Heart Smarts

August 12, 2018

 

“Listen to your heart” or “speak from your heart” are phrases that most of us are very familiar with. But what exactly does that mean, and what are we listening for, and does our heart really have a voice? The general idea that we are all taught is that the brain is the computer of the body controlling all the organs and systems and is the dominant “voice” of the body. However, new research is revealing that the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart! These heart signals have an effect on emotions and cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving. Also, the heart and brain are constantly communicating information back and forth. Researchers at the HeartMath Institute have found that the nerve center of the heart is so complex that it constitutes a “brain” on it’s own - termed a “mini-brain.” The heart also produces neurotransmitters and hormones previously thought to only be produced by the brain, one of which is oxytocin - the love hormone!

 

As if that wasn’t enough, the heart is about 100,000 times stronger electrically and up to 5000 times stronger magnetically than the brain. It produces a measurable electromagnetic field called a torus field which radiates out about 3 to 4 feet and reacts with other people, animals, nature and our environment!

 

“From our research at the HeartMath Institute, we've concluded that intelligence and intuition are heightened when we learn to listen more deeply to our own heart. It’s through learning how to decipher messages we receive from our heart that we gain the keen perception needed to effectively manage our emotions in the midst of life’s challenges. The more we learn to listen to and follow our heart intelligence, the more educated, balanced and coherent our emotions become. Without the guiding influence of the heart we easily fall prey to reactive emotions such as insecurity, anger, fear and blame as well as other energy-draining reactions and behaviors.”

 

You know that feeling when your “heart is full,” you really do feel like there is a fullness in your chest. Most of us have suffered the pain of a broken heart - didn’t it feel like it was really broken? When people point to themselves, they don’t point at their head, they point to their heart…and isn’t there a sense of something in your heart when you’re faced with a difficult decision? These are all times when your heart is speaking to you. It is an organ of emotional intelligence and if you learn how to listen, it can also guide you!  

 

Speaking from our heart means speaking our truth, our authentic feelings, being present in the moment. It takes courage to birth those feelings into words, squeezing them from your heart to your voice. I think we’ve all experienced the feeling of words “sticking” in our throats. We all expend a lot of life energy tiptoeing carefully through conversations, saying one thing and meaning another, trying not to offend or inflame, fearful of reaction. It’s exhausting to try to sanitize our feelings before they come out of our mouths. 

 

One of the things that has helped me free up my voice when it feels stuck, is simply to take a deep breath and release it on a sigh, with my hands over my heart. Since our voice literally is carried on our breath, the sigh can move the “stuck” throat energy. 

 

I read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz a number of years ago. The most impacting agreement to me was “be impeccable with your word” - not only the spoken word, but the unspoken words or thoughts we use against ourselves. If you trust that the heart’s intelligence will guide your words (and thoughts) and truly listen to it’s voice, it will empower you to connect with your divine self. 

 

From "The Voice of Women's Wisdom"

 

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