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Technology, Mindful Business & Leadership

In this interview, Melli speaks with Dan and Caroline about how technology addiction and digital overload can affect our brains, along with practical tips on using the technology in your life with more wisdom and skill.

I'm your host, Melli O'Brien and I'm so excited to be here right now with Dr. Dan Siegel and Caroline Welch. Dan is an internationally acclaimed author, an award-winning educator and clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dan's latest book is called the Mindful Brain. And it's really, I think, it's a groundbreaking book on bringing together science and spirituality.

Caroline is the CEO of Mind Your Brain, Inc. And her experience in law and business, as well as mindfulness has really made her an expert on mindfulness for business and mindful leadership. Dan and Caroline, thank you so much for taking this time out for the summit. I know you're busy at the moment. Thank you, Melli.

Thanks. Thanks for having us. I want to talk a little bit, to begin with, about the particular challenges that I think we face in this digital era of constant connectivity because I think we all know, intuitively, experientially, that technology is a bit addictive and that too much exposure to it is not that great for us. So my question to you is what do you think we should all really know about the way that technology affects our brains and therefore our lives. Well, excuse me, I just have to answer an email before I answer that.

Okay. Just give me a second. No, no. Hang on. I just got a call.

Yeah. You start with the brain and then I'll talk about what it does to our lives. Okay. Well, I mean, you know, the, the, there's so many things to say about it. One is, you know, screens of all sorts, whether it's computers or tablets or smartphones, draw you in.

And part of that can be wonderful and fantastic, different ways we get involved with stories or even connecting with people can be wonderful. So we have to make sure not to put things down that really have some wonderful attributes. The problem is it becomes so compelling to look outward. That we forget to look inward and the circuitry of the brain that Caroline is inviting us to start with is, you know, very different when you reflect inward. And so my concern about the brain and technology is that people are so busy looking outward, outward, outward, visual stimuli, sounds, different things that draw you compellingly to look at these screens are not the same as just going inward or looking at another person in a conversation and soaking in the seven big non-verbal signals - eye contact, facial expression, the tone of voice, gestures, posture, the timing, the intensity of response.

All those are mediated in a certain part of the brain, mostly the right hemisphere, very different from what's usually activated when you're looking at a screen. So those are ways we get to feel the inside of another person, have mindsight to see the mind. The mindsight circuitry, it needs to be cultivated to stay strong and to grow well. And I'm just concerned that the way things are now in the digital world, doesn't really cultivate mindsight circuitry in the brain. And what I'd like to add to that is to remind ourselves that our devices don't come with rules and regulations.

And we all want the next iPhone or the next iPad, but we don't necessarily know when and how to use them. And I think that it's up to individuals, it's up to families, it's up to businesses to have the, the culture that reflects what that unit, that individual or that company thinks is best for it its people. And a couple of examples that come to mind, and, and I, I often think, Dan coined the term, the internet is really the infinet, because you just sit down to do a couple of emails and the next thing you know, it's an hour and a half later. And so it is quite a time zap. And the other thing is that I think some in corporate America use it as a validation stamp.

Like at 2:00 AM this morning, I returned your email. And it becomes almost a contest, like who's up the latest, and these are people in different time zones. They're like up at 2:00 AM, wherever that is. And so, and, and on the other hand you have culturesm I know for example, we, we have a colleague who just started in a, one of the studios here in Los Angeles. And he made a move as a practicing lawyer out of private practice and he went in-house.

And his first Friday afternoon there at his new job, he sent out an email. And his colleagues are like, what are you doing sending something out late on a Friday? And he had to learn that, well, wait a minute, they have certain, you know, almost sacred, but. In private practice for many lawyers, you send and receive emails and you go into your office seven days a week. And so he had to adjust his use of email and phone during that time. And I know I, I heard a talk with you, an interview.

I think with Dan recently, you were talking about the effects of how many of us are getting more and more sleep deprived because we're using, staring at screens late at night. Well, if you take Caroline's example of this, someone writes something at 2:00 AM. You think about what that does, you know, your, your brain needs to know it's getting dark outside. It starts to secrete the, the, the chemical called melatonin. It gets you sleepy.

You're getting ready to go. The lights are lower. You slowly get ready for sleep. But instead you have these backlit screens that are now shoving photons at your brain, telling your brain it's daytime, it's daytime, it's daytime. Well you're wide awake.

So you do emails, but the emails make you wide awake. So then you do more emails, et cetera, et cetera. And you know, we now know that you need to sleep to clean up the toxins out of your brain. So while it seems like a badge of honor, you know, honor to say, Oh, I'm up at two, am doing this. It's actually a bag, a badge of a garbage can because you're just treating your brain like a toxic waste dump.

And instead of cleaning it up on a regular basis, you're just allowing it to accumulate toxins and it's just not good for anything. Right. And you would imagine in the long term, that's going to make us less productive, not more productive. You might be up thinking that you're getting all this wonderful stuff done, but then you end up sleep deprived. And the next day not thinking straight and probably over eating and doing all those things that we do when we have sleep deprivation.

Yeah. I was going to add that. I think the more we learn about the importance of sleep, because I think, many of us grew up in a time when we prided ourselves in not needing too much sleep. And that seemed fine cause we thought we were functioning fine. But the more we learn about the role, for example, of the glial cells that Dan alluded to, in terms of cleaning up our brains.

And the more we know that, you know, physiologically something really important happens when we sleep. I think we have to pay attention to that and really understand that it's a very important part of our wellbeing. And what can we do to, what can we do to buffer ourselves of the effects of this information age? Obviously there's a huge upside as we mentioned, but there's a big downside here as well. What can we do to use technology with a bit more wisdom and skill? So I think one thing is to limit your time with technology, you know. For example, you might set an alarm for when it's time to turn off your machines, you know.

So you make a conscious decision about that. I'm going to use it for this amount of time and then it's... Yeah, I mean, for myself, I actually try not to use a computer after 8:00 PM. You know, maybe I'll read on, you know, a non backlit electronic reader, if I'm going to do any kind of electronic thing, but it's not backlit. So I really try to honor that and I try not to do emails after that time.

So for me, 8:00 PM, you know, is a good time to give me an hour and a half, two hours of really non-electronic living. Yep. You know, it's really, really important. You just have to look at people you know now going to dinner with each other. And Caroline and I go to dinner sometimes, we'll see people at a table together texting.

I, I hope they're not texting each other, but they're texting out into the world. And everyone's just on their screens all the time. You get an elevator, for instance, no one talks to each other. It's it's really sad. Yeah, I actually heard...

Go ahead. No. I was just going to say, I mean, it's reminding me, when you sit in a meeting, if one person pulls out their phone, then it goes around the table. Yeah. Then it's, it's everybody.

It's contagious, yeah. And I've heard now, as a little bit of a backlash to this, all the time is that people are now going to dinner, parties and restaurants, and everybody puts their phone in the middle of the table so that nobody, it's kind of like a way of honoring each other. I'm actually going to be here with you during this time where they switched their phones off before, which I think is really lovely idea. Well, I have heard of some studies, I haven't seen the study itself that said, if you just see a phone sitting on the table, even if you know, you're not using it, it changes the emotionality of the co, of the conversation. Yeah, I read about that too.

It's fascinating. It just reminds you, you know, that somehow that there's a whole digital world out there and we need to be superficial. Yeah. And is there anything, I'm curious to know, knowing everything that you know, about how technology affects us. What are the other little, what are the things that you both do on a daily basis? Do you have little habits or practices or, or other little things that you do to kind of use tech with more consciousness and wisdom? I can, I can tell you that I try to not look at my phone first thing in the morning.

And to feel like my day starts with a mindfulness practice of 30 minutes. and I don't... You're very devoted to that. talk to anyone before that. Including me.

Right. And I was just going to say if I've meditated yet. And that feels like a blanket around me the rest of the day cause it feels like a really owned the day at the outset. And the other thing that's been very helpful to me in organizing my day is that I don't look for email continuously. I say, okay, maybe at 10, 12, 2, if it can be that kind of day.

Just have a period when I look at it and try to resist that urge we have to be answering immediately. And that, I think that, that leads to a more peaceful work environment. And less I imagine, because I feel like technology really spreads our attention thin a lot of the time. You're doing an email and then there's a text and then there's a this and a that. And I imagine that that, that kind of deliberacy around those processes kind of, it's very contained.

And then you can just leave it. So I imagine that's kind of bringing the focus, bringing more mindfulness into that use of technology. Well, Caroline is very inspiring for me because, you know, she's been meditating for a long, long time, decades, and I would just see her doing this very regularly. And I wouldn't know what in the world she was doing, but I figured it was good. That was before The Mindful Brain.

Good to know. Now he can tell us what is going on. That's right, I mean I found mindfulness totally by accident using the word mindful in a book for parents I wrote with Mary Hartzell, we said be conscientious. Anyway, people ask us when we were meditating, the only person I knew that meditated was Caroline. But I didn't know why they were asking.

And they said, well, because you said mindfulness is a fundamental principle of good parenting. I said, yeah, it means being intentional and conscientious. They said, no, it means meditating. And I said on a meditation app, I go, what? Mindfulness meditation. So anyway, I, you know, I guess I feel very grateful to you, Caroline, for teaching me about the importance of a personal practice.

I, myself, you know, have this thing I do called the wheel of awareness. So for me, that's, that's my regular practice. Sometimes I really feel I need to move. And so I've been doing some Chi Gong lately and that's been really, really nice. You know, I just think it's really important that what you're saying that you start the day without technology.

You, you start the day with reflecting inward in whatever way works for you in general, or for you that particular day. But you, you do it and you honor that. You know, and some people say, well, I don't have time to do it. And I say, well, do you have time to brush your teeth? And they go, yeah. I said, well, this is like brushing your brain, you know.

This is way of developing mental hygiene and not just dental hygiene. Yeah. So it's, it's all the research now. I mean, The Mindful Brain came out like almost eight years ago. So and I've written a bunch of books since then, but what's been fun about the books that have come out since The Mindful Brain is to look at all the amazing science that tells you, you know, what Caroline has been doing for decades.

And what I just learned to do recently. You increase your immune system's functioning, you improve your cardiovascular profile, you improve a level of your enzyme called telomerase, that repairs and maintains the ends of your chromosomes, which is really cool. Those ends of chromosomes get whittled down with age and stress. So it's good anti-aging, anti stressing to do mindfulness practice. You also integrate your brain basically.

The differentiated parts of the brain become more linked. So in all these ways, you actually, conceptually anyway, have a healthier body that's going to live longer. You're happier. You're, you have more empathy and compassion so you're more connected to other people. So it's, it's really something everyone should be doing.

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. You already know that, that's why... I couldn't agree more. I'm heavily biased. But yeah, the research at this point is, it is so compelling and that's why actually, that's what I really love about your, about The Mindful Brain and so many other wonderful authors at the moment and people who bring out like Judson Briggs and Matt Killingsworth and Mark Williams who are talking about, you know, really amazing bodies of research to show us why mindfulness is so beneficial.

You know, when it comes explaining mindfulness and why it's really, why it's really great for us, I think your handy model of the brain is actually one of the most simple and fun and, and elegant descriptions of mindfulness. You knew you weren't going to get through this interview without having to do the handy model. I have a few of them here. Here's one. There's another one.

"Hello." There's three across the world. Yeah. You know that the handy model of the brain is very handy. Our daughter says, don't say handy dad, but anyway.. It's, it is handy.

It's it's, you know, it's, your, your brain is oriented like this. So you have your, your cortex on the top. And the front most part of the cortex is the prefrontal cortex, which links the cortex, the middle part, the limbic area and the brainstem along with stuff from the body through the spinal cord and then even the social world. So five sources of energy and information flow, the cortex, the limbic area, the brainstem, the body and the social world are all coordinated and balanced by the prefrontal cortex. So it allows you to engage with other people, it allows you to engage with yourself, it allows you to balance your body, allows you to take your fight-flight-freeze response of the brainstem, it allows you to take your emotions, your attachments, other people and blend all that stuff together into a coherent life.

So we we say that mindfulness creates a more integrated brain, literally this area of the brain among others, is one that contributes to linking the differentiated parts together. In science now, we're calling that the connectome. It connects, interconnected body and mindfulness increases the integration of the connectome. And so now we know all that. The, the exciting thing is that when a brain is integrated, then it's regulated.

So you regulate emotion and effect, you regulate attention, you regulate, thought you regulate behavior, regulate relationships, you regulate all of these wonderful things that come under the term executive functions or self-regulation. And this is why mindfulness is good in so many ways. As Caroline is saying, you know, start the day that way, and you create a state, for 20 minutes, half an hour or whatever it is. With repeated practice, a state of activation of the brain that you create on purpose becomes a trait in your life because neurons are firing together because of an intentionally created state of integration, become the trait of a, an interconnected system, the brain, that then is literally integrated so that you're more regulated. So it's a win-win situation.

So if a person like Caroline, and like yourself now, was practicing mindfulness for over and over again, lots of repetition, the neurons are firing together and wiring together over and over again, and this is going on for months or years at a time, what kinds of changes then would you see, would, would you expect to unfold in that person's life? In the brain you mean, or in? Well, I guess in the brain and in behavior as well. Yeah. So you mentioned. Reunion and I wasn't there at your reunion with you, but I could see from photographs. I mean, one thing is literally the parts of the brain that gets thinner with age don't get thinner in meditators.

So, you know, people can look at a person who's meditating a long time and they can be, they can see, decades younger than, or colleagues at a high school reunion. Now, that's all you need to say to us ladies. That's about it. We don't need any other benefits. So, so, so the way to think about it is presence, you know, is a wonderful thing for how we go through life.

To be present is a way of very simply defining what mindfulness is about is being aware of what's happening as it's happening, letting go of judgments, not getting swept up by expectations and trying to really be with a coal state of mind. C O A L, curious, open, accepting, and loving. So that's, and then you get a glow. Yeah, hopefully. Though, more seriously, just the, you know, in terms of the impact on your life in you come to experience a certain energy and a certain liveliness and you come to be confident that you can take in whatever comes.

Yeah. You can handle it. And that is a really reassuring and positive attitude to have and think that you have that kind of capacity. Hmm Hmm. Yeah.

That's great. Yeah. And that, that capacity is really a kind of resilience, you know, and, and a readiness. Yeah. And I think you touched on something that when you said, you know, when you said it makes you sort, I can't remember the words you used, it makes you feel more alive.

It really, it really reminded me, as you said that io something, something that Jon Kabat Zinn often said, you know, is that mindfulness is almost like a love affair with life. It's much more rich and vivid and, and yeah. One thing that there's a lot of buzz around at the moment is bringing mindfulness into the corporate world. And I think it's wonderful that there's a lot of buzz around that. But I'm curious to know from, from your perspectives, why you think mindfulness in business is important? Well, I would say it's important because, first of all, we all spend so much time with our work.

And we give our work, in many cases, the best hours of our day and our best energy. So, to combine our being present and being mindful with that work is very important. And I think that, as Dan mentioned, there are so many benefits to the mindfulness and it improves our executive functioning and our focusing, and all of that is really important in business. And I think business is becoming as we watch Aetna insurance or Starbucks, or, you know, it's not just the tech companies or just Google, there are many old line firms and companies now that are rolling out yoga and meditation, because there's a huge interest in the whole being, and a key part of that is mindfulness. One thing, I think that there's a bit of a myth still around.

I hope it's being broken already, but the, the myth of multitasking. I think, you know, this idea, I think it's sort of permeated culture in the Eighties that, you know, you could multitask and do as many things as possible. But I think the research is pretty compelling now that tells us that, that actually makes us much less productive. And that mindfulness has, you know, gives us that focus to do one thing at a time and just do it really well. Right.

So I think we've all experienced the, the peril of multitasking because we can't remember if we too our vitamin E or not, because we were already in our work mode or already making our list for the day. So yes, I think we have our own little studies every day... Absolutely. that being distracted is, it isn't what we thought. And it is kind of ironic because I think there was a time in corporate America when we thought multitasking was a skill that you should aspire to.

Absolutely. It was like a badge of honor. I can do, you know, have a phone call here and be doing this here and I'm driving at the same time and yeah. And you've worked in corporations. I mean, I'm more like an academic person, so I, I, you know, I'm more like that.

But in corporations there weren't really many mindfulness protocols or strategies when you were in companies. Caroline has worked in some interesting companies I don't like to generalize, but I think if you are in a, a corporate law practice, it may not be the environment where you'll find as much mindfulness as in some places. And, so that, that's the first thing. And it's very, however as I, I gave the example earlier of the lawyer who went from private practice to a studio, it's very company dependent and it really depends upon what the leaders have set out for the company and what your department's lead is. modelling.

And if you were the head of a really large organization, like a multinational organization, what kinds of policies and procedures would you put in place so that people could work more mindfully and more focused and kind of minimize distractions? Well, I think we, we hopefully are working on this, even though we don't have a big company. We're practicing every day to bring it here to our, our little engine that could, but we try to give people their own sense of their tasks or a given day or their work. And we have check-ins or meetings about what needs to be done, but then people work at their own pace. I don't think there's any sense that, you know, I need to stay late or I have to work through lunch or, I mean, we really. First, I'm a lawyer, so I'm always following the labor laws and people can't, you know, can't not have lunch.

So you're allowing them rest. Yeah, rest is so important or take, you know, fortunately our offices are just an, a block from the ocean, but we have a beautiful park out there and daily, at least once, maybe multiple times we say, take a break, go out to the ocean, take a walk. And I know that works for me. I come back feeling so refreshed or make a, make an espresso. We have an espresso machine in the, in the kitchen, you know.

A decaf. But these little, little things or, you know, also just try to be in touch with people. If it's a birthday or it's a something in the family, happy or sad, just try to hold all of that for people. Hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

And you know, this, when you mentioned, the park and nature, there's some amazing studies even on just awe, on how it is to try to have an experience of being a part of something more vast than your personal private bodily-based self is. Whether it's looking at beautiful trees or out at the sunset, or really getting a sense of your being part of a much larger whole, is really for you. It's not only you, it helps you feel happy and healthy, but it actually, studies amazing, studies show it has, you want to reach out to help other people more. Really there's a fascinating study at UC Berkeley. Dacher Keltner was talking about the other day, where they had students look at a grove of beautiful, actually, eucalyptus trees from down under.

Nice. And there was this gorgeous tree there at UC Berkeley, a set of trees, beautiful trees. And the other set of students were looking at a, a building. You know, it was a fine building, but just staring at a building. They didn't know what they were doing.

They were aiming in that direction. And then they had a shill, you know, a person part of the research that no one knew, fall down and drop their backpack and out spill all these pens, right. It actually calculated that the person staring at trees was much more likely to help the person who spilled the backpack and pick up a lot more pens and pencils than the person staring at the building. Oh, wow. The only difference in the variables.

And it just gave you a feeling like, wow, it isn't just about me, me, me, me, me. I'm a part of a larger whole, and I'm going to reach out to help people, even if it's something like someone's dropped their backpack. That's so fascinating. So the, the sense of just, just tuning into the fact that we're part of this interconnected web of life naturally just makes us feel more compassionate and kind and empathetic towards the whole, the whole circle of life, I guess you could say. Yeah.

That's that's what awe does. Aww, that's lovely. Aww. Because you know, you know why I said that's because I've got trees. You're surrounded, you're actually surrounded by a frame of trees as we're talking.

So maybe, it's working. That's awesome. Yeah, it is awesome, literally. Well, I've heard studies on the power of green too, and looking at parked, you know, things in the park or the, like you're mentioning the trees. There is a basis for that.

Yeah, yeah. It's instant, it's, it's instantly like a feeling of like tranquility. That's amazing. Yeah. What does mindful leadership mean to you? And, and what does that actually look like on a daily basis? I mean, I hear the term thrown around a lot, but, but what is it really? Mindful leadership to me means that I, as the leader, model that.

And so I try, even when, or especially when things get challenging, to take that time to make my response, not to react. And try to remember that we don't have to fix and answer everything right away. And so that, that's been very helpful. And I think the more I do that, the more I see my team do that. And people feeling in, in the, in, in the office, the space to say, I'll get back to you on that or I'll figure that out.

So I think that modeling, I also think, I try to, to have a balance and I try certain days to leave at a certain time. And that also, I think sends a message. It sends a message of freedom, hopefully that others can make their schedules. And, so I think that's probably the key is just modeling what that looks like, and then feeling grateful when it actually is exhibited in the people with whom we work. Yeah.

It's beautiful. I would just say yes. That's great. What I love about what you're saying is that it's about embodiment rather than telling other people, you know, how to be more mindful because that never really works anyway. But yeah, I love that.

So it's about, it's about embodying it yourself and allowing other people to, to just see that and act as they will, emulate it if they want to. And, Hmm. I just have one more question. Dan, a little while ago, you did a talk at Spirit Rock and during that talk, you said that, and I quote, "The only way that we're going to save this planet is through awareness." And I was wondering if you would care to speak to that a little. Yeah.

I guess it says a number of different things. One is an acknowledgement that the planet is going through a lot of transitions because of what people have done in certain ways by being on automatic pilot. So the opposite of everything, Caroline, just, you described about mindful leadership, just sort of mindless leadership in a way, but from each individual. And, and also I think part of what's happened in modern times is not only is the population grown so much, but people have been, all around this planet, East and West, you know, been feeling I think this push to be acting as if they're kind of the only thing thatexists in the world, is the individual self. And that sense of interconnectivity in modern life has not really been acknowledged so much.

So,that and combined with some of the things we've inherited in our nervous system, that makes in-group out-group distinctions where, when there's a lot of stress and a lot of hostility, you start treating people in the in-group better. You're inclusive group, you treat them with more kindness. Yes, that's fine. In group altruism is what some people call it. But the outgroup you treat with a lot more hostility.

And we have a lot of tension in the world today, so those innate proclivities of ingroup, outgroup distinctions, and racism, for example, the tendency for the self, as Einstein would call it, to have the optical delusion of a psychotic belief of its separateness from others and the world, nature and its whole, that optum delusion is, unfortunately, a vulnerability of the nervous system to believe its own story of individuality as being the only thing that's there. So yeah. What I mean by awareness is what's going to be needed, is to rise above those innate vulnerabilities. Yeah. You know, we need to have the development of everything the three of us have been talking about today and everyone probably listening.

This is curious about or practicing themselves, which is to drop beneath the brain's proclivities for how you think and feel, and react and even have a sense of self. And that's done through awareness. In our view, you know, we, we were at the Mindsight Institute, we talk about mindset being insight into yourself, empathy for others and integration. And here the kind of integration I think that's going to be called for is a transformation of identity. So instead of just a private self identity as a me, and even more than just being a we, which is also good, a collective identity to the integrator identity, we try to encourage them as mwe, me-we combined.

And that allows you to take care of your body, sleep well, enjoy your body, you know, feed your body well, exercise it, that's all good. That's me, me, me. That's fine. We, is how we're interconnected with each other, that's fine too. And to bring them together, mwe, I think is what the transformation of human identity and human awareness can allow that to happen.

And do you think if, if that awareness, if that awareness was to hit critical mass, you know, there were say, like, let's say a couple of billion people on the planet regularly practicing mindfulness, really starting to build that capacity for awareness, you think that's the world, what kind of a world would we create through that? I think that we could create a world like that if we were together and the reason I'm so enthusiastic about it is because I think that cultural evolution can be intentionally nudged in a certain direction. We may not be able to do everything, but I think together, really, we can make this happen. And I really, I'm very, very excited about it. I think the world is seeing that there is no necessity for there to be a boundary between science and spirituality and society and schools. So those four things can come together.

The education in schools, the media and what we communicate with society, what science teaches us, the spirituality, signifying meaning and connection. So, you know, these steps, what we're trying to do here... Right? And to that, I would add that I think we're very encouraged by the fact that when we launched our first website, which was probably at least eight years ago. I think so. So something like that, then we launched another one.

But what we observe is that, you know, a few years ago, almost a hundred percent of the visitors to our site and the persons interested in Dan's life's work, we're mental health professionals. And now what we're very excited by is the fact that it's more of a Noah's ark. It's no longer mostly mental health. It's business, it's educators, it's parents, it's medical, it's every artist it's, entrepreneurs. And so this is a very encouraging shift, I think.

It's not just here in the US, it's, you know, we see the same thing when we overseas. And so it is, it's really exciting. And I think something we experienced earlier this year, just to conclude, is that we were in Myanmar and Singapore. And the ironic thing is that the, the business leaders there are very interested in more meditation, in more mindfulness. And ironically, that has been their tradition, but now, and people kind of put religion or put meditation or put the spirituality to the side.

But now with the scientific studies that no one can ignore, there's a great enthusiasm to embrace mindfulness. And that's really exciting. We feel like our Institute is just on the, on the edge and pushing, pushing all of this forward. Yeah. This is a, it's a wonderful, exciting time because now we can have an intelligent, grounded spirituality that's about mwe.

So, yeah. Yeah. And it's wonderful. Thank you. I just want to take this opportunity to thank you both so much for the work that you do.

Is there anything, if people want to know more about the work that you guys do and what you're offering, where can they go to find out some more? We would encourage them to go to our websites. There are two, and they're connected. The first one is DrDanSiegel.com and that has all of the upcoming events and it has other information about our Institute and our team. And the other site is the Mindsight Institute, which hosts all of the learning opportunities that we have and all of the resources, which range from free resources. The wheel of awareness is on the Dr.

Dan Siegel site as one of our resources and all the way through to say, for example, a 96 hour course where those physicians or mental health professionals who want CE credits, they could go there and take a one hour or two, a 96 hour course. Great. Yeah, go, go see. Go explore. Okay.

Come join us in the mindful revolution.

Talk

4.7

Technology, Mindful Business & Leadership

In this interview, Melli speaks with Dan and Caroline about how technology addiction and digital overload can affect our brains, along with practical tips on using the technology in your life with more wisdom and skill.

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

I'm your host, Melli O'Brien and I'm so excited to be here right now with Dr. Dan Siegel and Caroline Welch. Dan is an internationally acclaimed author, an award-winning educator and clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine. Dan's latest book is called the Mindful Brain. And it's really, I think, it's a groundbreaking book on bringing together science and spirituality.

Caroline is the CEO of Mind Your Brain, Inc. And her experience in law and business, as well as mindfulness has really made her an expert on mindfulness for business and mindful leadership. Dan and Caroline, thank you so much for taking this time out for the summit. I know you're busy at the moment. Thank you, Melli.

Thanks. Thanks for having us. I want to talk a little bit, to begin with, about the particular challenges that I think we face in this digital era of constant connectivity because I think we all know, intuitively, experientially, that technology is a bit addictive and that too much exposure to it is not that great for us. So my question to you is what do you think we should all really know about the way that technology affects our brains and therefore our lives. Well, excuse me, I just have to answer an email before I answer that.

Okay. Just give me a second. No, no. Hang on. I just got a call.

Yeah. You start with the brain and then I'll talk about what it does to our lives. Okay. Well, I mean, you know, the, the, there's so many things to say about it. One is, you know, screens of all sorts, whether it's computers or tablets or smartphones, draw you in.

And part of that can be wonderful and fantastic, different ways we get involved with stories or even connecting with people can be wonderful. So we have to make sure not to put things down that really have some wonderful attributes. The problem is it becomes so compelling to look outward. That we forget to look inward and the circuitry of the brain that Caroline is inviting us to start with is, you know, very different when you reflect inward. And so my concern about the brain and technology is that people are so busy looking outward, outward, outward, visual stimuli, sounds, different things that draw you compellingly to look at these screens are not the same as just going inward or looking at another person in a conversation and soaking in the seven big non-verbal signals - eye contact, facial expression, the tone of voice, gestures, posture, the timing, the intensity of response.

All those are mediated in a certain part of the brain, mostly the right hemisphere, very different from what's usually activated when you're looking at a screen. So those are ways we get to feel the inside of another person, have mindsight to see the mind. The mindsight circuitry, it needs to be cultivated to stay strong and to grow well. And I'm just concerned that the way things are now in the digital world, doesn't really cultivate mindsight circuitry in the brain. And what I'd like to add to that is to remind ourselves that our devices don't come with rules and regulations.

And we all want the next iPhone or the next iPad, but we don't necessarily know when and how to use them. And I think that it's up to individuals, it's up to families, it's up to businesses to have the, the culture that reflects what that unit, that individual or that company thinks is best for it its people. And a couple of examples that come to mind, and, and I, I often think, Dan coined the term, the internet is really the infinet, because you just sit down to do a couple of emails and the next thing you know, it's an hour and a half later. And so it is quite a time zap. And the other thing is that I think some in corporate America use it as a validation stamp.

Like at 2:00 AM this morning, I returned your email. And it becomes almost a contest, like who's up the latest, and these are people in different time zones. They're like up at 2:00 AM, wherever that is. And so, and, and on the other hand you have culturesm I know for example, we, we have a colleague who just started in a, one of the studios here in Los Angeles. And he made a move as a practicing lawyer out of private practice and he went in-house.

And his first Friday afternoon there at his new job, he sent out an email. And his colleagues are like, what are you doing sending something out late on a Friday? And he had to learn that, well, wait a minute, they have certain, you know, almost sacred, but. In private practice for many lawyers, you send and receive emails and you go into your office seven days a week. And so he had to adjust his use of email and phone during that time. And I know I, I heard a talk with you, an interview.

I think with Dan recently, you were talking about the effects of how many of us are getting more and more sleep deprived because we're using, staring at screens late at night. Well, if you take Caroline's example of this, someone writes something at 2:00 AM. You think about what that does, you know, your, your brain needs to know it's getting dark outside. It starts to secrete the, the, the chemical called melatonin. It gets you sleepy.

You're getting ready to go. The lights are lower. You slowly get ready for sleep. But instead you have these backlit screens that are now shoving photons at your brain, telling your brain it's daytime, it's daytime, it's daytime. Well you're wide awake.

So you do emails, but the emails make you wide awake. So then you do more emails, et cetera, et cetera. And you know, we now know that you need to sleep to clean up the toxins out of your brain. So while it seems like a badge of honor, you know, honor to say, Oh, I'm up at two, am doing this. It's actually a bag, a badge of a garbage can because you're just treating your brain like a toxic waste dump.

And instead of cleaning it up on a regular basis, you're just allowing it to accumulate toxins and it's just not good for anything. Right. And you would imagine in the long term, that's going to make us less productive, not more productive. You might be up thinking that you're getting all this wonderful stuff done, but then you end up sleep deprived. And the next day not thinking straight and probably over eating and doing all those things that we do when we have sleep deprivation.

Yeah. I was going to add that. I think the more we learn about the importance of sleep, because I think, many of us grew up in a time when we prided ourselves in not needing too much sleep. And that seemed fine cause we thought we were functioning fine. But the more we learn about the role, for example, of the glial cells that Dan alluded to, in terms of cleaning up our brains.

And the more we know that, you know, physiologically something really important happens when we sleep. I think we have to pay attention to that and really understand that it's a very important part of our wellbeing. And what can we do to, what can we do to buffer ourselves of the effects of this information age? Obviously there's a huge upside as we mentioned, but there's a big downside here as well. What can we do to use technology with a bit more wisdom and skill? So I think one thing is to limit your time with technology, you know. For example, you might set an alarm for when it's time to turn off your machines, you know.

So you make a conscious decision about that. I'm going to use it for this amount of time and then it's... Yeah, I mean, for myself, I actually try not to use a computer after 8:00 PM. You know, maybe I'll read on, you know, a non backlit electronic reader, if I'm going to do any kind of electronic thing, but it's not backlit. So I really try to honor that and I try not to do emails after that time.

So for me, 8:00 PM, you know, is a good time to give me an hour and a half, two hours of really non-electronic living. Yep. You know, it's really, really important. You just have to look at people you know now going to dinner with each other. And Caroline and I go to dinner sometimes, we'll see people at a table together texting.

I, I hope they're not texting each other, but they're texting out into the world. And everyone's just on their screens all the time. You get an elevator, for instance, no one talks to each other. It's it's really sad. Yeah, I actually heard...

Go ahead. No. I was just going to say, I mean, it's reminding me, when you sit in a meeting, if one person pulls out their phone, then it goes around the table. Yeah. Then it's, it's everybody.

It's contagious, yeah. And I've heard now, as a little bit of a backlash to this, all the time is that people are now going to dinner, parties and restaurants, and everybody puts their phone in the middle of the table so that nobody, it's kind of like a way of honoring each other. I'm actually going to be here with you during this time where they switched their phones off before, which I think is really lovely idea. Well, I have heard of some studies, I haven't seen the study itself that said, if you just see a phone sitting on the table, even if you know, you're not using it, it changes the emotionality of the co, of the conversation. Yeah, I read about that too.

It's fascinating. It just reminds you, you know, that somehow that there's a whole digital world out there and we need to be superficial. Yeah. And is there anything, I'm curious to know, knowing everything that you know, about how technology affects us. What are the other little, what are the things that you both do on a daily basis? Do you have little habits or practices or, or other little things that you do to kind of use tech with more consciousness and wisdom? I can, I can tell you that I try to not look at my phone first thing in the morning.

And to feel like my day starts with a mindfulness practice of 30 minutes. and I don't... You're very devoted to that. talk to anyone before that. Including me.

Right. And I was just going to say if I've meditated yet. And that feels like a blanket around me the rest of the day cause it feels like a really owned the day at the outset. And the other thing that's been very helpful to me in organizing my day is that I don't look for email continuously. I say, okay, maybe at 10, 12, 2, if it can be that kind of day.

Just have a period when I look at it and try to resist that urge we have to be answering immediately. And that, I think that, that leads to a more peaceful work environment. And less I imagine, because I feel like technology really spreads our attention thin a lot of the time. You're doing an email and then there's a text and then there's a this and a that. And I imagine that that, that kind of deliberacy around those processes kind of, it's very contained.

And then you can just leave it. So I imagine that's kind of bringing the focus, bringing more mindfulness into that use of technology. Well, Caroline is very inspiring for me because, you know, she's been meditating for a long, long time, decades, and I would just see her doing this very regularly. And I wouldn't know what in the world she was doing, but I figured it was good. That was before The Mindful Brain.

Good to know. Now he can tell us what is going on. That's right, I mean I found mindfulness totally by accident using the word mindful in a book for parents I wrote with Mary Hartzell, we said be conscientious. Anyway, people ask us when we were meditating, the only person I knew that meditated was Caroline. But I didn't know why they were asking.

And they said, well, because you said mindfulness is a fundamental principle of good parenting. I said, yeah, it means being intentional and conscientious. They said, no, it means meditating. And I said on a meditation app, I go, what? Mindfulness meditation. So anyway, I, you know, I guess I feel very grateful to you, Caroline, for teaching me about the importance of a personal practice.

I, myself, you know, have this thing I do called the wheel of awareness. So for me, that's, that's my regular practice. Sometimes I really feel I need to move. And so I've been doing some Chi Gong lately and that's been really, really nice. You know, I just think it's really important that what you're saying that you start the day without technology.

You, you start the day with reflecting inward in whatever way works for you in general, or for you that particular day. But you, you do it and you honor that. You know, and some people say, well, I don't have time to do it. And I say, well, do you have time to brush your teeth? And they go, yeah. I said, well, this is like brushing your brain, you know.

This is way of developing mental hygiene and not just dental hygiene. Yeah. So it's, it's all the research now. I mean, The Mindful Brain came out like almost eight years ago. So and I've written a bunch of books since then, but what's been fun about the books that have come out since The Mindful Brain is to look at all the amazing science that tells you, you know, what Caroline has been doing for decades.

And what I just learned to do recently. You increase your immune system's functioning, you improve your cardiovascular profile, you improve a level of your enzyme called telomerase, that repairs and maintains the ends of your chromosomes, which is really cool. Those ends of chromosomes get whittled down with age and stress. So it's good anti-aging, anti stressing to do mindfulness practice. You also integrate your brain basically.

The differentiated parts of the brain become more linked. So in all these ways, you actually, conceptually anyway, have a healthier body that's going to live longer. You're happier. You're, you have more empathy and compassion so you're more connected to other people. So it's, it's really something everyone should be doing.

Yeah, I couldn't agree more. You already know that, that's why... I couldn't agree more. I'm heavily biased. But yeah, the research at this point is, it is so compelling and that's why actually, that's what I really love about your, about The Mindful Brain and so many other wonderful authors at the moment and people who bring out like Judson Briggs and Matt Killingsworth and Mark Williams who are talking about, you know, really amazing bodies of research to show us why mindfulness is so beneficial.

You know, when it comes explaining mindfulness and why it's really, why it's really great for us, I think your handy model of the brain is actually one of the most simple and fun and, and elegant descriptions of mindfulness. You knew you weren't going to get through this interview without having to do the handy model. I have a few of them here. Here's one. There's another one.

"Hello." There's three across the world. Yeah. You know that the handy model of the brain is very handy. Our daughter says, don't say handy dad, but anyway.. It's, it is handy.

It's it's, you know, it's, your, your brain is oriented like this. So you have your, your cortex on the top. And the front most part of the cortex is the prefrontal cortex, which links the cortex, the middle part, the limbic area and the brainstem along with stuff from the body through the spinal cord and then even the social world. So five sources of energy and information flow, the cortex, the limbic area, the brainstem, the body and the social world are all coordinated and balanced by the prefrontal cortex. So it allows you to engage with other people, it allows you to engage with yourself, it allows you to balance your body, allows you to take your fight-flight-freeze response of the brainstem, it allows you to take your emotions, your attachments, other people and blend all that stuff together into a coherent life.

So we we say that mindfulness creates a more integrated brain, literally this area of the brain among others, is one that contributes to linking the differentiated parts together. In science now, we're calling that the connectome. It connects, interconnected body and mindfulness increases the integration of the connectome. And so now we know all that. The, the exciting thing is that when a brain is integrated, then it's regulated.

So you regulate emotion and effect, you regulate attention, you regulate, thought you regulate behavior, regulate relationships, you regulate all of these wonderful things that come under the term executive functions or self-regulation. And this is why mindfulness is good in so many ways. As Caroline is saying, you know, start the day that way, and you create a state, for 20 minutes, half an hour or whatever it is. With repeated practice, a state of activation of the brain that you create on purpose becomes a trait in your life because neurons are firing together because of an intentionally created state of integration, become the trait of a, an interconnected system, the brain, that then is literally integrated so that you're more regulated. So it's a win-win situation.

So if a person like Caroline, and like yourself now, was practicing mindfulness for over and over again, lots of repetition, the neurons are firing together and wiring together over and over again, and this is going on for months or years at a time, what kinds of changes then would you see, would, would you expect to unfold in that person's life? In the brain you mean, or in? Well, I guess in the brain and in behavior as well. Yeah. So you mentioned. Reunion and I wasn't there at your reunion with you, but I could see from photographs. I mean, one thing is literally the parts of the brain that gets thinner with age don't get thinner in meditators.

So, you know, people can look at a person who's meditating a long time and they can be, they can see, decades younger than, or colleagues at a high school reunion. Now, that's all you need to say to us ladies. That's about it. We don't need any other benefits. So, so, so the way to think about it is presence, you know, is a wonderful thing for how we go through life.

To be present is a way of very simply defining what mindfulness is about is being aware of what's happening as it's happening, letting go of judgments, not getting swept up by expectations and trying to really be with a coal state of mind. C O A L, curious, open, accepting, and loving. So that's, and then you get a glow. Yeah, hopefully. Though, more seriously, just the, you know, in terms of the impact on your life in you come to experience a certain energy and a certain liveliness and you come to be confident that you can take in whatever comes.

Yeah. You can handle it. And that is a really reassuring and positive attitude to have and think that you have that kind of capacity. Hmm Hmm. Yeah.

That's great. Yeah. And that, that capacity is really a kind of resilience, you know, and, and a readiness. Yeah. And I think you touched on something that when you said, you know, when you said it makes you sort, I can't remember the words you used, it makes you feel more alive.

It really, it really reminded me, as you said that io something, something that Jon Kabat Zinn often said, you know, is that mindfulness is almost like a love affair with life. It's much more rich and vivid and, and yeah. One thing that there's a lot of buzz around at the moment is bringing mindfulness into the corporate world. And I think it's wonderful that there's a lot of buzz around that. But I'm curious to know from, from your perspectives, why you think mindfulness in business is important? Well, I would say it's important because, first of all, we all spend so much time with our work.

And we give our work, in many cases, the best hours of our day and our best energy. So, to combine our being present and being mindful with that work is very important. And I think that, as Dan mentioned, there are so many benefits to the mindfulness and it improves our executive functioning and our focusing, and all of that is really important in business. And I think business is becoming as we watch Aetna insurance or Starbucks, or, you know, it's not just the tech companies or just Google, there are many old line firms and companies now that are rolling out yoga and meditation, because there's a huge interest in the whole being, and a key part of that is mindfulness. One thing, I think that there's a bit of a myth still around.

I hope it's being broken already, but the, the myth of multitasking. I think, you know, this idea, I think it's sort of permeated culture in the Eighties that, you know, you could multitask and do as many things as possible. But I think the research is pretty compelling now that tells us that, that actually makes us much less productive. And that mindfulness has, you know, gives us that focus to do one thing at a time and just do it really well. Right.

So I think we've all experienced the, the peril of multitasking because we can't remember if we too our vitamin E or not, because we were already in our work mode or already making our list for the day. So yes, I think we have our own little studies every day... Absolutely. that being distracted is, it isn't what we thought. And it is kind of ironic because I think there was a time in corporate America when we thought multitasking was a skill that you should aspire to.

Absolutely. It was like a badge of honor. I can do, you know, have a phone call here and be doing this here and I'm driving at the same time and yeah. And you've worked in corporations. I mean, I'm more like an academic person, so I, I, you know, I'm more like that.

But in corporations there weren't really many mindfulness protocols or strategies when you were in companies. Caroline has worked in some interesting companies I don't like to generalize, but I think if you are in a, a corporate law practice, it may not be the environment where you'll find as much mindfulness as in some places. And, so that, that's the first thing. And it's very, however as I, I gave the example earlier of the lawyer who went from private practice to a studio, it's very company dependent and it really depends upon what the leaders have set out for the company and what your department's lead is. modelling.

And if you were the head of a really large organization, like a multinational organization, what kinds of policies and procedures would you put in place so that people could work more mindfully and more focused and kind of minimize distractions? Well, I think we, we hopefully are working on this, even though we don't have a big company. We're practicing every day to bring it here to our, our little engine that could, but we try to give people their own sense of their tasks or a given day or their work. And we have check-ins or meetings about what needs to be done, but then people work at their own pace. I don't think there's any sense that, you know, I need to stay late or I have to work through lunch or, I mean, we really. First, I'm a lawyer, so I'm always following the labor laws and people can't, you know, can't not have lunch.

So you're allowing them rest. Yeah, rest is so important or take, you know, fortunately our offices are just an, a block from the ocean, but we have a beautiful park out there and daily, at least once, maybe multiple times we say, take a break, go out to the ocean, take a walk. And I know that works for me. I come back feeling so refreshed or make a, make an espresso. We have an espresso machine in the, in the kitchen, you know.

A decaf. But these little, little things or, you know, also just try to be in touch with people. If it's a birthday or it's a something in the family, happy or sad, just try to hold all of that for people. Hmm. Yeah, absolutely.

And you know, this, when you mentioned, the park and nature, there's some amazing studies even on just awe, on how it is to try to have an experience of being a part of something more vast than your personal private bodily-based self is. Whether it's looking at beautiful trees or out at the sunset, or really getting a sense of your being part of a much larger whole, is really for you. It's not only you, it helps you feel happy and healthy, but it actually, studies amazing, studies show it has, you want to reach out to help other people more. Really there's a fascinating study at UC Berkeley. Dacher Keltner was talking about the other day, where they had students look at a grove of beautiful, actually, eucalyptus trees from down under.

Nice. And there was this gorgeous tree there at UC Berkeley, a set of trees, beautiful trees. And the other set of students were looking at a, a building. You know, it was a fine building, but just staring at a building. They didn't know what they were doing.

They were aiming in that direction. And then they had a shill, you know, a person part of the research that no one knew, fall down and drop their backpack and out spill all these pens, right. It actually calculated that the person staring at trees was much more likely to help the person who spilled the backpack and pick up a lot more pens and pencils than the person staring at the building. Oh, wow. The only difference in the variables.

And it just gave you a feeling like, wow, it isn't just about me, me, me, me, me. I'm a part of a larger whole, and I'm going to reach out to help people, even if it's something like someone's dropped their backpack. That's so fascinating. So the, the sense of just, just tuning into the fact that we're part of this interconnected web of life naturally just makes us feel more compassionate and kind and empathetic towards the whole, the whole circle of life, I guess you could say. Yeah.

That's that's what awe does. Aww, that's lovely. Aww. Because you know, you know why I said that's because I've got trees. You're surrounded, you're actually surrounded by a frame of trees as we're talking.

So maybe, it's working. That's awesome. Yeah, it is awesome, literally. Well, I've heard studies on the power of green too, and looking at parked, you know, things in the park or the, like you're mentioning the trees. There is a basis for that.

Yeah, yeah. It's instant, it's, it's instantly like a feeling of like tranquility. That's amazing. Yeah. What does mindful leadership mean to you? And, and what does that actually look like on a daily basis? I mean, I hear the term thrown around a lot, but, but what is it really? Mindful leadership to me means that I, as the leader, model that.

And so I try, even when, or especially when things get challenging, to take that time to make my response, not to react. And try to remember that we don't have to fix and answer everything right away. And so that, that's been very helpful. And I think the more I do that, the more I see my team do that. And people feeling in, in the, in, in the office, the space to say, I'll get back to you on that or I'll figure that out.

So I think that modeling, I also think, I try to, to have a balance and I try certain days to leave at a certain time. And that also, I think sends a message. It sends a message of freedom, hopefully that others can make their schedules. And, so I think that's probably the key is just modeling what that looks like, and then feeling grateful when it actually is exhibited in the people with whom we work. Yeah.

It's beautiful. I would just say yes. That's great. What I love about what you're saying is that it's about embodiment rather than telling other people, you know, how to be more mindful because that never really works anyway. But yeah, I love that.

So it's about, it's about embodying it yourself and allowing other people to, to just see that and act as they will, emulate it if they want to. And, Hmm. I just have one more question. Dan, a little while ago, you did a talk at Spirit Rock and during that talk, you said that, and I quote, "The only way that we're going to save this planet is through awareness." And I was wondering if you would care to speak to that a little. Yeah.

I guess it says a number of different things. One is an acknowledgement that the planet is going through a lot of transitions because of what people have done in certain ways by being on automatic pilot. So the opposite of everything, Caroline, just, you described about mindful leadership, just sort of mindless leadership in a way, but from each individual. And, and also I think part of what's happened in modern times is not only is the population grown so much, but people have been, all around this planet, East and West, you know, been feeling I think this push to be acting as if they're kind of the only thing thatexists in the world, is the individual self. And that sense of interconnectivity in modern life has not really been acknowledged so much.

So,that and combined with some of the things we've inherited in our nervous system, that makes in-group out-group distinctions where, when there's a lot of stress and a lot of hostility, you start treating people in the in-group better. You're inclusive group, you treat them with more kindness. Yes, that's fine. In group altruism is what some people call it. But the outgroup you treat with a lot more hostility.

And we have a lot of tension in the world today, so those innate proclivities of ingroup, outgroup distinctions, and racism, for example, the tendency for the self, as Einstein would call it, to have the optical delusion of a psychotic belief of its separateness from others and the world, nature and its whole, that optum delusion is, unfortunately, a vulnerability of the nervous system to believe its own story of individuality as being the only thing that's there. So yeah. What I mean by awareness is what's going to be needed, is to rise above those innate vulnerabilities. Yeah. You know, we need to have the development of everything the three of us have been talking about today and everyone probably listening.

This is curious about or practicing themselves, which is to drop beneath the brain's proclivities for how you think and feel, and react and even have a sense of self. And that's done through awareness. In our view, you know, we, we were at the Mindsight Institute, we talk about mindset being insight into yourself, empathy for others and integration. And here the kind of integration I think that's going to be called for is a transformation of identity. So instead of just a private self identity as a me, and even more than just being a we, which is also good, a collective identity to the integrator identity, we try to encourage them as mwe, me-we combined.

And that allows you to take care of your body, sleep well, enjoy your body, you know, feed your body well, exercise it, that's all good. That's me, me, me. That's fine. We, is how we're interconnected with each other, that's fine too. And to bring them together, mwe, I think is what the transformation of human identity and human awareness can allow that to happen.

And do you think if, if that awareness, if that awareness was to hit critical mass, you know, there were say, like, let's say a couple of billion people on the planet regularly practicing mindfulness, really starting to build that capacity for awareness, you think that's the world, what kind of a world would we create through that? I think that we could create a world like that if we were together and the reason I'm so enthusiastic about it is because I think that cultural evolution can be intentionally nudged in a certain direction. We may not be able to do everything, but I think together, really, we can make this happen. And I really, I'm very, very excited about it. I think the world is seeing that there is no necessity for there to be a boundary between science and spirituality and society and schools. So those four things can come together.

The education in schools, the media and what we communicate with society, what science teaches us, the spirituality, signifying meaning and connection. So, you know, these steps, what we're trying to do here... Right? And to that, I would add that I think we're very encouraged by the fact that when we launched our first website, which was probably at least eight years ago. I think so. So something like that, then we launched another one.

But what we observe is that, you know, a few years ago, almost a hundred percent of the visitors to our site and the persons interested in Dan's life's work, we're mental health professionals. And now what we're very excited by is the fact that it's more of a Noah's ark. It's no longer mostly mental health. It's business, it's educators, it's parents, it's medical, it's every artist it's, entrepreneurs. And so this is a very encouraging shift, I think.

It's not just here in the US, it's, you know, we see the same thing when we overseas. And so it is, it's really exciting. And I think something we experienced earlier this year, just to conclude, is that we were in Myanmar and Singapore. And the ironic thing is that the, the business leaders there are very interested in more meditation, in more mindfulness. And ironically, that has been their tradition, but now, and people kind of put religion or put meditation or put the spirituality to the side.

But now with the scientific studies that no one can ignore, there's a great enthusiasm to embrace mindfulness. And that's really exciting. We feel like our Institute is just on the, on the edge and pushing, pushing all of this forward. Yeah. This is a, it's a wonderful, exciting time because now we can have an intelligent, grounded spirituality that's about mwe.

So, yeah. Yeah. And it's wonderful. Thank you. I just want to take this opportunity to thank you both so much for the work that you do.

Is there anything, if people want to know more about the work that you guys do and what you're offering, where can they go to find out some more? We would encourage them to go to our websites. There are two, and they're connected. The first one is DrDanSiegel.com and that has all of the upcoming events and it has other information about our Institute and our team. And the other site is the Mindsight Institute, which hosts all of the learning opportunities that we have and all of the resources, which range from free resources. The wheel of awareness is on the Dr.

Dan Siegel site as one of our resources and all the way through to say, for example, a 96 hour course where those physicians or mental health professionals who want CE credits, they could go there and take a one hour or two, a 96 hour course. Great. Yeah, go, go see. Go explore. Okay.

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We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.


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Mindfulness

Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

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Mindfulness

One membership to gain access to a world of premium mindfulness content created to help you live happier and stress less.

  • 2000+ Guided Meditations
  • Courses from world-class teachers
  • Resources for Stress + Anxiety
  • Breathing exercises, gratitude practices, relaxation techniques
  • Sleep meditations, playlists, stories
  • Mindful talks, podcasts, music, nature sounds