“The human mind is a relational and embodied process that regulates the flow of energy and information.” – Dr. Dan Siegel
Last Tuesday I had the privilege of being at Dr. Dan Siegel’s Optimal Leadership full day Masterclass. The Wake Up Project here in Sydney were hosting the event that had been marketed as, ‘Integrating brain science, mindfulness and experiential exercises, Dr. Siegel will introduce you to the ‘next generation skills’ for improving your wellbeing, resilience and relationships’. When I first read about the event that description above resonated with me both personally and professionally. I was very excited for the opportunity to be in attendance and the day most definitely lived up to the high hopes I had for what I’d get out of an experience like this.
“One of the key practical lessons of modern neuroscience is that the power to direct our attention has within it the power to shape our brain’s firing patterns, as well as the power to shape the architecture of the brain itself.” – Dr. Dan Siegel
We’d all agree that it can be all too easy to slip into distraction, fear and overwhelm within our journeys of potential. We all navigate daily successes and challenges, amidst a variety of complex interactions with self, others and the world around us. But as leaders we know we are capable of using our empowered daily thoughts, words and actions to make a difference. This is why the integration of effective practices is so important, so we can keep coming back to exploring the possibilities, discovering potential and acting authentically, even amidst the uncertainty that we inevitably encounter.
“Integration is not the same as blending. Integration requires that we maintain elements of our differentiated selves while also promoting our linkage. Becoming a part of a ‘we’ does not mean losing a ‘me’.” – Dr. Dan Siegel
Mindsight, created by Dr. Dan Siegel, involves the development of insight, empathy and integration for us as individuals and groups. As Dr. Siegel spoke about on Tuesday, ‘instead of being a prisoner of the past, we can become pioneers of the future’. He used 3 points to discuss our connection to and service of the Next Generation. Those being supporting the future, in the present, by building on the past. Here is where we are able to move ‘SELF’ from a singular noun to a plural verb. This ‘MWe’ sees us tapping into the true human narrative, one of connection and collaboration.
“Studies are very clear: When we help others, we all win. Compassion and Empathic joy are the outcomes of integration. And these are the realisation of the fact that our “self” is both embodied and relational—we are more than the boundaries of our skin.
And with this integrated way of being, we all can reap the benefits of living authentically and cultivating connection with a deeper and wider sense of self as a MWe. MWe can do this, and together we can!” – Dr. Dan Siegel
There were so many take away messages, ideas and practices that I picked up from the day. One that I found to be of high importance and wanted to share to close this post was when Dr. Siegel spoke about how ‘intention sets the stage for attention’. It is truly remarkable but ‘where attention goes, neural firing flows, that’s where neural connection grows’. Starting here, with the capacity to choose intention, we can do the work around and honour the wisdom in self through further developing and fostering insight – know self, empathy – open to and concerned for others, and reawaken through integration – see interconnectedness. Want to make a difference, it starts with MWe!
“The brain is a social organ, and our relationships with one another are not a luxury but an essential nutrient for our survival.” – Dr. Dan Siegel