It’s the week of Valentine’s Day and everyone is talking about love and the heart. Stylized hearts in reds and pinks abound as businesses encourage us to purchase in honor of love. News stories tell of love, gained or lost, enduring or fleeting. I am no different; I want to speak of the heart today as well.
The heart is the primary oscillator in the body; its rhythms bring every other body system into coherence. Its electromagnetic extends for many feet beyond the body, out distancing the field of the brain by up to 5xs. An influence we can notice when someone walks into the room whether we become conscious of it or not.
The heart has been called the seat of the soul and the wellspring of love. When we are sad our hearts literally ache; when we’re emotionally touched, unthinking we bring a hand to our hearts, accessing warmth, increasing sensation and basking in the feeling.
Focusing attention on the heart increases our sense of well being, as researched by the HeartMath Institute. In part because of ANF (atrial natriuretic factor), a hormone produced and secreted by the heart, which among other things, inhibits release of stress hormones and balances regulatory regions in the brain.
When we “speak from the heart” powerful emotions can ensue. Noradrenaline and dopamine are neurotransmitters which mediate emotions; they are also synthesized and released in the heart. So when the heart speaks the brain does listen. No wonder for millennia people have “felt” the hearts importance in emotion.
Sometime you have probably been advised to ‘follow your heart” and how might you do that? Spending quiet moments breathing with a focus on your heart, its sensations and rhythms will guide your mind. The mind does not only arise from the brain in the skull but also the brain in the heart and the brain in the gut and all the sensory information from your body, forming what we experience as mind. There is really no mind body split; the body is the mind, the mind is the body.
The coherence of many moving, singing, embodying the same intention in a large group is a powerful message. We find ourselves drawn to the rhythm, seeking entrainment with the field created by many hearts, minds and bodies. I am looking forward to experiencing that tomorrow as I step into my local V-day, One Billion Rising event to stop violence against women. A few hundred dancing, same movements, same song, with people all over the globe. You can be sure I will notice how my heart feels, how my body-mind responds. I hope you will have an opportunity to connect with the power of One /billion Rising in the place you live. And most importantly the place you live in your heart.