H is for Heart

Listen with your Heart by Laurie Buchanan

Sandcast artwork made by Donna Arendt for Laurie

Literally – our heart is an amazing pump. Approximately the size of your fist, and weighing less than 1 pound, it circulates approximately 6 quarts of blood throughout the body 3 times every minute. An adult’s heart pumps (re-circulates) nearly 4,000 gallons of blood each day through blood vessels. If these could be laid end-to-end, they would cover a distance of about 60,000 miles!

Symbolically – the heart represents different things to different people; somewhat “in the eye of the beholder,” so to speak. One interpretation that seems to transcend language and culture is that the heart symbolizes love, charity, and compassion.

For me, the heart is a container where I hold sacred spaceHeartLight.

Whether I’m at the end of a paper letter or email correspondence my closing is always “Listen with your heart.” It’s my perspective that the heart is the intersection of thinking (logic) and feeling (emotion). When these two powerful aspects of self are healthy and used in conjunction with each other, we function from a place of wisdom—the heart. This brings clarity in decision-making, removes drudgery, and adds exponentially to joy in the abundance factor.

It’s my perspective that we shouldn’t lead with our heart and only follow our emotions. Nor should we lead with our head and only follow logic. Rather, we should use the powerful combination of both and listen with our heart.

Author, Judith Campbell said, “When your heart speaks, take good notes.”

What is your heart telling you?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com


35 thoughts on “H is for Heart

  1. Ah ha, blessing on you! Yes dear Laurie this is your signature, “Listen to your heart” as well as “Whatever your not changing, you are choosing.”

    I think these words sum it all up beautifully, it is about balance, or the dance of harmony:
    It’s my perspective that the heart is the intersection of thinking (logic) and feeling (emotion). When these two powerful aspects of self are healthy and used in conjunction with each other, we function from a place of wisdom—the heart. This brings clarity in decision-making, removes drudgery, and adds exponentially to joy in the abundance factor.

    I am Love, Jeff

  2. Laurie, I like how you distinguish between “emotion” and “heart”. That is right on! Too many of us confuse our emotion/feelings for our heart. Most mornings I like to breathe deeply into the chakras. When you breathe deeply into the heart chakra sometimes it feels like you are expanding into exquisite connection and compassion for all of humanity. Thank you for this post!

    • Kathy – Welcome back from your grand adventureS (notice the plural use – with your unexpected side trip to Detroit). I resonate with the beautiful word picture you’ve painted here, breathing deeply into the heart chakra (green) and expanding into exquisite connection and compassion for all of humanity. Beautiful!

  3. My heart is telling me that it is shattered in a few different ways that I am trying understand what steps to take next…

    ThankS for the reminder of the intersection of mind and heart…come to think of it, that could be why it is so dificult, as I have to face things with both and really don’t want to…


  4. Laurie, I never see a symbol of a heart on my nature walks without thinking of you. I sometimes even say, I think I will take this in honour of Laurie.

    My heart is telling me to hold lightly to what is. I have no idea what this means but as you mention in the advice of Judith Campbell, I have taken good notes. I am curious and attune to possible changes.

    • Terrill – I will always treasure the photograph you gifted me with–a heart in nature–when you were out-and-about on one of your adventures.

      Readers – If you’d like to see the photograph that Terrill took, please follow this LINK and scroll down a bit to where you will see the photograph and read the story behind it.

  5. Wow, as always, thought-provoking information! Thank you.
    Today, my heart is filled with love,joy and laughter about my husband’s 68th birthday and our granddaughter’s 4th birthday. Our children surprised my husband with breakfast this morning with the had painted bowl, plate and mug they made for him and tonight we are celebrating with a yummy family dinner. Before our grandaughter went to pre-school she dressed up an played in my white slipper satin flower girl dress that I wore for two weddings when I was 3 and 4 years old. My Heart is Singing!!!

  6. Hi Laurie,

    Great post.

    And I think it is useful to look a bit deeper, both at the heart, and behind the symbology of the heart.

    Most people think of the heart as something that works constantly, yet if you look closely at any given muscle in the heart, most are working 15% of the time or less, and resting for the balance. The heart has multiple chambers, that work in sequence, and the blood flows continuously, and most of the time the muscles of the heart are at rest, recovering, ready to work again.

    On the symbolic level, it seems that we refer to the heart as a place of emotion because it is where we first feel most emotional responses. We feel these things in the heart because it changes it’s activity patterns very quickly in response to emotions – be they chemically or electrically mediated.
    Emotions are generated in the brain, by the subconscious.
    Emotions are very complex, and are a mix of physical movement, chemical messengers, and electrochemical activity within the brain – each of these general classes of things interacting with the others in multiple ways – influencing and being influenced.

    Probably the most important factor in all of this is the “context” of mind.
    If the context of the highest level of mind is such that the lower levels of mind distinguish sensory input as representing “threat”, then the body responds to this “stress” with the “fight or flight” response.

    What is fascinating to me, is the actual mechanism of mind that allows us to distinguish context, that powers both the subconscious and the higher levels of consciousness (when present). It is a side effect of storing and retrieving information as interference patterns (“holographic” storage). Holograms are one example of a class of mechanisms that store information in a many to one form; where every bit of information stored relates to every bit of the situation observed.

    In photographs there is a one to one relationship between storage and image, in a holograph (or in our brains) this is not so.

    In our brains, information is stored in a fashion that automatically relates everything to everything else, and the nature of the relationship is very sensitive to context (at every level).

    This ability to relate things is virtually instantaneous.
    This is what gives our subconscious the ability to distinguish threats very quickly, and to alert us to things we have not consciously become aware of.

    Being sufficiently “sensitive” to these “intuitions” is a key factor in our survival (at all levels).

    The thing to get is that our brains can do this trick at any level of awareness we manage to attain. And at every level one aspect is essentially the same, these “intuitions” are fleeting. They are very fast, and they have no supporting rationale or explanation – they are just there, then they are gone. Either we train ourselves to capture them, and store them, for conscious consideration; or we become blind to them.

    Some of us get very fast at creating “rationalisations” to support them. I am forever indebted to my cousin Ian for his observation to me one Tequila filled summer afternoon some 30 years ago when he said to me “You think you are rational, but you are not; yet you are the fastest rationaliser I have ever met“.

    I think that was a particularly astute observation, and not one I was ever likely to have made of myself; and it is one that has profoundly shaped how I view myself and everyone else, and how mind actually works.

    So yes – in a metaphorical sense – listen to your heart – and in a scientific sense, understand that what you are listening to is your own subconscious, the level of being upon which our conscious awareness resides and depends, on so many different levels of dependence and relationship.


    • Ted – Picture me doing the Snoopy Happy Dance with a face-splitting grin because I hung with you all the way — I didn’t get lost. I didn’t have to go to Len and ask for translation. I followed and understood every single thing you had to say. Now I’m bent at the waist doing a very deep bow, saying Ta dah!
      By the way, how is Miss Jewelia?

      • Miss Jewelia seems to be having a great time.
        When I asked her how here day went I got this response: “It was the best day of my life I’m soooo happy!
        In another message she said “I’m too excited and happy to sleep” and in another one “I miss you guys.”

        So all in all, I think she is doing just fine.

        Thanks for asking.

  7. Thank you Laurie. It will come as no surprise that I thought of you many times during my reading of The Alchemist. Example after example of not only listening to your heart, but ASKING your heart questions directly and having conversations with your heart! Truly heart warming.

  8. I have spent a great deal of time listening to the conversations my Heart and my Head have about Me. Sometimes I am amused…sometimes I am dismayed, seldom do they seem to agree on any given subject. When it comes to traffic lights, I’m going with the Head. When it comes down to my children or friends, the Heart has precedence. There have been times when, as Ted mentioned, the Mind instantly relays information to the Heart and the Heart gives a great leap of joy, literally. Just as often something registers and I feel my Heart drop with a clunk. It doesn’t happen so often as it used to, when I was younger it didn’t take much to get the adrenalin charging, these days I’m better able to decide what I want to be doing, leaping or clunking, a nice steady beat works fine. Great post as usual!

  9. For many years I did not understand how this worked.. I did not listen to my heart and therefore could not listen with it. Making the heart/ mind connection centers and balances you and then you can BE.

  10. Well, here I am a day late to class, Laurie. I find it interesting that you use the word “listen” rather than “follow.” There are plenty of times when I would prefer to follow my heart’s desires (it still wants me to be a kept woman :-)) without giving it much thought, but if I stop and listen to my heart’s desires, I can get the rest of me involved to help make that desire a reality.

    • Oh Lordy, Barbara – If I followed by heart (rather than listened), I’d probably be at the corner of Dire and Straits by now. I’ve learned (the hard way), to listen first, and then move forward. Make it a great weekend!

  11. The Heart is the essence of this site’s daily messages and spirit, and of course is the titular coda. Hence your glorious description rings true and for most of us, it’s what governs our lives and what gives our existence it’s most lasting significance. I don’t deny that whatever decision I make, whatever course I take is governed what what I feel within, in the chambers of that amazing fist-sized pump. Love for family, for interests, for communication and for life itself is really the one things that counts, as you have well delineated at this place for a long time.

    Heart for Life.

    • Sam“…whatever course I take is governed by what I feel within, in the chamber of that amazing fist-sized pump.” I very much appreciate your internal compass (inner-guidance system). Make it a great weekend – I’m looking forward to what you’ll share Monday over on Wonders in the Dark.

  12. A hearty laugh,a hearty meal-something deeply felt by all the people involved-
    i have been fascinated by real life stories written by recipients of heart transplants.
    No matter where the feelings are generated-we feel it deep within and it is imperative we listen .

    • Roamer – I have read some extremely interesting stories written by heart transplant recipients – some people have even “felt” the “feelings” of the previous owner. It’s rather extraordinary to ponder. I’m glad you stopped by. Make it a great weekend!

  13. My heart was breaking for a couple of years now. But da da da daaaaaaa, it’s now free! I feel the old Beth coming back to the front. She’s ready for action!

    My heart wants to pump with enthusiasm for my new life. Be it for belly dancing, running to answer the phone because a friend is calling or the health it is receiving from healthy eating.

    You could say I’ve got a new “Heart On” for life. hahahaha

  14. We don’t watch a lot of TV. The DVD’s are what we use the monitor for. When I first heard your beautiful tag line “listen with your heart” I felt as though you put the correct breathing back into everyone’s life you touch. I took a part of our interview (I can e mail you the pages for your archives if you’d like) and placed it on my Squidoo Lens: http://www.squidoo.com/lensmaster/new_workshop/-laurie-buchanan-listen-with-your-heart and now I see from this it would be great to add Terrill’s book mark as I mention and love Love LOVE that book too http://www.holessence.com/listenwithyourheart.html

    Hope this was OK… and if not, I can delete. I am so proud of you and your magical work, I want to help tell the world when it’s right. That one, that day, just felt like it was right.

    Love to you,

    • Kathy – I JUST NOW found this wonderful comment of yours stuck in the WordPress spam folder. I followed the link to your Squidoo Lens – COOL BEANS! thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!

  15. Pingback: Catchup Blog 2nd December | Ted Howard NZ's Blog

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