Thinking with the Heart

This passage is excerpted from Gregg Braden’s bookResilience from the Heart: The Power to Thrive in Life’s Extremes.”


In November 1997, I was scheduled to take a tour group into Egypt. To say that Egypt is an amazing destination is an understatement — it’s beyond amazing! To actually stand in front of the great Sphinx, looking up at over 400 feet of the once-covered stones that are now visible to the naked eye, is an experience of a lifetime. And I was under contract to lead a multinational group into the Egyptian desert to have precisely these experiences, and many more.

The national media began carrying the horrific images of November 17 in the evening news. Armed terrorists had killed 58 foreign tourists and four Egyptians at the temple of Queen Hatshepsut, a popular archaeological site near the city of Luxor. My group was scheduled to leave for our tour the following week.

The choices were clear: I could postpone the trip until another time, cancel it altogether, or go forward with it as planned. I felt pulled from all sides. Everyone I spoke with had an opinion, and they all made perfect sense.

Through the years of using heart-based intelligence, I’ve learned that the heart works best when it’s given brief phrases to respond to rather than multiple sentences. Our hearts don’t need a preface to the question we’re asking, or an explanation of the history behind the decision that’s at hand. The heart already knows all of these things. For some people, the wisdom of the heart comes to them as a feeling.

For others, it can be a sense of knowing without question, while for still other people, the answer emerges as a familiar voice that they’ve known throughout their lifetimes. For me, it’s generally all of these. I often hear a subtle voice first, reinforced with a solid feeling of reassurance, safety, and certainty, followed by a sense of resolution and completeness.

Before I even finished asking the question, the answer was there for me: complete, direct, and clear. Immediately I felt — I knew — that our journey would be OK. It would be profound, deep, and healing. Most of all, I knew that by allowing intuition to guide us at each step of our journey, we would be safe. My decision was based upon the sensory impressions that I received as the result of a methodical, science-based process. The value of accessing heart intelligence is that it becomes possible to ask our questions with no attachment to the outcome, through chante ista, the single eye of the heart.

I left for Egypt on schedule the next week with 40 amazing people to begin a beautiful adventure and a heartfelt journey that was full of surprises. The president of Egypt at the time, Hosni Mubarak, was a friend of our guide and wrote an official letter giving the Department of Antiquities permission to open rare archaeological sites to us throughout our tour. The bonding between our group and the Egyptian people forged friendships that last to this very day.

I’m sharing this story as one example of how the tool of heart-brain coherence has served me in the real world. And while this example was about a big decision involving 40 people and a trip halfway around the world, I use precisely the same technique, sometimes on a daily basis, to help me plan my day, temper relationships, and honor the principles that are important to me when I’m tested in life. What I know with certainty is that we can never go wrong when we honor our hearts. I also know that if heart intelligence works for me, it will work for you as well.


This passage is excerpted from Gregg Braden’s bookResilience from the Heart: The Power to Thrive in Life’s Extremes.”

This article was originally published in the Winter 2016 issue of Brain World Magazine.

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