Being in the Moment with Diana Mitchell

As we move furtherDiana into our Logical Smart theme for Sister Leadership, I’d like to introduce you to an impressive young women, Diana Mitchell. Diana is earning her doctorate in neuroscience at McGill, and talking with her struck me as the perfect opportunity to explore how being in the moment (an element of spiritual intelligence) mixes with logical smarts.

Featured ThemeFor Sister Leadership, “Being in the Moment” means living in and being responsive to the moment. When you are juggling data and are head-deep in the world of analytics, simulations, results and paper-writing within the world of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), how do you stay in the moment? Read on to gain a fresh perspective on how Diana relates to this idea.
1. Can you share a little about what you do and your researching background?

I am a PhD candidate in the field of neuroscience. Our lab researches the vestibular system, the part of your brain that senses how you move through the world. My specific project is to determine how the brain responds to artificial stimulation delivered by a vestibular prosthesis and how this compares to its response to more natural stimulation that occurs when we are physically moving.

We aim to optimize how the prosthesis works to advance its development and the treatment of patients who have lost the function of their vestibular system.  Ultimately, we are all working to help people with vestibular deficiencies, estimated to be several hundreds of thousands of people in North America, live happy and fulfilled lives.

2. How do you choose to disconnect or manage the wave of information bombardment?

LOGICAL-MATHEMATICAL (3)One of the main ways I try to manage this information bombardment is by keeping my exposure limited. I am one of the few people that I know that doesn’t have a smart phone. So I am only looking at e-mails when I am at my computer for that purpose, and I’m not constantly plugged into social media throughout the day. I try to set up blocks of time where I check my e-mails, the news and social media.

In order to disconnect, I try to find some time every day when I turn off all my electronics (my computer, cell phone and TV) and do something that I really enjoy and that takes my mind off what went on that day. What I choose to do really depends on my mood, but I think it really helps to exercise a part of your brain that you haven’t yet.

My work deals a lot with data analysis and working through problems so at the end of the day I really enjoy doing something a little bit more creative. I have recently taken up knitting and find it to be relaxing and helpful in taking my mind off what has happened that day.

3. What does being in the moment mean to you?

For me being in the moment means when I’m totally focused on what I’m doing without any distractions and it happens when I’m doing something that I really enjoy. I’m guilty of overanalyzing just about everything so being totally in the moment isn’t something that I experience often, but I definitely think it’s important to take a step back and enjoy what is happening “now” instead of worrying about what is going to or has already happened.

4. Who is your favourite fictional character in books, movies, etc? How do you relate to them and how does that play out as a metaphor in your life?

I don’t really have any favourite fictional characters, but there is a book whose message has always stuck with me. It’s called “Yay You” by Sandra Boynton. It was given to me after I graduated as an undergrad at a time when I really wasn’t sure which career path I wanted to take. It’s written for new graduates who are deciding what to do next and reminds them that you might not end up on the path you thought you would but that is ok as long as you are happy. Listening to myself and not letting the opinions of others influence me is something that I really have to work at.


Sister Leadership would like to thank Diana for being so candid about her experiences of being in the moment.
We’d love to hear how you balance between engagement and overload. Do you chunk your engagement into times, or what other strategies might you follow in being fully present yet not overwhelmed? Share in the comment section below. Thanks!

Till next week,

Camille Boivin is founder of Sister Leadership, certified in EQi 2.0 and EQ360, a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), has been coaching high-level women and men for over six years, and is now opening her expertise to those emerging in business. Camille pulls her blog topics from her unique coaching approach that combines her training as a EQi 2.0 and EQ360 certified facilitator with the dig-deeper tools of NLP.

Get in touch here if you’d like to talk with Cam about group or one-on-one coaching, and EQ assessments. With the miracle of Skype and telephones – distance is no issue!

1 Comment
  1. Judy Levine 5 years ago

    Wow. See what she is working on?! I would love to meet her. We should go into Montreal and have lunch with her. Your thoughts?? She also has good ideas I like her. I am very serious. Let me know.

    Sent from my iPhone


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