Heart Intelligence

arms wide open…
Originally uploaded by piapest.

When our emotions over-run our mind’s ability to control our speech, we say "we are speaking from the heart". Or we’ll say, "I knew this in my heart", or "I felt it deep in my heart" … the list goes on. The link between the heart and our emotions crosses languages, cultures and histories — and yet, as marketers, we seek to understand the logical patterns of behaviour, approach consumers as rationally defined groupings responding to messages, cues and stimuli in measurable and predetermined (or at least managed) ways. Perhaps we are just seeking out a pattern to make sense of the chaos of our lives.

Tonight I was watching a show (yes on TV) about "heart intelligence". It discussed the way that lives of transplant patients changed after the operation. Sometimes these changes were immediate and extreme … reflecting the personality, tastes, nature, capabilities and interests of the donor. In one case, upon regaining consciousness, when a woman was asked how she felt, she responded that she would "kill for a beer". Up until the operation she had not been interested in beer and certainly wouldn’t use that sort of language. There were other cases … amazing.

It makes sense on a number of levels … however, the discovery of neuron cells around the heart capable of storing memories brings another dimension to the heart. If memory is, indeed, distributed throughout the body (ie not locatable to one single point), then it is wholly conceivable that the influence of our heart and body on our "rationality" is yet to be fully understood.

Where am I going with this? Why, back to community, of course … and to storytelling. You see, when I first came into contact with my friend Christina Kerley, I was overwhelmed by her energy, positivity and generosity. I knew she was a good person. But how could I know this? How could I come to this conclusion without meeting her, without looking into the whites of her eyes? In the blogosphere, to an extent, we are flying blind … so we have to trust our instincts — we have to listen to what our hearts are telling us.

Now many of you would have also been amazed and perhaps benefited from CK’s energy, passion and enthusiasm. Maybe she has shared her thoughts with you on her blog or in email. Perhaps you are lucky enough to have met her in person, or worked with her professionally. Or perhaps you have yet to come within her orbit … but chances are, if you are reading this, then you are likely to have had some time in the light of CK’s generous spirit.

You will also know that recently she has faced the most difficult and challenging time of her life with the passing of her mother, Sandra. And it is clear from the way in which CK and her sister, Melissa, celebrated Sandra’s life, that the strength, courage and vibrancy that we know and love in CK was also in abundance in Sandra’s life. The heart intelligence that beat so strongly in Sandra’s approach to the world also drives her daughters and touches all who come in contact with them.

In honour of Sandra’s life, a few of us have banded together to establish a website to raise funds for one of Sandra’s favourite causes — Habitat for Humanity. As CK explains, "It gives people homes; what’s better than a home really? Dignity. You see, the people in need of homes actually build them right alongside the volunteer team so it’s not so much "charity" as it is "community."".

Please consider supporting this great cause — even the smallest amount when pooled together can make a lasting beneficial change in a person’s life. Go on … you know your heart thinks it is the right thing to do 😉

5 thoughts on “Heart Intelligence

  1. What a great story ;-). I’m so fortunate to have you (and so many great bloggers) in my life, and heart. I cherish this post and story and I’m so thankful Noel has come home as that has been the light for me this week.
    Action Point: Get me a project in Sydney as I want to live there for a month so we can hang out finally. It is a sin that we’ve not yet been able to meet. Soon, I just know it in my heart.

  2. Gavin,
    I belong to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace as an Associate. Our fundamental work is peace through justice. We come to our work by centering ourselves through contemplation, believing that there is tension (that’s a good thing) between the heart and the mind. To discover our goodness and to do the right thing, we need to create a balance between the tension.
    This is not about religion; it is a philosophy (religion is dogma) that drives the way we live. We believe that people can find there goodness in many ways; that there is no one way to find our centers.
    Obviously, you and CK have found yours, and I am grateful to know you both and am honored to call you friends.

  3. Gavin,
    Incredible… I’m reading your post from the airport lounge in Cape Town. And can’t resist to post a comment (although connection is not the best ever).
    This to say… I met people with “heart intelligence” on the (very same) day you posted this text. A person who decided to help kids in the townships of Cape Town. So, I visited the townships with her and her friend living there. It touched me… deeply touched me. I’m going to write about this. I’d like to help them.
    But I still hear her words : “Some people see things and listen with their hearts… and people who share this known they do when they meet… as if there were some kind of heart intelligence”. Once again I’m breathless.

  4. GH – Right in tune on the “flying blind” and trust issue. Listening to and acting on instinct can burn you but more often than not pays heart huge! A wonderful post about a great person – CK – and a great non-profit – Habitat. Both do work from the heart!

  5. Habitat for humanity is a great organization, I used to go to school where is the home office is located. This sounds like a wonderful idea.
    Keep up the good work

Comments are closed.