Getting Connected

Completely Connected coverIn her new book, Completely Connected, Rita Marie Johnson recounts some of the insights she received when she was in a state of “heart-brain coherence”–the times when our breathing, our heart rhythms, and all our systems line up in synchrony, and spontaneous intuitions come freely. This state can be invited through a process known by the Institute of HeartMath as “Quick Coherence”: focus on the heart, breathe through the heart space, and experience feelings of appreciation.

Sometimes, Johnson writes, the message is simple: “It’s not time to leave Costa Rica yet.” This was not the message she wanted to hear at the time, yet she deeply realized it was for the best, and later events proved it. She recounts how the heart-brain insight can be used to understand a dream: when she was traveling all over the U.S. teaching courses and staying with friends, and feeling a bit “homeless,” she dreamed she owned a large apartment complex. Upon practicing coherence and requesting an insight, she realized that “the ‘apartment complex’ was made up of all the bedrooms of my many caring hosts.”

Here are a couple of examples from a recent course I taught in Asheville:

One woman stated that she had been bothered by a recurrent nightmare, at least weekly for over eight years. It usually left her feeling unsettled for a day or two. In the dream, she was trying to discover the “rulebook” of life. She requested a heart insight on the dream during our course. After I had led her into coherence, she kept her eyes closed for a long time and I hesitated to speak to her. When I finally asked if she had received an insight, she responded, “It’s still coming in.” Afterwards, she shared that her insight was that “there is no rulebook;” we need to ask for guidance day by day, situation by situation. This was a huge paradigm shift for her. A month later, she reported that she had not had that dream again!

Another woman in the class had been recently told by her doctor that she would need to start taking medication to lower her blood pressure, and she was reluctant to take it, but willing to monitor her blood pressure periodically. After the first Saturday of the Connection Practice, she dashed into a K-Mart to check her blood pressure and it was rather high. She decided to try an experiment, and used her heart focus, slow breathing, and a delightful memory to bring herself into coherence. A few moments later she again checked her blood pressure and it was 120 over 58, the lowest she could remember it being. She checked it again, just to make sure the reading was not a fluke. She felt so empowered, knowing that now she had a tool for instantly lowering her blood pressure!

Rita Marie’s new book, Completely Connected: Uniting Our Empathy & Insight for Extraordinary Results, is available at www.Amazon.com. I’m inspired by reading it, as I hope you will be too! The book is already #2 in Conflict Resolution & Mediation and #5 in Communication & Social Skills, on Amazon’s best-seller list!

Here’s what James O’Dea, renowned peace activist and educator, had to say:

Completely Connected is brilliant, authentic and potent. Rita Marie Johnson puts leading edge theory into groundbreaking practice and offers us a medicine that is both soulful and acutely relevant.”

President Oscar Arias of Costa Rica, a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, said:

“Combining empathy and insight, as Johnson has shown, is a valid and proven way to improve human relations.”

Heart Coherence: Personal and Global

Rollin McCraty and Howard Martin of the Institute for HeartMath recently dialogued on “Three Keys for Increasing Personal and Global Coherence.” Here are some highlights.

Solar Activity and Us

sun-big-solar-flare-100910-02It has been shown that the Earth’s magnetic field, influenced by solar activity, affects our brain, central nervous system, blood pressure, heart rate and heart rate variability, hormones, and more. At times when solar activity peaks, there can be an increase in social conflicts, depression, accidents, and heart attacks. However, these are also times when creativity is heightened. It’s a great time to practice “inner ease” and access our intuitive intelligence.

We can use our heart’s intelligence to make choices. When a judgment pops up, along with the turbulent emotions that generates, we can learn to back off, and turn to our inner guidance system. Information from our Higher Self, communicated to us as our heart’s wisdom, allows us to make more intelligent choices. Our goal is to be open-hearted and connected in this present moment. At this rather stressful time on the planet, a wonderful resource is to access the state of “ease” and to embrace that as a way of life, to enable us to flow through challenges. “Inner ease” is a quiet doorway into Presence. Here’s how:

Steps to Inner Ease

1) Whenever you are “out of sync,” begin by acknowledging your present feelings, whatever they are: frustration, anxiety, overload, anger, or others.

2) Bring your awareness to your heart, and begin slow, heart-focused breathing.

3) Breathe in a feeling of ease and emotional balance into your heart.

4) Make a heartfelt commitment to anchor this feeling in, as you re-engage with the world.lotus2

5) Radiate out the inner ease to everyone.

6) Start each day with this practice, and revisit it frequently.

Personal, Social, and Global Coherence

The field we generate when our hearts are in a state of coherence goes out and resonates with the Earth’s geomagnetic field to cause increased coherence in the environment, benefiting all living systems! DNA information is transmitted via electromagnetic waves. Earth’s electromagnetic field is a carrier of biological information.

earth's em fieldIndividual coherence creates more social and global coherence, which in turn benefits each individual.  At the end of the day, we might ask ourselves, “What did I contribute to the global field?” Did we add emotionally chaotic energy like frustration or anger? Or did we add ease and kindness?

Patience and kindness with ourselves also “feeds the field,” so don’t forget to practice those! Any time we can make the shift from anger or frustration to gratitude, appreciation, caring and connection, we have helped our own bodies tremendously–since just five minutes of anger suppresses our immune system for over 6 hours, while just five minutes of sincere appreciation enhances our immune response for the same time period.

Compassion for ourselves and others is an intelligent aspect of love. Practicing coherence attracts fulfilling and rewarding experiences and people to us.

The miraculous human heart

 “Near your breastbone there is an open flower. Drink the honey that is all around that flower. Waves are coming in; there is so much magnificence near the ocean!”  – Kabir

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  – Antoine de St-Exupery

heartOur human heart beats 100,000 times a day, 2 gallons of blood/minute, yet is much more than a pump. The heart is also an endocrine gland, secreting 5 hormones, and is part of the central nervous system.  The heart’s hormones affect how we learn, remember, explore. Over 60% of the heart cells are neural cells, like in the brain; the heart stores memories (especially emotional ones). The heart has its own intelligence. The amygdala, a part of the old “reptilian” brain which can trigger the “fight or flight” response, is a receptor of cardiac information. Much new information impacts the heart first, and then the brain.

The human heart is the most powerful electomagnetic (EM) generator and receiver in the body, and is an organ of perception and communication. The magnetic field produced by the heart is a torus (fractal); it is 5,000 times more powerful than the brain’s EM field! And it’s detectable over ten feet from the body. EM fields produced by the heart regulate DNA, RNA, protein synthesis. The bloodstream conducts EM impulses throughout the body. The heart both transmits and receives EM energy and thus is highly involved in perception.

All living organisms give off electric energy and magnetic fields. Electromagnetic (EM) communication goes on between all living organisms, all the time. Magnetic fields influence enzymes, cell growth & metabolism, and tissue repair. Both electrical and magnetic signals can be amplified.

Migrating species (salmon, birds, bees) use earth’s geomagnetic lines for navigation.

The hippocampus in the brain responds to magnetic frequencies, communicates with the amygdala and modulates emotional responses and immunity, and deciphers meaning. Too much sustained cortisol (stress hormone) in the system means the hippocampus can’t do its job.

Entrainment

When the EM fields of two hearts come together, they entrain to each other and interchange information. In fact, heart sparkleswhen the EM fields of any two life forms come together, they entrain. The mother’s and infant’s fields are entrained in utero, and during holding and breastfeeding. The infant’s heart must have this or it cannot develop properly.

Alterations in the heart’s EM spectrum are emotions, which show up as changes in heart rate and heart rate variability; the heart thus conducts information from the world to the central nervous system and brain, encoded in cardiac wave patterns.

scan0002Heart Coherence involves synchronization, resonance, and entrainment. One may begin by shifting to a heart focus, or focus on external sensory cues. The heart is the most powerful oscillator in the body. Other oscillating systems in the body automatically entrain to it: respiration, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the digestive system synchronize. When the parasympathetic dominates, the body relaxes.

For heart coherence, it’s helpful to remember and re-experience feelings of caring, love, and appreciation. As coherence deepens, hormones in the body alter: a 23% drop in cortisol; 100% increase in DHEA (anti-aging hormone, assists healing); dopamine production in the heart is enhanced, improving information transfer from heart to brain; and IgA (an immune enhancing hormone) increases.

In addition, blood pressure drops, peripheral vision increases, hippocampal activity increases, sending messages to the neocortex. Learning and intuition increase. There are fewer arrhythmias, and improvements in congestive heart failure, asthma, diabetes, fatigue, mitral valve prolapse, PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

The coherent heart field affects others positively. We are immersed in living energy fields of communication generated by intelligent life forms, including all living beings. The heart is an organ of perception, whereas the brain is more like a computer. The verbal is linear, but the heart is holistic.redbud

Imagine the electromagnetic field of a tree (and its state of coherence).

We can breathe in the tree’s energy, breathe out our own heart energy back to the tree. Or we can do that with each other’s hearts. As wonderful as it feels to get into coherence just by ourselves, the combined energy field when several people are breathing together and practicing coherence is yet more profoundly peaceful.

Much of this material is derived from The Secret Teachings of Plants by Stephen Harrod Buhner.