many sectors around the globe to effectively build resilience in the midst of crisis.
Her organization, The Public Heart™, fosters conscious leadership & citizenry and a deeper & simpler understanding of governance & law through art entertainment, training, mentoring and interactive speaking events. She is a contributor in the 2017 ABA Publication “Lawyers as Changemakers”. Her one-woman show Act In The Public Heart: A Lawyer’s Journey (2017-present) is a call for a heart-centered collective realignment to activate societal change.
Outline of the Episode:
[01:50] Franca Baroni’s escape from a full-time job in the law to an acting career in a one-woman show. Live a conscious heart instead of being a dead machine.
[04:15] The significant edge that being a lawyer can bring in achieving your dreams and its potential limitations in bringing satisfaction.
[07:23] Bringing your heart into whatever field of law you’re involved in, no matter how adversarial it is. It’s not only about winning or losing!
[11:59] What is coherence? How can it help us lawyers and the people we serve?
[16:51] What is HeartMath all about? It’s all science, not woo-woo spirituality!
[23:03] The influence we have on others is a scientific fact!
[25:06] Why shouldn’t we live life by stepping on both the gas and brake pedals at the same time?
[32:31] The importance of finding our ability to govern ourselves. Your head is definitely needed in making decisions, but your heart is just as important.
[40:04] Your life expands or contracts in relation to the amount of courage you have.