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 decision-making ability.

Since 2013, we’ve gone to great lengths to measure and quantify coherence and transformation, and central to both coherence and transformation is understanding the heart’s role. Almost everyone knows the elevated feelings of the heart—love, compassion, gratitude, joy, unity, and so on. These are feelings that fill us up and make us feel wholeness, connectedness, and oneness, rather than the feelings of stress that divide communities and drain individuals of vital energy. The problem is that often the elevated feelings of the heart occur through chance—dependent upon something external in our environment—rather than something we can produce on demand. What we’ve found in studying the many facets of the heart, however, is that in fact we can regulate our internal states, independent of the conditions in our external environment. Just like developing any skill, it requires knowledge and practice.

We know that in order to create a new future, a person needs to marry a clear intention (coherent brain) with an elevated emotion (coherent heart). With the intention or thought acting as the electrical charge, and the feeling or emotion acting as a magnetic charge, this is how we change our energy­—and when we change our energy, we change our life. It’s the communion of these two ingredients that begin to produce a clear effect on matter by moving our biology from living in the past to living in the future. Only then can we cease being a victim of circumstance and begin living as a creator of our reality. This is the process whereby we create a new personal reality.

The benefits of heart coherence are numerous, not the least to mention lower blood pressure, improved nervous system and hormonal balance, and improved brain function. The bottom line is, if you can maintain and sustain elevated emotional states, independent of the conditions in your external environment, you can access higher intuitive states that can result in a better understanding of ourselves and others, help prevent stressful patterns that occur in our life, increase mental clarity, and promote better discernment. It all begins with the creation of heart coherence through cultivating, practicing, and sustaining elevated emotions like gratitude, appreciation, thankfulness, inspiration, freedom, kindness, care, compassion, love, and the joy for existence.

History has left in its wake an endless trail of mismanaged emotions. Whether the result is a Shakespearean tragedy or a World War, mismanaged emotions such as blame, hate, fear, and retribution have left an endless, unnecessary loop of suffering throughout history. The good news is, this is a moment of time where we have the technology and understanding to actually learn how to more efficiently and effectively manage our emotions, and studies have shown that if we can do this properly, we can achieve healthier relationships, improved prosperity, feelings of joy and wholeness, and even personal and global peace. Then, instead of acting out of division, a lack of understanding, and the mechanical responses of stress—responses that drain us of our energy—we can replace them with emotions that give us energy, fill our spirit, and leave us feeling wholeness, connection, and unity. This is what it means to access the heart’s intelligence.

It doesn’t take much time to get heart centered. Simply find a quiet moment in your day and find stillness in your body and mind by paying attention to your breath. Each time you take a breath, slow it down, place your awareness where your heart is, then practice cultivating those heightened, elevated emotions that connect us to everyone and everything. Just as we unconsciously cultivate fear, jealousy, anger, or sadness on a regular basis, if we practice feeling elevated emotions every day, who knows—it might just become how we normally feel. When our heart is open, we are more intuitive, more patient, more connected, more present, more forgiving, and more knowing. That’s why I like to say the brain thinks, but the heart knows.