Smart Heart  

By Victoria A. Vetere, Ph.D., H.C.


We most commonly consider the heart as the realm of physicians, priests or poets. However despite all that has ever been discovered about the heart, do we really understand this central sacred part of us?

Physically speaking, the heart is a truly unique and amazing organ with its own intelligence.  In Angeles Arrien’s classic work on native cultures, The Four-Fold Way, it is written:

The heart is a leisurely muscle.  It differs from all other muscles.  How many push-ups can you make before the muscles in your arms and stomach get so tired that you have to stop?  But your heart muscle goes on working for as long as you live.  It does not get tired, because there is a phase of rest built into every single heartbeat.  Our physical heart works leisurely.  And when we speak of the heart in a wider sense, the idea that life-giving leisure lies at the very center is implied.  Never to lose sight of that central place of leisure in our life would keep us youthful.  Seen in this light, leisure is not a privilege but a virtue. Leisure is not the privilege of a few who can afford to take time, but the virtue of all who are willing to give time to what takes time—to give as much time as a task rightly takes. 

          ~ Brother David Steindl-Rast, Gratefulness, the Heart of Prayer

    From this passage we learn a fascinating fact about the heart.  The heart teaches us by its very nature and functioning, the wisdom of balance between work and rest.  How many of us follow this rhythm in our lives?

In The Four-Fold Way, Arrien further explains that many native cultures describe “the four-chambered heart” as one that is full, open, clear and strong.  Are we full-hearted, open-hearted, clear-hearted, and strong-hearted?  Or are we half-hearted, closed-hearted, confused and carrying a doubting heart, or weak-hearted and inauthentic?

Moving now to modern culture we see a continuing fascination with the role of the heart.  The Institute of Heart Math, founded in 1991 just south of San Francisco is formed on the basis of understanding if and how we can create love.  Pretty heady (or should I say “hearty”) stuff!  Over the past decade and a half, HeartMath has generated a large body of convincing scientific evidence proving that it is indeed possible to create love.  It has also been shown that emotions work much faster and are much more powerful, than thoughts.  And furthermore, that the heart is much more important than the brain to overall health and well-being.

HeartMath’s research team has discovered that certain patterns in the heart rhythm correspond to particular emotional states.  When people experience love, they not only feel happy and joyful, but they also produce more of the anti-aging hormone DHEA, which gives feelings of youthful vitality.  In addition, production of damaging stress hormones (including cortisol) is reduced, as well as improved cholesterol metabolism, improved immune function and blood pressure stabilization.  HeartMath concludes that love is both an emotional and a physical state, that positive feelings like love generate health.

There is even more good news about the power of the heart.  Studies show that the electromagnetic field of the heart (which is created by the heart’s electrical system) can be measured from between two and three metres from the body.  HeartMath has discovered that if someone has a coherent heart rhythm (reflective of positive emotions) it has a demonstrably positive effect on other people in close proximity.  And the reverse is also true.  This is a far-reaching finding (literally!)  This proves that the health of our environment starts with us.  You must be the change you wish to see in the world.  Why?  Because, you are the change you wish to see in the world!

So is your heart smart?  Indeed it is wise beyond our knowing.  I invite you to seriously consider what you have read here and to decide how you will empower yourself and change your world, your physical health, your emotional happiness and your global peace.

John Lennon was right—All you need is love.  

Victoria A. Vetere, PhD, HC is an Enlightened Life Coach offering individual sessions, workshops, groups and special events based upon the powerful Law of Attraction!  For more info, visit her website: or call her Grandview office at 614/486-7010.  Why wait any longer to live the life you dream of?  You truly can Be, Do and Have anything!