Think about this concept for a moment: mind speed vs. heart speed.
What do our brains do so well without any prompting on our part? It can move from one thought to another with incredible speed. Left unchecked or unmonitored by us, our mind’s speed can create confusion, disconnection, and clutter of thoughts. All this fuels our emotions and impacts our ability to stay focused, attentive and aware. At times we experience the sensation of being left breathless, our emotions and physical body can’t keep up with our brain’s activity. We’ve all experienced this and my sense is this is happening with more frequency especially with the onslaught of technology.
Now, think about our heart speed. It beats without any prompting on our part just like our brains. However, the speed is rhythmic with little fluctuation from day to day, unless we experience an exciting moment or stressful situations. And then, when it is over, the heart returns to its normal pulsating rhythmic beat.
You may be wondering where I am going with this analogy.
This notion of “mind speed vs. heart speed” surfaced in a dialogue with three people around the question, “What is the gift that mindfulness has brought to my life?” This was part of a dialogue we had for an event I co-sponsored last week called Mindfulness Summit Dialogue.
One participant, Deb, raised this analogy of what mindfulness has gifted her with – great awareness of heart speed in listening, deliberate in making decisions, sifting through all the data our brains collect so as to consciously respond to situations and people vs. react, which mind speed typically leads us to do. Deb said she is conscious of using “heart speed” more and more which enables her to respond to challenging situations more effectively. She explained it is the actual experience of shifting from your mind to your heart which slows things down, creates a rhythm and steadiness that allows her to see clarity in the midst of mind clutter.
This is not an either/or with our minds and hearts. It’s consciously recognizing when our minds are going too fast or there’s too much clutter that the need to shift to our heart is necessary for a positive response. This takes practice as does all mindful practices.
Thanks Deb for sharing your gift with us.
What are your experiences of mind speed vs. heart speed? When and how do you shift to your heart? I welcome hearing about your stories.