10 Mindful Minutes

by Daniel J. Siegel MD, Goldie Hawn,

Author Daniel J Siegel MD Goldie Hawn and Wendy Holden Isbn 978 0399537721 File size 1 30MB Year 2011 Pages 256 Language Englisch File format PDF Category Family and Friendship Teaching Our Children to Help Themselves Be Happy Practical timely relevant and inspiring 10 Mindful Minutes is Goldie Hawn s gift to parents who want to help their children learn better and live happier lives Inspired by the revolutionary MindUP program developed under the auspices of the Hawn Foundation t

Publisher :

Author : Daniel J. Siegel MD, Goldie Hawn, and Wendy Holden

ISBN : 978 0399537721

Year : 2011

Language: Englisch

File Size : 1.30MB

Category : Family and Friendship

“Goldie Hawn embodies delight and joy, and 10 Mindful Minutes radiates
these. Her book can help any adult—parent, grandparent, teacher—make
double use of their moments with the children they love and have a ter­
rific time while helping shape that child’s brain for a lifetime of resilience
and happiness.”
—Daniel Goleman, bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence

“Goldie Hawn is arguably the most influential happiness expert of our
time. She not only has achieved true happiness in her life but radiates it in
her family and through the work of her foundation. Now, 10 Mindful Min­
utes offers a guide for the rest of us. This book artfully blends the latest
science and quick, easy how-to advice with a rare glimpse into the epipha­
nies that led to Goldie’s happiness work. It’s an engaging must-read for
every parent interested in raising a focused, balanced, and happy child.”
—Dan Buettner, New York Times bestselling author of
The Blue Zones and Thrive

“I saw how quickly the kids—and then the teachers—bought into the
[MindUP] program and practices. The kids just got it right away, and
seemed hungry for something that would help them manage the stresses
in their life. . . . In my twenty years of measuring social-emotional learn­
ing quotients, I’ve never seen a program that works as well as this one.”
—Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl

“Goldie Hawn has given us a beautiful guide to one of our most important
roles—raising healthy, joyful, and resilient children. Rooted in scientific
research and chock-full of practical tools and techniques, 10 Mindful Min­
utes will forever change the way you parent, and it’ll change how you live
your own life, too.”
—Greg Hicks, bestselling coauthor of
How We Choose to Be Happy and Happiness & Health



Giving Our Children—and Ourselves—the Social
and Emotional Skills to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
for Healthier, Happier Lives

Goldie Hawn
with Wendy Holden


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Copyright © 2011 by Rutledge Productions Inc.

Illustration on page 12 by Steve Karp

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First edition: October 2011

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Hawn, Goldie Jeanne.
10 mindful minutes : giving our children—and ourselves—the social and emotional skills to reduce
stress and anxiety for healthier, happier lives / Goldie Hawn with Wendy Holden.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 978-1-101-54148-7

1. Thought and thinking. 2. Awareness. 3. Relaxation. 4. Stress management. 5. Parent and child.
I. Holden, Wendy, 1961– II. Title. III. Title: Ten mindful minutes.

To all parents who want to

let the light in their children shine.


Foreword by Daniel J. Siegel, MD


One Mother’s Journey to Mindfulness

1 Why We Need to Act Now


2 The Wonders of the Brain


3 How the Brain Works


4 Getting the Most Out of This Book
5 Tuning In to Your Child’s Wavelength
6 Talking with Your Child About the Brain
7 Mindful Breathing
8 Mindful Sensing









9 Optimism


10 Happiness


11 Gratitude


12 Anger


13 Sadness
14 Fear



15 Empathy


16 Kindness


17 Living a More Mindful Life









To bring up a child in the way he should go,
travel that way yourself once in a while.
—Josh Billings


Goldie Hawn’s career in the film industry has spanned almost
four decades. Not only is she a beloved actor, but she has broken
new ground as a producer or director of more than twenty films,
worked in theater, and written a bestselling memoir. Yet with all
of this success, Goldie’s most intense passion has been in pro­
moting the well-being and safety of children. From her early
adult years to the present time, she has worked with various
charitable and research organizations focused on the needs of
children throughout the world. In her private life, Goldie is a de­
voted mother who has raised four children in what she describes
as her most important role. She is now a grandmother, experi­
encing, in her words, the “opening of my heart with more joy than
I can possibly express.”
What I came to appreciate from firsthand experience is that
Goldie is a thoughtful, creative, and intelligent person who is
dedicated to bringing wisdom and warmth into the experience



of how children develop. I was fascinated to discover that her
long-standing public and private devotion to children and their
well-being was being effectively channeled into the public school
system with the MindUP program, which is supported by her
foundation. This unique and scientifically based program is de­
signed to help children learn “mindfulness”—a now proven way
to help develop social and emotional intelligence. By training the
focus of attention, the practices that form the MindUP program
strengthen the mind and create more empathy and compassion
within relationships. Mindfulness also builds stronger brains.
More than just creating an innovative program, Goldie required
that research demonstrate whether or not these educational
strategies had a measurable impact. And they certainly did: not
only did children experience enhanced attention and improved
relationships, but actual biological measures demonstrated that
they were able to handle stress in a healthier manner.
The Hawn Foundation’s program also incorporates cutting­
edge knowledge about the brain into its curriculum in an ac­
cessible and practical way, so that the students can use this
information in their daily lives. MindUP is now being used in Can­
ada, Great Britain, and the United States in increasing numbers of
It is immensely satisfying to know that Goldie is interested in
how perspectives from science, including studies of the brain,
might support her program. Together Goldie and I presented a
talk at a Technology, Entertainment, Design—Medicine (TED­
MED) event and enjoyed an enthusiastic response to the idea of
blending the ancient practice of mindful awareness with applica­
tions of modern science. Simply put, why not help kids develop
stronger minds, not just fill their minds with facts? Why not

Foreword xiii

move beyond the basic three Rs of reading, writing, and ’rithme­
tic and add the fourth R of reflection—and even the fifth and sixth
Rs of relationships and resilience? This reflective approach has
also been presented to the nation’s public school superinten­
dents and other organizations interested in helping children’s
social, emotional, and academic intelligence.
From my perspective as both a mental health professional and
a parent, it seemed a natural next step for this work to be trans­
lated into practical exercises that anyone who cares for children
on a regular basis could use not only to teach their children but to
become more reflective themselves. Resilience, self-understand­
ing, and compassion are essential skills that can be learned. In
fact, learning and teaching these skills may be what is necessary
for us to shift the course of human evolution in a more positive
direction. Reflection is no longer a luxury but necessary for our
10 Mindful Minutes can change the direction in which society
is moving today by strengthening the minds of the next genera­
tion. In these pages you will find an educational (and entertain­
ing) narrative that provides the scientific grounding as well as
the practical strategies for developing your child’s—and your
own—mindful awareness. You and your child can learn to live in
this new way: being aware in the present moment, letting go of
judgments and expectations, and being more fully available to
others and yourselves.
As 10 Mindful Minutes demonstrates, you are the best teacher
for your child when you become a role model, showing your
child by word and deed the importance of paying attention, mo­
ment to moment. Mindful awareness is about being able to en­
gage all of our senses—to taste the food we eat, to sense the air



we breathe, to listen with attention, to see with fresh and inquir­
ing eyes, to pause and appreciate the wonder of a butterfly your
child has discovered on the sidewalk before rushing off to school.
Learning to value even the most commonplace activities—and
finding the teachable moments in each of them—has the poten­
tial to make the ordinary quite extraordinary.
With practice we can transform this temporary state of
awareness into a lifetime habit. With just a regular ten-minute
practice, we can even improve the way in which our brains func­
tion. It only takes a few basic steps to transition from being on
automatic pilot to becoming awakened to present-moment ex­
perience. The practice then strengthens reflective learning into a
new way of seeing and being in the world.
There is magic in learning to use the mind to awaken our
lives. In my professional field, we use the term mindsight to describe the process by which we can learn how to focus our atten­
tion on the internal world of the mind in a way that will literally
change the wiring and architecture of the brain. This reflective
skill enables us to see and shape how our minds regulate infor­
mation flow, how our brain circuits permit that flow to unfold,
and how our relationships share this flow of information as com­
munication between people. Mindsight permits us to awaken
our lives and enhance the health of our mind, brain, and relation­
ships. It is the key to emotional and social intelligence. In many
ways, 10 Mindful Minutes offers you basic steps to learn not only
how to become more mindful in your life but how to enhance
mindsight in your family.
Studies of parent-child relationships reveal that one of the
most important factors in helping children thrive is the parents’
capacity to reflect on the internal world of the mind. Parents who

Foreword xv

develop this skill can sense their own and their children’s minds
with more clarity. Scientific research in the field of attachment
has revealed that parents who see the mind, think in mind terms,
and communicate about the mind have children who develop
well in the social, emotional, and cognitive domains. Children
learn to know their own and others’ mental landscape by the way
we as parents, teachers, or other caregivers engage with them.
The secure attachment that results from such mindsight-fullness
serves as an “emotional vaccine”—a form of resilience for chil­
dren as they grow. Naturally, we cannot guarantee the outcome
of our children’s development, but learning lessons from science
about the power of reflection and communicating this power
can give them the healthiest start possible.
As a father and child psychiatrist, I know both personally and
professionally how challenging parenting can be. The last thing
you need is yet another book to clutter your bedside stand or
waste your time. But every lesson and every story in this book
will make becoming mindful a bit more accessible to you. You’ll
find some basic yet important information about how the brain
works in easy-to-digest nuggets, which will lead to understand­
ing the workings of your child’s mind and the forces that drive his
or her behaviors. Equally important, you will find practical ways
to model and teach mindfulness to your child. Along the way
you’ll discover—or rediscover—the power of gratitude to further
promote well-being in yourself and your child.
Daniel J. Siegel, MD



It is not enough to have a good mind;
the main thing is to use it well.
—René Descartes


From the day my first child was born, I knew that I could not fail
at one thing in my life—being a good mother. My most challeng­
ing and important role would be to help shape those little beings
of pure potential.
Jobs, friends, and even spouses come and go, but your chil­
dren are yours forever—even when they set sail away from the
motherland. As they head out to sea, we begin to question our­
selves: Were we always there for them when we were working
so hard? Were we present enough at their soccer games, recitals,
and birthdays, and when they were hurt or sick? Were we able to
rejoice with them when they did well at school or mastered some
new skill? Did we give them too much or too little? Did we pay


One Mother’s Journey to Mindfulness

attention enough to sense the things they weren’t saying, to
sense when they were hiding their anger, sadness, or pain? Ah,
the myriad questions that run through our minds as we help­
lessly watch the vessel carrying our precious cargo sail into un­
charted waters. The ship’s pilot is left on the shore.
The analogy of the pilot is a good one, for it is a vital job on
any vessel. We parents are here to guide, love, and nurture our
children’s emotional development so that they can set sail on
their own adventure to happy, healthy, and productive lives. To
be a good pilot is a daunting task in today’s frenzied world. It
requires focus, attention, and commitment. This is hard when
often both parents are working full-time to make ends meet,
technology is robbing the intimacy from family life, and so many
other challenges keep us from being fully present for our chil­
dren’s safety and well-being. The demands of raising children can
create more stress than we ever imagined possible. And yet, there
can be no job or commitment more important than the emo­
tional imprint we make on the babies we’ve brought into this
When I was a little girl, I longed for the day I’d become a
mother. I brushed my doll’s hair, fed her imaginary food, and sang
her lullabies before tucking her into bed with me at night. I drew
pictures of houses with white picket fences threaded with roses.
The door to that house was always open, ready to welcome the
children from the neighborhood. My vision seemed so perfect,
and the life I imagined so easy. I was going to be the chef, the
baker, and the homemaker; my days would be filled with happi­
ness and joy. What an idyllic dream. Guess what? Things didn’t
turn out that way.
My firstborn, Oliver, nearly died at birth. My second baby,

One Mother’s Journey to Mindfulness xix

Kate, was a year old when her father and I divorced, creating even
more uncertainty and sadness. That’s when I discovered that chil­
dren are nothing like dolls and that being a parent is really hard.
Even fame and fortune can’t make those things better—in fact,
they can make raising children that much more challenging. My
most joyful discovery at this difficult time was that in spite of the
enormous responsibility of nurturing my children, my heart not
only grew larger but seemed to expand until it could hold a limit­
less amount of loving-kindness.
Sometimes, though, even a mother’s love isn’t enough. Being
a single parent was challenging, as I tried to juggle my responsi­
bilities and working demands with being there for my children. I
even became an assistant soccer coach, though I barely knew the
rules of the game. I can laugh about that now, but the tears came
at night when I’d lie alone in bed wondering what happened to
my perfect dream. Would I ever find a man to love, who would
love me and, most of all, love my children as I do? It seemed im­
possible, and then a miracle happened. I met Kurt Russell. Kurt
came into our lives and swept us up in his nurturing paternal
arms. He brought his son, my stepson Boston, with him to make
us a real family. Wyatt was born three years later—the final strand
threading us together. I am now the proud grandmother to Ryder,
Wilder, and Bodhi, with another baby on the way. I have the fam­
ily I always dreamed of having. Miracles can happen. I look at my
children and am amazed that—after all the trials and tribula­
tions we went through together—somehow we made it.
Being a mother called on me to use many tools, some that I
had and some that I didn’t. I was fortunate enough to have had
very good parents who, despite both working full-time, engaged
and supported me. Most of all, they loved me. They were the


One Mother’s Journey to Mindfulness

most wonderful parenting role models, but even that wasn’t
enough. I still had a lot of unanswered questions. And the search
for answers led me to greater awareness in understanding my
own psychology and in learning how to quiet my own mind and
to focus my attention.
I realized that I had to become the role model I wanted for
my children. I had to be brave and look at myself truthfully. This
wasn’t easy. Stripping yourself bare and finding out what you’re
really made of is an important moment. Once you absorb the
clarity and truth of who you are, you discover the empathy and
understanding to help guide your children through their own
journey of self-discovery.


It was an ordinary weekday morning like any other. The tele­
phone rang and a girlfriend told me, “Turn on the news.” I
switched on the television and watched, openmouthed, as two
New York skyscrapers crumbled. My immediate thoughts were
for my kids. My fourteen-year-old, Wyatt, was getting ready for
school. Kate and Oliver were both in Los Angeles. And Kurt, too.
We were all safe.
Like relatives at a deathbed, we gathered together in front of
the TV—watching, waiting, and weeping. With each new image
and every slow-motion replay, we mourned the passing of life
as we had known it. This was real. This was a game changer. The
world would never be the same after this. The events of 9/11
would polarize people of every country, religion, color, and creed.
Reactions would ripple back and forth across oceans, creating a

One Mother’s Journey to Mindfulness xxi

tidal wave of suspicion and fear. I saw the future unfolding before
us, and it frightened me.
My mind flashed back to a day when I was eleven years old.
At school I’d excitedly skipped down the hallway to the class­
room on Visual Aids day thinking we were going to see a movie
on agriculture or the arts. To my surprise, the film started with a
big clock counting down from nine to zero. Then a booming
voice announced, “This is what will happen if there is an enemy
attack!” Up on the screen appeared scenes of annihilation and
death. This was a civil defense film on what would happen if an
atom bomb hit America. We children were supposed to crouch
under our desks, cover our heads, and turn away from the blind­
ing light. “Duck and Cover” was the message.
The world as I thought I knew it changed in that instant. My
young brain was forever imprinted with horrific images I couldn’t
begin to understand. My body began to shake uncontrollably and
I started to cry. Panicked, I fled from the classroom and ran
home. Sobbing, I telephoned my mother, who rushed home from
work and eventually calmed me down.
That childhood experience never really left me. For a long
time afterward, I’d have to stay home from school if the town si­
rens went off during a drill. The seed of fear the film planted grew
into a deep-seated terror that blossomed into fully blown panic
attacks well into my young adulthood. Physically affected by my
secret anxiety, I was afraid even to voice it and so was left to suf­
fer in silent distress.
As I watched the events of September 11 unfold some forty
years later, I wept. I knew this event would certainly traumatize
the tender minds of children watching an American flag flutter­
ing in the smoking ruins. How could they possibly understand?


One Mother’s Journey to Mindfulness

How would these images and the fear they carried inform their
I went to my knitting basket and found some old threads of
red, white, and blue. Knitting has always been a form of medi­
tation for me, and so I began to knit the American flag. As I sat
there, tears falling onto my stitches, I came to a profound and
deeply emotional decision. I felt compelled to do something, no
matter how insignificant, that would be more meaningful and
lasting than the joining of a few fragments of wool.
My kind of patriotism doesn’t have to do with being red or
being blue; it doesn’t even have a label. It has to do with loving
my country and its great potential and respecting our powers of
resilience. No matter how small a gesture, I believe that we can
all do something to make this world a better place.
If I could help just one little girl or boy move beyond those
images that will haunt us all, that would be a gift. Remembering
my own childhood anxiety, I longed to show children everywhere
how to rediscover their natural joy, understand the value of their
emotions, and learn to feel empathy for others. I had no idea
how to set about achieving this, but I knew as I knitted that I
had to figure something out. Maybe it wasn’t happiness I could
bring our children; maybe it was hope. Either way, I felt com­
pelled to try.


I have always been fascinated by the power and resiliency of the

human spirit, and as a person still on a lifelong journey of self­
discovery, I set about my quest. I began to attend conferences

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