Eps 154: Dr. Dan Siegel Discussing the Science of Being Present

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Today’s guest is Doctor Dan Siegel. Dan is a clinical professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA school of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Centre at UCLA. He is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute which focuses on the development of Mindsight, teaches insight, empathy and integration in individuals, families and communities. Dr. Siegel has published extensively for the professional and lay audiences. We are discussing his new book: Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence. Join us!

“The most important gift we can give our kids is showing up with our mental presence, not just physically being present but to have the state of awareness and open to who they actually are.”


“Presence is a state of perceptive awareness.”

“Information is transformation.”

“You have the ability to cultivate the presence of mind through these very simple and accessible practices that are going to bring health to your body, slow the aging process, reduce stress, all these positive things and the same exact process, developing your hub of your wheel of awareness, presence, can actually deeply enrich the way your child is soaking in his or her relationship with you and developing this experience of being seen, of being soothed, of being safe, of being secure that research shows is exactly what your child needs to optimize how they go out into life, and that’s something you’re empowered to create.”

What you’ll hear in this episode:

-The wheel of awareness: what it is and how it helps  
-How awareness impacts your body and health  
-How being present impacts the speed of the aging process
-Wellbeing and how it is enhanced by being present
-Relationships with your kids and how being present improves it
-Cultivating awareness
-Role modeling resilience
-How awareness feeds connection vs control
-Impacts of a lack of structure on the brain and future of children
-Authoritative parenting vs Authoritarian parenting
-Why we need the village and how that creates stress for contemporary parents
-Finding joy, tranquility and connection through expanding awareness
-Flipping our lid, learning from our body’s signals and how awareness can help
-Monitoring and modifying for self-regulation and to improve responses to stress
-The 3 O’s what they mean

What does Joyful Courage mean to you?

Joyful Courage, to me, means having the presence of mind to dive into this receptive state of awareness, this hub of the wheel, to tap into the power of being connected with whatever arises inside of you, this kind of “bring it on” attitude, that’s the courage. And the joy that arises as you liberate yourself from what a lot of us get imprisoned by which is “I have to control everything” instead, with presence, you let things emerge within you and then you let integration, connecting with your child, for example, in ways that are filled with love and connection that is honoring who your child is, honoring yourself too, but then linking together with compassionate, close relationships. That’s what I think joyful courage and courageous joy is all about.


Mind, A Journey To The Heart of Being Human
Brainstorm, The Power and purpose of the teenage brain
The Whole Brain Child
No Drama Discipline
The Yes Brain
Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence
The Telomere Effect by Elizabeth Blackburn

Where to find Dr. Siegel:

Facebook | Twitter | Youtube | Instagram | LinkedIn

Mindsight Institute
UCLA Mindful Research Centre


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