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Heart Intelligence

Why Art is Good for Your Health and Health is Good for Your Art

Painted healthy heart.

Getty/Benjavisa

Learn to listen to the wisdom of your heart to untether your creativity and boost your wellbeing.

“If I create from the heart, nearly everything works. If from the head, almost nothing.” —Marc Chagall

For centuries, artists have described a heart-guided flow state that allows them to create effortlessly. Today, science has confirmed that heart intelligence influences creativity, intuition, and clarity, as well as the health of our physical and energetic bodies.

What Is Heart Intelligence?

The heart has its own information processing center that sends more messages to the brain than the brain sends the heart. This heart brain, also called our “wisdom brain,” affects every part of our body, including our thoughts and emotions. When we let it guide us, we achieve an optimal state of wellness in every system in our body, including hormonal, cardiovascular, nervous, and immune.

Heart intelligence is “the flow of awareness, understanding, and intuition we experience when the mind and emotions are brought into coherent alignment with the heart,” according to HeartMath Institute, a scientific research center based in Boulder Creek, California.

Let Your Heart Guide You

Van Gogh famously stated, “What is done in love, is done well.” The “love frequency” is the frequency of the heart experiencing love. In this state, your heart rhythm settles into its optimal pattern to allow all your systems to work together harmoniously.

This love resonance creates the right environment for the input and output of energetic reciprocity in the creative process. Anodea Judith explains that in the path of manifestation, also known as creativity, the heart is the bridge between a formless idea and physical matter. It is the space where the previously unknown begins to physically take shape. Science and mystics agree that love is a way to access creativity and wellness.

However, when you are stressed, frustrated, or overwhelmed, your heart rhythm becomes disordered, which disrupts every system in your body. When your mind is not listening to your heart, this actually creates resistance within your body. This creates turmoil in your system and disrupts the state of flow that we access when we create.

The Symbiosis of Art and Wellness

When we only listen to our rational mind and ignore our heart wisdom, we are not able to achieve the flow state of ease, which in turn creates dis-ease. Art insists that we listen to our heart intelligence. When we don’t, we meet resistance until we surrender to our heart wisdom. Art shows us that the power of this heart wisdom is greater than our own cerebral desires.

Creativity is like a guide, offering us a path back to our natural state of wellness. Art is a self-regulating system for wellness. Art is good for your health, and your health is good for your art.

The relationship is symbiotic because creativity is a way to get into the flow state, flooding our body systems with optimal conditions for health. Likewise, when we are in an optimal state of harmony, we are more easily able to access our heart’s intelligence to create with ease.

Did you know?

  • The heart’s electrical field is 60 times greater than the brain.
  • Our heart magnetic field radiates at least five feet around our entire body in a donut shape. This field interacts with other heart fields. This is why it is said that our hearts enter a room before we do.

Ways to Access Heart Intelligence

  • Move your body. In yoga, certain poses are heart openers, including back bends, shoulder rolls, and inversions. (When I physically position my heart above my head in an inversion, I repeat the phrase “heart over head” as a reminder to listen to my heart wisdom.)
  • Pay attention to your posture. Is your heart open with shoulders back and spine erect? Or are your shoulders slumped and chest caved in? Maintaining a healthy posture is one way to stay energetically and physically aligned for optimal function of body and spirit.
  • Tap your heart. Using the pads of your fingers, softly tap on your heart to awaken the energy in this space.
  • Warm your heart. Rub your hands together to create heat. Gently, place your hands on your heart and breathe into this space. Feel the breath expand across your chest. Pause to feel the softening.
  • Use flower medicine. Roses are energetic heart openers. They have been associated with the heart and love for centuries. Roses vibrate at the highest frequency of all flowers and at the same frequency as the heart when in love. You can bring the mystical qualities of the rose into your life by using rose oil, rose tea, or fresh roses to soften your heart.
  • Practice gratitude meditation. Place your hands on your heart and breathe into that space. Begin to lengthen your inhale and exhale, slowing down your breath. Begin to reflect on all the reasons to be grateful. Notice how your heart feels even when you just bring your focus into its physical space.
  • Sit and listen to your heart. Do not judge what happens. Just listen. Perhaps you hear inner guidance or perhaps you sit in silence and calm yourself with this pause in your day. This technique is another reminder that we cannot control certain things that happen, but we can control how we respond.
  • Engage in random acts of kindness. Practicing kindness towards others is a fail-proof method to flood the body with love. Get creative on simple ways to do this in your life.

The more we practice communicating with our heart, the easier it becomes. Instead of ignoring our heart’s wisdom, we can choose to honor it as a valuable part of ourselves. When we do, we are in our optimal state of wellness to create with joy and ease.

Read next: “A Practice to Tap Into Creativity with the Second Chakra.”


About the Author

Carrie Schmitt is an artist, author, and instructor who began painting as a therapeutic practice after being diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to heat in 2009. She leads online and in-person art workshops. Her most recent book, The Story of Every Flower, is a collection of her vibrant art and intimate writing that documents her 10-year journey as an artist.

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