Dr Dan Siegel, Regulation and the Magic of the State of Presence
Hi! How are you? How are your kids? How are you going at getting to know You, and Them, under the hood?
Are you thriving?
Are your kids thriving?
Whats happening? Let me know. Keep your questions and comments coming..I love receiving them and the conversations we’re having..…
This week, something amazing happened. 2 of my favourite people got together to have a conversation about “Parenting in an Uncertain world”. Nikki Bonus, my dear friend, colleague, peer, inspiration, wonder woman, mother, CEO of Lifeskills and Dr Dan Siegel….child psychiatrist, attachment expert, founder of the amazing field of interpersonal neurobiology, wonderful human being and father..
It’s a wonderful interview and one I encourage you to watch. I’ll get the link for you and pop it under this vid but in the meantime I thought I’d talk about some of the important points that they discuss today.
If you don’t know who Dr Dan Siegel is I strongly encourage you to look him up…I just think of him as an essential item when it comes to parenting and our childrens’ brain!..
He takes complicated topics of brain science and interpersonal neurobiology and packages them up in neat little tools for us to use as parents…he loves acronyms which makes it easy to understand and remember some of his concepts! I’ve already shared his SIFT acronym with some of you in our Sunday eve meetings..
Something else Dan talks about is the 4Ss which relate to attachment – which we know shapes our childrens mental life, relationships with themselves and others, and actual structural brain development. Dans 4S’s form the fundamentals of secure attachment.
I have previously written a post on the 4Ss so look it up if you want more detailed info, but basically the 4 Ss are Safety, being seen, being soothed, and, when our children receive these from us reliably, they develop an overall sense of security which is the forth S.
So Dan pointed out in this interview with Nikki that
one of the reasons these are extremely difficult times to parent in, is because one of the very fundamental tenets of attachment – safety – is being challenged.
He points out that the situation in the world right now is challenging our sense of safety, of our loved ones, and potentially us.
Our kids turn to us to be safe, and this pandemic, is something that fundamentally threatens our safety.
When our safety is threatened, the lower parts of our brain, the parts designed to keep us safe, under our level of awareness, are activated…if this is sounding familiar, I hope it is, this is exactly what we were talking about last week…how the awareness of something that’s potentially a danger to us, activates parts of the brain…after a while this can be exhausting and it turns on the stress response, and then we’re going to start reacting from a state of stress and going in to fight / flight or freeze..collapse….so
when we’re in the stress response we’re going to start reacting to things from a place of fear, of threat, we’re going to see limited choices, we may feel like we’re not on control of our emotions…
It’s not a place we want to be, for our own health and wellbeing, and its not a place we want to parent from, for the sake of our childrens’ brain development and wellbeing…..
So what do we do? We learn how to self regulate first and foremost.
Self regulation self regulation self regulation.
Learning how to be in control of our nervous systems, instead of having them rule us. Being able to make a choice about how we’d like to respond instead of being at the mercy of mindlessly reacting.
We are so much more than a stimulus-response organism. We’ve been given the crowning achievement of human evolution, as Dr Joe Dispenza likes to say – our frontal lobe.
THIS gives us our free will. And
We can learn how to get out of our hind brain, our lower centres, and into our frontal lobe where we can regulate our nervous system, whenever we like.
This is the privilege of being a human being. Learning to use this, at will, is how we thrive.
And this is why I’ve said all along that
this crisis is an opportunity to evolve.
Because we’re faced every day with a situation to practice flexing our conscious muscle to get out of, and beyond a primitive reaction, to overcome a stress reaction response to what is deemed globally a crisis, and to maintain a state of homeostasis, balance, within the body and nervous system, that is conducive to health, not dis-ease, to wellbeing, not anxiety, to maintain a state of creation, not survival, to thrive…
So, how do we do this, we take some deep breaths, and get ourselves into the present moment, we
drop into presence.
And, sorry, I’ve gone off on a tangent here, but back to Dr Dan Siegel and Nikkis discussion, Dr Dan talks about this too…….he says that in all the research in attachment, if he was asked if he could summarise all the ways to remember how to respond as a parent, to our children, in order that we can build a secure attachment, he said yes, the answer is presence….Presence..
such a powerful word, such a powerful state of being.
It means a receptive awareness
So, I’ve talked for long enough and only got to mention 1 of the things Nikki and Dr Dan talked about in their talk on “Parenting in an Uncertain world” there’s so much more good stuff in there so I encourage you to dive on in.
See you tonight, 8pm Sydney time, for our weekly meeting and we can discuss this further and ways of getting our Presence ON!!. How do we do it, how do we stay there in the difficult times….join us tonight, message me for the link..
Have a wonderful week and enjoy sinking into presence as much as you can.
Lots of love,