There is a large, growing body of evidence that links a positive outlook and emotions with physiological health and long-term well-being.
We also know how linked stress is to a vast array of chronic dis-eases - heart disease being a huge one.
It is even becoming pretty well-known the importance of creative expression as a tool for stress reduction.
I believe you can begin to connect the dots here...
It becomes something of a chicken and egg dance, because there are times when stress blocks our full capacity for creative engagement, yet creative practices can be the very thing that reduces stress. Of course, it is all contextual and personal, but what this may indicate is the importance of just showing up to your creative practice whether you feel like it or not. Just like you might go to the gym or hit the zafu... or diligently redirect your thoughts toward a more positive outlook. We do it because we know it's good for us - and we often feel that truth first in our chests.
It was not that long ago that it was discovered that our heart actually emits the largest electromagnetic field in our body, and that it sends direct communication to influence the functioning of the brain (not just the other way around necessarily). Sometimes the heart is even referred to as a gland because of its hormonal functions, and often it is said that it has a brain of its own because of the complex miracle of its own communications and impulses.
I always tell my students studying the human body to never forget the awesome interconnectedness of every system in our bodies, and to always keep their minds open to exception, possibility and miracle because there is just so much we don't know, and every body is unique.
What I love about the video below, is that it asks us to stretch our understanding even further than the physiology that we try to grab hold of - into the energetics of our heart, and the way that we are deeply impressionable and influential to the energy of our environments and one another.
There is a lot of fascinating research taking place, opening our eyes to a more expansive understanding of the potential we all carry as energetic beings - and how this is directly related to our hearts. We'll be touching on this a bit more in depth in Spectrum next year, as part of our visual journaling experience, too!
It is fun when science begins to catch up to the real mysteries in ways we are comfortable digesting, but what interests me more is the mystery itself - what we sense, know innately, and choose to trust - and how from that place in us, the conventionally implausible is often realized in our very lives.
I think of it as the sacred connection with Life, ever-evolving, that courses through all of us... pumped, perhaps, by our very Sacred Hearts.
That's how I feel about the possibilities and work being presented in this video...
I love that HeartMath is bringing concentrated attention to Intuition, Coherence and Creativity through their work - how these are directly related to our heart.
Because, as any of you artists and creative 'non-artists' know, being in the creative flow creates a sort of spaciousness in your heart - a harmonizing expression of Presence and a sort of clarity in the face of the unknown.
Sometimes the page or painting takes you there, sometimes you have to spill onto the page because you are overflowing in your life - and the purging takes you there. That spaciousness, though, is the electrical power of the creative process and a gateway to insight, relief and connection.
There's definitely something to these matters of the heART.
* This post is part of a daily celebration of Arts & Health month right here at Hali Karla Arts. Be sure to stop back for inspiration, giveaways, guest posts, more fun info about art & healing, and special announcements and offers. Or you can sign up for my mailing list, for occasional updates and exclusive offers.