Stop, Look, Listen to Your Heart Hear What It’s Saying


Have you ever tried to do something without your heart being in it? Doesn’t it feel flat, and unfulfilling? It’s also dangerous. Ignoring your heart and relying soley on your intellect can lead to bitterness, insensitivity, and in the extreme, violence.

I was taught that wearing your heart on your sleeve is foolish and a form of weakness. I spent years training my head not to listen to my heart. I had to work hard at ignoring my heart’s wisdom but eventually I learned to rely primarily on my intellect. I made rational choices. Unfortunately this practice resulted in an abusive marriage, jobs I hated, and too many false starts and dead ends to mention. What was lacking was a deeper, fuller, and richer heartfelt experience.

Musicians and poets have long known intuitively what scientists are just now beginning to discover. The heart has an intelligence of its own. If you intentionally began to tune in to and respect your heart’s intelligence you can improve your life significantly. I know because I’ve done it.

In case you’re not quite sure you can trust your heart to know what’s good for you there is a growing field of interest in a new science called neurocardiology. According to scientists, the heart contains a complex nervous system that is sufficiently sophisticated to qualify as a “little brain” in its own right.

That’s right. Your heart has a mind of its own.

The heart and brain maintain an ongoing two-way dialogue and influence the way the other functions. What is most surprising is the heart sends more information to the brain than the brain sends to the heart. The “heart-brain” has the capacity to learn, remember, and even feel and sense. The nerve pathways that travel from the heart to the brain influence what we see, how we decide, how we feel, and how we think.

What this means is that when your thinking mind and your heart’s intelligence work together it is possible to remain calm in the face danger, chaos, and confusion. Instead of reacting out of fear or anger, the integrated brain function of heart and mind allows you to make decisions that are life enriching and life affirming.

The question is how do you make a calm response to stress second nature? An example of this ability is a friend of mine who instead of acting on her impulse to retaliate, good naturedly responds to the road rage of others who flip her the bird by holding up her peace fingers. (I’m still working on this!)

By strengthening the link between your “heart-brain” and your “thinking-brain”, you can out smart your fight or flight response when you are afraid or stressed out.

The practice of yoga postures combined with the cultivation of a meditation practice off your mat enables you to connect with your heart’s intelligence. It enhances your ability to access and learn to trust your heart’s intuitive wisdom.

It is not easy to live in your heart. But when you stop, look, and listen, the message of your heart is…Love, Love, Love. So why wouldn’t you want to? Become heart smart. Engage in the habit of listening to your heart to make sure you are aligned with those qualities of heart such as love, peace, generosity, kindness, and forgiveness that maximize the beauty of the world.

Be Heart Smart

  • When you wake up, before you start your day, ask your heart what it wants. Then listen for the answer. Since your heart has its own intelligence, it knows and it will tell you. It’s just waiting for you to ask.
  • Be intentional in cultivating the attitude of heart that you want to carry you through your day. Then use this attitude of your heart (intelligence) and the knowledge you have (intellect) to make life-enhancing choices.
  • Before you go to sleep at night, check and adjust your attitude, which is a function of your heart. Make sure your attitude is positive and peaceful.I don’t know about you, but I notice that whenever I lead with my heart my passion takes over, I am in the flow of life, and I make decisions and choices that serve me well.




14 responses to “Stop, Look, Listen to Your Heart Hear What It’s Saying

  1. i linked to your article from
    i also learned to see with the heart and more than anything it gives you tremendous peace within you.
    because if the core movement of energy (at your heart) is correct all else flows naturally.
    if you do it else you are always in a fight within yourself

  2. Interesting, the heart is gentle and wise in its response, but it definately takes courage to act. However, as you stated to act would change one’s life significantly, but for now I am asking questions, listening and wondering why I am hesitating.

    Another good blog Gail — Thank you – Dana

    • At least you’re taking the time to listen to and recognize the gentle wisdom of the heart. Action will come in its own time.

  3. I am so glad that I took time to make sure I read your message while I was not rushing through emails. I love the practice you are recommending and will try it out. Thank you for reminding me about the exquisite balance of “being’ and “doing”. Starting my day with listening to my heart and listening to what it is saying will help me to stay on track during the day. Thank you so much for continuing to share your profound wisdom.

    • I’m glad you find it a useful reminder to take the time to balance being with doing. I don’t think any of us can heed that reminder too much. I appreciate you sharing your perspective.
      Love you back.

  4. As a physician/healer who has dedicated your life to the universal themes of peace and wellness, I am deeply grateful for and humbled by your comments. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Tom Johnson MD, MBA

    Dr Parker,
    Once again your blog reflects the fabric of a universal theme expressed by many disciplines dedicated to helping humankind find peace and wellness.
    The clarity of your written words are truly a gift to us all. Thank you!!!


    “Upon awakening, before you start your day, ask your heart what it wants. Then listen for the answer. Since your heart has its own intelligence, it knows and it will tell you. It’s just waiting for you to ask.”


  7. Jason Parker Johnson

    I think I’m going to work to put this in practice with the things in my life that I have perceived as more “technical”. Thanks!


    • You’re welcome. I think that we have been so enculturated to believe that the only mind that we have or the only mind we have of value is the thinking mind that we are out of balance in our belief that technicality is more important than our intuitive faculties. Both have value and need to be brought into balance. Thanks for sharing. ILYMTILY

  8. Simply beautiful Dr. Parker.
    I just want to acknowledge that this “heart work” stuff really works. Listening to my heart, trusting it, acting on it, and noticing the miracles are phenomenal experiences for me. But just like anything else in life that I want to be good at, practice, practice, practice, and discipline, discipline, discipline are necessary for optimal outcomes.

    This is right on time for me:)

    • Thanks for sharing your experience of doing the “heart work.” You’re right it does take practice and discipline but the pay off is worth it.

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