Can we trust our hearts to guide us? Of course we listen to our minds when making decisions and trying to figure things out in our lives, but there’s a ‘new normal’ emerging: consciously enabling the heart and mind to collaborate and provide deeper guidance in Heart-Mind Coherence.
In recent decades, researchers have found that our hearts also have a ‘brain’ – a network of neurons, and the heart is doing a whole lot more than simply pumping blood around our bodies. Scientists have discovered that our hearts transmit an immense amount of bio-electrical energy, about 40-60 times that of the brain.1 In fact, the heart has 40,000 neurons and transmits messages and hormones to the brain. For example, in favourable conditions the heart transmits the hormone atrial peptide, which can sooth anxiety by reducing the amount of cortisol, the stress hormone that is released from the brain.
1. Engaging the Intelligence of the Heart. Howard Martin, TEDx Santa Cruz
Scientific discoveries in this field are converging with long-held teachings for personal and spiritual growth, to ‘demystify the mystical’ concerning the actions of the heart and the mind. Using sensitive technical instruments and willing human subjects, it’s become clear that if we practice a simple meditation technique, we can train our heart and brain to cooperate with each other, with profound beneficial results for us all. We call this conscious state Heart-Mind Coherence. This technique can help us to be our best selves; our loving, centred and balanced selves in any situation.
Scientific Proof of Heart-Mind Coherence
In 2014 , while a participant in the University’s Leadership Coaching Program, I sat in a class in Georgetown University, USA. I was about to witness scientific proof that heart-mind coherence exists and is our ever-present source of true, loving guidance.
One of my fellow-students (let’s call her Susan) sat out front, as our volunteer guinea pig. Our tutor connected her heartbeat and her brain to software developed by the HeartMath Institute.2 We watched as a live graph (electrocardiogram) was displayed on the classroom screen to show the brain and heart activities of our colleague. It was obvious from the random peaks and troughs of each line, that she was feeling somewhat anxious at the beginning of this experiment!
Heart and Mind Harmonised
Our tutor then asked Susan to provide a question she would like answered; a question regarding a personal decision that she had not been able to answer for herself. Our tutor, (trained by the HeartMath Institute) then guided Susan through a short meditative process, which calmed her and brought her into connection with an aspect of her life that induced heartfelt, warm and positive feelings. Susan was soon feeling calm and relaxed, and breathing steadily. We watched the graphs on the computer screen as her heart and mind settled into a synergistic rhythm. The undulations of her heartbeat and mind became harmonised and synchronised in a matter of a few minutes.
After a short while, our tutor invited her back into awareness of the classroom environment. He then reminded her of her question, and he asked it back to her. Amazingly, she had the answer, which felt absolutely right and had seemingly arrived ‘out of nowhere’.
Following this demonstration, we all paired up and coached each other through the same process, without being wired to the equipment. Amazingly, we achieved very similar results, with new, fresh answers to our own personal life-seeking questions.
This was my first experience of Heart-Mind Coherence.
2. HeartMath Institute website
Connecting to a Deeper, More Truthful Part of Us
Our hearts are connected to a much deeper, more truthful part of us, a consciousness beyond the influence of our fears and tribulations. As we learn to truly connect to our hearts rather than being led by fear-based emotions stored in our minds, we can live from a deeper, knowing truth and make clear, heartfelt, decisions for our lives.
We will also make deeper, more genuine connections with those around us. When we practice heart-mind coherence, we influence and nurture harmony with others in a positive way, thereby changing not only our reality, but nurturing their reality too.
Thanks to the work of the HeartMath Institute, we can access this proven way to connect to the wisdom of our heart.3 This practice is now well-known as Heart-Mind Coherence. We can employ our mind to help guide our lives – with our heart’s wisdom leading the way.
Practising Heart-Mind Coherence to Guide Our Daily Lives
The demonstration in Georgetown University’s classroom proved to me that Heart-Mind Coherence is a scientific fact. Furthermore, it’s an easily-learned technique we can practice for ourselves, for balanced guidance every day of our lives. It does not require any technology to learn this practice. A short video to guide us will do the job perfectly.3 However, for the more curious, it’s possible to purchase personal equipment to monitor the coherence of our own heart and mind with a phone or computer.2
When we develop a habit to be in this place of Heart-Mind Coherence, it becomes easier to navigate our way through the ups and downs of life, including our challenges and difficult decisions. We respond in better ways to people and events happening around us, to the benefit of all involved.
3. HeartMath Quick Coherence Technique (YouTube)
Our Hearts Communicate With Each Other of Their Own Accord!
Through 29 years of research, the HeartMath Institute has also discovered that our hearts are constantly communicating person-to-person in their own way, whether we are communicating verbally with that person or not4. Powerful bio-electrical signals can be measured at least four feet (1.2 metres) out from our hearts, and it’s believed that they reach much further than equipment can currently detect.
It’s little wonder then, that we feel ‘out of sync’ and uncomfortable in conversations where our brain is telling us to behave in one way, while our heart is transmitting a deeper, somewhat different truth!
Uncomfortable feelings such as anxiousness, anger or fear are reliable indicators that heart and mind are not in coherence.
The HeartMath Institute states that “Our hearts are an access point to wisdom and intelligence that we can call upon to live our lives with more balance, greater creativity and enhanced intuitive capacities. All of these are important for increasing personal effectiveness, improving health and relationships and achieving greater fulfilment”.2
The Institute has also found that “When people are able to maintain the physiological coherence mode, they are more internally stable and thus less vulnerable to being negatively affected by the fields emanating from others”.5
Dr Joe Dispenza, author of the book Becoming Supernatural works closely with the HeartMath Institute. The heart and brain waves of thousands of Dr Joe’s participants have been measured in workshops around the world. Dr Joe and his team have proved that heart-brain coherence is real, and that we can connect to our heart’s inner knowing and wisdom; what Dr Joe calls “our source of love and higher frequency”.6
So, in answer to the question I posed for this blog: “Can we trust our heart to guide us?” My answer is a definite “Yes!” providing we ensure we are practising Heart-Mind Coherence. In our busy lives, this is a reliable way to connect to a calm and loving, empathic and wise aspect of ourselves at any time, in any place, and in any situation.
4. The Heart’s Intuitive Intelligence: A path to personal, social and global coherence (YouTube)
6. Dr Joe Dispenza: Becoming Supernatural, How Common People Are Doing The Uncommon (2017) Hay House
Janet Lesley Powers
About the Author
Janet Lesley Powers is a Certified Transformational Life and Leadership Coach and Certified Group Facilitator.
She transitioned into coaching in 2007, following a successful career in conservation policy for a world-wide non-profit organisation.
Janet coaches clients online and in person, dividing her time between extensive travel in her RV and her base in the Washington DC Metro area, United States.
You can reach Janet by messaging the Open Community Facebook Group: Living As Our Truth: Reclaiming Our Authentic Power.
Janet also manages a closed Facebook group with the same name.
Also by Janet: Is Everyone Doing the Best They Can?
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