For many years, our friends and research partners at the HeartMath Institute (an internationally recognized nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to helping people reduce stress, self-regulate emotions, and build energy and resilience for healthy, happy lives) have been studying and investigating how the heart and brain communicate with each other. Conversely, they have also been studying how that affects our consciousness and the way in which we perceive our world. As an example, when we are feeling elevated emotions like gratitude, love, or compassion, the heart beats out a certain message. Because the heart creates the largest electromagnetic field produced in [...]
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Two of our most unique capacities as human beings are that we possess the facilities of self-reflection and freewill. This means we have the ability to look at where we are, where we’ve been, and decide where we want to go. While this certainly sounds easy, the catch is if you don’t trust that changing your thoughts, behaviors, beliefs, and actions will produce a change, then nothing in your life will actually change. Why? Because this lack of trust means you’re anticipating the same experience, and that anticipation creates the same emotion. This is the irony, as well as the [...]
Even thus by the great sages 'tis confessed The phoenix dies, and then is born again, When it approaches its five-hundredth year; - Dante, Inferno, Canto XXIV According to Egyptian mythology, every 500 years the Phoenix self-immolates, meaning—it voluntarily lights itself on fire so that it may be reborn as a greater expression of itself. It’s for this reason why I chose the symbol of the Phoenix for our back-to-back June Advanced Workshops in Cancun, Mexico, and for this reason why I named the event “Transformation of Matter.” I wanted our students to focus on completely burning away the things [...]
For the past several decades, the world has seen an exponential growth, interest, and curiosity in mind-body interventions such as yoga, meditation, and Tai Chi. After practicing such disciplines, it doesn’t take long for us to feel physically stronger and experience increased mental clarity. As the saying goes, it does the mind and body good. But new research by the universities of Coventry and Radboud, published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, suggest that the benefits of these practices are far greater than simply calming the mind and strengthening the body. The benefits actually begin at the molecular level and can [...]
In Western medicine, when we visit a doctor with a health issue, we usually see a generalist or a specialist. Sometimes it feels like a cattle call, and if we’re lucky we get a few minutes with a doctor to explain why we’re feeling sick or imbalanced. The problem with this approach, however, is that it generally treats the symptom and not the cause—and a symptom is not a human. Humans are comprised of complex relations between cells, tissues, organs, and systems of the body, all of which communicate physically, emotionally, genetically, energetically, and so on. That’s why when it [...]
I believe a small group of people with compassion and kindness in their hearts can change the world, after all, that’s why we do the work we do. There’s a simple equation that says when you feel better, you treat other people better, and this produces a ripple effect that spreads out to everyone around you. One act of kindness is like dropping a pebble in a pond—the ripple spreads out to everyone and everything around you. The next thing you know, some lily pad in the far corner of the pond gets an uplifting shake and wiggle and it [...]
When Grant Achatz was a young boy, one if his uncles often played pranks on him, and Grant could never tell if he was being serious or not. One day, his uncle wrapped French fries around a pickle and popped it in his mouth. Grant wasn’t sure if it was a prank or not, but he decided to try the concoction—and it was delicious. Grant’s young mind couldn’t understand why it tasted good because it sounded gross. That’s when his uncle walked him through why it tasted good; starch, fat, acid, salt, and everything in between that balanced it out. [...]
Last September, in a blog called The Nature of Nurture and the Nurture of Nature, I discussed a study in which Dr. Brian Dias from Emory University suggested that some biological information is inherited through chemical changes in our DNA. Called genomic imprinting, he inferred that memories of traumatic or stressful experiences could be passed on from our ancestors. For years it’s been known without a doubt that from generation to generation, the most important aspects of our genetic instruction are passed on through our DNA. In the last decade, however, through the science of epigenetics, it has also come [...]
On April 24, 1990, astronomy changed for good when the Space Shuttle Discovery rocketed into space, carrying aboard it the Hubble Space Telescope. Hubble allowed us to look deep into space to see galaxies, not as we perceive them today, but as they were when the light we are perceiving escaped them—sometimes millions, sometimes billions of years ago. You can think of that light like a postcard traveling through the mail for a very, very long time. When it reaches us, it has a story to tell. Eventually, when Hubble’s peering eye reached the outer edge of its limit, the [...]
From ancient cultures to today, like a thread through the needle of time, the heart appears as a symbol and source of health, wisdom, and intuition. As a symbol, it transcends time, place, and culture, and it’s a commonly accepted that when we are connected to the heart’s inner knowing, it’s wisdom can be used as a source for love and higher, intelligent guidance. Beyond it’s obvious imperative in sustaining life, the heart is not simply a muscle or a physical pump that moves blood throughout our body, but an organ capable of influencing and directing one's emotions, morality, and [...]