Full transcript of author and HeartMath founder Howard Martin’s TEDx Talk: Engaging The Intelligence of the Heart at TEDxSantaCruz conference.
Howard Martin – HeartMath
Thank you very much for the warm welcome. It’s an honor and a privilege to be here in my home community, talking about the thing that means the most to me, which is my heart.
And this journey goes back a long way for me now, over 40 years: I started when I was three. But a long time now.
And it started with a couple of realizations. When I was a young man, I realized that life, for me, had to be about continuous growth. That was what was most important.
That seemed to be what life was about, what everything around me was trying to do, whether they were conscious of it or not.
And I also realized that life had to be about service to others. So whatever you gained, you needed to find a way to give it. It was an incomplete feeling or incomplete circuit, if you didn’t give back something from what you gained in your life.
And that process led me to a discovery of heart, an exploration of heart which has been my life’s work.
But enough about me, except one more thing I should tell you, and that is, is that I’ve lived here proudly in Boulder Creek now for 21 years, but I’m originally from the south.
So I think it’s an important time to be alive. We’ve reached the critical juncture where humanity is making choices, where there’s a revolution unfolding socially, spiritually, consciously — all kinds of different ways it’s happening.
And this year, this very year we’re in right now is a very important choice point year. We’re making decisions today that are going to affect our future for a very long time.
Those choices will affect our individual lives, our own fulfillment, and then the future of many, many things in the world, and I think that’s what a conference like today is all about.
It’s people coming together to share new ideas, to help us all make the choices that we need to make. In the context of these changing times, we face challenges, but we also are finding solutions.
And one of the things that’s emerging in the middle of all this, is an intelligence we’ve had for a long time, that we access with some consistency but usually not with regularity, something we’ve all heard about, something we all revere when we really make contact with it: and it is the intelligence of the heart itself.
And HeartMath is a lot of things, but if I look at it simplistically, and say, “What are we really doing there?” We’re really exploring and discovering new things and then passing on information about the intelligence of the heart.
When I speak about the intelligence of the heart, I’m talking about this aspect of us we have inside that goes down to the physical heart where we know new things about our physical heart we never knew before. I’ll share some of those things in just a minute.
But beyond the physical heart, we have a lot more going on in regards to what heart really is. It is a source of wisdom and intelligence within us, it’s high speed, it’s intuitive, it’s discriminating. It’s the place where our authentic self, our really core of our self emerges from.
It’s the birthplace of emotions that we revere the most in our lives: love, care, compassion, appreciation, those kind of emotions long, long ago associated with this word “heart.”
As I said earlier, when we access this part of ourselves, it gives us greater discrimination over things – a new ability to see into ourselves, our world, and to others. It is that place we access when we are able to do what we usually can’t. It’s really our own source of self-security; the place we go to when we need to find answers to things. It’s where the hero within is born from.
And what I like to think about heart, as I’ve gone through my life trying to discover more about it, is it really is my own best friend, and my most reliable guide to making decisions, big and small.
To this point, I’ve been talking, I guess you could call it, philosophically inspirational about heart. And you’ve heard these things before.
At HeartMath, we’ve done lots of scientific research to look at heart in a different way, and to unfold a new understanding of heart that gives us more respect in it, and to do that, we’ve used science. We’ve discovered a lot of things about heart.
The heart is, in fact, a lot more than a blood pump. It sends powerful commands to the brain and to the rest of the body. It does it in four ways: There’s a neurological communication which Doug mentioned. The heart has its own very complex nervous system, sending information to the brain in the head. The brain sends information down to the heart; the heart sends information back to the brain; conversation happening all the time.
When researchers map out the neurological traffic in our bodies, they clearly see that the heart is sending a lot more information to the brain than it ever gets.
If you placed your finger on your wrist, you would feel your pulse; that’s a wave of energy created by the squeezing of the heart pushing blood through veins and arteries, it’s called “the blood pressure wave“, travels through the whole body, it influences everything, including brain function.