Goldie Hawn is an American actress, producer, director, and occasional singer. She began her career as a dancer but switched to acting on television and then film. Goldie won an Academy Award for her performance in Cactus Flower and later received an Oscar nomination for the movie – Private Benjamin.
Since the 1970s, Hawn has been a practitioner of meditation and living mindfully. Through the Hawn Foundation’s MindUP program, developed by a team of neurologists, educators, and psychologists, Goldie has brought the concept of mindfulness to 150,000 children around the world. Part of the MindUP program includes meditation to sharpen attention and promote calm.
So, how did Goldie Hawn get interested in meditation, to begin with?
„I reached a time when I was really anxious. I got picked out of a chorus line and suddenly I was on television. I went to a psychologist because I was feeling panicky, I would have panic attacks”, Hawn recalled to U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America.
She saw psychologists and started meditating, embarking on an inner journey. Goldie Hawn was especially interested in spirituality and neuroscience, fancying questions such as „What is that God part of the brain?”
She insists that if we know a bit about how the brain works, we can truly grasp why practicing meditation is not just for those with a fondness for patchouli and Birkenstocks.
„Familiarize yourself with the parts of your brain and their function. You will see that the benefits of practicing meditation aren’t just in your head. They’re as physiological as the benefits of exercise on your muscles”, Goldie says.
She also believes meditation has given her the tools needed to deal with relationship issues during the years, helping her to strengthen her romance with Kurt Russel, who she has been dating since 1983.
The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now. Skeptics, of course, may ask what good are a few brain changes if the psychological effects aren’t simultaneously being illustrated?
One of the most interesting researchers in the last few years carried out at Yale University found that practicing mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the DMN – default mode network, the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts, also known as the „monkey mind.” The default mode network is active when we’re not thinking about anything specifically when our minds are just wandering from thought to thought.
Since mind-wandering is usually linked with being less happy, ruminating, and worrying about the future and past, it’s the goal for many people to dial it down.