Last updated on January 2, 2021
Heart Over Brain
I write a lot about The American Dream and how detrimental it is to the individual.
If you’re not familiar, the checklist is here and includes everything from going to college and buying your first home — to having kids and retiring at age 65.
The American Dream is a horizontal life path. Progress on this path can be observed by others. For example, Sam is a 40-year old branch manager who owns a home and has a wife and two kids. Sam is doing well on life’s horizontal path.
The quality of life isn’t measured by how many kids you have or your job title. To measure the quality of life, we must look to life’s vertical path. Progress on this path cannot be seen by others and is completely private.
So how are you doing on life’s vertical path?
The Longest Journey You’ll Ever Take
The distance between the heart and the brain is only about 15 inches, but it’s the longest journey you’ll ever take. In fact, the quality of life is measured by the relationship you have between your heart and brain.
(But again, no one knows the extent of this relationship but you.)
As you know, the human brain is the most advanced machine known to man. We idolize its computing capabilities, storage units, imagination, and capacity to interpret the world around us. But did you know the brain was once considered nothing more than “cranial stuffing”?
Early humans were anatomically identical to us but didn’t respect the brain as much as they did the heart. The Greek philosopher Aristotle identified the heart as the most important organ of the body and considered it to be the center of intelligence, motion, and sensation. Likewise, ancient Chinese writings like Huainanzi and Guanzi refer to the heart as “the ruler of the five organ networks” and “the emperor of the human body.”
What was it about the heart that captivated ancient civilizations?
Related Reading: The Reason You Are Fat
Science tells us that the heart sends more messages to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. Have you ever been in a crisis and watched your body respond in a way that your brain didn’t instruct? For example, a mom might shield her child from an explosion without giving it a single thought.
That phenomenon is called Heart Coherence.
An organization called HeartMath is dedicated to studying the heart’s intelligence and defines heart coherence as when the heart, mind and emotions are aligned. You may call this spiritual awakening, or spiritual healing — but the idea is that humans are our most authentic when we honor our heart and feel life instead of think about it.
The mom shielding her child experienced a brief moment of heart coherence, but can humans live in heart coherence all the time?
The answer seems to be yes. And thanks to spiritual leaders today such as Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, and Paulo Coelho, people around the world are re-learning how to align their heart, mind and emotions.
Human anatomy hasn’t changed. The heart is indeed the most intelligent organ in the body. The trick is understand what it is saying.
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How to Listen to Your Heart
When I was 26, I rented an apartment in New York City that I couldn’t afford. After a couple months, I understood the motives behind my decision. I was embarrassed by these motives and moved out when the lease was over. This experience, along with others around that time, taught me to be ruthlessly honest with myself so that I could be a conscious person.
I tell you this story because millions of Americans are living anxious and depressing lives and don’t know why. They go to psychologists and psychiatrists but the doctors can’t help them because the patient doesn’t have a mental issue….they have a heart issue.
Just as I had to peel back the curtain of my subconscious to stand in my truth, some people have to adjust their heart rhythms in order to hear what it is saying.
This diagram from HeartMath shows what neural messages look like from the heart to the brain under different emotional states:
As you can see, the first chart shows that when a person is feeling anxiety or anger, the neural messages their heart sends to the brain become erratic. When neural messages are erratic, the brain cannot interpret its messages. This is how HeartMath describes it:
For the brain and nervous system to function optimally, the neural activity, which encodes and distributes information, must be stable and function in a balanced manner. The brain must be able to synchronize the activity so that information can be processed and perceived.
In other words, if you are having trouble hearing your heart, you may need to control the neural activity that flows from the heart to the brain. Here are a couple ways to do that:
Self-awareness is being ruthlessly aware of your conscious, subconscious and unconscious thoughts (judgements, expectations, motives, etc.). I have my own anecdotal evidence that shining a light on the shadows in the brain helps rewire the brain to better interpret messages from the heart. See: 13 Ways to Train Your Subconscious Mind
Strengthen Emotional Memory Muscle
The “Quick Coherence” technique says to recall a memory in which you felt love, appreciation and care. As you do this, remember the feeling in your heart and try to feel those same feelings. Maintain the feeling for as long as possible. When you start to fall out of it, go about your day but try to “re-feel” the emotion as often as possible. Over time, this exercise strengthens your emotional memory muscle so you can self-regulate negative emotions and prevent the heart’s neural activity from becoming erratic.
Bird’s Eye View
I remember being a kid and not allowed to leave the kitchen table until I ate my green beans. My entire body filled with rage. Then, I suddenly had a vision of the top of our house, and then our neighborhood, and the perspective kept zooming out. I saw myself sitting at the table and felt silly. I quickly ate the green beans and ran outside to play. Without knowing it, I had used a HeartMath technique called Cut-Thru. The idea is to dissociate yourself from a negative feeling so that the heart doesn’t alter the pattern of its neural messages.
Finding inner peace, fulfillment and flow requires solid communication between the heart and brain. As you can see, opening these lines of communication requires work and may take time. But in a world where millions of us are living unconsciously — doing the work is worth it.
Related Reading: How to Connect with Spirit Guides
Change Your Frequency, Change Your Reality
If you already know how to self-regulate emotions and dissociate yourself from negative ones, it may be time to examine your reality.
Modern society tells us how to live our life instead of empowering us to live authentic lives that are in alignment with our hearts. The outcome is a collective reality that restricts us from breaking through to our truth.
For example, the head of Google X, Mo Gawdat, lost his son in a tragic accident. Although he was in excruciating pain, he knew that pain — like all emotions — is an energetic frequency that can be converted. He explains the profound difference between pain and suffering. Mo could have hid in his house for the rest of his life, but he chose to perceive his pain as a neither positive nor negative. The takeaway is that human emotions are energetic frequencies. To label them as good or bad is the outcome of a collective reality, and not necessarily true.
Likewise, I have a friend who feels unfulfilled. He has a great job, makes great money, has traveled all over the world, in a loving relationship — but it’s not enough. Someone sold him something called “success” when he was younger. The problem is they didn’t tell him what it looked like, felt like and he can’t describe it….but he won’t be happy until he has it. Huh? Until he releases unconscious preconceptions and expectations, he’ll never be able to hear his heart.
Listen to Your Heart for the Sake of Others
Every microorganism, plant, virus, insect and animal on Earth is comprised of the exact same molecules. Molecules require energy to stay in motion, and energy is everywhere. In other words, everything is connected.
I mention this to explain how a person with a negative energy (even if unconsciously) can negatively impact living things in his or her presence. In the book, Power vs Force, Dr. David Hawkins details the progression from negative energy fields to positive ones. He proved that someone with an energy frequency of 500 (love) positively increases the energy frequency of someone on a lower frequency, just by being in their presence.
There are mountains of evidence dating back centuries that explain how this works in scientific terms. But we don’t really need the science. We’ve all met someone who simply “turns us off.” There’s something in their energy that doesn’t make you feel good. This intuitive intelligence can only be found in the heart.
- Human emotions are affected by solar and geomagnetic fields
- The Earth’s magnetic fields are what energetically connect all living systems
- Every person affects the global information field
- Collective human consciousness affects the global information field
- Therefore, humans living at high energetic frequencies help offset planetary discord and incoherence
Our thoughts and emotions (conscious or subconscious) interact with and encode information into Earth’s geomagnetic field and this information is distributed globally. There is a feedback loop between human beings and the earth’s energetic/magnetic systems. Roger Nelson from The Global Consciousness Project talks more about this here:
Related Reading: Tired of Adulting? You’re Doing it Wrong.
Heart Over Brain: Conclusion
In conclusion, no human being on Earth has any more information than you do. The only source of intelligence that can truly be trusted is your own heart. It sounds hokey, but ancient civilizations, Chinese scholars and Greek philosophers didn’t come to that conclusion from reading about it. And neither should you.
Every human was born to align with their soul and express its desires. When we don’t, we feel unfulfilled and our unconscious energy fields negatively impact everything around us.
I write this in 2020 when things are… let’s just say interesting. The spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson threw her hat into the 2020 Democratic presidential race earlier this year and was vocal about the power and energy of love and how it’s time for Americans to rise up.
People laughed at her but she certainly got their attention. Marianne stood in her truth to bring together the spiritual and political worlds we try to pretend are separate.
I believe Marianne was a bit optimistic. People are still mostly unconscious and don’t care that politics is a distraction to keep other unconscious people in power as they amass wealth and look for meaning.
But in the next 5-10 years, the tide will turn. The constant fighting and push for control is keeping us as an energy frequency that is not sustainable. The collective human heart will eventually unite on the frequency of love and demand the brain be in service to our hearts so that humanity may rise to our next level of evolution.