As Peter Granger's partner, I have been what he light-heartedly calls the 'Chief Guinea Pig' in his research. I have been on the other end of his heart synchronisation experiments for many years, but I have also spent hours discussing with him the research and its far-reaching implications for psychology and our understanding of relationships. In this article I want to describe what I have learnt from the research and reflect on my own understanding of the importance of the heart in all of our lives.
The heart has such power in fact; you could argue that it is the single most potent symbol of love that we have. The image of the heart is used to represent love by almost all societies, not only those of today, but in the past stretching back to ancient cultures. The reason for this is that we are at our happiest when we are in a state of heartfelt love. All over the world we are drawn to symbols and experiences that remind us of the power of the heart to connect us to others. Most of us will have experienced the breath-taking power of love at some stage of our lives. It may have come through a romantic relationship, the birth of a child, the love that we feel for parents or siblings. You may have also experienced a true love for yourself or the love of a true friend or even a pet. However love has come into your life, its power enables you to experience your gifts and truly connect to others and the world around you. You could call love a primary sense of being or an essential vehicle of connection and connectedness to others and our natural world.
Using just the brain to navigate life can leave us feeling empty
Whilst many of us appreciate the unique strength of heart-centred living, we can find many obstacles in living our lives this way. We can feel our own needs rising and affecting the relationships that surround us and we can struggle to keep our hearts open with the significant people in our lives. Added to this is the fact, most societies impress upon us the power of the brain as the key for a successful life. It is easy to see the brain as the principle organ for happiness. Certainly the power of our brain can bring us success in life, and our ability to think ourselves through life is amazing. Using our brain can keep us safe in the face of danger and allow us to succeed in school, university and employment. Our brain will steer us around the supermarket to buy the food that we need and will keep us safe when crossing a road. We would clearly be in a mess without our ability to think. And yet using just the brain to navigate life can leave us feeling empty. Thinking our way through our relationships can lead to arguments which ultimately fracture the very relationships that matter to us.
Peter's research has shown that an open and connected heart is the key to success and happiness in life. He has demonstrated its extraordinary power to shape our emotions, direct our relationships and access a natural spiritual state. He suggests that It’s not the power of the brain that will repair our relationships with others but the power of the heart. The heart is our ultimate tool for connection and by adopting a heart-centered approach to life our relationships in all their varieties will flourish. By harnessing the power of the heart we can live a life that brings us true happiness as an open-hearted approach to life will bring the joy, peace and contentment that we crave.
You may be reading this and saying to yourself that you know this already, and that you work hard to lead from your heart. It can be frustrating to be the person who seems to be the only one who works hard to make the world a better and kinder place. But relationships that matter to you deeply may not flourish in the way that you would like them to do. You may have experienced days when you have felt that you are missing a piece of information which could be the key to understanding how relationships work.
The power of a loving heart: A mother (blue) intermittently (yellow hearts show focus periods) feeling love for her daughter - 2 metres apart, back-to-back. Low Frequency HRV power (LF) is a measure of how much love the daughter is experiencing.
Peter and I have carried out many experiments over the last decade to see how we could show the physical effect of a bonded relationship. We have discovered that the power of connection between two people can be measured scientifically and that this information is pivotal to improving or rebuilding relationships around us. These experiments show that a bonded relationship will improve the heart patterns of both people and cause the hearts to beat as one. We have also shown that sending love to another makes their heart settle into a smoother, healthier and more coherent phase (see example above) that we know is a response to the experience of love. In other words, love can be communicated energetically between people with measurable changes in physiology. What you have always known intuitively about the power of love can now be visualised, and the results are extraordinary.
In his book Connected Hearts, Peter explores the power of the heart in detail. He explains the experiments that we have carried out and describes how you can improve your relationships through heart-centred living and connection (Available on Amazon). It’s time to discover for yourself the power and joy that is available to you through heart!