HeartMath was founded by Doc Childre in 1991 to help individuals, organizations and the global community incorporate the heart’s intelligence into their day-to-day experience of life. They do this by connecting heart and science in ways that empower people to greatly reduce stress, build resilience, and unlock their natural intuitive guidance for making better choices. Their goal is to share the HeartMath story in ways that inspire others to create a more heart-connected world with us.
We spoke before with Executive HeartMath Vice President Howard Martin, to learn more about the impact of the heart. Today we continue our conversation with Howard because when we understand and apply the secret of the intelligence of the heart, our life will change forever. And Howard’s message is a very clear one:
“For the past 22 years I’ve had the privilege of speaking about HeartMath, a system/organization created by our founder Doc Childre, consisting of innovative ideas, leading-edge science, techniques and technology designed to help bring about a more heart-connected world. I’ve been fortunate to have traveled the globe, spoken to tens-of-thousands of people on four continents and shared the stage with many of the world most respected thought leaders. I stay motivated to travel and speak because I want others living in these extraordinary times to experience a greater sense of fulfillment, self-security, health and success so that together we can create a more harmonious world.”
“I am feeling a deeper love for people and a stronger desire to do whatever I can to help reduce human suffering.” – Howard Martin
Interview with Howard Martin
Dirk Terpstra: Cardiologists who are speaking about heart health in a way we’ve never heard before. Scientists like Gregg Braden, Joe Dispenza and Bruce Lipton who all stipulate the influence of our heart on our spiritual wellbeing and former lawyer Baptist de Pape who decides to write a book and publish a movie called The Power of the Heart. What’s going on on Howard? What do we know now what we didn’t know before?
Howard Martin: Well, a lot of things Dirk. I think a couple of things are going on right now. Let’s take it from the top down.
There’s a consciousness shift taking place in the world today. I believe it’s a dimensional shift in consciousness, where we are moving from a baseline of third dimensional consciousness into the fourth and up into the higher ranges of the fourth and we’re doing this in a very short amount of time. A rough estimate for me would be, as a window of time, is about a 100 years and we’re right in the middle of it.
Part of that new consciousness is a different kind of awareness and a different type of intelligence that is more intuitive in nature. At HeartMath, we’ve called that Heart Intelligence. It’s an intelligence that is more inclusive of the whole. It begins to consider things and possibilities not just from a self-centric position, as we’ve done that for many thousands of years so far. So the pull and the push inside ourselves to think larger and think more for others is part of what’s going on right there and part of why it relates to Heart.
To me that intelligence is also the inspiration for certain emotional qualities that are the most regenerative. Emotions that have often been associated with the word Heart, like love, or care, or compassion, or forgiveness or non-judgment. Those type of emotional qualities are being inspired by this new intelligence. And when that happens they come more to the forefront of our daily activities and that relates to how we perform in the world, and especially how we relate to others but also the inner knowingness we have about ourselves.
When we started at HeartMath, we recognized that we had our own experiences for many years that were related to this intelligence. The goal of HeartMath was to put together a simple system that we could share with the world, that would be useful and help navigate us through these changing times. We were taking a heart centric approach. We recognized that we needed to build a bridge between what people felt intuitively inside and what had been said through spirituality and philosophy for thousands of years. We needed a bridge that could ground that and take it into the daily aspects of our lives. We chose science as that bridge. The reason we chose science is because in our society, scientific or empirical understanding, adds power to belief and then it’s more effective. So we needed to make Heart real, we needed to give it an association that could be more understandable for just about anybody. The science was never designed to take the heart out of Heart but it was designed to give it that empirical side.
In our research we began to look at the physical heart. We all know that the physical heart is an amazing cardiovascular organ that pumps blood tirelessly from birth to death and it’s the most efficient pump there’s ever been. That’s the way we always saw the heart – at a physiological level.
As we began to do research and uncover other research, we found that the heart was more than that. It’s a very important information processing centre in our bodies and it’s sending information to the brain and throughout the entire body. This is essential information. As we dug deeper we were able to see other ways.
We found that there was actually a medical discipline called ‘neurocardiology’. It is the study of the nervous system that exists within the heart. Next to the one found in our brain, it’s the most complex nervous system we have. It sends information to the brain through a neural pathway that originates in the heart. That neural pathway continues through the heart and travels into the midlevel brain – into the limbic system, where a lot of our emotional processing takes place. It even goes further, all the way up and it terminates in the higher perceptional centers of our brain, which is called the neocortex. We have therefore always this neurological conversation happening between our heart and our brain.
When researchers look at the neurological traffic in our bodies, they’re clearly seeing that the heart sends a lot more information to the brain than it ever receives from the brain. This is just the first way.
When the heart pumps blood, the muscle squeezes and creates a wave of energy that pushes the blood through the veins and arteries. That blood pressure wave travels through every single part of our body because our blood gets everywhere. The blood pressure waves change and modulate depending upon how the heart is beating. As the blood pressure waves change, they influence biological functions. The main influence is on the brain activity. The electrical activity in our brain is therefore synchronized to the blood pressure wave. This is characterized as a biophysical communication.
In 1983 the heart was reclassified as part of our hormonal system. They found that it created a number of hormones. It produces for example a hormone called atrial peptide. One of its jobs is to reduce the release of a stress hormone called cortisol. It’s also found that the heart is the largest producer of a very important hormone called oxytocin.
This is the third way, and these three ways are well documented, well understood and well researched. The fourth way is where the adventure is – the energetic heart.
The Energetic Heart
The heart is an electrical organ. When we visit a physician and we get an electric cardiogram taken (think about what that word says: electrocardiogram – ECG), the doctor is measuring an electrical signal produced by the beating heart.
The heart is the strongest source of bioelectricity in our bodies by far. It produces enough electrical energy to create a 360 degree electromagnetic field that surrounds each and every person on this planet. That field extends beyond the skin and goes out into space. It extends about 3-4 feet outside the body. It get more interesting though…
Not only do we produce an electromagnetic field, that field also changes all the time. The frequencies and the field are in constant change. The main influencers of those changes are our emotions. As we change in emotional state, we change what’s being broadcasted through the heart’s electromagnetic field. If we are experiencing emotions like resentment, or anger, or frustration, or irritation, it produces what is called an incoherent spectra – a very chaotic electromagnetic field. Emotions we talked earlier about, like having more compassion for others, or care, or appreciation for the good things in our life or love, those kind of emotions change the field. It produces a more coherent spectra.
In a sense, we’re literally broadcasting our emotions through the electromagnetic field of the heart. I believe that there are many other fields being produced by the heart. When we begin to look at the fields through the lens of quantum physics the rules change a lot. We remove for instance, a lot of the boundaries of time and space. Now we have to look at the heart’s field in a very different way.
There’s a connection between us and universal source, or spirit or god. These are questions scientists are now looking at. We’re also looking at the energetic connectivity between all living systems. Everything on our planet produces some sort of a field and it goes beyond our planet. It’s a web that’s linking everything together. In my opinion it’s the heart that is our main connecting point to all those energetic connections. This is all new science and new directions that we, at HeartMath and others around the world, are looking at and trying to understand better. It’s part of the new intelligence and it’s unfolding through this new dimensional shift. It’s part of the evolution of the human to understand things more from an energetic perspective and to me the heart fulfills a central role in that whole process.
Dirk: Ralph Waldo Emerson once said: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” How realistic is it – trying to live a heart-based life in a society that has such a different focus and values?
Howard: The heart-based life that I speak of in the HeartMath mission says: “We’re trying to create a more heart-connected world”. That heart-based life is not just soft and squishy. It is intelligent, it is intuitive and it has a dynamic quality to it that allows us to play the game of life with more intelligence but also with more compassion.
So it’s not just a passive kind of thing, that has been associated with Heart in the past, it’s not necessarily weak or sentimental. It really sets it up so that things like the demonstration of some care in a largely uncaring world really has an impact. It isn’t perceived as weak, but it stands out as something that’s different.
When we are able to demonstrate more care, especially when there are legitimate reasons to judge, you will catch yourself and recognize “I really don’t want to be that now, I don’t feel like that’s really the true me, that’s not the best Howard Martin in this situation, and in stead let’s have some compassion”. I now cross that line to where I move my compassion up a notch or two and use it to replace the judgement. That’s a demonstration of the power of the heart and it has a strong impact.
You talked about people who don’t know who they are and they get programmed with being something that other people think they want to be. The only way around this is to go to the core of your authentic self and begin to manifest more of that in your daily life. To me, that core of our authentic self is the heart. That’s where we find our true self and the self-security to be our true self. That’s when we move beyond some of the personal and societal programs which allow us to incorporate more of that essence of who we truly are. It’s a heart related process and it’s something that most of us are always going to be working on – the unfolding of who we truly are.
Dirk: Do you have some techniques or methods you can share that would help our readers increase their “heart intelligence?”
Howard: The HeartMath system is a complete system of tools, techniques and methods. All underpinned with scientific research and even supported with technology. It starts with simple things like learning to shift your emotional state. We have a technique called Attitude Breathing. It’s a very simple technique, but when you use it with sincerity it has a lot of benefits. The way it works is that you become the observer of your own emotions.
Most people allow emotions just to run under the surface and they don’t really pay much attention to what they’re truly feeling. We often avoid trying to identify what we’re feeling, because it can be painful. But when you get past that, you begin to look at your emotions objectively and you determine what you’re feeling at any given moment. You’re seeing it now and you want to shift it.
The way you shift it is to choose a replacement attitude. Let’s say I’m feeling frustrated and stressed. My replacement for that might be something as simple as ‘calm and peaceful’. You then focus on the area of your heart and you breathe in and out through that area. You pretend as if your breath is coming in and out through the area of the heart. And as you breathe, you try to feel, as best you can, the feeling of the replacement attitude. When you do that for a little while, you will feel that things begin to shift. You now ground it out and take it forward into your next daily activities. This is how you shift your emotional state.
Dirk: Howard, for the past 22 years you are speaking for HeartMath and I quote you: “I want others living in these extraordinary times to experience a greater sense of fulfillment, self-security, health and success so that together we can create a more harmonious world”. What is it after all those years, that makes your heart flutter?
Howard: Right now, for me, that I can tag into the appreciation for what’s going on in my life. One of the things that shows up when I do that is an acknowledgement and recognition that my life is still an adventure and that it has no ceiling. When I compare my own life to many other people who are my age, there’s often not a lot of adventure left. They are living in a certain way and it’s comfortable for them and they may be very happy, but for me it’s still an open ended process.
The other thing that’s been up for me a lot more lately, is that I am feeling a deeper love for people and a stronger desire to do whatever I can to help reduce human suffering. It’s just more tangible and visceral for me now. I see things related to human suffering, (I see it on so many different levels) and in order to serve at best I have to remain above the fray. If I immerse myself in that too much then that’s not really going to be effective. My job has never been to join the peace corps. Others do that and I support them in that, but my job has never been to do it that way. It had to be done from a truly connected and compassionate place but not one that is immersed in it. That’s my form of service – acknowledging that and refining and fine-tuning that while my heart flutters, like you said. It opens me up to the desire to do everything that I can in my life to help reduce conditions of human suffering that take place in our world today.
More information about HeartMath: HeartMath.org
This interview also appeared on: OMTimes.com
INTERVIEW BY: DIRK TERPSTRA – SOUL LOVE FOUNDER