Science is catching up to what we already know. A scientifically controlled study conducted by German researchers at the University of Kassel has shown that, while the chest area of an average person only emits 20 photons of light per second, someone who meditates on their heart centre and sends love to others emits 100,000 photons per second. That is 5,000 times more than the average human!
Numerous studies have shown that when these photons are infused with loving and healing intentions, their frequency and vibration increase to the point where they can literally change matter, heal disease, and transform negative events. The Heart also loves, feels, thinks, remembers, and communicates with other Hearts. It stores information and continually pulses this information throughout the body with every beat. It is a magnetic and radiating vortex and the true source of human power.
Now more than ever, it is imperative to courageously act on what we know. Right now, we have been given a golden opportunity to choose the emotions we experience, the thoughts we think, and the steps we take to vision the world we have been dreaming of. We can do this by listening to and leading with the most powerful voice in the Universe: Our Hearts!
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Hearts and Minds
Have you ever been faced with a decision that seemed impossible to make? Maybe it was a question as to whether or not to go forward with a medical procedure that wasn’t aligned with your belief system; maybe it was whether to stay in a difficult relationship or end it; or maybe it was a question that, if answered the wrong way, could have heavy consequences either way? The one thing that links these questions together is that none of them have an absolute answer. For each situation there is no clear “right” or “wrong.” There is no rule book you can turn to that will tell you which answer is best to choose. To make matters worse, every friend you ask for help is likely to have a unique opinion as to which path is right for you. This means you end up with a collection of opinions that make the original question even more confusing!
There are different kinds of challenges in life that are best solved through different ways of thinking: some with the brain and some with the heart. While heart-based thinking may be less familiar in our fast world of technology and digital information, in a very real sense it is perhaps the most sophisticated technology we’ll ever know.
“If the 20th century has been the Century of the Brain
then the 21st century should be the Century of the Heart.”
— Gary E. R. Schwartz,
The Single Eye of the Heart
The single eye of the heart is the state of harmony we create during heart-brain coherence. This state of harmony accesses what is true for us in the moment of any given situation. Rather than thinking through a list of the pros and cons, or weighing out the probability that an experience of the past might repeat itself in the future, our heart intelligence knows instantly what’s true for us in the moment.
There is a teaching among some indigenous and ancient mystery traditions when it comes to the way we live our lives. Though the traditions are different from one another, they are bound together by a common thread of wisdom: In order for us to come full circle and embrace our personal power in life, we must first embark upon a journey of personal discovery. While the journey may lead us away from what has been familiar in the past, and may even take our entire lifetime to complete, the distance of our trip is a short one. It only covers about 45 cm.
The truth is: whether we’re tall or short, and regardless of the race or nationality, the average distance from the centre of our brain to the middle of our heart is the same: 45 cm. Do not allow this short distance to deceive you. Depending on the beliefs of your family, your community, your religion, and what has happened in your life experiences, it can take months, years, or an entire lifetime to learn how to make the shift from the logical thinking of the mind to the intuitive wisdom of the heart, and to know when it’s appropriate to do so.
“Anger, resentment and jealousy doesn’t change the heart of others– it only changes yours.”
The Bigger the Shift, the Greater the Transformation
The recent discovery of the “little brain” in the heart, and the benefits it affords us, tells us that to make this shift is certainly well worth the effort. It’s the journey that takes us out of the either-or polarity thinking of the brain, into the intuitive knowing of our heart. And while the ability to do so would be empowering for us at any time, it is especially so right now, in this lifetime of converging extremes.
We’ve all heard the adage that the only constant in life is change. We’ve also heard that change can be one of the most stressful experiences we face in life. It is precisely the stress of change that biologists say is the trigger for new ways of thinking and living—the evolutionary transformation that makes us better people, creates stronger families, more cohesive communities, and ultimately promises our survival as a species. The formula is clear: the bigger the shift, the greater the transformation.
We’re living the shift from creating our lives based upon the way our MIND sees the world to a new way of thinking and living, based on the way our HEART and mind sense the world. What’s important here is that whatever change life drops in your lap, it’s only a problem if you don’t know how to embrace it in a healthy way. As you learn to merge the senses of your heart and the logic of your brain into a single potent system, you empower yourself to beneficially manage all change in your life.
“Sometimes your heart is the only thing worth listening to.”
Exercise: How to Ask Your Heart a Question
Your heart’s intelligence is with you always. It’s constant. You can trust it. It’s important to acknowledge this because it means that the wisdom of your heart – the answers to the deepest and most mysterious questions of life that no one else can answer – already exist within you. Rather than something that needs to be built or created before it can be used, the link between your heart and the place that holds the answers is already established. It’s been with you since you were born and it has never left you. It’s up to you as to when you choose to access this link as a “hotline” to the deepest truths of your life. It’s also up to you as to how you apply the wisdom of your heart in the reality of your everyday life. The steps for accessing your heart’s intelligence are as follows:
Step 1: Focus Your Heart
Action: Allow your awareness to move from your mind to the area of your heart.
Result: This sends a signal to your heart that a shift has taken place – you are no longer engaged in the world around you and are now becoming aware of the world within you.
Step 2: Slow Your Breathing
Action: Begin to breathe a little more slowly than usual, allowing five to six seconds for your inhale and exhale.
Result: This simple step sends a second signal to your body that you are safe and in a place that supports your process. Deep, slow breathing has long been known to stimulate a relaxation response of the nervous system (the parasympathetic response).
Step 3: Feel a Rejuvenating Feeling
Action: To the best of your ability, feel a genuine sense of caring, appreciation, gratitude, or compassion for anything or anyone. (Think of your favourite thing)
Result: The key to success here is for your feeling to be as sincere and heartfelt as possible. It’s the quality of this feeling that fine-tunes and optimises the coherence between your heart and brain.
Step 4: Ask Your Heart Intelligence a Question
Action: The previous three steps create the harmony between your brain and your heart that enables you to tap into your heart’s wisdom. As you continue to breathe and hold the focus in your heart, this is the time to ask your question.
Result: Heart intelligence generally works best when the questions are brief and to the point. Remember, your heart doesn’t need the history of a situation before the question. Ask your question silently as a single concise sentence and then allow your heart’s wisdom to respond in a way that works for you.
Step 5: Listen with All Your Senses
Action: Become aware of how your body feels immediately as you are asking your question. Make a note of any sensations such as warmth, tingling, ringing in the ears, and emotions that may arise. Everyone learns and experiences uniquely. There is no correct or incorrect way of receiving your heart’s wisdom. The key here is to know what works best for you.
Result: For people who are already attuned to their bodies’ and their hearts’ intelligence, this step is the easiest part of the process. For those who have less experience in listening to their body, this is an exercise in awareness.
You might receive your heart’s wisdom as words, while at the same time feeling the sensations in your body. Some people never hear words but experience some other nonverbal communication, such as warmth radiating from their chest or tummy. Sometimes people feel a wave of peace wash over them as they receive the answer to their question. What’s important here is to listen to your body and to learn how it communicates with you. Everyone’s body communicates differently.
“The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel.”
Hand on Heart
Your heart’s wisdom will never lead you to make a bad choice. While you probably can’t change the situations that arrive at your doorstep, you can definitely change the way to feel and respond to those situations. The consistency and accuracy of heart-based solutions empower you to face any situation, and meet with any person or force, with a confidence that’s hard to find when you feel helpless, overwhelmed, powerless, and lost.
In this time of extremes, the resilience we develop as individuals becomes even more effective, powerful, and potent when it can be applied by our families, friends, and neighbours. When we share our healing insights, we find the answer to the question of what it takes to create a way of life that reflects the values we’ve discovered through our personal journey. The time is now… cultivate your power to THRIVE in life.
“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”
Self-awareness is often defined as conscious knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives and desires. It’s key to self-control, decision making, creativity, learning, growth and self-fulfilment. It creates value and helps you to influence others. It is a tool to proactively manage your beliefs, thoughts, emotions, decisions and behaviours. Great leaders are self-aware and practice self-awareness activities daily. Who doesn’t want more clarity, empowerment, motivation and positive energy flowing through their daily life?
Cultivating self-awareness requires an introspective approach, a system and a process to actively and consciously engage in the recognition of ourselves. This means focusing on all of our being — our beliefs (open or limiting), our physical state of health, our mental state of health, our spiritual state of health and more. It is an acceptance of all the good parts of ourselves and the areas that need improvement. It’s about who we are and what we do daily in each moment.
“At the centre of your being
you have the answer;
you know who you are
and you know what you want.”
It takes courage to look at yourself deeply and honestly assess your being. Pick five each day, and write out your answers.
- How do I spend the majority of my daily energy?
- Did I do my best today?
- Did I share value today?
- Did I let go of those things that do not afford value?
- What was my favourite moment of the day?
- What did I learn today?
- How did I serve others today?
- What am I grateful for today?
- Did I find good and celebrate it today?
- When am I at my highest and best self?
- How do I want to be perceived today?
- Do I believe every thought I think, or do I validate my thoughts before I act?
- How does being self-aware make me a better leader? A better parent? A better partner? A better person?
- What made me laugh today? What made me joyful today?
- Am I aware of my surroundings?
- Do I feel inspired by something?
- What do I need to stop doing?
- What do I need to start doing?
Most people begin the journey into conscious self-awareness when a major life event triggers the notion. Self-awareness is brought to light by this unique opportunity, and if we are open to acceptance and cognitively processing the information, we can experience excellence, abundance, achievement and contentment.
“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.”
Self-awareness can be learned and enhanced. It is a cognitive behavioural process that can be worked on through learning and unlearning repetitive patterns. Self-awareness requires one thing: 100% focus on self. It’s about you and you alone. It is the skill of being aware of our thoughts, emotions and values in the moment. It requires a separation from ego and a true assessment of the values that drive our best and highest selves.
This is not easy to do when we’re taking names and fighting fires, in the throes of everyday life and business. It can be difficult to juggle the responsibilities of our life roles: spouse, partner, parent, sibling, community leader, etc. The process of implementing daily self-awareness practices is humbling and requires focus, discipline, vulnerability and the courage to change. Self-awareness is key for effective leaders. It is in the authenticity and integrity that leadership excellence is extended naturally in daily communications and actions. Here are four simple steps to practice everyday self-awareness:
- Implement a daily mindfulness practice.
Set aside five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening. This is a general awareness of yourself, your environment, your systems, your processes and the people you engage with daily. In the morning, write down your observations and priorities. Revisit them, briefly, at the end of day to measure the value added, and write out a to-do and to-stop list that then can be reviewed the next morning.
- Take regular breaks.
Stop; breathe, and observe. Don’t ever feel guilty for taking a moment to refresh your mind, body and soul. Take in your environment, the people, the weather. Be present, and allow yourself to not be distracted.
- Pay attention.
Engage with others through active listening. Pay attention to your environment by being aware of what is really going on. Notice your breath, how your body feels and the sights and sounds around you.
- Stay curious.
Be open, and always question your assumptions. Assume positive intent. Research things you are not quite sure of or do not know, and ask relevant and purposeful questions (especially if you are coaching others to excellence). Let your calendar/technology work for you and remind you of important activities.
Self-mastery through self-awareness is one of the single most important commitments you can make to yourself that will afford you positive, lasting change and improve your leadership presence. It will lead you to truly and naturally live your values in your daily journey of excellence.
“It takes courage…to endure the sharp pains of self discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.”
Most of our communication is unconscious. Our conscious brains can only handle something like 40 bits of information a second, while our unconscious minds can handle 11 million bits of information per second. We’ve evolved to push much of our behaviour – including much of our communication – down to our unconscious minds because they can handle the chores so much more powerfully and rapidly.
What if you could learn to become aware of the important parts of this unconscious mental activity? What if you could control conversations, meetings, and all sorts of interactions among the people around you using conscious awareness of everyone’s unconscious minds, including your own? That’s next-level brain mastery. The first step to brain mastery is to take inventory of how you inhabit space, how you stand, how you sit, how you move, and how you interact with others. When you’re sitting alone, do you slouch or sit straight? When you stand, are you taking up all of your space, or do you shrink into corners? When you move, do you move confidently, or do you slink — or do you careen?
“You’ve always been what you are. That’s not new. What you’ll get used to is knowing it.”
Making the Unconscious Conscious
Your interactions with others – what do they look like? Do you come alive when other people are in the room with you, or do you go on the defensive? Try to catch yourself in unconscious behaviour. You need to know how you’re behaving when you think no one’s watching – especially you. And leave your internalised critical parent out of it – do not judge yourself. Choice and change can come later. For now, just be compassionate, notice what comes in and try to get a picture of how you inhabit space. Your body is the physical embodiment of your unconscious attitudes, intents and desires. Simply observe yourself and learn what those observations tell you about your attitudes, intents and desires. Again, be non-judgmental. Just notice what you do.
If you have a hard time catching yourself ‘unawares’, then think about setting up a video camera when you’re in a meeting or undertaking some routine chores. At first, you’ll be self-conscious, and your behaviour will be distorted from your usual modes of being, but after a while you’ll forget the camera is there. So be patient and use the video for what it can tell you about your habitual behaviour. As you watch, ask yourself, how am I showing up? Expressive or bottled up? Happy or sad? Active or passive? Strong or weak? And so on. Keep a daily diary of your physical presence and attitudes. The process might take a few weeks, depending on how easy or difficult it is for you. If you can take personal inventory in, even a moderately detached way, you can take the first step to understanding yourself as an active presence in the world – and decide what you want to do about it.
“You’ll never know who you are unless you shed who you pretend to be.”
Make no mistake. The future of this planet and our entire species depends on heart-based living. When you do not ‘follow your heart’ you are living a lie to your very existence. Without management, the mind tends to dictate our understanding, actions, reactions and decisions, based largely on old learned, handed down response patterns. In today’s fast pace collective awareness, it seems quite normal for our mind to override our heart’s advice.
It is normal – but it is the old normal, which is why our personal and global stress deficit is rapidly on the increase. Stress causes many people to habitually respond to pressured situations with intense anger, resentment and emotionally harmful remarks, while knowing in their hearts that this behaviour is destructive to themselves and their loved ones. This is just one example of the endless ways we over-stress and age ourselves from not using our heart’s free wisdom for navigating our lives.
“It is not until you change your identity to match your life blueprint that you will understand why everything in the past never worked.”
A Closer Look at Following Your Heart
Increasingly, people are taking a closer look at what the term “follow your heart” means. More are practicing heart-based living, which means we are including our hearts’ intuitive feeling, (along with our minds) when making choices and decisions that shape our life’s direction and happiness. Following your heart is learning to discern the wisdom of your heart feelings and then stepping into it. Heart-based living includes practicing the qualities of the heart, such as love, compassion, kindness, patience, forgiveness, cooperation and more of these similar qualities.
Being heart-based does not require religion or even belonging to any particular spiritual path. It is an intelligent way of living that will reduce most of the stress, separation and greed which drives the majority of our current problems, and keeps us from getting along with each other. Heart-based living refers to all intentions and actions that express qualities of the heart in daily life. These heart qualities can include acts of appreciating or caring for others, expressing kindness and compassion or giving back by volunteering with others to relieve suffering in humans or animals, and to help our planet. These behavioural practices unfold the higher potentials of our true self.
Becoming our true self involves the fading of self-centredness, judgment and separation. Through the practice of compassion, kindness and cooperation, while learning to increase the coherence between our heart, mind and emotions, we can expand this out into our day-to-day energy expenditure. This brings about the elusive ‘peace’ humanity has been searching for eons for. Heart-based living empowers us to co-create with others for the benefit of all. In these robust and shifting times, increased stress will finally nudge more people into living from the heart, not because of religion or philosophy, but because it will prove to be highly practical, common sense which results in pure possibly.
“If theatre is ritual, then dance is too. It’s as if the threads connecting us to the rest of the world
were washed clean of preconceptions and fears. When you dance,
you can enjoy the luxury of being you.”