In my study of the Body Code, I've been introduced to the reality that our heart is actually a second brain in our body. Our hearts are filled with the same brain tissue that the brain has! Go to http://madurasinghe.blogspot.com/2008/06/neurocardiology-brain-in-heart.html if you want to know a little more about this. The magnetic fields of the heart and the brain are holographic fields that can be measured. Neuro cardiologists have done fascinating experiments that show that the heart puts out 60 -1000 times more energy than the brain puts out. They also found that when you are giving love to someone you are using your heart brain and that energy can be measured in another person.
This is all very fascinating. Why am I writing about this? Because the last few days I've been thinking a lot about using my heart brain more. The heart is the source of our gut instincts, and as a life coach I'm always talking to people about following their heart. As I think about it, I can find countless examples in my own life where I followed my heart and was met with resistance every step of the way! Have you ever heard any of the following comments directed toward you? You need to think things through more before you act. You're too emotional. Why are you doing that? What's your 10 year plan? You haven't really thought that through...
Yes it is important to have goals. It's important to think things through. It's an art to have powerful thoughts and intentions about your life and to know when the opportunities to make them happen present themselves. It takes knowing yourself and your dreams and goals very clearly in order to respond to that moment when opportunity knocks. Only you will know that it's an opportunity, because you know yourself and your deepest desires and dreams. Others may see it as crazy or irrational. But it makes all too much sense to you so you listen to your gut and go for it! This is how the heart works in our lives.
One reason we may not understand the heart brain very well is because it is so involved in feelings and we build walls around our heart once we get hurt. We stop using it, or paying attention to it because it may have gotten us into crazy situations one too many time. In her book Close to the Bone, Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen talks about the short Greek myth about Procrustes and his bed. The story goes that when "traveling to Athens, you had to pass Procrustes and his bed. Procrustes would place you on his bed and see if you fit. Any part of you that did not fit, he cut off: whack! If you were too short for his bed, he would stretch you as if on a medival rack, until you did fit." While Dr. Bolen uses this myth to symbolize how we succumb to others' expectations on our road to success, I see it as also being symbolic of how we cut off our heart from relationships as we encounter hurtful experiences in love. We all want to be loved and love others. As we experience our disappointments in love from childhood on, we begin to stop using our heart and use our brain to maneuver ourselves through life and its myriad of relationships. We are like mice that once they are shocked by an electrical grid, they never will step foot on that grid again, lest they get shocked.
Rather than risk getting hurt, we follow our brain's logical guidance throughout our lives and that steers us in a logical way to an accepted, safe goal. We cut off the parts of us that would hold us back in any way from that goal. What happens when we reach that goal? Suddenly we feel empty and we don't feel whole, because we've gotten rid of so much of who we really are. We ask ourselves if this is really what it's all about? We experience a mid-life crisis and what do we do? We decide that we are going to try listening to our heart! As a life coach, I encourage (notice that the word encourage comes from the latin word "cour" which means "of the heart") people to follow their gut, follow their heart.
I've been good my whole life at listening to my heart when it comes to the big things in my life. I've jumped off many of cliffs! Now I'm working on my daily habits and asking myself whether the small choices I make reflect my deepest heart. I've had a lot of my limbs cut off in my life, only to find that I then needed to be stretched! I'm looking inward and listening to my own heartbeat and moving in the direction my heart leads. When I come to the daily forks in the road, where I am faced with the decision of going to the left or the right, I am now choosing to go straight ahead. I'm taking my own path and seeing where it leads me! I am taking the path of my heart!