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257. The Gift of Being Ordinary with Ron Siegel

Human beings are evolutionarily hard-wired to compete with one another, and this drive to compete encourages us to compare our standing to that of our fellows and despair when we don’t match up. This “compare and despair” mindset can lead to unworkable or harmful cycles of behavior that leave us feeling worse-than-ordinary. Ron Siegel, author of The Extraordinary Gift of being Ordinary, is faculty at Harvard Medical School and teaches internationally about mind-body medicine and the application of mindfulness and compassion practices in psychotherapy and other fields. On this episode of POTC, Ron talks with Yael about why being ordinary is actually an extraordinary gift! Join us to learn about addiction to self-esteem, what genetic analysis says about social comparison and organization, scientifically-backed practices for embracing and savoring your ordinariness, and more, today!

Listen and Learn:

  • Yael and Debbie’s thoughts on the connection between being ordinary and belonging
  • The inescapable cycle of comparing and despairing 
  • The evolutionary roots of our desire to be extraordinary 
  • What genetic analysis has to tell us about social comparison and organization 
  • Evidence-based strategies for responding to natural urges and impulses when they’re not workable
  • Practical advice for reorienting towards value-aligned actions after you’ve unhooked from addiction to self-esteem
  • Ron’s favorite practices for embracing and savoring your ordinariness
  • The importance of embracing impermanence (including your own mortality)

Resources:

About Ron Siegel:

Dr. Ron Siegel is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Harvard Medical School, where he’s taught for over 35 years. A long-time student of mindfulness meditation, he serves on the Board of Directors and faculty of the Institute for Meditation and Psychotherapy and the faculties of the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion at the Cambridge Health Alliance and the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He teaches internationally about mind-body medicine and the application of mindfulness and compassion practices in psychotherapy and other fields. He currently maintains a limited private clinical practice in Lincoln, Massachusetts. He has edited and written several books including the critically acclaimed professional text, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition, The Mindfulness Solution: Everyday Practices for Everyday Problems, Sitting Together: Essential Skills for Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy, Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy, Back Sense, and his most recent book, The Extraordinary Gift of Being Ordinary: Finding Happiness Right Where You Are

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Episode 257