Neuroscience and the Heartmind
NEUROSCIENCE creates DYNAMIC TRANSFORMATIVE RESULTS
Understanding the neuroscience behind human behavior Transforms Everything.
The following is meant to be evocative, informational and demonstrate how exciting breakthroughs in neuroscience allow us to better understanding the human brain, its physiology, the role it plays in every aspect of our lives, and how to create deep transformative change.
Neuroscience allows us to remove separation, shame and judgment from the equation to better understand our humanity and the challenges we all face as part of the human condition. With this new understanding we can be more honest about our own emotions, compassionate and accepting of the universal limitations imposed by the very mechanics of the human brain.
The two million year old human brain is designed for survival. Human beings are wired for cooperation yet programmed for competition. These paradoxes are the human condition and affect everything we think, feel and do, consciously and unconsciously. Learning how these default settings and memories impact thoughts, feelings, actions, communication, connection, creativity, and intuition, empowers us towards accountability, compassion and empathy.
When we awaken our own consciousness and connect with the power of choice, we can choose how we perceive and respond to our own thoughts, feelings and reality. We can create new habits of thinking, feeling and doing to intentionally rewire our brain's programming. When we remember who we really are, we can access our innate creativity and wisdom and live as sovereign human beings.
A neuron is an electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information by electro-chemical signalling. The average human brain has about 100 billion neurons (and many more neuroglia (or glial cells) which serve to support and protect the neurons. Each neuron may be connected to up to 10,000 other neurons, passing signals to each other via as many as 1,000 trillion synaptic connections, equivalent by some estimates to a computer with a 1 trillion bit per second processor. Estimates of the human brain’s memory capacity vary wildly from 1 to 1,000 terabytes.
Neurons fire together to create neural pathways and networks that hard-wire through repetition of synaptic connection. What fires together wires together. This wiring become brains programming, habits and default settings that control beliefs, behaviors, thinking, feelings and actions.
The brain is designed for two things, survival and creation. Survival is living in stress, creation is being in alignment with the bodies natural state of homeostasis. According to research only five percent of the human brain is conscious. The other ninety-five is unconscious programming and default settings based on memory. It is this unconscious mind that creates our physical reality. Literally what we experience as physical reality is through the lens of memory. By definition, we're all living in the past. One of the basic rules of quantum physics is that your environment is an extension of your mind. Some scientists further postulate that the brain hallucinates our conscious reality from memory alone which create what we experience as a multi-sensory, panoramic 3D, fully, immersive movie.
In truth, the brain is really nothing more than a sophisticated DVR. Through the five senses it records information from our environment and experiences and organizes them into complex filing systems to attach meaning to future experiences. Sensory input activates neural networks (synaptic connections) as brain scans the present looking for matches, concepts and patterns to construct a coherent image of reality.
Take the example of a blind person who can suddenly see. They don't know what they see because they have no memory of seeing, no files to open, nothing to attach meaning too until they learn they learn how to perceive what they are seeing. Suffice it to say what they see will be very different from what you and I see which leads to reality gaps.
If perceived reality is based on personal memory of past experience, then no human perceives reality the same as another. This creates what is known as reality gaps. Without understanding our own brain, we naively believe everyone sees life the same way we do and experience the same reality. There is nothing further than the truth. These reality gaps feed separation, exclusion, lack of empathy and compassion, and prevent authentic human connection.
Even though neuroscience is veering away from the divided brain distinction, it provides a valuable point of reference. The brain has two hemispheres, the left and the right. The left-brain is quantitative and analytical controlling reasoning, logic, language, science, math and number skills. It is the clock creating the illusion of time and space. The metaphor's I use for the left brain is a bunch of mindless, heartless guys sitting in cubicles filing information while looking at the clock.
The right-brain is responsible for intuition, creativity, imagination, insights, music and holistic thought. The right brain is our inner hippy filled with curiosity and totally immersed in the sensual experience of the experiencing the experience of present moment. It has no sense of time, space nor does it have memory.
Most human's are now predominately left-brained due to the years of societal programming. Now the digital age has accelerated this. We have literally lost our holistic use of the human brain.
The brain memorizes everything beginning in utero. Early development is when we learn how about the five senses and how to use that information, form core beliefs about our identity, and how to perceive reality. We learn how to communicate, read, write, get our needs met, manipulate, societal norms, right and wrong, what's safe, ad infinitum. Thus begins our brain programming. Children in particular, because their brains are not pre-programmed or developed, initially are highly skilled at reading energy. In fact all human brains do this. The brain scan first for energy before the five senses signals reach the brain. If a parent says something that doesn't match the energy the child also files this. This carries throughout adulthood.
What's not widely known is that a child cannot separate between actions and its own identity of self. I a child hears their actions are bad, they hear they are bad and file that as a core belief. If a child doesn't get enough love, nurturing and attention, they file a belief that they are unlovable. This continuum creates not only memory in the brain and memory in the body. Thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings the language of the body.
Due to brains survival state, we learn to tell ourselves stories about who are and what's going on in our reality. These stories enable us to create a sense of safety and security when faced with uncertainty or risk aka life. Negative feelings like shame, vulnerability, weakness, guilt, and pain are filed deep in the unconscious mind as the shadow self. It is here that the shadow that spends it's life unconsciously creating external situations to prove to the self that the beliefs are true. We literally disown these parts of ourself, hide them from others and project them out into the world. It is these disowned parts that we hide from others and others are unconsciously projected it onto other humans.
Between the ages of 11 and 24 the brain begins building it's super highway of neural networks requiring seventy percent of the human brain capacity to complete. Teens therefore have access to only thirty percent of their brain capacity until this process is completed. What happens during this time is that the billions of neurons in the brain that are unused are cut or pruned and the ones that are become hardwired. This process begins to formulate and cement what is known as the personality. By the age of 24 the brain is back online operating at fully capacity and by the time you're 35 your personality is fully formed.
Programming and BS (Belief Systems)
The brain has this interesting ability called metacognition. It is the ability for to perceiver the perceive, to think about what we're thinking, witness our emotions and feelings. This illustrates a higher human consciousness.
In recent years there’s been increasing research on metacognition, which is, quite simply, knowing that we know. In other words, metacognition is an awareness of our conscious thought processes. Do you ever get angry with yourself because you're feeling a certain way and 'think' I shouldn't be feeling this way or, have obsessive thinking and wish for an off button in your brain? Who is this observer? Clearly a higher consciousness than the brain, otherwise we would not have this ability.
Mindfulness and meditation are practices that strengthen our metacognitive abilities to act as the observer without attaching to our thoughts our feelings. When we realize we are not our thoughts, nor our feelings, they are simply recorded programs we can detach from identifying with them. Using these methods calms the nervous system allows us to connect with the heartmind. The heart then excitedly begins hooking its neurons up to brain neurons to regulate and get our mind and bodies back into balance or homeostasis.
If your brain is a recording of your past, here's how it works with emotions. We think the same thoughts that create the same emotions creating the same feelings. Then, we feel the same feelings, which create the same emotional reactions which reinforce the same thoughts that created them resulting in observable change to the physical body.
Dr. Joe Dispensa explains it like this: thoughts create emotions which create feelings. Feelings create moods which turn into temperaments, temperaments into personality. Your personality creates your personal reality. Joseph LeDoux, Ph.D., a neurobiologist at New York University, says it’s a truism that our personality—who we are in totality—is represented in the brain as a complex pattern of synaptic connectivity, because synapses underlie everything the brain does. "We are our synapses," he says.
This repetition strengthens the neural pathways that keep us in an unconscious state of auto-pilot. It's the hamster wheel and definition of insanity. It's the human brain, it's what it does best and it's called programming. Even if the experience is painful, it's safe and familiar - it's our default settings.
Famed neuroscientist Antonio Damasio's theory of consciousness explains that "emotions are a collection of unconscious neural responses... that feelings arise when the organism becomes aware of the changes it is experiencing as a result of external or internal stimuli... and the function of the self is to constantly detect and record, moment by moment, the internal physical changes that affect the homeostasis of the organism."
Thoughts create a chemical in the brain that fires in a sequence pattern or combination so that you feel the way you were just thinking. Negative thoughts cause stress, while positive thoughts equal positive feelings. Dr. Joe Dispenza believes that thoughts are the language of the brain and feelings the language of the body. The mind and body work together. When you think the way you feel and feel the way you think, this pattern creates a state of being.
This same works for memories. Each time we think about a negative memory the body cannot distinguish time or space so it triggers and emotional physical response in the body. When we do this intentionally I refer to it as emotional cutting. Research has further proven that emotions, when ignored, unprocessed or attended too, will lodge in the physical body causing somatic pain and disease.
The medial prefrontal cortex is the newest part of the human brain and the “default mode” network, where metabolic activity is highest when the brain is not actively engaged in a task. During task performance, default mode activity decreases. Washington University neuroimaging pioneer and Dana Alliance member Marcus E. Raichle, M.D., first reported the default mode and has argued that default-state activity may hold clues to the neurobiology of self.[i]
Changing the Programs
The discovery of neuroplasticity disproved the scientific belief that the brain could not be changed once it was fully developed. It absolutely can, intentionally and consciously.
Making conscious the unconscious, new awareness and the willingness to learn and unlearn is the first step in this exciting journey of self discovery. Tools such as mindfulness, using our ability for metacognition, meaning the thinker can observe the thinking allows and practices like meditation can support us in calming the mind in order to connect to the higher mind or heartmind to access our intuition and synthesize the truth.
You cannot change the deck chairs on a sinking ship you've got to look for the life raft inside of your heartmind. If you want to create deep transformative change you've got to think greater than your experience and be willing to change your personality, beliefs, thinking, feelings, actions, reactions and perceptions. You cannot change anything with the same thinking that created it.
You can't change anything with the same thinking that created it, including reality. Who you 'think' you are and the reality you 'perceive,' may not be what you 'thought' it was. If you think you are just an actor in the story of your life, a victim to random circumstances, think again. According to research you are the creator of your life movie - the writer, producer, director, cinematographer, casting director, and star.
Coaching the Brain
When we choose to change our programs we're talking about five percent of consciousness against 95 percent of a lifetime of unconscious programming and memory. Engaging with a trained coach is the most powerful choice you can make to assist, support and guide you through the process.
New awareness shifts everything. Intention creates clarity, alignment allows for access to the quantum field and values aligned actions hard wire it. Coaching supports this daily practice that moves you forward in miraculous ways.
Emotional and Intuitive Intelligence:
Increasing your emotional and intuitive intelligence allows you to Conversational intelligence is the conscious application of these two.
Dr. Bruce Liption's "Biology of Emotions" is a groundbreaking book on the science of how thoughts control life and Dr. Joe Dispenza's "Evolve Your Brain, The Science of Changing Your Mind" and "Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself" are both excellent if you want to learn more.
Belief Systems BS
Is this true for me - the heart knows the truth. When we examine our core values and our beliefs the powerful question to ask is "is this true for me now." Not from your head but from your heart. The heart knows the truth.
Forward Movement and Heart Powered Intention
Heartmind/Higher Mind Intelligence
What if science has been wrong about the importance of the human brain? That's exactly what is happening in the world of neuroscience and cardio-neurology. It appears the heart may be the single most powerful organ in the human body that controls everything, including our brains.
Not only does the heart have it's own brain, with neurons thousands of times stronger than brain neurons, it has its own intelligence, consciousness, and provides the rhythm for the body's sophisticated orchestration of vital processes influencing everything from health and emotional regulation, to thoughts and perceptions. The heart is directly connected to a higher consciousness and the quantum field where it decodes and processes intuitive information.
The heartmind is popularly referred to as the 'intuitive heart' or 'heart intelligence,' the energetic heart connected to the essence of who we really are, the "higher self," or quite simply, our wholeness. Many now believe that the heart is the software that controls, influences, and changes the brains hardware, making it the single most vital organ in the human body.
The heart is the mind/body/spirit's rhythm section of emotional self-regulation. In fact, the heart sends more neural traffic to the brain than the brain sends to the heart contributing in establishing baseline patterns against which the “now” is compared. The heartmind allows patterns to be updated or adjusted according to ongoing experiences, successes, and failures in meeting life's demands and challenges.
When we slow down habitual patterns of thinking our nervous system calms down and allows us to connect with our higher consciousness, inner wisdom, and intuition. In this state, heart neurons literally take over the brains neural pathways interrupting default responses before the brain receives its external sensory information. Think mindfulness and meditation.
This process is referred to as "coherence." In a coherent state, the heart generates an enormous electromagnetic field that extends far beyond our physical bodies improving decision making, mental clarity, compassion, creativity, inspiration and innovation. It creates an increased sense of well-being with positive feelings signaling the brain to releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin - the love drug. This energy is so powerful it affects other humans, creates trust, and invites authentic connection. Much like a drum circle, our hearts have the ability to sync and beat at the same rhythm, co-regulating each other's emotional states.
When we move out of the ego-mind of unconscious memory, habits, and behaviors, we become the conscious co-creators we were designed to be. We can reprogram and rewire our brains to work for us, not against us. Scientifically speaking, if enough people practice individual and social coherence, it could actually contribute to global coherence.
What I call the heartmind is also referred to as the intuitive heart or heart intelligence - the energetic heart connected to our soul essence, "higher self," or what physicist David Bohm calls our wholeness. Many now believe that the heart is the software that controls, influences, and changes the brains hardware, making it the single most vital organ in the human body.
Buy hey who wants to be the CEO of their own life.
It was also found that one person’s brain waves can synchronize to another person’s heart (13). When people touch or are in proximity one person’s heartbeat signal is registered in the other person’s brainwaves (14). When two people are at a conversational distance, the electromagnetic signal generated by one person’s heart can influence the other person’s brain rhythms.
When an individual is generating a coherent heart rhythm, synchronization between that individual’s brainwaves and another person’s heart-beat is more likely to occur (15).
Individuals capable of generating high ratios of heart coherence were able to alter DNA conformation according to their intention. Intending to denature (un-wind) or renature (wind) the DNA had corresponding effects on the UV spectra (16). As people learn to sustain heart-focused positive feeling states, the brain can be brought into entrainment with the heart (17). The conclusion is the need of pointing to the heart as the center of consciousness (18)
earning to shift the rhythms of the heart into a more coherent state makes it possible to establish a new inner baseline reference that allows access to our heart’s intuitive capacities and deeper wisdom.
Recent years have seen the emergence of a new understanding of how the brain functions and how the heart and brain interact in a dynamic and complex relationship.12,30 Rather than assembling thoughts and feelings from bits of data like a digital computer, the brain is more like an analog processor that relates whole concepts or patterns to one another and looks for similarities, differences, and relationships between them.31
Although dual-process theories come in a number of forms, they all have in common the distinction of two separate processing systems. The first system is contextually dependent, associative, heuristic, tacit, intuitive, and implicit/automatic in nature. Therefore, it is relatively undemanding in terms of its use of cognitive resources. For example, when individuals have gained experience in a particular field, implicit intuitions are derived from their capacity to recognize important environmental cues and rapidly and unconsciously match those cues to commonly occurring patterns that lead to effective diagnosis and problem solving. In contrast, the second processing system is contextually independent, rule-based, analytic, and explicit in nature. It is relatively slow and places greater demands on cognitive resources than does the first system.2
When we have a problem we cannot immediately solve, the brain can be working on it subconsciously. A common experience is that when we are showering, driving, or doing something else without thinking about the problem, a solution can pop into the conscious mind, which we experience as an intuitive insight. This type of implicit process involves a long gestation period following an impasse in problem solving prior to a sudden insightful realization or strategy that leads to a solution.32 In contrast, intuition in the first process described above occurs almost instantaneously and is emotionally charged.
In fact, the heart sends more neural traffic to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. The multiple inputs from the heart and cardiovascular system to the brain are major contributors in establishing the dynamics of the baseline patterns or set point against which the “now” is compared. Once established, these internal set points are updated or adjusted according to ongoing experiences, successes, and failures in meeting life's demands and challenges.
Since our psychophysiological systems are designed to maintain stability and resist change, returning to familiar set points gives us a feeling of security, while remaining in unfamiliar territory causes unrest, anxiety, fear, etc. This is true even if the established reference is one of chaos, incoherence, or confusion. This means we can easily get “stuck” in familiar unhealthy emotional and behavioral patterns and that lasting improvements in emotional experience or behaviors cannot be sustained in the absence of establishing a new baseline reference, which the system then strives to maintain. If behavior change or improved affective states are desired, it is therefore critical to focus on strategies that facilitate the establishment of a new internal reference.
There is substantial evidence that the heart plays a unique role in synchronizing the activity across multiple systems and levels of organization. As the most powerful and consistent generator of rhythmic information patterns in the body, the heart is in continuous communication with the brain and body through multiple pathways: neurologically (through the autonomic nervous system), biochemically (through hormones), biophysically (through pressure and sound waves), and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions). The heart is uniquely well positioned to act as the “global coordinator” in the body's symphony of functions to bind and synchronize the system as a whole.5,37,38 Because of the extensiveness of the heart's influence on physiological, cognitive, and emotional systems, the heart provides a central point from which the dynamics of the psychophysiological systems can be self-regulated.
One of the research focuses of our laboratory over the last decade has been the study of the patterns and rhythms generated in various physiological systems during the experience of different thoughts and emotions and behaviors. Through experimenting with numerous physiological measures, we have found that heart rate variability (HRV, or heart rhythm) patterns are consistently dynamic and reflective of changes in one's emotional state.
Physiological coherence, also referred to as heart coherence, cardiac coherence, or resonance, is a functional mode measured by HRV analysis wherein a person's heart rhythm pattern becomes more ordered and sine-wave like at a frequency of around 0.1 Hz (10 sec).5,39 A coherent state reflects increased synchronization and resonance in higher-level brain systems and in the activity occurring in the two branches of the ANS, as well as a shift in autonomic balance toward increased parasympathetic activity.5Importantly, there is physiological evidence that the ongoing practice of coherence-building techniques facilitates a repatterning process in the neural architecture where coherence becomes established as a new, stable baseline reference memory.42 Self-regulation of emotions and stress responses then becomes increasingly familiar and, eventually, automatic.5,43–45 This makes it easier for individuals to maintain their “center” and increase their mental and emotional flexibility and capacity to access all three types of intuition and remain in self-directed control.
hroughout history, people have turned to the intuitive heart, sometimes referred to as their “inner voice,” soul, or “higher power” as a source of wisdom and guidance.
However, in the last decade, research in neuro-science has made it quite clear that intuition and emotional processes operate at a much higher speed than cognitive processes.11 In many cases, emotions occur independently of the cognitive system and can significantly bias or color the cognitive process and its output or decision.
role of the heart in emotional experience and effective approaches to self-regulation that involve shifting the rhythms of the heart, thereby allowing us to facilitate cognitive functioning and intuitive capacities.
There is compelling evidence to suggest that the physical heart is coupled to a field of information that is not bound by the classical limits of time and space.28,29 This evidence comes from a rigorous experimental study that demonstrated that the heart receives and processes information about a future event before the event actually happens.28,29 The study's results provide surprising data showing that both the heart and brain receive and respond to pre-stimulus information about a future event before the event occurs
Even more tantalizing are clear indications that the heart receives intuitive information before the brain and that the heart sends a different pattern of afferent signals to the brain prior to an adverse future event that modulates the frontal cortex, as assessed with heartbeat-evoked potential analysis.
his suggests that the heart is directly coupled to a source of information that interacts with the multiplicity of energetic fields in which the body is embedded.
What is meant by terms such as intuitive heart or heart intelligence is what we call the energetic heart, which is coupled to a deeper part of one's self. Many call this their “higher self” or their “higher capacities” and is what physicist David Bohm called our implicate order and undivided wholeness.