It seems to me that these days, we’re bombarded regularly with dreadful scenes of carnage in Syria and elsewhere, terrorist attacks in major cities and news of people showing total disregard for their fellow human beings. In addition, right now, quite apart from the dangerous stand-off between the US and North Korea, we have endless coverage of politicians making speeches ahead of the French and British elections which seem designed to cause ever more divisions between people. So many vibrations around us are about aggression, disunity, and fear. Sadly, we live in a very unsettled world which for many folk doesn’t feel at all safe.
How wonderful, therefore, to learn that in spite of all this turbulence and instability, there’s a growing number of people who are noticing themselves feeling more kindly and more accepting of others. All over the world, people are apparently reporting feeling less need to hold on to old hurts and resentments, which is a very positive indication that there is perhaps a growing movement towards the need to exercise compassion and understanding towards each other for the greater good, despite the discord and acrimony in the world around us.
I gleaned this information recently from reading through an article on the wonderful HeartMath website (https://www.heartmath.org) and I must say, I found it very encouraging. I have, myself, been very aware of an increased heart-opening over the last months, and can’t help feeling that perhaps there’s a new momentum of heart awakening happening because our deeper instincts tell us that the only way we can ever make a paradigm shift from the chaos of today to a world in which compassion and co-operation are the norm, is not through war and politics, but through each of us becoming kinder and more open-hearted towards each other. Perhaps we are beginning to sense that living from our hearts is “the most practical approach for increasing individual and global peace, being that we’ve tried most everything else already”. Sara Childre, President of HeartMath Institute and Doc Childre, HeartMath Founder.
As the song says : “What the world needs now is love, sweet love ………”
The heart and its emanations are much more powerful than we might imagine. Energy emanating from the heart is approximately 5000 times greater than the energy generated by the brain. Research has shown that the energetic vibrations of the heart permeate every cell in our bodies and create an electro-magnetic field which envelops the entire body and extends out in all directions into the space around us. It is now understood that aside from this organ’s most well-known function of pumping blood around our bodies, the heart has its own equivalent of a brain which is constantly interacting and communicating with the head-brain on neurological, biochemical, biophysic and energetic levels.
The heart/brain connection operates when the heart is coherent. (i.e. experiencing stable, wave-like patterns in its ryhthms.) Amazingly, when there is a smooth, ordered rhythm of the heart, it brings all the organs and systems of the body into synch with each other. This is hugely beneficial to body, mind and spirit as it brings more clarity, the ability to be better at decision-making and a greater sense of well-being. When we’re stressed, it destroys this coherence, and incoherence in and of itself causes stress.
Just think what this means in terms of all those emotions and feelings which are traditionally connected to the heart like love, compassion, appreciation and understanding. Think about how your whole being feels when you’re consciously or unconsciously linking in with these emotions. You feel aligned and in flow. You feel open and connected. There’s a sense of ease and movement, things go more smoothly in your life, tasks become easier, communication is better. Your energy levels are high!
And think what your body and mind feel when it’s not like that. e.g. when you’re consumed with anger, resentment, frustration, or when you feel you’re not being listened to or appreciated, or when you’re misunderstood or generally don’t feel good. Or when you’re feeling exhausted, burnt out and overwhelmed.
The good news is that there’s a very effective and simple way developed by the HeartMath Institute to facilitate better heart coherence which will not only help you to change your state of mind, but will also allow you, with practice, to build your own heart coherence and resilience over time. Not only will this impact beneficially upon your health overall, but it will also enable you to influence the emotional states of others and those people with whom you interact – in other words, you can help make others feel good, too, just by being in a coherent heart state yourself! How good is that?
I’ve talked about The HeartMath institute many times in the past. It has an incredibly interesting and helpful website (see above link), and I would like to encourage you to have a look at it. HeartMath has developed a breathing technique which brings about a sense of inner ease (which I’ve also mentioned many times before and can’t recommend highly enough.). This technique isn’t going to eradicate all your challenges in a flash (!!), but if you practice it you will slowly but surely build up a greater ability to go with the flow, connect with your higher potential for effective reasoning, discernment and interactions with others, deal with the onset of stressful feelings and generally manage your mental and emotional system more effectively. This is how you do it:
- Close your eyes, place your hands over your heart area and allow yourself to breathe a little more deeply than normal. Think of yourself breathing in and out through your heart and give this your full focus and attention.
- With each breath, breathe in for a count of five and out for a count of five. Allow your breath to be smooth, unforced and comfortable. It’s not hard to do, but it may take a few moments to get used to breathing this way and eventually, your breath will settle naturally into breathing in this rhythm.
- Once this breathing pattern is established, bring to mind a positive feeling about something that makes you feel love, gratitude or appreciation. (Don’t focus on something or someone you have loved and lost – focus on something for which you have purely positive associations unhindered by any sense of loss or rejection.) Focus on these positive emotions for about 5-10 minutes whilst maintaining the breathing pattern described above.
Practicing this technique can greatly add to your sense of well-being. Many people find it helpful to spend a little while on the technique first thing in the morning or last thing at night (it’s great for helping you to drift off into a peaceful sleep!). But you can do it when you’re travelling, on a break at school or at work, or even whilst doing housework, It’s particularly helpful if you’re feeling stressed or un-focussed because of grief or overwhelm, as it can help to calm, centre and balance you.
Overall, it’s a wonderfully simple aid to increasing your energy, coherence and resilience. And if you, too, have been experiencing a greater sense of heart awakening of late, then it will help you to strengthen those feelings and in time, increase your capacity for understanding, compassion and forgiveness. If you haven’t noticed any changes in your heart opening towards the world in general, or if right now, you feel you need to simply concentrate on yourself – no matter. Try using the technique and practice it as often as you can – even if it’s only for five minutes here and there through your day.. It will benefit your body and mind bringing feelings of calm and peace, and as these feelings emanate from within you, amazingly, those around you will start to feel quieter and more serene as well.
You’ll not only be helping yourself, but adding to the ripples of heart awakening that are already happening and contributing towards the growing desire for a more harmonious world. This is such a practical and simple thing to do for yourself and others, it can only be beneficial to one and all..