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Her calling

As Darlene reaches out to help others, her work gives back to her in ways she could have never imagined.
As Darlene reaches out to help others, her work gives back to her in ways she could have never imagined.
Photo provided by Darlene Lancer

Darlene Lancer knows quite a bit about career transition, she changed careers 3 times before she found her calling as a therapist.

Darlene described, “Crying for no apparent reason after successfully closing a deal told me that I had to leave my law career of 16 years. At that time I was working as a Hollywood entertainment attorney. I’d worked at a major Century City law firm, in the legal department of American Broadcasting Company, and at a production company. My job sounds glamorous – lunching and negotiating with studio executives and agents and lawyers for actors, writers, and producers, highlighted by occasional parties and private screenings. None of that interested me, much less new case law. I never followed industry gossip and rarely read The Hollywood Reporter. Instead, I devoured spiritual and self-help books and attended yoga and meditation retreats in the little free time I had, given the demands of work and raising young children.

These pursuits fueled an inner journey of transformation that led to my departure from my profession. I never discussed my personal interests at work. It may seem odd today, but in the 70s, to some people yoga was a fringe religion. Over several years, my inner and outer lives and personal and professional lives increasingly clashed. Gradually, my meditation and yoga practice began breaking down the veneer of my lawyer persona – a role I’d learned when I was only 22. As my real self was emerging, I became more aware of my unhappiness at work. I had dreams about my creativity – something I’d shelved when I went to law school.”

Darlene started to shift her world in her search for fulfillment.

She shared, “I knew I needed a change, but wasn’t certain what the problem was and thought it could be the law firm where I was working. So, I left to be a sole practitioner for a while. When business was slow, I researched and wrote articles for entertainment magazines, which I found thoroughly enjoyable though not lucrative. Not surprisingly, my first job after law school was a judicial clerkship, writing and editing a book for judges. Each morning, I’d make my way into the courthouse passing George Manson’s groupies, who’d carved X’s on their foreheads.

Eventually, I left my practice and accepted a position as Assistant General Counsel at a television production-distribution company. But soon the doldrums returned. When it was sold to Rupert Murdoch and the legal department closed, I couldn’t in good faith accept another legal position.”

Click here to read about Darlene’s awakening.

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