In his book Brainstorm, The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, Daniel Siegel talks about a practice he calls SIFT, which can be helpful to bring all of us, teens and parents alike, into greater connection with our internal world. This means that throughout our day, we take a mental pause to get present with what we are experiencing in the moment.
The acronym SIFT can help you remember the four steps.
First, notice your SENSATIONS. What is arising in your body at this moment? How is your breath? Your sensations are unique, but sensations are things like: tightness, lightness, cool, warm, tingly, constriction, heaviness, pounding, pressing, expanding, etc.
Second, notice any IMAGES that arise in your mind, perhaps a memory or a picture is present for you.
Third, what FEELINGS can you notice? Can you name the feeling? There might be layers of different feelings, see if you can name them all.
Finally, what THOUGHTS are going through your mind? Even if there are no specific words, what is the overall tone or gist of what is happening mentally?
Its important to do this practice with a sense of curiosity and loving-kindness towards oneself. There is no right or wrong, no need to change or fix anything, just bringing a noticing and an awareness to what we are experiencing in the moment.
Brainstorm has many practical tools to expand our sense of “mindsight”, a term Dan Siegel uses to describe the ability to see or know ourselves and others. Mindsight encompasses three aspects–insight, or the ability to assess your own inner mental life, empathy, or the ability to sense the mental life of another person, and finally, integration, the ability to link different parts of something into a whole. Taking up a practice of SIFTing through our experience can help expand our mindsight.
Brainstorm was designed to be read by both teens and their parents, and I highly recommend it. Its a wonderful read to get practical tools and better understanding of the possibility and gifts of this stage of our life. #parentingteens #pause #sensations #images #feelings #thoughts #presence #mindfulness #support #bepresent
I am a Heart and Soul Eating Coach, yoga teacher, Somatic Experiencing practitioner in-training, and human rights lawyer. I can help you connect with the wisdom of your body to transform challenges around eating, digestion and body image. Such symptoms may include overeating, emotional eating, compulsive/binge eating, constant dieting or restrictions, excess weight, poor body image, digestive problems, fatigue, anxiety, or general life overwhelm. I have struggled with many of these issues myself, and I know the pain and suffering of abandoning ourselves. I also know there is another way, and it is my deep joy to guide clients back to their inner knowing. By using concrete tools, body-based practices, and wisdom teachings, I will help you address the root causes of your challenges, facilitate your body’s innate capacity for wholeness and joy, and create the sense of thriving that you desire. My approach embraces self-compassion, body love, and greater self-expression as tools for integration. I am certified as an eating psychology coach through the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. I have also been trained or practiced with experts in conscious parenting (Dr. Shefali) self-care (Suzi Lula) and the Conscious Leadership Group (Annmarie Chereso). I am currently completing the Somatic Experiencing training program, which is a body-based trauma healing modality.