Resham teaches us how to develop our heart intelligence. But what exactly is it?
The heart has naturally always been popularly associated romance, passion, and of course heartache. Whether you are discussing literature, singing, and writing love lyrics, or reading up on your favourite romance novel, hearts always draw attention from everybody, especially now as it is the month of St Valentine. Everywhere you look and listen, people from all religions and cultures speak about the heart as if it were the true centre of wisdom. And I’m certain at some point you have heard: ‘follow your heart’, ‘connect to your heart’ or ‘speak from the heart’.
At the Institute of HeartMath (IHM), scientists have found that the heart is capable of giving us messages and helping us far more than anyone ever suspected. ‘Heart intelligence’ can have a measurable impact on decision-making, health, productivity at work, children’s learning ability, bonding with your family, and the overall quality of our lives. Studies in the field of neurocardiology are beginning to explain the intimate connection between the heart and the brain and the critical role the organ plays to our sense of self, emotions and intuition. It sends us emotional and intuitive signals to help govern our lives instead of just simply pumping blood, which directs and aligns many systems in the body so that they can function in harmony with one another. The heart is an information processing centre that can learn, remember, and act independently of the cranial brain, and actually connect and send signals to key brain areas such as the amygdala, thalamus, and hypothalamus, which regulate our perceptions and emotions. And although it is in constant communication with the brain, we now know that the heart makes many of its own decisions – meaning the heart is not weak or overly sentimental: it is intelligent and powerful.
However, the second ‘brain’ in our chest is not a new concept; Greek philosopher Aristotle already knew. He theorised that the heart’s location allowed it to communicate with, and control other organs and, therefore, was most suited to being the seat of the soul. Surprisingly, after thousands of years, Aristotle may not have been completely wrong in his belief that the heart is an organ of intelligence as many of his peers, such as Plato, argued against Aristotle´s beliefs and dismissed them. While it most certainly is true that the brain is the major relay centre for cognitive function, it seems that the heart is not just a muscle pump, as many believe it to be. Students of the philosopher believed and taught cardiocentric model, which stated the heart was the true centre of human intelligence and not the brain.
Dr. Andrew Armour, a Canadian neurocardiologist, discovered some fascinating facts about the heart’s nervous system. For example, while the heart can be influenced by messages sent from the brain, it doesn’t necessarily obey it all the time. Furthermore, the heart’s ‘mini-brain’ can send its own signals to the brain and exercise its influence on it. To give one illustration: oxytocin, which is typically referred to as the “love hormone”, has been shown to be released not only from the brain, but also from the heart. Oxytocin is not only important for love and bonding, especially for pregnant and lactating mothers, but it also has roles in social behaviour, wound healing, learning, memory, and empathy. In short, it’s one hormone that affects a very wide variety of important functions.
What science is doing is validating what our spiritual traditions have been telling us for thousands of years: that the heart stands at the centre of an intelligence system that gives us access to the soul’s wisdom. Thanks to this new evidence, we are now rethinking our entire attitude toward ‘following our hearts’. When the concept of Heart Intelligence is fully embodied and integrated, it gives you the ability to be present in the now, connected and heart-directed in every area of your life so that you can experience greater levels of performance, creativity and intuition.
Only the size of a fist, the heart has been central to human existence and a powerful symbol. The Egyptians were cardiocentrists who treated the heart with great honour during their embalming rituals because they believed it was the seat of intelligence, emotion and sensation. Other ancient cultures such as the Mesopotamians believed the primary organ ruled over decision making, emotions, and morality.
By activating your heart’s intelligence, you will gain the skills and tools to:
- Prevent emotional upsets and increase positive feelings so that you can make empowering and life-affirming choices for yourself.
- Loosen the hold of stress, worry, and anxiety by actively choosing joy, compassion, appreciation, and love instead.
- Improve your mental focus and clarity regardless of what is happening around you.
- Build an inner reserve of energy that helps you to thrive in these complex and chaotic times.
- Activate your heart’s intelligence to bring your work and life into greater alignment with your deeper life purpose.
- Create more authentic, intimate and harmonious relationships.
- Achieve your goals more quickly and easily.
The rhythmic beating pattern of the heart changes according to the emotions we experience. Negative emotions like fear, envy and anger create an incoherent and disordered pattern in the heart’s vibrational rhythm. On the other side, positive emotions like love, gratitude, appreciation, happiness create a coherent rhythm. When you access your heart’s intelligence and wisdom, you can feel even more confident in trusting your intuition. If you feel something is wrong or you get a bad feeling about someone around you it is your heart’s intution trying to protect you and warn you of the potential threats and dangers surrounding you. Trust the feelings and experiences you have inside your heart centre, and allow yourself to fully feel and connect with whatever it is that arises within it.
BY RESHAM KHIANI