Tag Archives: focus

Podcast 112 // Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence with Dan Siegel, MD

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Dr. Siegel is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA. An award-winning educator, he is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and recipient of several honorary fellowships. Dr. Siegel is also the Executive Director of the Mindsight Institute, an educational organization, which offers online learning and in-person seminars that focus on how the development of mindsight in individuals, families and communities can be enhanced by examining the interface of human relationships and basic biological processes.

Dr. Siegel’s unique ability to make complicated scientific concepts exciting and accessible has led him to be invited to address diverse local, national and international groups including mental health professionals, neuroscientists, corporate leaders, educators, parents, public administrators, healthcare providers, policy-makers, mediators, judges, and clergy. He has lectured for the King of Thailand, Pope John Paul II, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Google University, and London’s Royal Society of Arts (RSA).

In this episode, we discuss his New York Times bestseller Aware: The Science and Practice of Presence (Tarcher/Perigee, 2018) that provides practical instructions for mastering the Wheel of Awareness, a life-changing tool for cultivating more focus, presence, and peace in one’s day-to-day life.


The Wheel of Awareness

You can stream this episode and all other episodes of Good / True / & Beautiful at AshtonGustafson.com, iTunes, and Spotify.

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5 Ways To Keep Calm (So You Can Focus)

For most of us, the lion isn’t chasing us in the jungle anymore. So why all the stress and all of the books and discussion of how to tame it?

It appears that in world over-served with the noise of “must-have” toys, experiences, and trinkets, we can’t seem to focus long enough to truly understand what we want out of our lives, relationships, and businesses. In other words, the buffet of choice, with everything item screaming for us to ‘like it’, is stressing us out.

I’ve learned that the calm ones are the focused ones…and the focused ones get what they want (and what we truly want too). They get a life that means something and one that is lived with purpose. They work hard, sleep well, and have a peace that paves the way for focus.

Here’s 5 Ways to Keep Calm…so you can focus and tend to your gardens of life.

1) Gratitude Awareness: This isn’t about things. This is about health, well-being, and opportunity to see, take in, partake, and experience your role in the story unfolding.

2) More and More of Less and Less: In the end, you can hardly recall a test you failed, a breakup, or something else disturbing that happens to you just 90 days down the road. Fewer things of importance leads to fewer things to stress about. Realize what makes you tick and stay near such things. This goes for all things in life.

3) Sleep: Studies are showing the #1 place we can all use a tune up is in the sleep department. DVR Fallon if it’s that important to you.

4) Avoid Thoughts of your “Future Self”: Plan, invest, and sow wisely, but don’t let tomorrow cause you to miss out on the beauty to behold today.

5) Reflect: You won’t believe what the mirror wants to tell you if you’re willing to look and listen to it for a while. Click here and check out Headspace.

Final thought…try to make focus a noun, not a verb in the days ahead. You’d rather have it than do it.

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The Chatter

Do you know how many conversations you’ll have with yourself today?

Answer: A lot.

There are some scientist that have reported that these small, most of the time unnoticed conversations, happen in our subconscious at the rate of 3,000-4,000 words per minute. That’s a lot of chatter. And you wouldn’t believe, or maybe you would, what this dialogue consist of.

The challenge of this chatter is not to attempt to make it go away, rather it’s knowing that it’s there and learning to waltz with the opinion of the mirrored self you are communicating with.

This post is probably more worthy of a book than a blog post.

Nevertheless, here’s the would-be Cliffsnotes for such a book or manifesto: This chatter, whatever it is, will eventually define you, your music, and your days.

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Finding Your Swing

Watching Lefty win yesterday was quite refreshing. His score of five under baffled his fellow players. But not Phil. He found his swing. You could see it in his whole persona.

This reminded me of words from The Legend of Bagger Vance.  Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing… Somethin’ we was born with… Somethin’ that’s ours and ours alone… Somethin’ that can’t be taught to ya or learned… Somethin’ that’s got to be remembered… Over time the world can, rob us of that swing… It gets buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas… Some folks even forget what their swing was like.

Your music is found and made in your swing. And if you’re lost, your swing will guide you to your music.

Here’s the catch. None of us know how many practice swings it took Phil to hoist that trophy yesterday.

And the one guy that does know???? He’s the one holding the trophy.

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