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The Upward Spiral

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About the Author

Harvey Hyman majored in philosophy at Yale University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1978. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center he practiced law for 25 years. From 1986 to 2007 he successfully handled plaintiff's personal injury cases in San Francisco and Oakland. He consistently received an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell signifying his peers viewed him as highly competent and ethical. In the 1990s he began representing many clients with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Mr. Hyman served on the Board of the Brain Injury Association of California, wrote many articles for the Neurolaw Letter on the effects of brain injuries, and lectured to attorneys and health care providers on cooperation to help people with TBI. In 2007 Mr. Hyman experienced a severe depression with hospitalization that changed his life. Prior to depression he hadn't acknowledged or dealt with the stress from constant work. He didn't care for himself by engaging in vigorous exercise, healthy eating, adequate sleep, quality family time, meaningful community involvement, spirituality, restful leisure, play or creativity. Before depression, he was hard on himself - always demanding victory in court no matter how weak his client's case or how strong his opponent's, and always quick to blame and criticize himself if did not achieve all out victory. To recover from depression Mr. Hyman began daily Buddhist meditation, daily physical exercise and other habits to promote health and happiness including gratitude, forgiveness, kindness to others and self-compassion. He is now a much healthier, happier, more social and more spiritual person, who notices and appreciates what the present moment has to offer rather than ruminating obsessively about his cases. Mr. Hyman is now in touch with his heart and his feelings rather than a brain in a glass case. Meditation helped him realize that all lawyers want and deserve to be happy, yet all of them suffer from stress and emotional pain; that all of them could use compassion; and that all of them could use education on stress management, especially those with chronic anger, depression, addiction to substances or suicidal thinking from stress overload. Mr. Hyman spent two years researching and writing this book.

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