So science tells us that the heart is the first organ to develop during pregnancy. At around twenty-two days, the heart literally starts to beat spontaneously, without a functioning brain. As the brain doesn't start to develop until week five and isn't fully developed until week thirty-three. How amazing is that!
To put this into perspective if the heart stops in life we use a three-thousand-volt charge of electricity to start it again. That is enough electricity to run a 100-watt bulb for twenty-three seconds. So what made the heart begin to beat spontaneously in the first place? It is an interesting question don't you think, but it certainly was not the brain.
Yet the vast majority of us live in a constant loop, stuck in our heads, with thoughts on repeat driven by the mind, as if the brain runs the show. So do you let your mind or your heart rule your life?
Which one is really in charge?
Some people would say that to be ruled by your mind would make you a rational person, and to be ruled by your heart would make you overly emotional. This is most definitely social and cultural conditioning at full speed ahead captain, for sure.
To top it off, we have been living this belief for generations, teaching reasoning over love. So when we get old enough to decide we want a partner, it is no surprise that we can be clumsy at loving and sharing emotions with a potential partner. These skills remain locked away, untapped, and disturb our relationships for some of us for what could end up a lifetime.
I pose these question to you. What if the heart was running the show all along? And we just let our head get in the way! What if we lived life leading with the heart like it did in the womb? What could your life look like now?
We know that to move between the rational/reasoning part of the brain and the survival/instinctive part of the brain, you need to experience an emotion that is felt in the heart. You cannot be active in both sides of the brain at once, nor can you move between them without an emotive response.
So this might be suggesting that to re-think the relationship that we have between our heart, and our mind could yield incredible potential, that is pretty much untapped in life.
This function is relatively easy to articulate when you consider a time when you were in a potentially dangerous situation. It could be as simple as the moment when you had to swerve to miss a car, in a close call potential car accident. What happened immediately after the survival brain kicked in? One minute you were driving along quite rational, and the next boom, a potentially dangerous situation. What is the first thing you can remember? Was it how you felt? Feelings are usually the first thing we share to recount the story to others after the event.
Fight or flight kicks in, and you get stuck in fear, until you feel into your emotions, you are unable to think clearly and rationally. That is why people who are stuck in the grip of fear seem completely irrational. Once the emotion is expressed around this irrational experience of fight or flight, you can return to your rational mind. All this can take time, or it can happen in a split second, depending on the circumstances.
So you might be thinking, well that’s all fine, but what can you do to feel into the transformational power of redesigning your relationship between your heart and mind?
Firstly, understanding how they function in tandem is the beginning. It is a powerful mindfulness practice to become more acutely aware of what is going on between your heart and your mind. This awareness usually first begins in reflection, then as you practice the power of observation, you begin to notice the flow between the heart and the mind on the fly. Then when your mindfulness practices become well developed, you are capable of cutting it off at the pass, so to speak. Getting ahead of the game before the situation actually occurs. Then you are really starting to tap into the transformational power of the brain-heart relationship.
The mindfulness practices of being able to pause, and consider what next, can help control things like irrational responses, frustration, anger, along with situations where words are spoken that you might later regret.
We have all had these situations in life right! How nice would it be if you could learn to avoid them altogether?
The benefits are not just for your state of mind, and your heart health. Your overall well-being will benefit from your ability to understand the transformational power of redesigning the relationship you have between your heart and your mind.
Want to know more about how to lead with your heart? Book a FREE mindfulness discovery session.