Meet Dave

Father, husband, teacher,

coach, speaker, author

Although I did not know it at the time,

my desire for a deeper understanding

of human struggle and thriving began

growing up in a chaotic, alcoholic

household. 

 

Whether through genetics or due to my 

early environment, I have what I would

call a "reactive nervous system." Feelings

show up quick and strong in response

to what is happening around me. As I got older, I struggled with to cope

and became quite the anxious perfectionist. My reactivity and my efforts to avoid uncomfortable feelings led to a lot of difficulty in my relationships. 

Fortunately, I found some

wonderful teachers who taught

me how tocreate a more peaceful

relationship with my emotions.  My love of neuroscience also opened up

pathways for insight into the biology behind our behavior and how we can successfully shift toward habits that support our goals and values. 

After teaching human development, neuroscience, mindfulness, and physics in

independent schools for more than twenty years, I started Applied Attention. This work has allowed me to spend time with students, executives, educators, athletes, parents, and people from just about every walk of life. 

I have learned that our capacity to

thrive and connect meaningfully with

others in the face of challenge is profound.

Unfortunately, our ability to whither and

to be unkind to ourselves even in

comfortable circumstances is equally

profound.  

Be careful what you practice,

you are going to get better at it. 

Awareness & acceptance of what is going on inside us creates the space and opportunity for choice. 

We can live gently & joyfully in the midst of challenge. Really. 

                                                                                                                          I am so excited and feel so fortunate to work                                                                                                                                  with people on the life that they practice. Where                                                                                                                            we put our attention and energy has an                                                                                                                                          incredibly powerful impact on the quality of our                                                                                                                            lives.  We can learn to meet life with compassion and with the confidence that we have what we need to deal with whatever shows up - this is what I call a HEARTY approach to life. It is something that we are all capable of - it just takes practice.

 

This is not just theory or philosophy - this practice has helped me immensely through two bouts of leukemia. Challenging? Yes. Uncomfortable? Definitely. Unwanted? For sure. And yet, I would say going through all of it was one of the most positive experiences of my life. It helped me clarify and anchor my life in what matters most. It brought me into contact with some of the most dedicated and caring people I have ever met. I did not find having cancer pleasant at all - I did find it incredibly meaningful and inspiring for personal growth.

 

I love my work. However, the greatest joy of my life has

been being a parent and a partner. I was fortunate to

find someone who has consistently shown me what it

means to do the next right thing. I was doubly fortunate

that she has been willing to spend her life with me.  

And, I have been blessed to raise two young men who are

kind, funny, thoughtful and creative. Watching them become

who they are has shown me a depth and range of emotions

that I did not know existed. Parenting has not always been easy (super big understatement!) or comfortable, but it is hard to imagine something more rewarding or filled with potential insight. 

So, that's me I guess. I am grateful that I grew up in a challenging environment and that I have an anxious and reactive nervous system - I am even grateful to have had to deal with cancer. All of it has helped me to make the distinction between a pleasant, comfortable life and a HEARTY life of meaning, connection, and purpose. 

Blessings for a HEARTY life!

Dave

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