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Emotional Intelligence and Compassion for Lawyers

with Nicolle Kopping-Pavars

In this episode of Breaking, Nicolle Kopping-Pavars returns to the show to talk about:

👉 How to understand people with empathy.

👉 How to deal with emotional triggers.

👉 Learning to forgive yourself.

👉 Why lawyers need emotional intelligence and compassion training.

👉 The unintended consequences of being objective.

👉 How lawyers can benefit from mindfulness practice.

👉 And much more.


Find Nicolle Kopping-Pavars at:



Visit for all episodes of the show.


Muhammad Kermalli –

Triena McGuirk –

Min Woo Park & Diana Hong @ 6 Story –

Episode Transcript

*This transcription was made for your convenience. Please excuse any mistakes the automated service made.

Muhammad Kermalli: [00:00:00] So it’s, it’s great to see you again. And we were just, we were just talking offline about how, when your, the last time that we sat down and we had conversation, we were talking about how your, your experiences were when you were a child and as you were, you were growing up and you had the experience that I recall, at least that stood out to me of your grandmother and the, what it, like, what would they call like the robbers or somebody who was running away at that time and found refuge in your grandmother’s

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: not even a Robert, just that honest person in the wrong place at the wrong time,

Muhammad Kermalli: wrong place at the wrong time.

But you know, nevertheless, on the other side of the law, it seemed yes and running, you know, running, you know, for cover. And found cover and refuge in, in your mom’s and your grandmother’s like kitchen. You know, when you’re there, you’re watching this and you know, it’s one thing to have this sense of, you know, compassion and empathy for people.

When, you know, you’re a third party [00:01:00] to a situation you’re removed from it, detached from it, but it’s a whole other, when you are being directly impacted now and you stand to lose something by being compassionate. And something’s now on the line, there’s like skin in the Gan, right? Everybody changes a little and you saw that a level of compassion that, that stays constant even in the, in, in the moment where, you know, you’re directly involved.

And then the, probably the more intense one was like, when you, you were at work that time and held up at gunpoint and. You felt, you, you talked about having this sense of calm which some would say is like rooted to courage, but I see it more rooted to compassion, or maybe it’s the same thing now. And, and they feed off of each other.

And then there you are the very one who is the aggressor, the very one who is the oppressor. It seems in that case becomes the subject of your compassion. And, [00:02:00] you know, do you feel like those kind of experiences maybe really like intensified and, and really played a role in shaping sort of who you are and how you are?

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Yeah, for sure, for sure. But I also think first of all, I believe compassion can never have negative consequences ever, nothing bad can ever come of having compassion. It’s just such a beautiful, energetic emotion that exudes out of a person. So that, that’s the first thing that I want to say, but I also think that the, the key for me is you can be compassionate, like in that situation where there was a gun to my head and it was life or death.

Literally, I, I could get killed or I could survive, but that was it. The key in, in bringing the compassion together was forgiveness. When I looked at him and I just, whatever the outcome was going to be, I just knew I was gonna be okay. But whatever the outcome was going to be was complete forgiveness.

There was [00:03:00] no agenda. I wasn’t saying I forgive you for save my life. It was like authentic from my heart, unconditional, whatever happens. I forgive. And I think that, I think that’s the key, I think forgiveness in a situation

Triena McGuirk: I’ve read something recently that spoke to empathy is, is to feel someone else’s pain and to put yourself in their position.

But compassion is the is empathy and mobilized it’s empathy with an action or solution. And so I feel like in hearing what you’re saying is, you know, compassion, the act of forgiveness within compassion is the action, right? That’s the action or the solution, whatever it is. So yeah. It just kinda

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: pieces together.

It makes a lot of sense. Yeah. And that’s situation. And for sure, like, were those experiences I had to that for my foundation. And I think I said this before, or I’ve said it a [00:04:00] lot, but particularly that one where I, I forgave the gunman, I believe it was a portal. To who I was made to be, it was the door opening saying, okay, now we can show you the way of, of where we always knew that you were going to go.

If that makes sense. I, I think all of my past experiences, all of my past lives, all of my past everything culminated in that moment had said the doors opening for who we know you are, who you want to be. So I do, I think the foundation was there, the door just had never been open that I could actually walk through it.

And I think that was allowing me to walk through.

Muhammad Kermalli: So, so that’s interesting right there that you say that because you that’s the breakthrough, right. And before the breakthrough takes place, you’re still standing on the other side of that. Let’s just say the door, the door opens. And this happens for many of us, I think.

And this is the point of what we are here to talk about really [00:05:00] is that quite often people want. To have a breakthrough. It’s it’s not a, it’s a good thing waiting on the other end. We hear about it all the time. But when we’re standing on the other side of that door and we have to choose to, to walk through that door, we have to choose to, to act on that breakthrough.

Right. The breakthrough doesn’t come to us. We gotta go to it, right. Yeah. When, when you saw that moment and, and you say you had these thoughts of, well, everything that has happened in your past brought you there and it’s culminating still there had to be a, a feeling of unknown on the other side of that,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: but it didn’t matter.

Oh, you mean, you mean in the moment or do you think when sort of that, that opening happened for me, but I didn’t realize it had happened to me until years.

Triena McGuirk: Yeah, it’s a retrospect woman,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: retrospect and introspection. I can go, you know what? I think that was the moment. That was the moment. And like, [00:06:00] I’ve just had the most mind blowing aha moment while I was listening to you.

Why do I go out and sleep on the streets sometimes? Or why do I decide to come out in the backyard? Because I believe you have to understand another person’s story. And I think it’s, I think it’s always the coming back. I always have to come back to that moment of complete empathy, understanding and forgiveness.

So I think that is the foundation of that form, the foundation. I, I, I always want to try and understand someone who I can’t possibly understand because I don’t live on the streets. I don’t beg for money. I don’t have to prostitute myself, but I wanna understand,

Muhammad Kermalli: you know you just reminded me of a time.

I was speaking to a person. Who’s a lawyer. And she was talking about how she was in family law and she was looking to potentially, she’s like, I don’t know if this is for me, this is what I want to do. You know, the things that they see and deal with in family law. [00:07:00] And, and then there was a larger question, like is law, even for me, like what will make me happy, all those questions.

And and, and just standing at the you know, at the, at the, at the, at the cusp, at the edge of making a decision, but not yet wanting to make, to take that next step, not ready to take that next step. And she goes, we were talking about like, well, what’s the, what’s the way, how do I, what’s my next move.

What’s my next step. And I tend to say like, what you just said, which is, you know, performing exercises is what I call them. You know? So to me, like, you know, when you go sleep in the street, you know, you have a home, but you go sleep there. Why? I feel like it’s an exercise, you exercise these other areas of your.

You know, your, your compassion and who you are, and by exercising those and strengthening those, let’s just call them muscles. Right. That prepare us for those times that we are really gonna need to know, need to understand, need to empathize, need, to have compassion, need [00:08:00] to forgive all these things. But through exercise.

So I told her, I said, you, maybe you need to think about doing something where you have to push through. So what’s your limit on pushups? You know, I just started somewhere random and she’s like, I don’t know. I said, go find your limit and then do one more. Get yourself to do one more. Or, you know, in my case, what I did is I jumped off a bridge, like bungee jumped.

I jump, I felt like I needed a face fear that

Triena McGuirk: would do

Muhammad Kermalli: it. I I’ll go seek a thrill or seek a fear and I’ll go, let me face. Let me exercise that side. Yeah. So, you know, these all seem to be like these experiences seem to be exercises almost mm-hmm exercises for you to develop your, your compassion. And like you said, to bring it all through.

But, but before we go on I wonder, because this is all about breakthrough and we really wanna understand this part is that before you can do it for others, do you feel though you need to do it for yourself? First

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: forgiveness, compassion, [00:09:00] empathy, kindness, love friendship, grace. Yes.

Muhammad Kermalli: And so

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: you seem like a friend, you know, I, the one thing I’ve always said is if I had to meet me, I’d wanna be my friend.

Like, I’m a nice, I’m a good person. I’m a fun person. I’d wanna be my friend. How many people would say that about themselves? Yeah. Well,

Triena McGuirk: I actually use that as an exercise sometimes in counseling, especially when I remember us talking to this young man. And he was telling me about his girlfriend’s negative self talk, particularly around her body image.

And you see this unfortunately, a lot with our, our youth. And he’s like, I, I see this and I don’t want to SHA he was very aware of not wanting to shame her about that because you know, she really is expressing how she’s feeling. And so I said, well, why don’t you just say, Hey, don’t talk about the girl. I love like that.

And just kind of make it [00:10:00] lighthearted, but really send a clear message. And he’s like, you’re right. He’s like, he’s like, she wouldn’t talk to someone else that way. Why is she about someone else that way she’s so loving, but she talks to herself that way. So it’s, it’s a really good exercise at flipping the switch because we all do that.

We all have this kind of like negative self talk that just, we just tear ourselves apart so much. Right. And if you’re more on the perfectionist side, it’s even worse. so yeah, there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of validity to that exercise.

Muhammad Kermalli: Nicole. Do, do you ever feel like, I mean, if we meet you today obviously we would say, yeah, Nicole is Nicole’s best friend.

She she’s, she likes herself. She’s you know, all that. So, but did Nicole ever have moments where she had to work on liking herself? She had to work on forgiving herself.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: You, I had Muhammad because I was gonna make that distinction. Okay. So

Muhammad Kermalli: you need to be relatable to be honest. Right? And, and if, if we’re going to [00:11:00] talk to people and, and our viewers are gonna look at it going, Nicole doesn’t get me.

Nicole’s never had my problem. Yeah. Look at Nicole, Nicole, she’s got put together and there she is changing the world, but before she could change the world, she had to do something for herself. What was that? And where was she then? Right. And I think that’s a, before we get to the other part, cuz I really want to get to the stuff that you’re doing today, which is amazing.

It’s it’s groundbreaking. And, and I want people to know that they can do these kind of things coming from a starting point, but they don’t realize your starting point. A lot of people don’t realize beneath the iceberg. Right. You know, beneath the tip. And I really want to give us some insight into that.

If you’re willing to share,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: I’m willing to share, but, but I want what I wanna go back to is yes. I, I, I and I, I mean it in the more humble of ways, but I. I do like myself and I would, I do wanna be my friend. Like, I, I, I, I, I think I’m a great person. That’s not to say that. I think I’m a great person all the time.

I have self doubt and self-loathing and [00:12:00] self hate and, and, and all of those things that happen really. Yeah, of course. And that’s why these things are practices, right? That’s why meta, which is, which is, which is love and kindness. That’s a practice. That’s why compassion is a practice. That’s why, when you do these meditations, it’s a practice.

It’s because we are always growing. We are never overall. I think I’m a great person. But, but that’s just like looking at you know, looking at a, a kaleidoscope, the picture overall is beautiful. I love that picture, but their S inside of there that are, that are fractals and, and, and fragments and broken.

And, and, and when you look in deep, those pieces need work sometimes, and I’m not that great on self love overall. I like who I am, but I’m not that great on self love. And there’s an inner critic inside of me and all of these things. The difference is I know when I’m [00:13:00] starting, when the stories are starting and they’re starting to make me feel bad.

Mm-hmm . I thought how to say

Triena McGuirk: time out. Yeah. What’s the story I’ve been telling myself right now.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. So talk about, can you, can you explain that a little bit better? Yeah. I don’t need to have like, details of the, the situation, but how can you tell, like, what, what’s the, what does it feel like you, when start feeling like.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: when, well, this is, I mean, this is, I, I I’ve been a mindfulness practitioner for a long time. This is what mindfulness is all about. So mindfulness is knowing what’s what’s happening in the body and mind at any given moment. So it’s that awareness momentary awareness. So I can be lost in a story and suddenly I realize I’m feeling my heart is like feeling so, or maybe I’m tingling and then I’m aware of that.

And then I went, oh, I’ve just been, I’ve just been in a story for 10 minutes. I’ve been, been believing the story, you, and particularly as lawyers, we all have the would coulda should, if you have an argument with [00:14:00] somebody and then you driving home and going, oh, I should have said that next time they happen.

I’m I, you know, and you do the, where you are, is you in you in no man’s land because the argument is. you know, so it’s all happening over here and that’s that this is where all our problems stopped. Yeah. Because not believing that, but if we are able to say, whoa, whoa, hang on a second. I’m just having an argument and imaginary argument with an imaginary person that doesn’t even know.

I’m arguing, arguing with them at the moment. But what I know is I’m getting angry. So when Muhammad says, Hey, you were five minutes late for the interview, I’m gonna pound you because I’m, I’m really amped up from the argument I had with the imaginary person on the way here.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. So that mindfulness that you’re talking about, that’s key.

That’s a huge key to being able to then move forward. Mm-hmm what do we say? Did you realize, I mean, here we are. We all, I think all three of us here, when we’re [00:15:00] talking, we practice mindfulness on some level and we all, there’s not one person I’ve met who doesn’t. You know, for a moment, forget where they are and loses their sense of mindfulness.

So we all do it, but we are aware of how to kind of switch ourselves back. Like you just said. Yeah. You know, you’re, you’re like, Hmm. I, I, this is that’s that feeling. And then I say to myself, but what happens is like, do you, can you go back to a time where you weren’t mindful and you didn’t even know how to, like, you didn’t know that you weren’t mindful.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Yeah. I can give you an example. I can give you example. It happened just a few days ago. No, but the difference is I realized that I lost my mindfulness and I go back and correct it. Yeah. And that’s the difference it’s going back and correct. Apologizing being accountable. So I, so what happened is I called I called the bank I [00:16:00] needed, I’ve got this retreat happening and I thought I already need a good credit card because, you know, I don’t have a travel credit card and I wanted to do, I want you to get a, a credit card.

And when I went to the bank, they said, oh, we don’t do. I went with my documents and my master business, you know, license and all the things that they usually ask for. And I went into the bank and they said, oh, we don’t do this. We don’t do it in person anymore. We do it online. So just call this person sheet as our credit card applications, call this person.

and she can she’ll she’ll help you out. So I, call her, I leave a message and she writes an email to me and she says in the email I, you know, I received your, your telephone call, your voice message or whatever it was. Please value complete this self network assessment form, you know, and once you’ve completed that I can see how I can help you with your credit card.

And I dunno what it was, but something triggered inside of me. And I was like, no, I’m not, you, you haven’t even greeted [00:17:00] me as a person, but all you want is my, my, my network. And then once you’ve got my network, they’ll talk to me. And so I, I wrote back, I wrote this email to her and No, this isn’t, this isn’t good enough.

And she called me, I, I like, I started shouting at her saying, you, you in the service industry and how dare you just treat people like a number and you don’t even know what I want this for. And she was a manager and she, but she wasn’t, she wasn’t apologizing to me. She said, well, that’s how we do it.

And she said, you know, I deal with many lawyers and this was the next drug. She said, I deal with many lawyers and they’re very busy people. And they don’t like telephone calls. They just like emails. So I said to her, please don’t tell me about lawyers. I pray lawyers. And, and so she triggered me and I was so mean, and I was so angry.

And then I just, my last sentence to her was, you know what, I’ll decide if I wanna do business with you or not. And I, and I put the phone down and I was so [00:18:00] angry and so triggered. And then I could hear my thoughts going, who the hell does she think she is? Then I’m giving them business and I’m the client.

And, and, and, and then I realized, and I felt such. Because it was you better than the Nichole.

Muhammad Kermalli: Okay. So stop right there. You had that moment still you right there, just before that you felt shame. Like some people, they don’t feel that shame. They’re like, I’m right. And then it keeps going mm-hmm . Yeah. Right.

And it, it just spiral. So like, you know, like it’s like this it’s like a, there’s like a gravity to it. Almost like it attracts more energy. Yeah. And then you happen to at least be in that moment, say by yourself that you didn’t have another trigger and people have like 20 triggers coming at them at a time.

Like your, your kid could have walked in and had put mud on the carpet. yeah. And then it just keeps going. And then there’s a phone call from a collector [00:19:00] whatever. And then the call from someone trying to sell you a credit card now, you know, like imagine it just keeps going. And that’s what I find usually happens out there.

People are being bombarded by these triggers constantly. Don’t get that moment to just what

Triena McGuirk: I find like in that is cuz I be that person I’d have those fights in my head often. Right. And and, and I think you tapped into like Nicole’s visceral response or embodied response to a trigger was a little bit more subtle and she’s picking up on that.

But other people experience it the way you just described it, like really fiery, super. That was me racing, thoughts, racing, racing, racing. And so one of, two of the things that I’ve learned in navigating this in journey of mindfulness and also like helping other people learn it too, is when we have that kind of a mode reaction.

And we’re in these head fights in our head, that is a, that is a telltale sign. To stop ah, that is the [00:20:00] sign. And when the story is going in, our head is going and focusing on something in the past. So like after that phone call reminiscing about that all day and just really brewing in that. You know, that’s in the past now.

So when your brain is fixated on the past brain is fixated on the future. Like I’m gonna get them or next time I see them, I’m gonna do this. When you go to that, whether it’s out of anger or it could be out of anxiety, you know, we’re misaligning ourselves because we’re, we’re when we live in the past, we can invite depression.

And when we live in the future, we can invite anxiety, even if it starts as an angered response. Right. Cause then we’re always telling ourselves that story. So And one of the things that I noted when I have the beha, like I’ve done the same kind of things on the phone call and I got off I’m like, I

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: was such a fast asshole.

Triena McGuirk: Like I was not a good version of myself at all. And, and I knew it at certain points. I’m like, I don’t even care anymore because I just need to get this done or [00:21:00] whatever it is, and

Muhammad Kermalli: right. You just, we justify

Triena McGuirk: it. Right. Right. And then the thing that I’ve learned in those situations, and then also in like my relationships with people is when I ever have a conflict or there’s something that’s creating attention, the first thing we’re we always innately do, at least, at least for me is you always, you look outward and, and point and blame out outward.

Yes. And I think one of the, the flipping points is, is when we feel a misalignment or there’s a conflict or something. we need to look at, okay, what’s my responsibility on this. Yeah, because we don’t, we only have control how we respond. That’s the, we are responsible for our behavior. We’re not responsible for the circumstances all the time that are around us, but we are a hundred percent responsible how we show up.

And that is for the work. Right.

Muhammad Kermalli: You know what, Trina, we can say that, right? Like we need to do this and we need to do that. Right. Yeah. Because that is the right thing to do. [00:22:00] But in that moment, if someone were to come up to us and go, look, we really need, we really need to do this. Yeah. And usually there’s nobody there to tell you this, cuz everyone’s afraid now to talk to you.

right. Including me a version of yourself, you know, like I don’t need to hear this right now. Let me just like bathe in this anger and, and like, let me just, you know, be yeah, let it finish. And and it doesn’t subside right away, but I love what you said that that moment itself is the sign. Right.

Triena McGuirk: And you don’t need to, you don’t need to get to the self responsibility.

I think just, just because what you’re doing is if you’re learning to ride a bike, you don’t learn how to ride a bike right away. You know, you’re gonna fall off, you’re gonna get skin knees. You’re gonna, misalign, literally not be balanced. This is the same thing. You’re creating a new habit. So just the action of when you feel you’re dysregulated like that, just to come back to breath and take the pause.

That is the first [00:23:00] step of the other steps of this, of this growth journey. I feel like that is the first thing people need to do is that when we’re hyperactivated either anger or, or really depressive whichever way it comes out, that we just pause and just try to be

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: present. Yeah. But you have to have awareness of that and most awareness of that.

Yeah. And

Triena McGuirk: so you have, yeah. It’s the body connection first. Right.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: And so just, you were going back, you know, mindfulness is, mindfulness is simple. It just isn’t easy. Okay. Yeah. So and, and their action in, in mindfulness, there there’s an actual term that’s I could hear PA. Okay. It’s, it’s a, it’s a poly term for Sri and poly.

I think. So what PA puncher means is it’s like a continual motion. So what happens is to give you an easy example, this woman say to me, all the lawyers I work with. Okay. And what my, [00:24:00] what I heard. So what happened is my, my sense is made contact with something. Okay. So my, my sense of hearing made contact with all, all the lawyers I work with wanted this way.

Okay. So my, my, my hearing happened, it went straight to thought and it was who the hell do you think you. Then that went to emotion, which was you’ve really made me angry. Then my next thought was, yeah, like, I, I need to teach you a lesson then that went even not angry. So what cap puncher is is that you get into this vortex, emotion, thinking, emotion, thinking, emotion, thinking, and you get stuck in this vortex and you can’t get out of it because you can’t actually grab, hold onto anything.

But what mindfulness is saying that like, what Trina said is that awareness in the moment taking a breath and that breath stops the vortex just for a moment that you now have a choice. Do I get out of the vortex or actually to stay in the vortex? And a lot of people choose to stay [00:25:00] either. They just can’t get out the vortex and they ruminate, they regurgitate, they go to sleep with the same thought, wake up with the same thought.

Or you can say, I have awareness in this moment to get out and you might get back in again. Yeah. But you’re, but you’re making, you’re making the trajectory of getting in and out much.

Muhammad Kermalli: So, first of all, thank you. I love

Triena McGuirk: that explanation.

Muhammad Kermalli: Heard that before. I love that word. I actually looked it up and it’s a, yeah, it’s, it’s a really cool concept.

Poly word for mental proliferation. Otherwise also as the lines roar, and it’s the snowball and you use the word vortex when, when we leave a state of mindfulness and then we start on one thing, but then it then starts becoming about everything and it’s and it snowballs. So you see that’s exactly the moment that, you know, go from whether it’s breakdown or breakthrough and the part that you you talk about.

So well is, you know, you talk about that [00:26:00] first step, but I think the first step is knowing that you’re in the state of a bunch. Right? Like being aware. Yeah. How do you, how does someone who doesn’t know what kind of tool can we give somebody? Who doesn’t know how to tell they’re in the state of Popa.

Right. And you, your, I love your explanations. Is that by being there you’ll feel you use the word misaligned you use the word deregulated or misregulated those are themselves that tell, right. The, the, the pressure is high. The rate is high. Would you say that that’s consistently true about that stage?


Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Cause I think tri used those fabulous words. So I, I cool

Muhammad Kermalli: words, you come up with H words now. So I

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: think so I think. The the, the it’s it’s being misaligned and all of these things, that’s too far in like, that’s, you know, that’s a lay [00:27:00] person, wouldn’t say, oh, I’m feeling misaligned at the moment, you know?

So recognizes, whoa, hang on a second. I’m in a story in my head, that’s all you have to directness or you just have to recognize, whoa, my hands are shaking. Okay. It’s just the awareness of your mind or body. And if you can say, whoa, I’m in a story just to stop and go. It’s just a story. It’s just a story.

Muhammad Kermalli: So, so usually what’s feeding that. So what you just said is the story. I’m just gonna counter that right now, just for the devil’s advocate side, because I remember having the, the same condition and I, I did some, I tried something else, but along the lines of what you’re talking about, but I remember at that time, I could, you could tell me I’m in a.

And I would counter, and I would say if I were to counter, I would say, this is not a story. What that person did was real. That person insulted me. You know, [00:28:00] you see that, the feeling, but that person,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: right. That person’s not doing it anymore, that person’s now gone and drinking and Tim’s coffee chatting to their friends, right.

You in the story and you believing story. So you, it doesn’t exist. Now. It doesn’t exist. The story doesn’t

Triena McGuirk: exist when you’re not in the present anymore. When you’re in,

Muhammad Kermalli: what I’m arguing is that, that, that injustice or whatever that was served to me. Right. Hasn’t been corrected yet. So it’s

Triena McGuirk: so I, so this is where the journey comes too, right?

Yeah. Is taking the self responsibility. So usually it’s like, why am I. So offended that this person disrespected me. Why am I so offended that they cut me off? Or, you know, and so there’s usually a reason why we’re so activated and there’s, you know, deeper clinical reasons for those things, but it’s the curiosity.

Right. And so it [00:29:00] says more about them that they’re disrespectful than it does about you.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: If that makes sense. Yeah. I just go ahead. Yeah. So I, I, one of the tools that I use a lot is called the AFL code. Yeah. And it was, it was it’s not my code. It’s by a bra he’s, he’s like a rogue monk. And AJ Bram talks about this AFL code and it stands for acknowledge, forgive, learn.

Mm-hmm so what happens is, and again it, it depends on how much inner. Activism

Muhammad Kermalli: the Australian football league. That’s for sure. Right? That’s no, no, no, no,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: no. Could

Triena McGuirk: last

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: football’s is from, Australia’s not

Muhammad Kermalli: Google, the AFL code of conduct and it was a code of conduct for the Australian football league. So I just wanna make sure we’re

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: talking about the [00:30:00] same thing. No, no, no, no. Let’s hear the code of conduct. Maybe they talk about

so, but, but, so there’s a difference bringing, you know, you, you can say I already justified and you can acknowledge and go. Yeah. I’m acknowledging that I really feel justified and they shouldn’t have done that. Or you do it the other way. So what I did when I had this thing with this, this bank manager I acknowledged that I was getting really angry, but I didn’t say it’s because of what she said.

I said it because something inside of me was triggered. Yeah. So it was okay. Something inside of me was feeling disrespected. Something inside me was feeling very small and she, she, she poked at my smallness. And so when I had that acknowledgement, I forgave myself for feeding that way, but I forgave her as well and was like learning from the, okay.

So what have I learned? I learned that it wasn’t her. She had no idea. Maybe she was really being helpful because this, she works with lots of lawyers and she [00:31:00] thought I’m being helpful by not having a telephone call. That’s go nowhere until I have all the, so she didn’t do anything. She, what she did wasn’t to spite me she didn’t do on purpose.

It was my response. It was my internal reaction. So I had to acknowledge that I had to forgive myself and I had to learn from that experience. So my next,

Muhammad Kermalli: what do you have to forgive yourself?

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: I have to forgive myself that it’s okay to feel small or it’s okay to get angry with somebody it’s, it’s okay to get angry with somebody.

But what you do with that anger can be hurtful and distract. And what I did was hurtful and destructive because I put the phone down on her when she was just trying to do her job. So I emailed her back and I said to her, I’m really sorry. We got off on the wrong foot. Can we start both? And now we having very, we having conversations.

She text, she was chatting to me [00:32:00] yesterday about her father. And she chat me yesterday about how she thinks that what I wanna do with the credit card probably isn’t the right thing to do. And she gave me some great tips and suggestions, but it was in that moment where I said, why, why was I so triggered it?

Wasn’t her. I had to acknowledge within myself that something wasn’t right. My smallness, my, my, my ego. Was saying, look she’s, she knows you small. She knows you, nothing. You see. And I had to see that. And then I had to forgive myself and learn from the experience and correct it. Now,

Muhammad Kermalli: do you think this ever happens?

You see, you just give a scenario where there was another party that was making us feel small, right? Well, I think a lot of people go through is a situation where there’s no other party that they themselves are making themselves or they, they feel themselves to be small. There’s no, there’s nothing else.

You know, there’s just them by themselves. There’s just feeling [00:33:00] down. And it’s not that somebody else told ’em something it’s just maybe their perceptions and perspectives on all these things kind of going on around them. Like, look, people are making money. I’m losing look, people have friends. I don’t look, people are.

Winning lotteries. I’m not look, you know, all these things. And then it’s the self talk that, that they bring themselves down. Like, you know, Trina, you were talking about this. I think earlier people, we, we bring ourselves down. There’s nobody else. It’s just, mm-hmm myself and I, is it the same process? You think you go through it

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: at that time, you bring yourself down because you believe in your stories.

And there are only two types of stories. There’s memories, and then there’s thoughts about the future. Okay. So when you, when you’ve got memories, that’s where you feel depressed and down and lonely and horrible. When you’re thinking about the future, you’ve got no control over it. So that’s when anxiety comes in.

So we are the depressed where we’re anxious. If we’re living in the past, we [00:34:00] depressed. If we’re living in the future, we’re anxious. So it’s only the present moment to say right now in this moment. Yes. I haven’t won the luxury. Yes. I’m feeling down about myself. Yes. I live all of these things, but in this moment, right now, I’m breathing.

And I’ve got a choice. Do I wanna live in the past? Do I wanna live in the future or do right now, I’ve got a choice to do something that can just like start small. You know, it it’s, what I’m going to do is just make myself a cup of coffee and just really be invested in making myself a cup of coffee. I

Muhammad Kermalli: want, I wanna finish off on this one, this one, if you’ll indulge me on this, I know we gotta get to something, but this is so, so important because I think we all face it so much.

And I wonder if, if what your thought is on this, but you know, sometimes for example, it has nothing to do with like circumstances other than what we even created by ourselves. Like we did something intently. Let’s just say we we, we, we [00:35:00] were harsh on a relationship and it broke, right. We, we, we broke the camels back on that one.

We were the last straw. Now there’s no reset button that we can go. To, to fix it, mend it, whatever. So there’s no alternative future on that. It’s done. Right. And we now have to forgive ourselves that, that, that forgiveness part you know, or we’ve done something that we know was just like wrong. It could be something small.

Like we invested in the wrong thing with a life savings and our, our life partner said don’t do it. And then we did it. And then now we’re like nowhere. So many of these ex examples we can give where we were the culprits, right. It wasn’t circumstance. We were culprits or we have been culprits and now we gotta forgive ourself and maybe even others haven’t yet forgiven us.

Do you know what I mean? What do you, what do you, what do you do then? how do you, how do you forgive that person?

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: sometimes you need help. You know, if it’s so big, [00:36:00] sometimes you need help and you need, you need to reach out and you have to get somebody to help you learn how to forgive yourself. Mm-hmm

Muhammad Kermalli: you learn to forgive yourself?

Huh? You have to learn to forgive

Triena McGuirk: yourself. Yeah. It’s not, it’s not, none of us ever taught that. I feel like we’re taught the office of it. And through doesn’t matter where the person is from in the world, I feel like we all have these kind of kind of like operating systems in our head sometimes.

And I just wanted to circle back to the beginning of what your state was there. Moham, cuz you were talking. Like the comparison, like they’re doing this, they have this, I don’t have this and this, and I’ve really seen this come out in practice and I’ve seen this come out. I’ve been reading like research recently, like as of yesterday and there was, you know, research about, and I’ve seen this in stories of people who I’ve talked to that have, have lived on the streets as well, and then have, have come off the streets.

And so what the research and experiential knowledge concur that is [00:37:00] that when you reach a certain level of basic needs, the, the, your happiness doesn’t increase. So if you have shelter, you have, you know, a stable income to be able to provide yourself. You have food, you know, to medical, that kind of stuff.

Once those things have a baseline of stability for a person, you know, the difference between a person making 40 or $50,000 a year to a person making substantial more. The, the jump in happiness isn’t really that much better. Of course, there’s like a caveat of people who really who, who get a great happiness from extraordinary wealth.

There there’s research around those people. But for the average people, money doesn’t make that much of a difference. It’s because the acquisition of things, the, the, the material of things doesn’t bring happiness. And so that’s what the research is saying. And that’s what I’ve also learned from talking to like a, a man who.

Was homeless for several years in Toronto and in, in Edmonton. And we [00:38:00] had this beautiful conversation and he just talks about how he’s still asleep outside because that’s what his body is acclimated to even in the winter. And he has a home and he’s like, I don’t need what I thought I needed before. And he went from, you know, having a lot of opportunity and wealth and then being home like he’s, he’s gone the spectrum.

And, and so the research really qualifies for that. So I think it’s really important for people to, to separate happiness. And self-worth from material possessions and things, and looking at other people because, you know, social media is a beautiful tool, but it’s also created this falsehood that everyone is putting out these perceptions of whatever the most beautiful things are in their life.

And they do, we all have these beautiful things in our lives, but the reality is the life is not all of these perfect pictures. It’s messy and chaotic and everyone has. Horrible things and heartbreaking things happening to them simultaneous to these beautiful things sometimes. And we [00:39:00] don’t always post that side of life.

Right. So I think it’s really important for people to, to look at how they’re feeling and why they’re feeling that way and what they’re comparing themselves to and why, because stuff and acquisition isn’t going to necessarily bring happiness or invite more happiness for people if they, if they already have like a stable platform.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Yeah. And if I can extend on that, I know we’ve got other stuff to talk about, but I heard something last night that said basically the premise was comparison is the enemy of happiness.

Triena McGuirk: Yeah. There

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: you go. That’s it. And, and another thing about happiness is I, I think we’ve got it all wrong. You know, happiness, isn’t an extended state of being, you know, I’ll be happy when, and then I’ll happiness is just a feeling and it’s momentary because you are happy when you get your car or you’re by your house.

And you’re not happy. So we have to, happiness is like trying to chase catch up to the horizon. You’re never gonna catch the horizon [00:40:00] and you’re never gonna catch happiness. It’s just a momentary state of being.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. I, I couldn’t agree with you more, you know how, when, you know, people have this, it’s very common in our culture.

This T G I F for example and somebody says, oh, the weekends come in. And on Monday, it’s like, how was your weekend? And they’re always, either looking forward to the weekend or talking about the weekend. They just went by and five outta seven days are lost. and can somebody ask me, how was your weekend?

I go, I’m always on my. Why, why would you only have two good days outta seven? So, so you see it’s, it’s like even Trina, you’re talking about it’s sometimes it’s cultural. Sometimes it’s what’s going on out there and what we, what we learn to be the norm. And maybe it is the norm. Sometimes people feel like they learn to just beat themselves up and the norm is not to forgive.

The norm is to, and actually speaking of forgiveness and the justice and the legal system now , you know, Nicole it’s, isn’t that the irony, right? [00:41:00] Like, you’re you go from, you know, these experiences that you have as a person, as a child, you, you get your qualification. Now, you, you enter into this legal system this area of law, and it’s, I think it’s no coincidence, right?

That you find yourself there, but not only do you find yourself as a professional person aspiring to be a professional lawyer, you come into law. and you, you, you talk about how, you know, through your, your experiences and your earlier years in, in, in working as a lawyer, that the element of compassion it’s interesting, right?

Like inside the legislative side of, of, of our gov of our governance, of our society, you have this legal system and inside of that legal system, there is this pursuit for, for justice. But you, you would say that while there is this need for justice, there’s also a need or maybe a greater need for compassion, [00:42:00]

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: a hundred percent.

There is no compassion in the law. And, you know, it’s very stick to the facts and you know, I’m an counselor and, but compassion is understanding. Compassion is perspective. Compassion is kindness. And that’s what we need in a law in, in, in law. And that’s one thing that is lacking from the law. And it’s one thing that emotional intelligence and compassion has to come into the law fundamental.

Muhammad Kermalli: Now, now, before we get into what you’re doing surely there must have been I never went to law school, but there must have been discussion already, plenty of times about, Hey justice or compassion. You know, they are two different things and you gotta have justice because if we just sit there and are just compassionate, you know, look at all the things people are gonna get, there’s not gonna be enough deterrent to the people who are attempted to do things that are say illegal or criminal.

There must have been discussion the philosophical conversation around this, right? That I mean, there has to be a [00:43:00] reason why compassion is according to you, like absent or, you know, that there’s, that, that it’s too diluted in, in, in the legal system that we have today. There must be a reason for that.


Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: think the reason that we you know, I read something and I wish I could remember it a hundred percent correctly, but the one thing that I would compassionate is seen as a weakness in the law. If you’re compassionate, it means you, you are weak. We don’t have time being in the law is about strength and you know, advocating and fighting there’s no compassion in fighting, you know, so for me, compassion is superpower, but you know, and, and I think it’s because wish I could remember this article, but you know, there were saying if there, there three, there three cornerstone of the state, right?

There’s the church there’s the law and what’s the other one church state. And I dunno what the other one is, the kind things, it, health medical, I, I dunno,

Triena McGuirk: I’m trying to.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: [00:44:00] Okay. But anyway, whatever, whatever the third one is, it’s very important. Yeah. So maybe it’s church, government, I dunno what

Muhammad Kermalli: you can just, you can forgive yourself for not knowing,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: cause I’m gonna make a great point.

Basically. It’s very, very structured. So the church is there for spirituality. That’s where you get your, your compassion, your kindness, your spiritual needs met. The, the government is to create order or, you know, create your environments in your homes or whatever it is. And the loyal Ture that rules are made and kept.

And it has to be very strategic because everything else looks after the other needs. The church will look after state, you know, will look after that your, your, your mental and, and what other wellbeing. And so the law was in order for us to be legitimate and scientific. We only deal with the law. We only deal with the rules.

We don’t deal with anything else because you got other things to deal with it. And it will infiltrate our systems. And we, we silo, we have to [00:45:00] silo everything. And I think that’s what happened is that all these silos and people are going well, hang on a second. I’m a human being fighting with somebody. And you telling me that I can only think about the law.

We have to, we have to break down the systems that are silos, break them down, mingle them, and then see, and then build them up

Muhammad Kermalli: again. So if you’ll indulge, that’s, there’s two steps to get there. The first one is, is where we are now, which is surely it was a human being. There were human, you know, human beings that sat there and wrote the law, right?

And surely as human beings, they have compassion. But what you’re saying to me is that when, when the laws were being constructed by human beings who are compassionate beings, right. Who know about compassion, who know about love and that sort of thing have feelings and understand you’re saying about, again, explaining it to me as a [00:46:00] layman, right?

The, the reason this was done was to, there had to be an objective side to everything and, and the purpose and the goal. Let’s just say the intent of the law was to be completely objective. And that’s the silo, no compassion in this. And they say, they say, it’s not that it’s lacking. Compassion is that there’s a, there’s an importance to being objective mm-hmm

Is that, is that, is that, would you say with the beginnings or the intent?

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Yeah, I think so. It’s a good intention though. Yeah, it’s great. And.

Triena McGuirk: Sorry. I mean to interrupt you, I’m just no, no,

Muhammad Kermalli: like I just wanna make sure I understand the beginnings of it because what you’re doing, if we get to what you’re doing, just to talk about that you gotta cover these other people.

And we see it the

Triena McGuirk: same in the clinical profession that intersects with law. So I like putting on a child protection worker lens. You know, we’re trained in forensic interviewing and how to gather disclosures and evidence in a way that is going to be presentable to the court because you [00:47:00] don’t want to, you know, botch a case because you contaminated the evidence and, and that leaves this, you know, vulnerable child in a predicament because you haven’t operated in a way that is in the direct application of the law.

So the, the, the thing of it is, is like I’ve been reading a lot. Therapeutic jurisprudence. And I just wanna share a quote. I just pulled it up and I think this really kind of pulls together what therapeutic jurisprudence is, which is because there’s a lot of unintended consequences sometimes when we don’t bring our humanity to the table.

Sure. So when you’re looking at bringing in a compassionate process into law, this is not something that is new. It’s not happening in north America necessarily, but it is happening in other places in the world. And so this is from an article from 2019. And it’s titled therapeutic jurisprudence and just applications for international law and psychiatry.

So this is a statement about it, and it says the perception that the task of the court is not [00:48:00] only to decide the specific legal issues before it, but also solve the underlying problem that gives rise to the dispute requires a holistic view of the parties and the relationships and situations, a judgment of the court, which takes into account the environment in which an issue arose will have much greater chance of preventing further, further litigation.

And so what that means is if we bring our humanity to the table with the application of the law, we’re inviting different opportunities and different conversations that don’t, that stop that wheel of people circling through the legal system and, and looking at, and it it’s differentiation of the application.

And so what works for one family in alignment with the law. May not have may have unintended consequences for another family that the judiciary may not necessarily have been privy to. So it’s bringing in those it’s bringing in those life experiences of idiosyncrasies of a person’s life. So when the application of law is, is unfolding, [00:49:00] then it takes into account how to invite optimal outcomes for people rather than, rather than reinforcing the same issue of that has brought them forward to you in the first place.

So it’s super exciting that this is happening and I’m finding, there’s a lot of conversations happening at least within Canada with, within the communities Nicole and I are circling right now, which is so it’s so emancipated. It’s so

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: wonderful. And it’s happening. These communities are happening because we realize that the systems are broken and not working.

Wow. You know? Yeah. There, there’s this brilliant article that, that I, I refer to a lot just talking Muhammad about why don’t we have compassion? Why don’t we have any of these things in the legal system and there’s this study and it’s called killing them. Softly. Neuro reveals how brain cells die from law school stress and I’m neuro self hacking can optimize cognitive performance.

And basically what [00:50:00] this article says is the second year enter law school while your, your intelligence might be raised, but your emotional intelligence has been decreased, almost nonexistent. And that’s why law students and lawyers come out already feeling depleted and depressed and not happy human beings because they’ve just been trained for the last five years.


Muhammad Kermalli: so, so that’s exactly what I, that was the second step, right? Which. You know, for, for, for people to understand really what you’re doing. I really want ’em to understand kind of like how you got there. And the beginning is always there’s good intent in being objective. No one would say there’s something wrong and being objective that’s the common ground, right?

Being intentions are good. It’s to be able to govern it’s to be able to keep order it’s to be able to keep a sense of, you know, peace you know, and consistency for, for people to be able to live right, and grow and thrive, and then comes the consequences. And I’ve heard the [00:51:00] word being used. Unintended consequences.

Yeah. Right. So what are some of those UN you talk about it being, you know, broken and not working. What’s the evidence that it’s broken and not working. What are these unintended consequences? Can you touch on them a little bit quickly before we get to then, like, these are your why’s right. This is why you’re doing what you’re doing.

And I think we really. Talk about that. And, and, and, you know, get into that a little bit, then you can really set up for really what you’re doing, cuz you gotta know why , why, why would you call it? Why would you call it broken? What are these unintended consequences you’re talking about? You just talked on one where, when people, kids come outta law, school kids, you know, when graduates come out of law school, my son just graduated this week, still a kid to me.

Right. But you know, graduate, they’re now lawyers. They’re now like these meaningful members of society. They’re noble. They wear these cool outfits now. And you know, they’ve got certifications. They can, they can solve [00:52:00] problems out there. They can bring peace. But you’re saying that they’re depleted. What do you mean?

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: So there are first of all, the one thing that, that I wanna say about the law is that if you take any country’s founding constitution it all talks about. Compassion being, knowing, you know, that it’s about community. All, all these things are, are beautiful. And then, and then you have the law, you know, and, and I think one of the reasons that I want to do law is I find law punitive.

Because if we all live really well together and we understand our rules without having them written down, we don’t need a manifesto telling us how to do things, but it’s when, when people can’t live with the rules and regulations or, or need guidance, then, then you have rules and rules. Cannot take into effect every single person’s background, every [00:53:00] single person’s identity, every single person’s it, it just can’t.

So it kind of sort of has a global, well, people should be like this, so we’ll have these rules. And then if you don’t conform to those rules, then you’re gonna get into trouble and we’re gonna punish you. And we are gonna punish you with the varying ranges of, of penalties that, that we’ve established. But again, there, we haven’t taken into extremes of people, you know you, you can’t save to a drug addict.

If you get, if you, if you get high again and urinate in the street while then we are going to throw you in jail. Cause you know, they’re going to. Because those rules, there’s nothing to help them not break those rules. The system is not helping them not break those rules. So I feel, you know, law is, law is fantastic because if we all go law abiding people, we don’t really need the law because we’re just going to do what we have to do.

We don’t, I don’t worry about

Muhammad Kermalli: the law, the [00:54:00] law abiding that implies that there is a law, there is

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: a law, but common sense.

Muhammad Kermalli: Let’s go universal values. I like using

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: yeah. Yeah. Universal values, I think. Yeah. So I think, you know, the law comes in to punish people. If you’re not going to behave in a certain way,

Triena McGuirk: it doesn’t, it doesn’t deal with the fact that this person’s homeless and has an addiction that they can’t access proper support to withdraw from.

So that’s what therapeutic jurisprudence is, is looking at. Okay. He has this issue. You know, often we see this in family law cases that they’re not necessarily a homelessness component attached to it, but definitely the addiction issues come up. And one of the things I’ve seen come out in, in certain orders is, you know, and this is an, this is a, this is a speaking to what you’re looking to for the unintended consequence Mohamed.

So the person has demonstrated, willing a readiness and a willingness to come off of a heroin that there, that there was their addiction, there’s an order [00:55:00] made for them to, you know, engage in treatment. And and then there’s also consequences if there’s a child, cause I’m, I’m usually involved with them.

There’s a child. There’s a consequence of access is suspended if a drug screen or sorry if a a drug screen is negative. So if they, or positive, sorry, if a drug screen comes back positive, all access stops. And so. All of that makes total sense, total sense. Then you go to a level deeper. The unintended consequence could be that this person, you know, works in Scarborough, they live downtown.

And the methadone clinic that they have access to that’s really available is in a different part. And for them to commute there and, and participate in the level of treatment they need, they are not going to be able to stay at their job, or they may want to have an addiction counselor, but there is a six month wait list or there’s.

And then the, also there’s a lack of awareness. That relapse is a natural part of recovery as, because. The brain is hijacked by these [00:56:00] drugs. It takes at least a month to be able to come to a baseline, to be able to even start to reframe the neural network. That’s been hijacked by addiction. So just coming at it with an awareness that there’s, that, that kind of those pieces involved with addiction, then we can build around them and say, okay, well, what happens when relapse?

How can we have meaningful contact that is meaningful for the child and then also safe for the child in the context of this parent’s journey with addiction. And so that’s what unintended consequences are because we can be putting orders in place or putting, or sorry, the courts can be putting orders in place that are truly meaningful for the safety of the child and the betterment of the individual.

But the, the system like rule the real life role play of that happening sometimes impedes people’s progress. So, so that’s what we’re looking at is just really like using the application of the law, but do it in a way that we. For lack of a better word, not setting people up for failure. And we really want them to move through this in a [00:57:00] meaningful way and, and heal and get better because the, the less recidivism the better it is for everyone.

Right. So

Muhammad Kermalli: would you also say things like, for example, when you talked earlier even Nicole, you were talking, I think about this where, you know, just the very way in which we are taught the law as say lawyers, if, if they were to go into being lawyers, the way they’re taught the law itself, you know, has an unintended consequence, like you talked about feeling depleted, what do you mean by feeling depleted when they come outta law school?

And I don’t just mean from the bank account feeling depleted , but you know, the that’s another, that is a whole other story, but you know, feeling depleted emotionally and, and, and perhaps consequences of feeling that emotional depletion and there. They’re are they taught this? What do you mean? How, how are they taught this?

Or is it just in pursuit of being perfectly objective?

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: They they’re not taught any of these things. They’re just taught to be [00:58:00] lawful soldiers and to advocate vehemently. For, for, you know, for whatever you have to do when or lose, that’s really how we’re taught. We try to get more integrated practices in.

So there’s a whole movement called integrative law where we say, in order for a system to work, we have to integrate everything. We have to integrate therapeutic jurisprudence. We have to integrate mindfulness. We have to integrate trauma. We have to integrate environmental, like all these things we have to integrate spirituality.

So and this is the community that I’m very big in and huge. A huge part of my life is bringing integrative law into law schools. But I wanna go back to why does a lo why does a lawyer or a recently you know, graduate feel depleted and, and there, there are. I’m not gonna go through all of them, but basically there’s almost seven separations that while they’re going through law school and once they come out, even just as a graduate and as a new lawyer [00:59:00] where now this is where they’re able to create their foundation.

They’ve, they, they have these seven separations of self and the first separation is they, they, they come out of law school and maybe they went into law school feeling. I know I felt this way, but I went into law school feeling completely. I was going to, I was gonna be there for the people and I was gonna advocate and I was gonna do all this good work and I was gonna do all of this stuff.

And, and then to law school, none of that stuff, the values, and the reason I went into law school was said, you have to put that aside. So now there’s me as a person. That, this is why I went into law school and law. School’s telling me, but you can’t really be that person. So there’s a separation of myself and I have to go.

Wow. Okay. So when I become a good lawyer, then I can bring my values back in for what, for, for why I did this in the first phase. But I first have to, I first have to pay my due. So you start separating [01:00:00] more and more and more from in that you went into law school in the first place. So you have the one separation, another separation that you have is that you feel that people don’t understand you.

So you can’t say to somebody it’s really stressful being a law student, or it’s really stressful being a lawyer. They go, what do you mean? It’s the best, one of the best professions in the world to have you dress well, and you’re gonna earn well, and you’re gonna do all of these things. And it’s like, I can’t complain to somebody about my stress because it feels like I’m being ungrateful and people don’t understand.

So now you’re very isolated. So there’s another separation that you feel then there’s a separation that you feel when you go into a law firm and you don’t like I did you don’t, you feel like a, a triangle and around pigeonhole because you know, that’s, that makes you feel good. And yet it’s an environment that you have to be in.

Cause now there’s a first separation.

Muhammad Kermalli: Why don’t you, why wouldn’t you feel good in a law firm when this is what you worked to get into? [01:01:00]

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Because you don’t know what a law firm is when you’re a law student,

Muhammad Kermalli: what is a law? What do you mean? What is it.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: So I think people think that they wanna be in, you know, these, these fantastic downtown law firms, and you’re gonna wear the cool clothes and you’re gonna have prestige and everyone’s gonna make you feel fantastic and you go there. And for the most part, they make you feel terrible. They, they make you feel small.

They, you working these long hours, you’ve got no support. You looking it around with everybody flourishing. And you think I’m the only, I’m the only idiot here who doesn’t understand anything. Isn’t

Muhammad Kermalli: that part of the Navy training seal training, Navy seal training that you get is that isn’t that why they do that,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: but why should it be, why can’t you mentor?

Why can’t you, why can’t

Muhammad Kermalli: you get opened up for like, you know, the challenges that lie ahead.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Do you think it makes you a better person when somebody treats you badly?

Muhammad Kermalli: Well, you know, you grow thick skin. [01:02:00] No,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: you know, there was this. Yes. You grow, you go. I don’t wanna thick skin. I want to suckle skin.

Muhammad Kermalli: so I’m just talking about the intentions as to why they are the way they are. I mean, this is

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: what I, a hundred, you know, so there was this there’s this Facebook group that I’m part of, and this one person wrote about how they, they received a really nasty. Email from a very senior lawyer. They’re junior from a very, very senior lawyer.

That kind of was like, you, you should, you should be going back to law school. Like, you know, how could you even written, how could you’ve written this correspondence to me, but not only did this person write it to them, CCD 25 other people on this, on this, on this email. And so she wrote in and said, what do I do?

I feel I have to protect my boundaries. You know, if you wanted to guide me, guide me, maybe I didn’t know what I did was wrong, but don’t tell [01:03:00] other people, you know? And so we, we started this whole conversation of, and, and so my response to her was you know, you, you, I think we’ve spoken about this before.

You’ve got your role models and your anti anti role models. So use this person as your anti role model so that when the same thing happens in 20 years time, and you faced with the situation, but you, now this person, you can do something with compassion, kind of integrity. You’re gonna be a much better mentor and role model.

Then this person who just made you feel small.

Muhammad Kermalli: Let me ask you a question. Because there is the law that we were talking about, then there are just the culture of law firms and the whole legal industry. And that’s a, that has a whole commercial side to it, right? That’s a business. And, and there are two different things in, in, in my view, there is like what the law is intended to be like, and, and to the, the intended consequences, and then the unintended consequences of just an objective law.

And, and then there [01:04:00] is, you know, how law firms operate and cultures of, you know, how they’re gonna grow their business. And, and, you know, when you talked about these levels of separations, I think that there’s also. This thought that the, the better you can do this, the stronger you’ve become. And then there there’s this, you know, there’s this feeling of actually achievement.

When you tear yourself up, when you tear down your humanity not that kindness is weakness, but that look, you gotta be able to put on this armor and not be yourself because it’s a jungle out there. And that’s what you’re up against, you know? So that it’s like this feeling that, look, we’re doing this to prepare you.

And it’s like hard love if you will, you know, to try and get us there. But then it has unintended consequences. It’s always, it always comes back to that. Mm-hmm so carry on because you, you did get yourself into, I don’t wanna say trouble, but like you felt yourself out of place, right. While you were. Yeah.

And then, and then cuz these are [01:05:00] all thoughts and experiences that lead up to like what you’re doing today. And and now we’re approaching kind of like the. The, the things that sort of motivated you now, because now you’re seeing what’s happening in law school, you’re seeing what’s happening in law firms and you feel that there needs to be a change because you’re seeing lawyers breaking down, you know Trina, you talk about lawyers requiring all kinds of coping mechanisms, anything from, you know, drugs to therapy, to whatever.

And it’s no secret it’s happening. Like mm-hmm, . to depression. There’s there’s burnout.

Triena McGuirk: There’s a lot of issues I’m seeing like blood pressure medic, like blood pressure issues.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. I’m sure somebody were to go look this up. Like the stats are pretty right on this. I think suicidal

Triena McGuirk: ideation is higher, correct me if I’m wrong.

I think it, I think we lawyers have passed dentists now for used to be dentists. Yeah. Dentists used to be the highest profession with of persons who died by [01:06:00] suicide. And I think lawyers are now the first everything. Yeah. So like now it’s, it’s just about the system, you know, we can do better for.

The, the persons we’re in service to that are navigating the system, but also better for the persons who are advocates and working within the systems, because we’re seeing the impact of vicarious trauma, burnout, or compassion, fatigue amongst amongst people in this discipline.

Muhammad Kermalli: So you, I love how you use these, like these terminologies and they’re so meaningful, like compassion, fatigue.

Wow. Like, you know, I bet you, when you say compassion, fatigue, a bunch of people can nod their heads and say, yeah, that’s what I’m feeling right now. I’m feeling compassion, fatigue. Yeah. It’s a real thing to have no compassion. And I want, I want to have compassion. So

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: I don’t like personally, I, I, I don’t like the word compassion, fatigue, because, huh.

Passion is the most positive emotion you can [01:07:00] ever have. You can never get burnt out from compassion.

Muhammad Kermalli: Oh, I think what she meant was like lacking compassion. Yeah. But.

Triena McGuirk: Yeah. There’s a misconception. Yeah.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Because yeah, you feel so much compassion. You feel burnt out, but it’s really it’s.

Triena McGuirk: Yeah. You’re burnt out, but yeah, but it’s, that’s how I read it.

Yeah. It’s so it presents itself as almost like an indifference. Like what’s the point nothing’s gonna work anyway. It always goes like that. Absolute thinking. Always, never, this never happens. And, and you’re just kind of like, just kinda have a hostility almost to word your occupation.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Someone once explained it to me, emotional someone.

I, I, you know, I, I, you really need to start writing things down, but they said emotional burnout is when your emotional output is not being, being met by your emotional input input. Yeah. [01:08:00]

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Yeah. So you’ve been there. You, you, you had all these experiences. And you did the, you talk about the triangle and the square, you know, pay.

Now you, you get to a point what made you feel like, because a lot of, a lot of lawyers go through this and then they just go either they go, ah, this is just how it and assimilate because they’re now, well, what they say in poker, they’re pot committed. They’ve put so much in to being a lawyer. This is what it means.

This is what I signed. I signed up for this. So let’s just go with the flow or they exit. And you, you didn’t go with the flow and you don’t want to exit. Yeah. But what makes you think that you’re going, you’re gonna be able to do anything about it. And so you, you decided to, to start practicing a certain way first mm-hmm tell us about [01:09:00] that.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Well , you know, I, when I was in South Africa and I, I was approached out of long school and I started my own practice and it wasn’t how I wanted to do practice. And it wasn’t. What, what I wanted to be. But yeah, I, I had to do it and, and you know, this, this is what it was. And so when we immigrated, it was like, I’m done.

I don’t wanna be a lawyer ever again, like, this is not for me. It’s not what I signed up for. I sold the sold to the dental and I don’t like it. And so when we, em, immigrated, it was like, oh, this is such a great opportunity for me to start a whole new career brand new, be, be what I wanna be. You know, I’ll be an interior decorator or I’ll do something, which I couldn’t be because I suck at math.

And apparently you really need to be,

you need to know how big the couch is before you put

Triena McGuirk: it in, get in the door.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: So but I [01:10:00] realized, you know, in being in Canada for only was just coming on two years, that I loved the love that I loved. I loved being a lawyer and law was in my blood and I really wanted to be a lawyer. And so that’s when I decided to become a lawyer in Canada.

The difference was I was older. I was wiser and I had I knew that that the way I had practiced was not the way that I was going to practice this time. So I had been given an opportunity and the biggest gift by, by Canada saying, we don’t accept you the way you are. You have to reconvert and redo everything.

And then we’ll consider you. I knew the type of lawyer that I want you to be. Most people don’t know the type of lawyer they want to be. They might know what type of law they want to practice, but they don’t know the type of lawyer they wanted to be. I knew what type of lawyer I wanted to be. And I, I wanted to reclaim my soul back.

Muhammad Kermalli: You say it that way. It’s not just the kind of law you want to practice, but the kind of lawyer you want be. Yeah. Let’s. [01:11:00]

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Because that’s how you can decide whether you’re gonna stray from real values or keep your values. So I, you know, that’s when I just, when I did become a lawyer was I’m not going to mitigate, I’m going to do mediation.

I’m going to do collaborative law. I’m going to do holistic law, not O holistic holistic, w H O holistic so that I can try and take the whole person who comes to me and see their whole situation and work differently. And I did, I worked, I worked very differently. And I, sometimes I felt like I was swimming, you know, against, against, you know, it’s going upstream and everyone’s going downstream, but.

I knew that’s how I wanted to be. And I had, that’s how I did it. I created a successful practice. And when I say successful practice, I want, I want everyone to understand that everyone has got a very different version and definition of what success is. Success for me was never being a millionaire that got there.

That was fantastic. But that, [01:12:00] wasn’t what I strive for.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Your, your idea of, of success was being able to be the lawyer you wanted to be. Yeah. And, and you, you stayed your definition of success is that you stayed true to that and you managed to, and so the law does allow, as it’s, as it’s constructed right now allows you to do that, allows you to be that

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: it allows you to be that, but you’re not gonna make as much money as you would.

If you were a litigator pouring fuels to the flames and making conflict bigger.

Muhammad Kermalli: Well, you know, mechanics have been accused of doing that and that’s, it’s more of a, you know, it it’s like a, you know, there’s no problem there. Now there’s a problem because, you know, they created the problem and we all, we all know about that sort of way of being able to increase your business.

And that’s what I mean by the, the commercial side of the law, right. That they are businesses. And when the business mind takes over, and that is the mind that is entrusted with also carrying out, [01:13:00] you know, the law, well, something’s gonna give, and it’s, it’s, it’s pretty obvious that that’s more commercial interest being met versus you, which is more like, no, I wanna make sure that I’m, I’m like you said, I’m dealing with the law holistically, so you’re successful in that sense.

And you found that that, that you were, you were able to establish your practice doing that, but you have to give up the idea of. Being the millionaire that that’s gonna, that the business is gonna bring. And and so then you started something called, was it, is it Lotus law? Is that what you, or is it new or lawyer?

Like, is that like is that now, now, like when you’re getting into now working with lawyer specifically, cuz you found that you could impact a few people this way, but you could impact a whole lot of more people if you worked with lawyers instead of, instead of clients, is that, is that kind of like how you thought about it?

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Yeah, so I, I created Lotus [01:14:00] law in 2018 because prior to that in 2016 I was going through a bit of a a slump. And you know, I, I, I, I, I say, I don’t know what time management is. I don’t think anybody knows what time management is because we can’t manage time, but we can figure out what to do with our time with time that is given to us.

But I was Feeling guilty when I was at work that I wasn’t at home with my kids. Then when I was at home with my kids, all I was thinking about was what I had to do at the office and then kind of wanted to shov the kids away. So I could just quickly to get to the office and, and do, and so there was no, there was no balance.

And there, there was certain things happening in my life at the moment that I just felt overwhelmed. And I didn’t like the way that I felt. And then I went to check with the law society to see as a lawyer, does the law society help or do anything? And I found a few articles, but it was like, literally took like hours of getting into the belly of, of the, of, of the law society’s website, looking for mental lawyer’s wellness, opticals.

And they were just, articles was like, that was not [01:15:00] helpful to me. And

Muhammad Kermalli: so the consequences.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Yeah, the con, well, the consequences, what I decided to do about that, you know, because I started, I was vulnerable enough to say to fellow colleagues, oh, I’m feeling really stressed. And how are you feeling? And, oh, we feel particularly sole practitioners.

You know, we all feel the same way we can ever go on vacation because we are our practice. So the second we go on vacation, we have to bring our work with us. And we have to know that nothing gets done for two weeks and we gonna have angry clients. And so we can’t ever go away and we can’t do. And so there was so much stress and I said, what if I could find a solution?

And they said, if you find a solution, we’ll be on board with you. And that’s where I started looking to you know,

Muhammad Kermalli: I said, we’ll be, who said, we’ll be on

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: board. Every lawyer that I was talking to said, if you can find, you know, and it’s funny, cause they will say, yeah, if you can find a solution, like we’ll be there.

Like we need this help. We want all of that help. So I wait out, I found a solution. I spent two years [01:16:00] studying and. And doing courses and getting certified. And then I came back and I said, I’ve got a solution. I said, no, we’re too

Muhammad Kermalli: busy. Yeah, you can. Yeah. That’s it. You can take the horse to the water, right.

Or you can’t sometimes . Yeah. Can I can’t even take the horse to the water sometimes. That, that’s just, that’s exactly what I found. And, and I agree with you wholeheartedly that, you know, people talk and lawyers included about wanting a better outcome and so on and so forth. And when you finally went and you finally figured out and you bring it, they, they don’t take anyway, we can talk about why that is, but I’m more interested in what you’re doing.

And so, you know, I love that you’re doing it. You went, you figured it out. And what did you, what did you figure out? What is it that you, that you ended up.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: So I, I started ready getting involved in mindfulness and understand. So I first did a the first thing I did is I thought, okay, I’m gonna do a six week mindfulness course, and then I’m going to know mindfulness, and then that’s gonna be fantastic.

And I did the six week mindfulness course, and I was [01:17:00] still more confused about what mindfulness was like, I wasn’t at all. I was just completely confused because I kept telling it about suffering. Like, no, I, I didn’t, I, you know, and because I’m a lawyer, I think I better, like, even though maybe I’m more humble or I thought I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I like the idea of me.

More of a humble person. I still have been going. I’m a lawyer I’m smarter than most of you. This stuff is just like for people with real problems, you don’t understand my problems. And that’s why mindfulness didn’t work for me in that six week course because I was closed minded to it. It was like, I just wanna get enough tools so I can go and teach people.

What the tools they’ve given mindfulness is, is, is is so personal and experiential and it’s like practice. And so a lot of the times our speech lawyers, they go, oh yeah, we’ve read, we’ve read like 30 books and we’ve read or everything written by the D Lama. And, you know, we know PMA children is like, we, we are on the Facebook [01:18:00] page and you know, all of these things.

And I always say to them, you know I consider myself a great cook because I’ve read 30 cookbooks.

Muhammad Kermalli: Oh,

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: beautiful. you know, and I go and I say, do you think I’m a great cook? It’s like, well, no, you have to learn how to cook. I, well, exactly. I can have read 40,000 books on, on cooking, but that doesn’t make me a great cook.

And, and

Muhammad Kermalli: that’s, so you’re saying it’s possible to be a lawyer and not be mindful. Say that again. You think it’s possible to be a lawyer and not be mindful.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Well, I dunno what you mean by mindful because it’s mindful of sort of saying I’m mindful of the fact that you are a busy person or I’m mindful of the fact that you’ve got other clients, but that’s not mindfulness.

So, you know, mindfulness, it’s a very simple definition. There are lots of long definitions, but mindfulness is knowing what’s going on in your body and mind at any given moment. So what I teach, what I teach lawyers and mindfulness [01:19:00] is. When you get that email and you suddenly realize that you’re so angry, just notice the anger, because it’s a simple truth.

The email hasn’t made you angry. Anger has just arisen within you as a result of what your eyes made contact with. That’s all that happened. Your eye made contact with an email, that’s the truth. Then you proliferated your stories. Mm-hmm so just understand that. And so, and so what I teach is mindfulness and everyday life just having awareness, not being mindful of having awareness of what’s just happened inside of me right now.

What, what, what sense? Just what sense made contact of my five senses? Which one made contact with something that caused a reaction inside of me?

Muhammad Kermalli: and, and so how do you think that that will translate for lawyers in carrying out compassionate law?

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Because [01:20:00] they start just having an awareness of themselves and then they, a lot of my law students have come back and they, and they, their greatest success story was I was, I was on the telephone with, with the council and they started pouting at me and they started you know, personal with things.

And they said, Nicole, I realized there was so much anger inside of me. And they said in the past I would have either just put the phone down on them or I would have just started screaming back. And I said, but I, I realized, I felt this anger inside of me. And just in that awareness, I said to them, you know what?

I. Our conversation’s not been, you know, not so is not helpful to any of us or any of us right now. Maybe we should just cool down and we can continue this conversation tomorrow, or we can do something else. And they said, I would never have done that before. Mm-hmm and you only need one person in a room to be mindful to change the entire energy in a room.

And so this is what I’m teaching I’m [01:21:00] teaching lawyers is to have that, that awareness in a moment and then change that moment. So those are great stories and the other, I just

Triena McGuirk: wanna interject to too, cuz she she’s left at a huge project that she’s embodying this knowledge too. She’s

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: She’s

Triena McGuirk: initiating with her, her partner in this venture of compassionate integration, integrative process into law.

So that’s something that she’s looking at. That’s going to bridge, it’ll be trauma informed. It’ll be a trauma informed piece of it. But then when it’s, it’s really an immersive experience is what she’s presenting, because you’re gonna get the trauma informed knowledge and the applicational awareness of what that looks like for the people we’re in service to, and also for ourselves.

But then she’ll be unpacking some of these things like what does self care and self responsibility self-accountability look like? And so that some of the knowledge that she’s going to be bringing into that training as she initiates this alternative dispute resolution process for within family laws, just starting within family law.

[01:22:00] So it’s a really nice gateway. I feel. The project she’s bringing forward because it is peaking to all the concepts that we’ve, we’ve gone through through the course of this discussion with therapeutic jurisprudence and, and looking at differentiation, not, not necessarily carry picking a law, the law’s still gonna be the law, but the application of it, of how it rolls out will be a little bit different.

And I feel, you know, what she and her partner are doing is really quite groundbreaking in the sense that it has beautiful applications for criminal law, like beautiful applications for either courts, cuz the only diversity we see within the court system at this point is differentiation for children and differentiation for persons with disabilities or severe mental health issues.

So this is a differentiation for all in recognizing like the humanity we all have. So that’s my sense of your project. I think it’s a huge thing

Muhammad Kermalli: yeah, well, yeah, it, it’s great to kind of see like how you got here, you know, why you got. [01:23:00] And what’s gonna fuel it. This is not just something you woke up and said, oh, this would be cool to try.

You’re you like, you have a lot of reason not to be so committed to this and there’s such, such a need. So when there’s such a need such a gap and there’s such a level of motivation and, and you’re so invested, it’s bound, like, you know, it’s bound to succeed. It’s not a question of if it will succeed, it’s successful now, you know, just, just because of all of these reasons.

And it’s exciting to see this kind of coming around because in, in the area of law and even in, in, you know, in the business of lawyering, right. There’s also that aspect that has to be, you know, considered and, and, and it’s a, it has to be satisfied. Otherwise it won’t take, you know, it’s a market question, it’s a market question.

Right. And from a marketing point of view, and, and this is kind like my angle on things, right. It’s like the business angle. You know, will, will lawyers and, [01:24:00] you know, law firms that are in the business of lawyering, will they see this as valuable as a way to be able to, you know, through compassion, who therapeutic your experience?

Do they see this as a greater level of quality to their client? And if they can see that as a greater level of quality to their client, they’ll, they’ll be traction. And I think that they would, I really think that they would, I think it’s outstanding. Just from a business point of view, that there’s a, a great differentiator.

Corporations nowadays wants to come across as more, you know, compassionate. They want to come across, they they’re doing things like color the four day work week, all these things. And they’re saying that we want that culture to be proliferated in every aspect of what we do, including you know, our legal department.

So the drive is not [01:25:00] just coming from inside the legal industry it’s coming from outside the legal industry as well, that there needs to be more compassionate that there needs to be more, there needs to be a more sustainable way of doing things. And if we don’t do it this way, well, you know, look at what’s happening with global warming, look at what’s happening with blah, blah, blah, all this stuff, what it all relates.

And it’s a philosophy, it’s a way of approaching it. And I think the way you’re going about it is not just because it’s gonna feel good. It’s actually sustainable. It’s actually the only way to be sustainable. Otherwise more unintended consequences. Yes. Right. So at what point in time are we gonna say enough is enough.

And there are leaders like you out there, and I’m so excited to see that you’re, you’re embarking on this venture. And I believe you got it. You you’re like the perfect person to do this. You’ve got the you’ve got your grandmother’s [01:26:00] right. But aside from your grandmother, you yourself, like, you know, you’ve faced gunpoint.

And even at that moment, you didn’t lose yourself. And yeah, you’re also human enough that you can say, look, I have fall down moments all the time, so you can relate to every side of, of this, this table. And then you’ve also got the you know, the professional acumen you’ve gone through the, you know, you’ve gone through the training, you’ve gone into the law firm.

You’ve been on all sides. twice. Yeah. Right. Countries . And so you’re great. You’re a great ambassador for this. And and I love what you do. And I love in, in a short while maybe. For you to come back and talk again about like, what your experiences have been like and the kind of changes that you’ve been able to see, maybe even, you know, bring some lawyers with you who have started to, you know, or your students who have started to use this method, right.

Or this mode of being able to apply. So you’re not really changing the [01:27:00] law. You’re not really trying to

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: ask for change. I’m changing mindsets. Like one of the things like, I, I, I tell when, I mean, mindfulness actually adds hours to your day and your, what do you mean? It’s like, because if you are, you know, if you can stop your stories and you’re not now spending hours and hours, not really investing what you’re doing, cause you’re still in the story.

If you can stop the story and then just deal with what you have to deal with. you can get it done and then it’s off your place and you can do the next thing. And lawyers don’t realize that they’re spending so much time not being present, that they’re not actually doing their work. They’re not productive.

And so mindfulness creates productivity mind. Like I’ve sometimes I will, like, I’ve got nothing to do because I’ve done everything so efficiently and help. Is that okay? Well, I’ll just go sit that side for that and do something.[01:28:00]

Muhammad Kermalli: So I, I think you know, obviously it’s not gonna come without challenge that there’s going to be the other side. And I think that the other side might say things like, ah, that’s a bunch of, you know, it’s a bunch of fluff, like, you know, it’s all feely, feely, feely, and we need to stay like, yeah. But I think, I think that’s really that in itself is proof of denial of what makes this human human.

But I love

Triena McGuirk: that mindset because that’s where I was. Like, well, I’ve been there. I was the most, I could come up with a million reasons why I couldn’t meditate and why it wouldn’t work for me. And you have no clue the stress that I’m facing. Like, so I love it’s and there’s a lot of validity for that, right?


Muhammad Kermalli: Well that, that’s what tells you there’s a need, right? Yeah. that’s right there. You’re like, okay, there you go. That, that my work is not done. I gotta keep going. Yeah. And so I think it was oh my God, Bob Marley, you know, who, [01:29:00] who, who, who said something to that effect when, you know he was supposed to go on stage, remember that whole and, and, and you know, he was, he was not.

And they said, why don’t you rest? And oh yes. Cuz he, yeah. Right. You know, he says the people that are ruining the world, aren’t taking a day off. I can’t

Triena McGuirk: was right after he was shot. He actually from the station and they were like, we need to be resting. Yeah.

Muhammad Kermalli: Yeah. Yeah. So Nicole I hope you’re well rested up cuz you get like you’re but like look at just the way that you’re doing it.

Like you’ll stay true to yourself as well. Like you won’t get lost in this, you know? You’ll, you’ll probably get, get more energy outta doing something like this, cuz it’s so fulfilling and, and I’m so glad people like you’re out there, you know, breaking through and you know, in, in areas of law without really trying to, again, you’re not like you’re not, you’re not saying that it’s not working.

It says it’s gonna work if it’s applied this way. Yeah. And that’s the breakthrough and it, it’s not only applied in our personal sense. It’s also applied in a professional sense and now it’s being applied to [01:30:00] an entire industry. So just congratulations on all that you’ve done and not all that you’re doing.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Thank you. Oh, wonderful. Thank you guys. You’re amazing as well.

Muhammad Kermalli: And it’s good to like I said, it it’s thank you so much for sharing that story. I think it gives a lot of people insight as to, you know, right from basic things, like forget the, the law system, but just being able to work on things like, you know, you talked about the AFL code, you know, the that, that in and of itself is just helpful to everybody.


Triena McGuirk: And I think this is a good conversation too, because like you were saying, this is, this is a culture that’s in all perfections, I feel right. A culture of, you know, almost robotic kind of showing up to your job and working. And there’s kind of a, a social, a social currency to say, you know, I worked X number overtime, or I, I, you know, I had to cancel my vacation and so forth.

And I think we see that in every industry and. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t, it [01:31:00] doesn’t work for us as human beings. It doesn’t give us optimal outcomes for the businesses that, or the systems we’re working within. So I think I think we’re at a, a kind of a, a shifting point, hopefully where we’re going to be inviting.

More of, of acknowledging what we physically and emotionally need as professionals who are people

Muhammad Kermalli: right. Yeah. And it’s not like you just said, there’s the professional side and then there’s also the person as well. Yeah.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: My public problem thing was I was separating myself. Yeah. I can’t tell people I’m a Reiki master and I love crystal because that’s not what a lawyer does. You know? I, I can’t tell them that. I talk to God and sometimes he talks back to me, but that’s just weird, you know? So all of those, all, all, all of those things, you know, and when I eventually said no, but that’s who you are, embrace it, Immers yourself in it.

It just felt [01:32:00] right. And one other thing with the AFL code that, that is sort of like a precursor to the AFL code is, I dunno if you’ve heard of halt H a LT. And it’s like, when you’re suddenly feeling really Triggered is to say to self halt, am I a hungry, angry, lonely, tired. Mm-hmm any one of those things you’re probably going to have to employ the AFL code because you’ve just done something that, that you need to acknowledge for given learn.


Triena McGuirk: That’s a, I know I, the hunger for me, like I know I’m like I got 45 minutes guys or the lid is coming off. Yeah.

Muhammad Kermalli: Car commercial that works on that something. Yes. Yes,

Triena McGuirk: totally.

Muhammad Kermalli: How you just talked about like today, mindfulness. Really? I think that was the, the essence of what we find is that your mindfulness didn’t just carry you through from the early lessons in life that you had, [01:33:00] it stayed with you. And it’s like you said, like it’s like the happy. You know, explanation that you get.

It’s like, we’re not always mindful, but here’s how we come back to being mindful and talking about things like that were, I think really, really helpful for us. So really appreciate the conversation today. And I think we’re not done. I think there’s more conversation out there.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Love spending time with you guys and I have verbal diarrhea, so it’s a really good combination for me.

Muhammad Kermalli: really like what you’re saying. I mean, you’re very humble about it, Nicole, but I think a lot of people need to hear it. You’re articulated in such a way that, you know, not just average, like average people like layman can understand, but also I think a lot of people can relate to you because of your, your professional experiences as well.

So thanks for being there with us and, and part of our community really.

Nicolle Kopping-Pavars: Oh, thank you, Nicole. All right then til next

Muhammad Kermalli: time until next time.