Category Archives: being Attentive

Dr. Edward Diener, leading subjective well-being researcher, discusses what you need to be happy according to the latest research in a conversation with Professor Michael B. Frisch of Baylor University.

What are the top New Year’s resolutions for ‎2011? Should you consider them and find yours? While the order of the top New Year’s resolutions changes from year to year, and from source to source, these are some common evergreens as highlighted by

1. Spend More Time with Family & Friends
2. Fit in Fitness
3. Lose weight
4. Quit Smoking
5. Enjoy Life More
6. Quit Drinking
7. Get Out of Debt
8. Learn Something New
9. Help Others
10. Get Organized

What are our New Year’s resolutions ‎2011 tips? We’ll provide them the AmAreWay :-) AmAre in Italian, means “to love”; in English, interconnectedness: (I)Am (we) are. As a framework for success, transition, and happiness, AmAre stands for being:

* A – Aware and Accepting
* M – Meaningful and Motivated
* A – Active and Attentive
* R – Resilient and Respectful
* E – Eating properly and Exercising

We become Aware of current conditions, resources, strengths, goals: what is our priority for 2011? Changing one aspect involves changing its components as well, however we need to keep focus: we cannot change/do everything at once. Once we are more aware, we decide to be Accepting and appreciate the qualities which are already there. We all have rich qualities!

We see what is Meaningful for us, instead of making a resolution just because it seems everyone else is. We become Motivated to implement it, here and now.

We are Active in cultivating our resolution, and Attentive about results and feedback from action.

We Resilient in face of difficulties, or simply when things take longer than expected to be achieved. Remember, the first month is very important when it comes to implement resolutions, so let’s make sure each day contributes to our committment. And we are a;sp Respectful, because we are aware other people have their own goals and resolutions as well.

We consider Eating properly and Exercising to support our course of action. Proper food and regular exercise re-energize
our mind and body.

And, above all, happy new year!


Dr. Daniel J. Siegel TED talk – Dr. Dan Siegel speaks at TED
Dr. Daniel J. Siegel speaks at Ted about Mindsight, the neuroscience research which supports it. And about the time when he almost became a fisherman on West Vancouver Island…

As reported on Wikipedia, Dr. Daniel J. Siegel completed his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and his post-graduate medical education at UCLA. His training is in pediatrics and child, adolescent and adult psychiatry. Siegel was the recipient of the UCLA psychiatry department’s teaching award and several honorary fellowships for his work as director of UCLA’s training program in child psychiatry and the Infant and Preschool Service at UCLA.

Siegel is the author of several books on parenting and child development including The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being published by WW Norton in 2007, W W Norton page, The Developing Mind: Toward a Neurobiology of Interpersonal Experience published by the Guilford Press in 1999 and Parenting from the Inside Out, which he co-wrote with Mary Hartzell in 2003 and was published by Tarcher.

Siegel is known for his work in Interpersonal Neurobiology, which is an interdisciplinary view of life experience that draws on over a dozen branches of science to create a framework for understanding of our subjective and interpersonal lives. Source – The Developing Mind (Siegel 1999).

Siegel’s most recent work integrates the theories of Interpersonal Neurobiology with the theories of Mindfulness Practice and proposes that mindfulness practice is a highly developed process of both inter and intra personal attunement. Source – The Mindful Brain (Siegel 2007)

On October 2nd, 2009, Siegel was a guest presenter at the Greater Good Science Center Science of a Meaningful Life seminar “Forgiveness and Mindsight”, along with psychologist Frederic Luskin. Together they offered tactics on promoting one’s social and emotional well-being.

Dr. Dan Siegel works
– The Healing Power of Emotion: Affective Neuroscience, Development & Clinical Practice (WW Norton & Company: New York, 2009). Co-edited with Diana Fosha and Marion F. Solomon.
– Healing Trauma: Attachment, Mind, Body and Brain (WW Norton & Company: New York, 2003). Co-edited with Marion Solomon.
– The Mindful-Brain-in-Psychotherapy/ The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of Well-Being (WW Norton & Company, 2007).
– The-Mindful-Therapist/ The Mindful Therapist: A Clinician’s Guide to Mindsight and Neural Integration (WW Norton & Company, 2010).
– Forward to Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy by Kekuni Minton, Pat Ogden, and Clare Pain (WW Norton & Company, 2006).

“New study shows humans are on auto pilot nearly half the time” says Dr. David Rock, who founded the NeuroLeadership Institute. Quoting from his article published on

It turns out that just under half the time, 46.9% to be exact, people are doing what’s called ‘mind wandering’. They are not focused on the outside world or the task at hand, they are looking into their own thoughts. Unfortunately, the study of 2,250 people proposes, most of this activity doesn’t make us feel happy.

The study was designed to find out what kind of activities people did throughout a day, and which made them happiest. Mindwandering was just one of 22 possible activities people could list.

Researchers found that people were at their happiest when making love, exercising, or engaging in conversation. They were least happy when resting, working, or using a home computer.

Abstract from “Attending to the present: mindfulness meditation reveals distinct neural modes of self-reference” 2007 paper by Norman A. S. Farb, Zindel V. Segal, Helen Mayberg, Jim Bean, Deborah McKeon, Zainab Fatima and Adam K. Anderson

It has long been theorised that there are two temporally distinct forms of self-reference: extended self-reference linking experiences across time, and momentary self-reference centred on the present. To characterise these two aspects of awareness, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine monitoring of enduring traits (’narrative’ focus, NF) or momentary experience (’experiential’ focus, EF) in both novice participants and those having attended an 8 week course in mindfulness meditation, a program that trains individuals to develop focused attention on the present. In novices, EF yielded focal reductions in self-referential cortical midline regions (medial prefrontal cortex, mPFC) associated with NF. In trained participants, EF resulted in more marked and pervasive reductions in the mPFC, and increased engagement of a right lateralised network, comprising the lateral PFC and viscerosomatic areas such as the insula, secondary somatosensory cortex and inferior parietal lobule. Functional connectivity analyses further demonstrated a strong coupling between the right insula and the mPFC in novices that was uncoupled in the mindfulness group. These results suggest a fundamental neural dissociation between two distinct forms of self-awareness that are habitually integrated but can be dissociated through attentional training: the self across time and in the present moment.

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A course in happiness: book

November 15, 2010

A course in happiness, meaning, motivation, and well-being: how to be happier, purpose-driven and flourish” is our new book which offers tools to assess one’s well-being, and approaches to live a happier, purpose-driven and flourishing life. It will be released in early December, right in time to facilitate awareness, motivation and action with your new year resolutions :-)

A course in happiness, meaning, motivation, and well-being: how to be happier, purpose-driven and flourish – Book release

A course in happiness, meaning, motivation, and well-being” is different from other well-being books, because it offers a framework which is, at the same time, coherent enough to be easily remembered and implemented, and also flexible enough to be applied in different context and aspects of life. Click here to read the full story, see the book’s index, etc.