A Day on Resilience at the Greater Good Science Center

I have heard about the Greater Good Science Center for quite some time now and I’ve been curious to check them out. I finally started looking at the schedule over the holiday season and wanted to go to all the seminars–so many amazing topics and amazing leaders! Kristin Neff taught a seminar on self-compassion in February, which I sadly couldn’t attend, but I was able to make it to “The Science and Practice of Resilience” by Rick Hanson. img_9992-1I left my apartment at the crack of dawn and caught the BART from my apartment to Berkeley; luckily it was a short hour long train ride where I people watched, read, and caught up on work emails.

I caught an Uber from the BART station to the event and serendipitously ended up sharing the ride with a few other attendees. One is a student at Georgia Tech (I went to Emory–coincidence!), whose name was Jalen, and he excitedly told me about his startup, which is an app from focused on emotional awareness and self-compassion. Jalen was such a kind person and I can’t wait to see how his startup, Mind Hack, grows. His companion is a coach at Heroic Voice Academy, which is an incredible company helping individuals develop their own brave, authentic voice whether they are giving a TED talk or interviewing for a new job.

The workshop was incredible; the day was broken down into sections of lecture, activity, and practice. We learned about the neurobiology of resilience, but also why that neurobiology matters so much in the clinical, real world setting.

One of my favorite exercises came near the beginning of the day when we discussed what we see as our own personal inner strengths that we draw on as our mental resources in difficult times. We paired up randomly, and my partner was a thoughtful, open psychiatrist grappling with his recent divorce. He shared his own strengths and my turn rolled around a few minutes later. At first I was drawing only blanks, but I suddenly tapped into this beautiful place of self-empowerment and reflection. Speaking my strengths out loud made me feel powerful, strong, worthy. As Dr. Hanson mentioned frequently during the day, humans naturally focus on the negative; we have an inherent negativity bias that we have to correct for. By focusing on my strengths, rather than the daily frustration I tend to perseverate over, I wasn’t just seeing the world, or myself through rose colored glasses, I was correcting for my own bias. This was definitely a light bulb moment for me.

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Beyond the course, I had the opportunity to connect with so many wonderful, kind people. I spent about an hour getting to know a woman with such a fascinating background who is now a therapist and shaman. She was so open in sharing her story and had such helpful insight into my own future goals.

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I feel so lucky to have gone to such a fascinating, educational event. It is such a privilege to be able to hit the pause button of life every once in a while and attend an event like this. I met so many like-minded people, learned more about the neurobiology of resilience, and developed tools to cultivate resilience.

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Have you heard of the Greater Good Science Center? What do you think are your inner strengths?

Podcast Round-Up

I consider myself a little too well-versed in podcasts…according to the NPR One app on my phone, I listed to over 28,000 minutes of podcasts throughout 2016. I am not sure whether I should feel proud or embarrassed…but, I do think it means that I know a good show when I hear one! In honor of the new year, I wanted to put together a list of my favorite podcasts. Most of these podcasts are available on the NPR One app, which you can download to your phone. The app is like Pandora, but for podcasts; it gets to know your preferences, gives your news updates, and makes new recommendations based on what you like. Definitely download-worthy! Whether you do or don’t want the app, these podcasts are fantastic and will keep you engaged for hours.

  1. Note to Self,The host of this NPR podcast, Manoush Zomorodi, connects technology, health, and wellbeing through this engaging series that tackles even the heaviest subject matter with a dose of humor. Topics range from “information overload” to the ethical considerations of parents posting photos of their young children on social media. A recent episode released from early January discusses New Years Resolutions and is FANTASTIC!

    New Year. Same Old You.

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2) The PulseI could listen to this podcast non-stop. If you are interested in health in any way, then I am sure you will enjoy this show. Every episode has a topic like “Rock and a Hard Place” or “Challenging Our Assumptions” and weaves together an engaging narrative that touches on numerous aspects of health, technology, and ethics.

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3) On Being, In an effort to explore my own spirituality, I started listening to this podcast and fell in love. The host, Krista Tippett, has the most soothing voice and interviews inspiring individuals across numerous sectors. Most recently, she interviewed one of my personal heroes, Congressman John Lewis.

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Just me fan-girling a bit…

 

4) RadiolabI might be slightly biased because the host, Jad Abumrad, attended my high schoool alma mater, but it is well worth a listen. I’m not sure where to begin, but if you have a curious cell in your body…you will enjoy Radiolab episodes!

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5) Hidden Brain, the description from NPR reads, “A conversation about life’s unseen patterns.” Now, this might not sounds all that interesting, but don’t let that deceive you. The podcasts generally center around psychology and questions about human behavior. One recent episode that I particularly enjoyed discussed the word “literally” and how its use has changed over time–integrating culture, linguistics, and history.

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6) Impact Theory,  I just recently started listening to this new podcast hosted by Tom Bilyeu, one of the founders behind Quest Nutrition. The podcast is unique and features some amazing guests with some great discussions on topics related to positive psychology and personal success.

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Do you like podcasts? What are some of your favorites?