I am a HeartMath® provider and Resilient Educator. The HeartMath® tools resonate at such a deep level with me, and I now realize that I was using the essence of the tools in my work with my students, my children, and my clients in families, schools, and businesses long before I heard of HeartMath. For me the unique gift of HeartMath® has been to language the tools in a practical and research based format, and I deeply appreciate all the many contributors to the HeartMath® system.
However the most important part of knowing the HeartMath® tools has been my personal incorporation of them into my everyday moments. I used to think that I needed to set aside a special time to pray and meditate, and while I still believe this is very important, I now find myself using the HeartMath tools to stay present and appreciative in everyday moments. Many faiths acknowledge the importance of gratitude, and I am reminded of a Christian scripture which says “In everything give thanks”. Many faiths encourage stillness, love, peace, and being present. But for me the challenge was how do you accomplish this at a heart rather than head level. How do you stay present in the midst of chaos, grief, highs, lows, or the everyday ‘chop wood and carry water’ experiences? The practical, easy to learn tools of HeartMath® gave me the answer. The following is one example:
I arose one very cold and dry morning in Denver, CO, and dragged myself downstairs to cook some oatmeal. I knew I had a long to do list that was facing me and causing me some anxiety, as I started to boil the water for the oatmeal. I often start the water to boil and try to get as much done around the kitchen before its time to add the oatmeal. Instead I decided to stand over the pot of water which was slowly heating up. I focused in the area of my heart and began the heart breathing of the neutral tool. As I felt my entire nervous system slow down and align with the present moment, I felt the warm steam on my face, and activated a feeling of appreciation for the warm, wet, steam in my very dry house [the quick coherence tool]. I actually could feel the appreciation in my heart—it was NOT a thought. Still basking in the moment of stillness and gratitude, I looked down at the water to see if it was time to add the oatmeal. To my amazement the bubbles had formed little hearts all over the surface to the water. I realized that if I had been running around trying to accomplish something on my to do list, I would have missed the wonder of the warm steam and the unexpected surprise of the heart bubbles. As I moved forward into my busy day, I felt grounded in my heart, brain, and body.
Many of us believe that we need to go to a church, a cathedral, a synagogue, a mosque, a temple, an ashram to have peace, to practice meditation, to experience the quiet of solitude. However our hearts can be the church, the cathedral, the synagogue, the mosque, the temple, the ashram wherever we are, whatever we are doing in the moment. We CAN experience every day, ordinary or challenging experiences peacefully in the heart. Thank you HeartMath®, for developing these simple, easy to use tools which help me find love and peace wherever I am. [for further info on how I utilize the HeartMath system with children, parents, schools, businesses, health centers, and communities, please see my pages on therapy, coaching, and workshops]