Worried about yourself, your loved ones, the world … ?
I’ve recently learned something that is so profound, I feel the need to take a break from sharing my own story to tell you about it. (In fact, since making this decision, world events have made it even more critical ….)
Why? Because it’s research that gives each of us the potential to change ourselves … our loved ones … and the world … in amazing and lasting ways.
And the key to making this change happen? Super simple!
Sounds intriguing … what’s this all about?
I was first exposed to this information in an online summit earlier last year called Science of Healing, followed up by a webinar in December, both put on by the Shift Network.
The presentations I saw were given by the Director of Research for the HeartMath® Institute, Rollin McCraty PhD. … conveying information that was not only mindblowing, but truly cause for optimism. And isn’t that something we all could use!
First, what is the HeartMath® Institute (HMI)?
Founded 30 years ago, HMI is a non-profit research and education organization, established to pursue the vision of its founder:
“Doc Childre believes the intelligence of the human heart is a powerful force that can lead humanity away from the destructive cycles of stress and discord toward a future of lasting peace and harmony.”
Away from stress and discord? Toward lasting peace and harmony??
Wow, where do I sign up!
It’s quite a statement, but what’s noteworthy is the organization has carried out a lot of research that validates this assertion … that the heart inside each of us … has intelligence and is a powerful force for peace and harmony.
And HMI is not using the research just to publish papers and articles. No, they’re acting on it … working with people and organizations across the world … schools, police, military, and others to … “build intuitive insight, heart intelligence, emotional balance, health and performance.”
How encouraging is that?? There’s actually an organization working with the military and police to build intuitive insight and heart intelligence!
So, what have they found … and what does it have to do with me?
Rollin McCraty described the recent results of their research in this arena as jaw-dropping … discoveries that allow each of us to improve the health and well-being of ourselves, our loved ones (both near and far) … and potentially even the planet.
And the best part? It’s simple to do!
(I’m summarizing the key points I picked up from his presentations … if you’re interested in the details and methodology of the research, check it out on their website.)
What does it boil down to? Well, in a nutshell, it’s all about the rhythms of our heart and achieving coherence within our own body.
What do you mean … “coherence”?
Coherence means order, harmony and stability across different systems and processes … wherever they may be … in our body, our lives, the world. (For a deep dive into HMI’s explanation of coherence, click here.)
But what’s important to know is:
With coherence … things flow easily, efficiently, and require less energy.
Without coherence … things are chaotic, complex, stressed, and take more work and energy to do.
So, which do you want in your life? Duh.
Okay, so how do I get me some of this “coherence” … ?
We get it through our heart ….
You see, it’s synchronization that counts. To perform at our best, the different systems in our body have to be synchronized (the neural systems, immune system, hormonal system, etc.).
And what’s been discovered is that the heart is the “great integrator.”
Shift the heart into a coherent state, and like plucking a tuning fork, it will bring all other parts of our body into synchronization … or “coherence.”
And just how does the heart “shift into a coherent state”?
It’s all about emotions.
Really? No drugs, exercises, or you know, surgery … ?
Nope, just emotions. And it’s dead simple …
Positive emotions … love, appreciation, gratitude, kindness, compassion … bring the heart into coherence.
Negative emotions … frustration, impatience, judgment, blame, anger … take the heart out of coherence.
And when we’re in coherence, “magic” happens … and not just for ourselves! But more on that to come!
So, feeling positive emotions results in coherence, which promotes optimal performance … things flowing easily, efficiently, requiring little energy. Life and body simply flowing.
Feeling negative emotions results in stress, chaos, complexity. Things being difficult, stuck.
Yeah, sure I want this “coherence” stuff, but what you’re asking is not easy! Feel good? Really?? Take a look around … it’s a lot easier to feel crappy. So, seriously …
How important is this emotion stuff really?
Indeed, what is the impact of hanging onto negative emotions? Here’s just one example McCraty shared which I thought was stunning …
Did you know, according to HMI research, getting frustrated for just a few minutes … not even five minutes … suppresses the first line of defense in the immune system … for up to six hours?
Sit in traffic and rail against the situation for five minutes, and we’ve just dealt a blow to our immune system that will last a chunk of the day!
Now, think about how many minutes we actually spend muttering under (or over!) our breath ….
McCraty went on to say that any emotion kicks off at least fifteen hundred biochemical changes in the body. Whew!
If we sustain a negative emotion on a regular basis, it can actually cause major health problems.
In fact, he said, it can literally shorten our life.
So, yeah, embracing negativity? It’s not good ….
But … but … I can’t control my emotions!
I get we’ve been taught this is how it is, that we can’t control our emotions. But the truth is … there’s actually no physical reason this is the case.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist … which means an expert in the workings of our nervous system … declares in her book “My Stroke of Insight,” that the body requires only ninety seconds to physically process an emotion.
Ninety seconds. One-and-a-half minutes. That’s all the body needs to do its physical thing with an emotion, before it hands control back over to … well, us.
After that, it’s our choice as to whether or not we hold onto the emotion.
I understand this may be a new … and possibly disturbing … revelation for some.
I mean, we all have challenging emotions we have trouble releasing … it’s part of being human.
And there are lots of complex reasons why we hold onto them. After all, how often have we heard it’s important “to sit with our emotions and to feel them fully.”
Don’t get me wrong … in no way am I suggesting this is, or is not, a good thing to do. I am NOT a professional therapist.
I’m just pointing out that maybe it’s important to reflect on this, to consider releasing the “bad” stuff more quickly … you know, because of its impact. (5 minutes frustration … 6-hour impact on the immune system)
So, feel the emotion, absolutely, but perhaps then … let it go.
Are you saying I have to stay positive … like, ALL the time?
Naw, we’ll never reach a state of positivity 100% of the time. To be honest, I’m not sure we’re meant to.
Allow me to briefly deviate from science for a moment and introduce a bit of wisdom about this point from a higher source on the “Other Side” … Abraham (introduced in a previous post).
I recently came across a quote from Abraham, courtesy of Abraham-Hicks Publications, addressing this exact question:
“The things that we would be asking ourselves is, ‘What proportion of my day am I in vibrational harmony with my desires, which means, how much of my day am I happy, glad, eager, fulfilled, satisfied, complimentary? And what percentage of my day am I ornery, irritated, frustrated, or blaming?’ And you don’t have to do 100%, you don’t have to do 90%, you don’t have to do 80%. If you could even get around 55% feeling better, than not feeling so good — you’d have significant movement in what begins to happen in your experience.”Abraham, San Diego, Aug 11, 2001
Regardless of the percentage that works for you, the bottom line to remember is …
- Positive emotions bring the heart into coherence … which leads to health and flow.
- Negative emotions move the heart into incoherence … which can lead to chaos, illness, even a shorter life.
So, it’s all about the heart … the “great integrator” … the part of us that brings everything into alignment to create health and flow. (Or not … you know, if we spend our time railing against the world or whatever.)
Wait a minute! Doesn’t the heart just pump blood … ?
No, according to HMI, apparently not.
McCraty explained that recent research has revealed that the heart has its own brain … yeah, seriously. It’s called the “heart-brain” … containing the same sort of cells that the brain in our head does.
We’ve known forever the brain issues instructions to all parts of the body, but what is new is … the heart acts independently of the brain and issues meaningful instructions to the brain … and the brain obeys.
It’s been discovered, in fact, that the heart sends more instructions to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. Who knew??
Interesting physiology lesson, but why do I care?
Because these messages from the heart can affect our …
Perceptions. Behaviour. Performance. Attention level. Motivation. Sensitivity to our surroundings. Emotional processing.
Yes, the heart does more than just keep the blood pumping. It plays a key role in our overall health and well-being.
And the more we can shift the heart into coherence, the more it can synchronize the systems across our body, bringing all into harmony … leading to better results.
So, just how do I do that … shift my heart into coherence?
Well, it’s about filling yourself with positivity, peace and calm … sometimes easier said than done, so HMI has developed multiple tools and techniques for helping to do this. But, McCraty said the most powerful thing we can do is to …
Radiate LOVE. Literally.
Their research has shown that when we fill ourselves with love, our heart rhythm falls into coherence.
You see, all emotions are physical vibrations. And these vibrations run all throughout our body … and also outside our body, throughout a personal energy field that surrounds us.
And they’ve learned the vibration of LOVE is special.
When we radiate this particular emotion, there is a measurable increase in photons (particles of light that carry information) into our energy field.
Information that promotes coherence … harmonizing our energy field.
So, whenever we generate feelings of love, in any of its forms … appreciation, compassion, kindness, gratitude … we’re sending out waves of information that bring things into harmony. And our body responds.
Hmm, love creates harmony … kind of makes sense when you think about it, doesn’t it?
Stay tuned … because there’s more to come
What we’ve covered so far is just the tantalizing tip of the iceberg. There’s more to come in Part 2 as we continue to explore the extraordinary … and super encouraging … scientific discoveries by HMI.
(Sneak Preview: Filling yourself with feelings of appreciation, compassion, kindness, gratitude, will help not only you, but will have a spin-off effect that travels much (much) farther afield.)