Earlier today I had a rather interesting discussion with Tara Skubella of Naked Earth Tantra and 21 day survivalist of the hit TV show Naked and Afraid. Our discussion, as well as an article she wrote a couple months before the episode she appeared in aired, got me thinking about intuition and so I decided to explore the topic in greater detail this evening.
I often write about how my mind seems to be telling me one thing while I feel my heart is saying something entirely different, and the decision between which of the two to follow. To use terms others might relate better to, I’m talking about the rational mind versus the intuitive mind, the latter being what I commonly refer to as my heart. For the most part, we live in a society that places a much higher value on the products of the rational mind, while often discrediting those of the intuitive mind and this is nothing new.
What is relatively new though, is the research being done that suggests that the heart may actually be running the show a lot more than the brain is. Highly accredited scientists at the Institute of HeartMath have discovered that it is the heart, NOT the brain, that produces the largest electromagnetic field and that the brain receives far more signals from the heart than the heart receives from the brain.
“Research has shown that the heart communicates to the brain in four major ways: neurologically (through the transmission of nerve impulses), biochemically (via hormones and neurotransmitters), biophysically (through pressure waves) and energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions. Communication along all these conduits significantly affects the brain’s activity.” (1)
Think about that for just a minute. What’s going on with your heart, how you’re feeling, what your emotional state is, all have a significant impact on how your brain actually functions.
“We observed that the heart was acting as though it had a mind of its own and was profoundly influencing the way we perceive and respond to the world. In essence, it appeared that the heart was affecting intelligence and awareness.” (2)
When you’re calm and centered, your heart beat is regular and rhythmic, and this allows the brain to function better. Conversely, when you’re afraid, stressed, or aggravated, your heartbeat is faster and more erratic, which then affects the signals sent to the brain and results in it performing at a less than optimal level.
Now this may seem pretty straightforward and like common knowledge, that when you’re stressed, you can’t think clearly. But the really interesting part comes into play when you look at the other side of the coin.
When you examine how consciously and intentionally controlling your thoughts and emotional state shifts the brain into higher level functioning, you get a scenario that sounds a lot like what the “woo woo gurus” have been trying to tell us for years; that your thoughts and emotions create your reality. With the research being done today though, it’s not “woo woo” anymore, as Bill Nye would say “It’s Science!”
“QM (Quantum Mechanics) has questioned the material foundations of the world by showing that atoms and subatomic particles are not really solid objects—they do not exist with certainty at definite spatial locations and definite times. Most importantly, QM explicitly introduced the mind into its basic conceptual structure since it was found that particles being observed and the observer—the physicist and the method used for observation—are linked. According to one interpretation of QM, this phenomenon implies that the consciousness of the observer is vital to the existence of the physical events being observed, and that mental events can affect the physical world. The results of recent experiments support this interpretation.” (3)
That’s basically a technical way of saying that all the physical “stuff” around us really isn’t as physical and solid as we thought, it’s all energy. It also supports the conclusion that our thoughts and perceptions are a crucial component in how that energy behaves.
Now you might be thinking to yourself, “Ok Clint, I get it. Our heart affects our brain, our brain forms our perceptions, our perceptions affect the ‘physical world’ around us. I thought this was supposed to be about intuition?” Well, since we’re putting everything else under the microscope (or an electron microscope as the case may be) let’s take a closer look at intuition.
Intuition is defined as:
The ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.
A thing one knows, or considers likely, from an instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.
If it’s something you both FEEL, and understand immediately without the need for conscious reasoning (i.e. before the brain gets involved), that same sort of reasoning leads, based on the evidence I’ve cited, to the conclusion that your intuition comes from that great center of all feelings, the heart.
So just bear with me for a couple minutes longer and imagine a world in which we let go of some of the things we’ve been taught to accept as “reasonable”, things that we often do despite feeling like they aren’t really what our instincts are telling us we are meant to be doing. Picture that we instead put greater value on our feelings and our intuition, that we trusted our instincts and the instincts of our children, who haven’t been taught to suppress them the same way we have.
Science shows us that if we feel good about something and aren’t fighting an internal conflict, our heart will send out a steady constant rhythm to our brain which produces an increase in our intelligence and awareness. This increase in our ability to perceive the world around us literally has the potential to change the nature of that physical reality.
Imagine if we all re-connected back with nature, with our instincts, followed our intuition and taught our children to do the same. It would mean a smarter, more aware population that could quite literally change the world.
Just sit with that one for a minute. Don’t think about it too much, just feel it. Take a couple deep breaths in and let them back out nice and slow. As you breathe in, say to yourself “I will follow my heart.” On the exhale say to yourself “I can change the world”
Now take that feeling and carry it with you through the rest of your day, let it empower you to trust your intuition and let your heart guide you. You have the choice to live every single day feeling this way, just imagine what you could create if you do!