Getting Heart Smart and Maintaining A “Heart On”. ~ April Dawn Ricchuito

Via on Feb 13, 2012

Rumor has it that love makes people do crazy things. With all the hoopla and hype surrounding Valentine’s Day and our external relationships, I thought it would be somewhat of a “crazy” idea to focus on ourselves and our internal relationships, if only for fifteen minutes.  I’m talking some crazy, sexy, “me” time.

Let’s talk love.  Crazy, unapologetic, fierce, fabulous SELF LOVE.  We cannot love another until we love ourselves.  Our relationships with others will never be any better than the relationship we have with ourselves.  Without a doubt, the relationship we have with self is the most important relationship we’ve got.

But Pat Benetar was no liar.  Love can be a battlefield, and self love is no exception.  War has no boundaries, and there is often a war of the wills between the brain and the heart.  It’s a rivalry of epic proportions that cannot be contested; even famed family feud of Shakespeare’s Montagues vs. Capulets cannot compare to the war waged within when you must ask yourself that crucial question:  “Listen to the brain or the heart?”

At the touch love, everyone turns into a poet; at the dawn of this dilemma, everyone wants to share his or her fortune cookie philosophizing with you:  “Follow your heart”.

Right.  Okay.   Because it doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere.


There are times when I’ve thought it would be more feasible to follow the yellow brick road and visit the Wizard of Oz as opposed to “following my heart”.  I could have a picnic with the Munchkins in Munchkinland and debate the merits of loving with my brain/heart with the Tin Man and the Scarecrow.  While I was at it, I could score a kick ass pair of highly sought after ruby red slippers and…sounds about ridiculous, right?

Allow me to propose (no pun intended) something even crazier.  Like Dorothy said in The Wizard of Oz, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto”.  In other words:  forget everything you think you know.

Modern day medical science has taught us that the brain controls everything in the body.  This is what we’ve been led to believe.  Because we don’t understand the intelligence of our heart, we are reluctant to allow our heart to lead.  Forget what we must be “led” to believe.  Let’s remember who we are and go back to what we “know”. With this crazy, sexy, fierce, fabulous “me” time, I want you to love yourself…all of yourself….but especially pay homage to, and honor your heart.  Listen to it beat.  Breathe with it.  Love it.  Learn about it.

Your heart is much more than 10 lbs of muscle that pumps blood to all your vital organs and maintains circulation.  Your heart has been leading the way since before you born; in a fetus, the heart is pumping before the brain has even developed.  This is because the heart has its own “brain” via an independent central nervous system that is contained within it.  There are at least forty thousand neurons (nerve cells) in the heart – this is just as many as found in various subcortical centers of the brain.

It is very plausible that your heart is actually the driver of intelligence, sending information about intuition, emotion, and feeling to your brain for your brain to decode.  In fact, science is even showing that emotions are linked with the rhythms of the heart.  ECG tests have demonstrated this.  Studies on the electrical activity in the brain and the heart have demonstrated that emotions can destabilize the cardiac muscle.

Like all of the human body, the heart generates an electromagnetic field. This field generated by your heart is much stronger than the brain’s electromagnetic field. This field extends outside the body and can even be measured across a room! By no means am I pumping up the heart and saying not to appreciate great brain; your brain is amazing too!  There is room for every part of you to be great.

The brain is awesome when it comes to memory and learning; it’s great at logic & linear thinking.  What we must use our brains to remember is that not all things are logical and linear.  Time and space are not logical or linear; nor are matters of the heart, including love.  Your heart wants you to be so in love with your soul and love.  Get heart smart.  Learn your heart.  Listen to your heart.  And keep a “heart on” at all times.

Edited for elephant journal by Jennifer Cusano, elephant Love and Relationships Editor.

April Ricchuito, D.D., MSW was once the type of girl whose idea of “soul searching” was shoe shopping.  Today, she is a writer and integrative practitioner who brings a unique voice to the field of health and wellness by combining traditional evidence-based techniques with ancient practices such as yoga and newer findings in contemplative sciences.  Be sure to check out Verbal Vandalism to keep up with April’s regular written works and featured contributions or follow her on Twitter.

About April Dawn Ricchuito

Allegedly, she's a writer. Or something like that.


2 Responses to “Getting Heart Smart and Maintaining A “Heart On”. ~ April Dawn Ricchuito”

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