This is a question posed near the end of my documentary film, Sacred Journey of the Heart:
Gregg Braden: “A question that comes to us again and again is how much power do we really have to influence the world? How strong is this power in the human heart?” Click here to watch film on GaiaTV
This question that Gregg asks is a fundamental one as we chose, day in and day out, how to act in the world. If we believe that our individual choices do not really matter in the larger scheme, we miss many opportunities to be agents of change. If we begin to explore and act from the amazing, verifiable power in our hearts, we not only change our own lives, but we experience the power we have to change the world around us.
I had a heart-empowered experience the last time I was at the airport. I am sharing this with you to demonstrate how each one of us has the capacity to change a situation of chaos into calm, callousness into caring and self-centeredness into service. This is needed now more than ever before.
If you fly the “friendly” skies a lot or even once in a while, you’ll notice how chaotic it’s become in airports. The stress level has increased tremendously with all the threats, the computer system breakdowns, with security procedures and even with the boarding process to get onto the planes.
Airports are way-stations for people in transit and they are wonderful places to observe human behavior. Being a certified hearth math instructor, the main reason I enjoy travelling as much as I do (about 75,000 miles a year), is that I know how to stay stress-free and choose to enjoy travel vs. dread it.
Not only that, but I know that using the present-moment awareness techniques of HeartMath, I can and regularly DO, successfully shift chaotic situations into calm ones.
Here’s what happened. I arrived 3 hours early to airport last week which is unusual for me but my transportation options made it necessary. I went into the airport with the intention to stay in heart-coherence, a measurable state that you consciously activate through a simple technique (taught in the film by Dr. Rolin McCraty of HeartMath). This state allows you to be in the flow, and to send a signal into the field around you that is calming. I also have a little prayer that I say which begins, “Make me an instrument of thy peace…” also known as the St. Francis of Assisi prayer.
Because I was so early, there was a flight that was leaving before the one I was booked on. So I thought I’d go to that gate and see if I could get a seat on the earlier flight. The gate agents had just started to board first class. There was a crowd of people, all bunched up around the boarding area and a lot of tension in the air. You can feel the anxiety and frustration many people are steeped in during the boarding process. This feeling is a result of the actual signal that is being broadcast from many people’s hearts rhythms. The question you may ask is: Is it really possible for one person to shift this? I know that the answer is “yes”.
So on that day, I stood at the back of the crowd and kept radiating gratitude and calm. Then I felt a slight tap on my shoulder. I turned and saw a beautiful young woman, about 18 years old standing next to me. She made it known very quickly that she was deaf. Then she showed me her boarding pass that had a “Zone 4” on it. She asked me with her fingers, are they boarding Zone 1, 2, 3 or 4?
Knowing the ins and outs of airline travel, I motioned to her, “follow me”. I then asked people to please step aside as I was making way for this young women to get on the plane. I knew that the gate agent would have no objection to her boarding early and getting settled into her seat. However, there was quite an outcry as we moved through the crowd of waiting people – for example: “Are you in first class?”, “Hey lady, there’s a line here” etc.
I stopped for a moment and still, sending out appreciation, said, “I’m not even on this flight, I am helping this young woman who can’t hear get onto this plane. Can you imagine being in an airport and not being able to hear the announcements?”
Everything shifted. People backed up, made a little aisle for us and even started to smile. A few people said thank you to me. And the whole energy shifted out of selfishness and the “me-first” callous attitude that can be prevalent in crowds. It changed in a few seconds to to people feeling genuinely grateful for a couple of things: that someone was helping another person, and maybe even feeling grateful for being able to hear, a sense faculty we usually take for granted.
When the young woman got to the jet bridge, she turned and gave me the heart-thanks symbol with her hands. I said thank you back to her, then ducked under the boarding-area rope, and went on my way, my heart expanding even more with gratitude that my prayer was answered and I was able to be an instrument of peace in that moment.
I encourage you to explore the power you have inside your own heart, to learn to use it to be an instrument of positive change and to live life in ever expanding gratitude.
I will be sharing the heart-math coherence technique in my upcoming webinar
Title: Creating Synchronicities
Time: Thursday, August 25th at 5:00 PM Pacific
Listening method: Phone + Web Simulcast
To attend, visit:
PLEASE EMAIL ME FOR THE EVENT PASSWORD: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone Number: (425) 440-5100
Secondary Number: (619) 471-1669
Pin Code: 339751#
If you’ve ever faced an unexpected event that threatened to derail something you’ve worked on for a long time, you know, as I do, that it’s a good idea to have a strategy or two to in place in order to react quickly and effectively and, with your intellect functioning under full power. I was reminded of this last week, the day before our screening of Sacred Journey of the Heart to international distributors during the Cannes Film Festival. I’m very grateful I was able to tap into my “Presence-Peace-Power” equation, because I certainly needed it!
I had lived through plenty of times where my default pattern was to go into what I now identify as Presumption-Panic-Impairment. As I revealed in the film, this pattern originated in my past of childhood abuse. All my HeartMath training and Radical Forgiveness work in the course of making the film gave me the healing tools I needed so that I would not: a) “presume the worst”, b) go into a panic and then c) make decisions and take actions that were “intellectually impaired”. We know now that the under stress and panic, the body marshals its reserves for a real battle, moving blood and oxygen supplies away from the higher cortical thinking centers of the brain and into the large muscles of the legs, arms and chest to prepare for action. This state does not facilitate good intellectual decision making!
It was Sunday morning and my distribution representative mentioned to me that I needed to bring my film’s blu-ray disk to the projection office for the screening the next day, Monday night at 8 pm. I was on my way out the door to attend a producers’ breakfast workshop and looking forward to an interesting day. When he told me this, my heart felt like it stopped for a moment, and I said, “Um, what do you mean me? I’m supposed to deliver a blu-ray disk? I don’t have one with me in France! I thought you had everything we needed for the screening!” He reminded me that we had emailed about this a few months ago — and then my heart felt like it actually dropped, when I had to admit, “OMG, I forgot! The blu-ray disks are in my office in Phoenix!”
I could feel my old panic pattern begin raise its head as my heart was gearing up to start pounding. The second I felt this sensation, I stopped and focused on my heart, and consciously slowed down my breathing and my heart rate itself as I internally told myself, “ease-up, take a minute, slow down”. I had learned HeartMath’s latest technique called “Inner Ease” when I completed my training last December and this was my immediate go-to technique. Instead of allowing my imagination to go down the road of seeing a room full of distribution professionals and no film for them to view, I focused on tapping into a feeling of easing up and staying in Presence – or the present moment. We had time, albeit not much, to find a solution!
I was able to consciously slow down my heart rate because I’ve practiced heart coherence for a few years now. As a result, I can prevent myself from going into a full physiological adrenal stress response when it’s not needed. I’m sure I had a small burst of adrenaline but this is not a bad thing when you know how to come back to balance quickly. As Dr. Deborah Rozman, President of HeartMath LLC, says in the film, “In a state of coherence, you learn to live from a place where your heart and brain are in balance, your decisions are better and you don’t wear out your body!”
If you’re interested in learning the specific techniques of how to do this too, I’ll be teaching a 3 hour online HeartMath webinar that you can attend from anywhere as long as you have a computer and the internet. The webinar will include specific instructions on the Inner Ease practice and a number of other effective HeartMath techniques to use in these types of situations as well as in ordinary day to day interactions. The webinar will take place on June 14 from 9 to noon, Pacific time. Click here for more details.
After a minute or so of going into presence and inner peace, I was able to take effective action. I got on the phone to Fed Ex in the USA to find out if they could move heaven and earth and get a DVD from Arizona to southern France in less than 48 hours, beginning on a Sunday (it turns out they could!) At the same, we asked our distribution rep to call the film screening office at the Palais in Cannes to find out if they could project a high quality replicated DVD, of which I had brought plenty with me to France. It took about 30 minutes to get it all sorted out, but the good news is that from this place of power, versus panic, we were able to get to a quick and easy solution. And I didn’t put myself into massive physiological stress in the time that it took for us find the best solution for the issue at hand.
We had a full theater for our film screening on Monday night and the film looked as beautiful as ever (thanks Skip and Scott, our director and editor!) I encourage you to give yourself the gift of learning some practical techniques that improve the quality of your life in every day situations as well as those unexpected occurrences that inevitably come up!
Have you ever had one of those days when things were just not working out? I had one of those days yesterday and rather than bore you with the details, I’ll just share what I did to get out of the pits and into the place of positive perspective. I call it L-A-U-G-H! And I share my “laugh resources” below. But first, did you know that on Tuesday, May 6, a new world laughter record was set by 1,950 elders in Dada Dadi park in Borivli, India? Here’s a great photo of the group in action!
We know that laughter can be the best medicine. Norman Cousins’ groundbreaking work on laughter changed the way we think about emotion and healing 38 years ago. Read the rest of this entry