Brian Andreas’ word art and mini stories make me chuckle and smile. They’re always clever and quirky and often speak a powerful truth. Recently, I came across his little story called “One Decision.”

It takes awhile
to see this, but
there’s only one
hard decision
you have to
make:
will you trust
your own heart
to lead?
& that will give you
your whole life
no matter what
you decide.

The part of the story that grabs my attention is the last four lines:

& that will give you
your whole life
no matter what
you decide.

I’ve learned that when I let my head take the lead in making choices and decisions, I have one kind of experience. And when I let my heart take the lead, I usually have a different kind of experience.

Many of us have been conditioned to keep head and heart separate from one another. We’ve been told that the head is where our true intelligence lives – the intelligence that we can trust. We’ve also been told that the heart is where our feelings and emotions live and that feelings and emotions can’t be trusted in matters of importance!

Yet the ancient wisdom traditions, and now also neuroscience, tell us that our feelings and emotions actually live deep in the belly, not in the heart. We commonly speak of our “gut feelings,” and often say, “I know I should trust my gut,” yet often we let those feelings be overruled by the head.

In fact, many people have shut down this important gut or belly “intelligence” center and have lost touch with their deeper emotions and feelings. If this is the case for you, be gentle with yourself, and start practicing getting in touch with this third intelligence. It can bring you important insights about what is happening both in your inner and outer worlds.

Here’s an easy way to start. Stand and bend forward at your waist, as if you are going to touch your toes, and then breathe. You’ll notice that your breath automatically drops deep into your belly. This will help you get in touch with this lower part of your body. Then slowly return to a standing position while continuing to breathe deep into your belly. As you reawaken your connection to your lower body, you can start to access your important “feeling” intelligence. Practice this a few times a day, and soon you’ll have easy access to this third intelligence.

So if our feelings and emotions come from deep in the belly, then what is the intelligence of the heart?

The heart is the center of a much larger awareness – our intuitive intelligence. It’s through the heart that we get in touch with our higher senses of truth and wisdom. The heart shows us the bigger picture of what is going on – a larger context for what is happening. It offers a greater perspective.

Many people have difficulty accessing their heart intelligence as well. If you need a little help, place your hand over the center of your chest and gently massage this area as you continue to breathe in and out. Take deep and full breaths, all the way to the bottom of your body, yet imagine that the breath is coming in and going out through the center of your chest. You may begin to feel a softening and a shift in your inner state of being.

Through the heart intelligence, we have access to the best of both intuition and intellect. This is because our intuitive intelligence includes our intellect. Our heart intelligence is also aware of our feelings and emotions from the belly. The heart is the “larger mind,” embracing head and belly, intellect and emotions, all within a greater context, wisdom, and understanding.

Coming back to Brian’s story, the choice of your head, belly, or heart as your “inner leader” will influence the outcomes and experiences that you create. Each has important information to pay attention to. In the end, you may find that it’s a combination of two or all three intelligences that serves you the best. It’s not a question of right and wrong. It’s a question of what truly serves you the most as your “inner leader.”

When you look back over your life, you can probably remember times when you followed your head, times when you just went with your “gut,” and other times when you followed your heart. What was the difference?

Perhaps there were also times when your head, belly, and heart were fighting with one another. What happened then? How did you resolve the conflict?

You might also remember times when you let them work together – times when you stepped beyond their disagreement, let them “talk” with each other, and found a “meeting place.”

In the Transformational Presence approach, we refer to head, belly, and heart as the Three Intelligences, and we’ve developed several tools to help you easily access the insights and awareness from all three. Graduates of our programs find working with the Three Intelligences a powerful and illuminating support in all areas of their life and work. And through this tool, they learn much more about the tremendous wisdom, insight, clarity, and guidance of the heart.

Get to know these Three Intelligences within you and how they can serve you. (If you want to learn more about them, read Chapters 9 and 18 of my most recent book, Create A World That Works.) You may discover that in different situations, you are best served with different “inner leaders.” Yet most people find that, as a general rule, there is one “inner leader” or a way of working with all three that serves them the best overall and brings them their best life.

Which one or combination is it for you?

 

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