All human beings should try to learn before they die
what they are running from, and to, and why – James Thurber
How did this “heart thing” start? –I get asked most often. The simple part of the answer is that I woke up one morning and I could not find myself. Emptiness, ingratitude and a sense of agitation scared me. It also moulded me into a frustrated, irritable woman for most part of my days. I was ready to jeopardise everything I had in my life- the kids, my marriage, the successful coaching practice, the beautiful house, all of it. Just to find my heart.
Three years ago I launched my Heart Project because I wanted to find answer to one question that occupied my personal and professional life: What is the place of the heart in this big, global, often seemingly impersonal world?
As a lover of smart behavioural science, after over five hundred interviews, hours of coaching, leading workshops and leadership development programmes this is what I have found:
- The heart has its own little brain and its own nervous system that is composed of approximately 40,000 neurons, as many as various subcortical centres of the brain. These neurons within the heart enable it to learn, remember, and make decisions independent of the brain’s cerebral cortex. Research has confirmed that the midbrain, a part of our brain responsible for making sense of metaphors and symbols, the major tools for our spiritual growth, is connected to the heart by unmediated nerve connections. The heart, in effect, is a major tool to shape the way we live, think, work, love and parent.
- Many of us think well, cultivate our intellectual process and nurture our mind as the greatest tool of knowledge and wisdom. Yet, we struggle as our powerful mind gets us to places we want to reach in life (the fancy job, the house, the marriage, the bonuses of life) but it does not always get us to contentment, our ultimate destination. When we do not trust the synergy of our hearts and minds, emptiness and a distant yearning will always be our companion. From contentment we can create meaning and contribute to the world and we need our hearts for that.
- Heart is what most people want but it is what they are the least willing to open up and share. Instead, we escape into the concrete reality of our mind. We think, instead of feel, we articulate instead of practising empathy. We justify our own truths instead of creating multiple solutions for all.
- Hearts, when open and available, are fluid, flexible and creative. Minds, when closed are rigid, inhospitable and unavailable for us to grow in our lives. To find contentment and grow into our best self, we must pay to attention to both simultaneously and trust that with our open hearts we fill the missing gaps in our brain, too.
- In neuroscience the right hemisphere of the brain holds space for empathy, cooperation, insights, intuitions and inspiration. It is also responsible for reading emotions by looking into the eyes, thinking in pictures and metaphors and understanding music and poetry. I ask, what is this if not heart-centred living?
Do you want to follow your heart while you take your brain with you? I work with smart spiritual individuals who value intellectual rigour while desire to remain connected to their heart.
You can find more about me on www.beheartsmart.me or can book an appointment with me here:https://heartsmartcoaching.acuityscheduling.com/schedule.php