“Within each of us there is an internal mental world—what I have come to think of as the sea inside—that is a wonderfully rich place, filled with thoughts and feelings, memories and dreams, hopes and wishes. Of course it can also be a turbulent place, where we experience the dark side of all those wonderful feelings and thoughts—fears, sorrows, dreads, regrets, nightmares. When this inner sea seems to crash in on us, threatening to drag us down below to the dark depths, it can make us feel as if we are drowning. Who among us has not at one time or another felt overwhelmed by the sensations from within our own minds? Sometimes these feelings are just a passing thing—a bad day at work, a fight with someone we love, an attack of nerves about a test we have to take or a presentation we have to give, or just an inexplicable case of the blues for a day or two. But sometimes they seem to be something much more intractable, so much part of the very essence of who we are that it may not even occur to us that we can change them. This is where the skill that I have called “mindsight” comes in, for mindsight, once mastered, is a truly transformational tool. Mindsight has the potential to free us from patterns of mind that are getting in the way of living our lives to the fullest.”
~ Dan Siegel from Mindsight
Dan Siegel is one of the world’s leading neuroscientists and psychotherapists. A Harvard Medical School graduate and Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA Medical School, he founded the field of “Interpersonal Neurobiology.”
He’s brilliant (!) and delivers his wisdom in a captivating, poetic style.
He’s also an incredibly *good* human being. We connected for the first time years ago and I was immediately captured by his profound embodiment of the truths he teaches—a big heart and wonderful, loving presence matched with a deep sense of personal humility.
This book is fantastic. The central theme is that we have the capacity to observe and shape our own minds—an ability Dan calls “mindsight.” In short, the quality of our lives is shaped by our ability to cultivate our mindsight.
If you enjoy the Note, I think you’ll love the book (get it here). And, I think you’ll love connecting deeper with Dan and his work (visit his site here).
For now, let’s jump in and explore some of my favorite Big Ideas, starting with a deeper look at what mindsight actually is:
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