Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D
Some of us think with our heart and others with their head. Psychologically speaking, the former is called "cognitive intelligence" and the latter, "emotional intelligence." You will later see t he reasons why I prefer to call it "heart intelligence."
Unfortunately, those who listen to the "head" far outnumber those who listen to their heart. Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone listened more with the heart? Peace would break out in every nook and corner of the globe. Warring factions would shun hostilities. People would develop true understanding, appreciation and tolerance of those different from them. Compassion, peace and collaboration would be the ruling emotions in political decisions.
As you read this article, are you thinking with your head or your heart? Can you always tell the difference between the two? Take for example, you reading this article. If you are thinking with your head, you might be saying, "Dream on, Dr. Sharma! Has anyone introduced you to the reality lately?" If you are thinking with your heart, you might be saying, "How can I bring greater compassion, love and peace into my life? I want my speech, thoughts, and actions to be guided by such emotions at all times."
Without learning the difference between the two, you can't turn on heart intelligence at will, and head intelligence alone may lead you to take heartless decisions that may bring unhappiness to you and others.
Neuropeptides from the heart region can communicate directly with the brain. Heart produces hormones that stimulate the brain activity. The electrical energy of the heart is forty times stronger than that of the brain. This energy surrounds the physical heart and radiates far and wide.
Research sponsored by the HeartMath Institute suggests that this energy field is also a source of higher intelligence, often referred to as "intuition, " "inner voice," or that "gut feeling." You may have sometime heard an inner voice, see a vivid dream or something inside you told you what to do. That is the work of heart intelligence.
Heart intelligence is communal. It is powered by that love which unites people. Head intelligence is individual. It is powered by the self-interests, which divides people.
Here are the core feelings of the heart as identified by Drs. Childre and Sara Paddison in HeartMath Discovery Program: love; care; compassion; tolerance; patience; forgiveness; appreciation and kindness. Childre and Paddison call them, "core heart frequencies." You can call them, "heart throbs" if you like.
Just as you can receive radio signals at specific frequencies, so can you receive intuitive messages by tuning into heart frequencies.
When feelings and actions are characteristically governed by heart, intuition, personal satisfaction and immune function are greatly enhanced.
Observe yourself from time to time to check whether you are calm or tense. When feeling tense, deliberately activate the core heart frequencies. Think about and feel such emotions as love, compassion and kindness.
Think of people you love. Recall acts of compassion and kindness you have extended to someone. Perhaps, you remember how someone acted towards you with compassion. Recall the times when you handled a difficult situation with great deal of patience. Perhaps, for example, you forgave someone who hurt you.
To further boost the core heart frequencies breathe in and out from the base of the physical heart, the area where the diaphragm meets the breastbone. These exercises can neutralize stressful feelings.
HeartMath Institute's research shows that feelings of love, compassion and appreciation produce a measurable, qualitative change in the heart's electrical field and improve our sense of physical, mental and emotional well-being.
Having a difficult time deciding what to do about matter X? Listen to the heart. Relax the mind. Focus on the area of heart. Breathe from the area around the breastbone. Listen to the little voice inside. Provided you have learned to activate the heart intelligence, you will experience clarity regarding what to do and it would feel right. When it feels right and you experience a solid and balanced sense of well-being, you know you have tapped into that superior intelligence.
What head intelligence does for us is absolutely necessary. The function of the head is to analyze, synthesize, categorize, evaluate and compare millions of information bits. Such functions are important for our survival and evolution. The problem occurs when we discard the heart intelligence.
The very best outcomes can be attained for the good of the self and others when heart and head work together.
The head can create a most ingenious and powerful device without any concern for its destructive potential. The sense of responsibility and desire to help others with that device would come from the heart.
In characterizing the thrust of this article, let me paraphrase Robert Browning's line, "Where the brain lies, let the heart lie also."
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Copyright 2003, Mind Publications
Posted November 2003