Last month, I had the honor of presenting with Arianna Huffington at Wisdom 2.0, a fascinating annual conference of some of the most innovative and caring minds and organizational leaders I’ve met. The mission of the conference is to address the challenge of not only living connected to one another through technology, but doing so in ways that benefit our own well-being, make us more effective at work and in the world.
Speakers included tech executives from LinkedIn, Google, Facebook and Twitter and mindfulness luminaries like Jon Kabat Zinn, Marianne Williamson and Jack Kornfield. I was delighted to discover that many in this eclectic array of speakers are realizing mindfulness heart qualities need to be brought into the workplace and into our daily lives. The high-tech world, the government and big business are starting to acknowledge that humans have a heart and it’s more than just a means to pump blood. There is actually a movement afoot. For example, Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, talked about managing compassionately, and that his personal vision statement is to expand the world’s collective wisdom and compassion.
What HeartMath contributes to this important conversation about mindfulness as a lifestyle is the powerful addition of shifting from head to heart. So often when we talk about mindfulness, which starts with self-awareness of thoughts and feelings and holding attitudes of loving kindness, we don’t always acknowledge that involves the heart.
How does the heart relate to mindfulness? Mindfulness is about being present to what you’re feeling, thinking and sensing. Connecting to our hearts enables us to be in “the heart of the moment” and if you don’t want to get hooked into those thoughts and feelings, you let them pass through. Our research at the Institute of HeartMath confirms that attuning to the heart can enhance mindfulness practice.
At HeartMath, we train people to first get into heart coherence – generating a stable, sine-wavelike pattern in one’s heart rhythms. When the heart rhythm is coherent, the body, including the brain/mind and nervous system synchronize to the heart’s coherent rhythm and we gain greater mental clarity and intuitive discernment, which improves our decision-making. You lose coherence when you’re not present. Some mindfulness practitioners have reported how HeartMath’s Inner Balance and emWave heart coherence technology signals you when your mind starts to wander or go into a story and helps you maintain attention to the present.
Coming up – Quick Coherence Technique