My good friend and colleague, Zelda Hall has discovered a new passion and one that fits her perfectly, astrologically speaking. She’s a Leo, the sign that rules the heart. The Leo time of year is a time to look at your heart. Are you following it? Is it happy? Can you help it? Zelda’s latest interest is Heartmath, a new science with tools for measuring heart rhythms and much more. I’ll let her describe it here…
“If we lack emotional intelligence, whenever stress rises the human brain switches to autopilot and has an inherent tendency to do more of the same only harder. Which, more often than not, is precisely the wrong approach in today’s world.” Robert K. Cooper PhD, author.
Rudolf Steiner predicted that the greatest discovery of the late twentieth century science would be that the heart is not merely a pump, but also a major source of intelligence. He thought that our greatest challenge would be to allow the heart to teach us a new way to think which, it seems, would open us to higher worlds.
Now we are in the twenty-first century, and Heartmath researchers have discovered that the heart indeed has its own intelligence, and even its own memory. The Institute of Heartmath has developed an apparatus for recording brain-heart feedback. They have discovered that when the frequencies of the brain and the heart are synchronous, this results in efficient and harmonious functioning of the cardiovascular, nervous, hormonal and immune systems. And therefore in greater physical and emotional health.
A number of years ago at a conference, I saw a presentation on the use of Heartmath. The demonstrator hooked a volunteer up to a laptop with a finger sensor and we could all see the spectral wave rhythm of her heart on a large screen. He then proceeded to ask her to count backwards from 393 in sevens.
Her heart rate immediately became very erratic. Obviously a stressful idea! Then he asked her to breathe into the area of her heart and imagine a soft breeze flowing around it. After a few moments the waves became much more even. Her heart and brain were in entrainment, which occurs when the rhythms of the heart and brain are synchronous. In this state we are able to access the intelligence of the heart. In a state of coherence, as it is called, there is increased blood flow to the forebrain which is involved with advanced evolutionary abilities, intellect, imagination and creativity.
Are you coherent?
Unfortunately many of us spend a great deal of our time in a state of incoherence! And in situations of stress we tend to revert to operating from our hind brain which is associated with reactive and instinctual survival and defence patterns. The fight or flight reaction. While the capacities of the hind brain are quite useful if one is being pursued by a large wild animal, like a lion, (Zelda being a Leo should know – Faye) they are less useful in the board room or on the work floor. Studies have shown that stress shows up in the body long before the mind is aware of it. By the time the mind has caught up, decisions have been made and actions taken from a position of minimal access to the brain’s higher functions. We do more of the same … only harder. This does, of course, not lead to the best we are capable of.
I remember when…
As for the heart having a memory, one of the funniest stories I came across was that cited by Bruce Lipton in his book The Biology of Belief of the case of a health conscious New Englander who was astonished when she developed a taste for beer and chicken nuggets after her heart and lung transplant. When she talked to the donor’s family, it turned out she had the heart of an 18 year-old motorcycle enthusiast who loved chicken nuggets and beer.
Your magnetic personality
The heart has the strongest magnetic field in the body and strong coherence has been shown to affect cells in a Petri dish. Therefore it has a direct influence on our environment. Not only that, but we affect others around us.
Down to business
In order to succeed in an ethical manner in the world of business, qualities such as creativity, open-mindedness and the ability to use empathy in negotiations are vital. These qualities could be considered part of what Daniel Goleman refers to in his book, ‘Emotional Intelligence’, as EQ. I think of them as what happens when the heart-brain is functioning as it should.
We can learn to be more at peace with ourselves and to handle stressful situations without losing our equilibrium. Using the biofeedback techniques of Heartmath is one way. However we do it, it is high time we learned to live in a more heartful way.
Founder of Lumen
Zelda is talking at an individual level, how we can affect our world as individuals. This fits in with the goal of many people involved in global coherence projects. One of my heroines in this area is Barbara Marx-Hubbard – see website tips below. Barbara will be 80 this year and is a shining example of why people shouldn’t retire in their sixties! Her idea is that governments and big organisations are too big to be able to change top-down. She is an advocate of grass-roots change. As we all change and become more awakened, that creates a kind of resonance with others and eventually large changes happen. Small companies can achieve this too and as more of them become more coherent, the more they will resonate with other ethical and alive companies. It’s a hierarchy that can also be affected bottom-up.
For too long we have all been head driven – especially in companies – we even have titles that reflect this: head of sales, head butler etc. Company decisions are supposedly logical, and so it is very difficult to follow our hearts (our astrological Sun sign!). But what if we had a meeting of hearts and minds in companies? And what about globally?
As Barbara Marx says – we could do anything!
Interesting Websites of the Month
“I believe that every human has a finite number of heart-beats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.” Buzz Aldrin.
“The shift from incoherence to coherence can bring dramatic effects: a 60-watt light bulb whose light waves could be made coherent as a laser, would have the power to bore a hole through the sun—from 90 million miles away.” William A. Tiller – from ‘Science and Human Transformation: Subtle Energies, Intentionality and Consciousness’