This document is available in Acrobat formatAuthentic Leadership: Inner Quality Solutions for Women workshop September 19-22

A WHITE PAPERWOMEN LEAD WITH THEIR HEARTS



 

Intui-Technology® -- The New Paradigm and New SolutionFor the 21st Century
by Doc Lew Childre President and CEO of the Institute of HeartMathEdited by Deborah Rozman, Ph.D., Executive Director
Part 1

Empowerment
The empowerment of women is a global issue in the '90s. The concept of empowerment evokes many reactions. It's viewed as increased freedom but is also met with fear and threat. Often "empowerment" in business has meant bestowing someone with responsibility and authority - but not necessarily giving them the training or resources needed to carry out that responsibility. This frequently has resulted in an overload of stress, exhaustion, and burnout - the very opposite of what "empowerment" programs were trying to achieve. The root problem is this: Real empowerment comes from within - it cannot be given to another. "Powering up" is an internal process which is why I call it self-empowerment. Self-empowerment is receiving the power to amplify awareness and clear perception so you can take personal responsibility and control over your life. It involves recognizing the inner power available to you and directing your energy in ways beneficial to yourself and the whole.

In my book, Self Empowerment, I discuss what's involved in "powering-up" and provide simple tools to achieve it. Intuitive skills have to be developed to access inner power. This is the first paradigm shift - inside oneself. Simple, proven tools that anyone can use are required to make that internal shift. Wholeness power impacts what counts - in terms of personal, family, work, social benefits, health, clarity, and time effectiveness. As women make the inner paradigm shift, a multitude of difficult issues facing women in the '90s can be resolved.
Key Issues
Women's rights have advanced in many nations, yet for most of the globe, women are still second class citizens. Underdeveloped countries look to the West for leadership. Yet the breakdown of the modern American family and the challenges American women face today are not necessarily the future that developing countries envision nor want to embrace. How women in the U.S. address these issues will determine whether or not they will be a positive role model for the rest of the world. Key issues which impact the modern woman include time conflicts between personal, family, and work demands; equal pay for equal work; lack of day care; lack of elder care; the "glass ceiling"; conflicts with co-workers; sexual harassment and abuse; repeal of Affirmative Action; increased anxiety, depression, fatigue, burn-out, and other health problems such as hypertension, heart disease, and breast cancer. Rapid and profound individual and social change in the U.S. over the past decade has brought rising poverty, crime, violence, a deteriorating educational system, environmental problems, and a society in crisis and confusion. Many women feel out of control and losing their grip on life. Other women who have made it to the top are asking themselves, "is this all there is?" How the modern woman addresses these issues now, will be critical to everyone's future. Let's take a deeper look at some of the key issues.

Life feels like it's continually speeding up and many say they can't keep up. According to a nationwide poll of women in the U.S. ages 18 to 55 by the Families and Work Institute, 88% of women are experiencing a "time famine" and feel heavily pressed for time. Most mention not having enough time with family as their greatest concern. Polls also revealed that in 45% of dual-earner households, now earn half or more of the family income. But being the top money earner was not what interested most women. Nearly a third wished they could trade full-time work for part-time. Institute director Ellen Galinsky commented, "The women's movement has been too focused on equal pay," arguing that we have to make life work better for women and their families.

Although many women say things are going pretty well on the home front, they admit that always rushing, stress, and personal struggles have lowered their threshold of fulfillment. The inner weather report is "partly cloudy" and most women have become so used to that, it seems normal the sun's not out. Many are adapted to foggy being a good day. Expectations of what should be different are just mind-attempts to change the inner weather, but it's not going to change until women learn self empowerment. 

The "glass ceiling" in business refers to the high expectations, but frustrating limits, that women (and other minorities) experience in promotions. Although more women are climbing the corporate ladder, there remains a gender bias in promotions. Many feel they can only advance so far, then men in control put a cap on it. Men complain that women want it both ways. They want to be taken care of, have their car doors opened - and also have all the corporate perks and control as well. This is seen by many men as a double message that is confusing and often threatening to the male ego. Sexual harassment, physical aggression, rape, and abuse are all on the rise. The '90s have become a period of frustration and rage between the sexes. "Crude, rude, anger, let it all hang out," have become social release valves. However, release is not relief. The ongoing trend of women and women's groups has been to blame men, parents, government, society, or anyone for these problems. But blame is disempowering and increases feelings of victimization.

The preferential hiring of women under Affirmative Action is being repealed, creating fear that the uphill progress women have made toward equality will be in jeopardy. For every dollar men earn, women now earn 70 cents. While women make up 46% of the U.S. workforce, the percentage of women occupying top level jobs is still only 5%. Most women have no choice but to be both breadwinners and housewives, yet the price they pay is often lack of job satisfaction along with the exhausting merry-go-round of trying to juggle work, family, household, and personal needs. As a result, a recent CNN/USA Today Gallup poll reports that 48% of women think the "progressive" changes brought on by the Women's Movement have actually made things harder for women; 41% of men agree. Why is this? 

More people working creates more spending, generating more demand for products and services, driving up prices and the cost of living. That's why most women have to work - to pay bills. Yet they still do the majority of the cooking, cleaning, shopping, household chores, and child-rearing. While some men share these tasks, most still retreat to the TV and let their wives do the work. It's understandable why women are emotionally and physically drained. In response to a poll announcing that exhaustion among women is at an all time high and taking a toll on women's health, one woman exclaimed, "They had to do a poll to figure that out? Ask most any woman and she'll tell you she's burning out!" 

Millions are also single working mothers or welfare mothers who feel the added burden of raising children alone with inadequate child care. Many feel tremendous guilt. Society has blamed working mothers, welfare mothers and absentee fathers for the cascading rate of juvenile crime, violence, sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, and illiteracy, that plague today's teens. There is no quick fix to these complex issues. "Cut-thru" solutions demand new intelligence.
Heart Intelligence
The importance of taking personal responsibility for one's own balance and empowerment is acknowledged by many women, but without tools to achieve that, it will remain an idealistic concept.Institute of HeartMath, a nonprofit research and educational organization and think-tank in Boulder Creek, California, has uncovered scientific evidence on how women can generate the balance and the power they need to take control over their lives. What's required are tools that activate the power of the heart and creative intelligence. Common sense says it will take a power and intelligence stronger than people's habitual thoughts and perceptions to transform our personal and our social stresses. New research is showing that within the heart resides the place of contact for this source of power and intelligence. Heart power is the electricity of one's inner strength and potential. This is the power that activates intuitive clarity and establishes the self-motivating ability to manifest and complete oneself in achieving balance and fulfillment. The new paradigm is a joint venture between head and heart intelligence, which generates a continuity of intuitive creative intelligence. Intuition cuts time and effort. As you gain intuitive intelligence, you become more energy and time effective.

Women's intuition is not just an old wives' tale. It's inner power, once women know how to access it with continuity. This increases magnetic effectiveness, particularly in a male-dominated environment. Power doesn't just come from an increase in ego drive. It comes from developing the power of your whole system, especially the power of your heart. The negative backlash associated with power comes from strong ego drive without the heart directing the intention. To power-up the whole system involves learning to bring the heart and mind into a creative joint venture. Heart intelligence supplies balanced ego strength and allows more of your individual spirit to come "on line" regarding male/female issues, work issues, family issues, health issues, or social issues. Heart power is the conduit for real spirit to manifest in any area.

Learning techniques to develop heart power frees the spirit of the complete woman, which is the real affirmative action. Attempts to activate spirit from the mind alone often create more problems while attempting to solve one and this represents the current psychic environment of male/female muddle and disarray. Both genders are trying to be achievers but fall short because of trying to activate the spirit from the mind alone without the heart. This activates unbalanced ego drive, without the needed sensitivities and mutual respect. While women dislike insensitive male ego drive, they have to be careful not to copy the same method in their efforts to achieve equality. Equality without "quality" equals fatigue and stress. This is no real achievement. What's the use of trying to achieve if you lose balance, fulfillment and health? Then you're just living to survive, which is not really living. New scientific research is showing that through increasing heart intuition, women can generate the power, magnetism and intuitive intelligence that draws respect and cooperation, rather than trying to force respect through stance-taking.
Heart Balance
Balance is the missing social keynote. Women seem to have come out last in the past, but that's an advantage in the new. There's really nowhere else for women to go, but to self-empower and come on line. It's time. The problem is that women can't come on line through taking a "mind stance." That's having a goal in mind of what changes are needed and fighting your way to achieve that goal. That's just more of the same male-dominant approach. It's been tried and many women are weathered and worn and torn. This is why people fear a new aggressive women's movement would make things even harder. Most women agree on the need for personal empowerment. However, they don't agree on the method. There are women's groups who don't want to be lumped together and resent each other speaking as if their particular views represent all women. Some feel if they don't agree with the loudest group's methods, they're viewed as betraying women. To avoid repeating the same energy-draining fights and accomplish more, the self-empowered woman learns to bypass the reactive, energy-draining mind stance. She recognizes it's more intelligent and effective to do so. Taking a "heart stand" goes into a whole new level of power and renewal by actualizing much-talked-about core values or family values. Family values have broken down in society and need to be restored. Taking a heart stand comes from conscious heart intention instead of mental and emotional reactiveness. Conscious heart intention is derived from the intuitive link and balance between mind and heart, increasing the power of both. A heart stand may not change laws right away or change men or society overnight, but men will take a new, respectful "stop, look, listen" approach. 

The balancing approach to male/female issues is achieved through the intuitive domain. That's where women will have their time. As a man, I don't believe women are trying to take over, just asking men to move over and let both drive and point the way together. I'm dedicated to the manifestation of equalization, while respecting the different strengths of both genders. Women want to be players not conquerors, and have an equal part in the scheme of things. This doesn't need to be a threat to the male ego. The female fruit is not a registration of female supremacy. It's the fruit of recognition of balance. It takes both female and male to make the whole. Women's nurturing sensitivities tend to use power and intelligence to try to make a difference in the lives of other people and the world. Men tend to be more absorbed in structures and plans. Men are not bad. Men are learning just like women are. They're just having to mature into releasing a handed-down old dinosaur of convenience - the male-dominated society. The mark of the new players are those who have the capacity to use the strengths of both male and female potentials for the betterment of the whole through balance. That would be new intelligence. Future balance dictates empowerment for all concerned. That is the new paradigm from which new solutions will be born and there is a scientific basis for this and scientific research to support it. Understanding and actualizing the science of empowerment is crucial to the future of women, society, and the globe.
The Science of Empowerment
The heart has generally been considered just a mechanical pump; however, this view is being seriously re-evaluated by scientists. When the electrical patterns of the brain entrain to the electrical patterns of the heart, more power and intuitive intelligence become available to the brain. Research at the Institute of HeartMath is showing that the heart has unusual perceptual and intuitive information-processing capabilities. The heart has its own frequency range of intelligence that is not controlled by the brain or the autonomic nervous system. The heart is autorhythmic, which means that it beats on its own without requiring input from the brain or nervous system. It is well known that the brain communicates to the heart via the autonomic nervous system and hormonal system. What is not so well known is that the heart also communicates back to the brain providing a two-way communication system that directly affects perception, reaction speeds, balance, intuition and decision-making ability. There are nerves and hormones that originate in the heart which carry information to the brain and this two-way information system forms an information highway between heart and brain. If there is gridlock on the inner information highway, you have stress. If the electrical signals between heart and brain are ordered and coherent, you have mental clarity and intuitive perception. The real paradigm shift is an inner one first, aligning heart and mind in balance. This will lead to the outer paradigm shift that will beneficially transform society.
The Inner Information Highway
Breakthrough research is showing that feeling and emotional perceptions are communicated from heart to brain through the baroreceptor system and magnetic fields, where they are integrated into subconscious and conscious awareness, triggering chemical changes in neurotransmitters and hormones throughout the body. Emotions cause the most direct and measurable changes in both the electrical rhythms of the heart and hormonal responses. Emotions such as anger and anxiety result in disorganized flows of internal energy, which in turn result in a chaotic response in the brain and physiology of the body. As negative emotions are not resolved, they distort perception, create hormonal imbalances, and can lead to anxiety or depression. Studies show that 1 in 5 women now have a history of depression. Heartfelt emotions such as care, love, and appreciation, on the other hand, have been shown to create organized, coherent energy flows, resulting in clarity, increased intuition, and renewal in the physiology of the body.

Changing one's standing wave frequency to more heart coherence generates the power necessary to change behavioral patterns. For example, by increasing balanced care and releasing worry and overcare, you shift the body's electrical flows into more efficient and coherent rhythms that benefit the entire system. The more balanced care we feel, the more coherence there is in the system, which increases the coherent power flowing through the whole system. This coherent power is your spirit and the more it flows through you, the more your entire system is regenerated and renewed. This allows you to carry out your objectives with more coherence, self-confidence and completion. You work smarter, not harder, and are more productive.
Entrainment
Getting the head and heart electrical systems in sync (entrainment) causes a perceptual shift into a wider range of options. More importantly, entrainment is a physiological state of peak performance that increases the intuitive connection within yourself. In my book Freeze-Frame, the concept of entrainment is explained. There I show how the biological oscillators or inner clocks that time the body and affect blood pressure, respiration, heart rate, brain waves, etc., can be either in or out of sync with each other. By learning to self-manage-but not suppress-our mental and emotional reactions, we balance and entrain the rhythms and timings of these bodily functions, which improves health and decision-making. Leading psychologists and scientists are excited because the increasing body of evidence that intuitive feelings commence in the heart and then are transmitted to the brain provides a missing link and answers questions relative to creativity and the transformation of human consciousness. Business leaders are interested because intuition increases performance and productivity while improving job satisfaction. As a CEO stated recently in Business Week magazine, "Ultimately the combination of head and heart will be the competitive advantage." Women who have been using tools to activate their heart intelligence have seen profound improvements in family, work and personal interactions. Businesses and government offices have seen work teams entrain to achieve goals in record time with less stress and more harmonious cooperation.
Head/Heart Entrainment
Figure 1 (below) shows where the EEG (electroencephalograph) or brain waves have entrained to the heart at the HRV (heart rate variability) frequency. This state is accompanied by clearer perception and heightened intuitive awareness. This heart/brain entrainment occurs at a very low frequency region in the brain waves. It is the region well below the alpha and theta regions most people are familiar with. This is the region where most of the power resides in the brain waves. 



Changes in heart rate and blood pressure are fed back to the brain via the baroreceptor system. The baroreceptor input to the brain has numerous effects on brain function. For example, when one's mental or emotional state is causing the sympathetic nervous system to go into overdrive in stressful situations, the baroreceptor feedback inhibits sympathetic outflow, increases parasympathetic neuronal activity, and causes brain wave slowing to help to protect the overall body. This is the body's defense mechanism against stress to allow an immediate "fight or flight" reaction, but it also inhibits higher perceptual brain function.
Emotions
Emotions and the heart have been equated for centuries. Sir William Harvey, who was the first to demonstrate the function of the heart and how blood circulates in the body, noted in 1628 that, "every affection of the mind that is attended to, either with pain or pleasure hope or fear, is the cause of an agitation whose influence extends to the heart." Emotions flow through the body at a subtle electrical level, much faster than information flows along nerve pathways. Research is showing that when we qualify our perceptions and feelings from the heart, the mind guides a different energy flow than if we perceive and react from the mind alone. Emotions qualified or directed only through the mind often act like water that floods your kitchen, whereas heart-directed emotions use that same water to quench your thirst and give substance to life. Self-empowerment is learning to call the shots on the water distribution and disempowerment is being a victim of the random flows of the emotional spills. 

Women are often accused by men of being overly emotional and sentimental, which colors their decision-making ability. This is feeling sensitivity without self-management and balance. When balanced through the heart, women's sensitivities enhance intuitive clarity and decision-making. The feeling world is critical to intelligent decision-making. Without feeling, the mind and all its reasoning and thinking ability are not enough. Antonio Damasio, a professor of neurology whose laboratory is recognized worldwide for its research, has been looking for the neural underpinnings of reason. He found that when the parts of the brain which integrate feelings and reason are damaged, then personal and social behavior are severely compromised even though all the logical and other aspects of the mind are unaffected. It's the balanced integration of feeling and reason that brings the highest intelligence, wisdom, clarity, and fulfillment.
Hormones
Hormones are also associated with emotions. As emotions change, so do hormones, and as hormones change, so do emotions and perception. Hormones are chemical messengers that help regulate most of the body's functions, including the way the brain processes information. Hormones are involved in digestion, mucus and milk synthesis, sweat production, muscle contraction and relaxation, the reproductive processes, growth, and sexual and aggressive behaviors. When I refer to "hormones," this includes neurotransmitters, neuromodulators and neurohormones, such as serotonin. Prozac, a popular prescription drug used by millions, affects serotonin uptake and helps relieve depression. Due to stress-induced imbalances, increasing numbers of women are suffering from anxiety and depression and taking a variety of drugs to feel better. Stress, anxiety (especially performance anxiety), fatigue, and exhaustion are now the reason behind 80% or more of all doctor's visits, increasing health care costs for all. But drugs do not resolve the underlying problem and drug dependency is not the answer for a healthy future. Scientific research indicates that women and men need to dramatically increase the time they spend in positive emotional states and attitudes to balance the autonomic nervous system and heart rhythms which control most of the body's hormonal functions. Women or men who maintain balanced attitudes also balance their internal hormonal prescriptions. They are less likely to become ill and are more likely to heal faster when ill than those with negative attitudes.

We can look at the human system as having three primary hormonal zones. The lower body produces steroid hormones which deal with responses to stress; DHEA; and also the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. The upper body produces brain hormones such as noradrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. Many of these brain hormones affect feelings, perception, and attitude. For example, the pituitary gland releases oxytocin and vasopressin which relate to emotional bonding. Oxytocin has a longer lasting effect than most hormones. Oxytocin is released when you fall in love. That's why your first love is often so hard to get over. In mammals that secrete high levels of oxytocin at first mating, the emotional bonding created is for life. In mammals with low levels of oxytocin, there's high promiscuity. 

Upper and lower body hormones impact the entire body. Cortisol is released from the adrenals in the lower body. It is called a "stress" hormone because it rises when we feel stress, especially emotional stress such as anger, irritation, frustration or anxiety. Too much cortisol is known to destroy brain cells. The amount of cortisol produced is regulated by the sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamus, which are both activated by stress. An astounding 30% of women and men say they experience "high stress" nearly every day. Under stress, your glands churn out adrenaline and cortisol which cause a rise in blood pressure, a speedup of breathing and heart rate, and a release of sugar and fats in the body. Under chronic stress, hypertension (high blood pressure) can set in. It is now estimated that 1 in 4 women (and men) aged 18 and older have hypertension, the leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke-and over half of those with hypertension are overweight.

The third primary hormonal zone, the heart, lies right in the middle-between the upper and lower zones. The heart also produces two hormones, BNP (brain natriuretic factor) and ANP (atrial natriuretic factor). ANP is often referred to as "the balancing hormone" by scientists. ANP has receptors in both upper and lower body. ANP impacts the brain's pituitary gland and the kidneys. The heart helps to balance the upper and lower hormonal zones. The parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the nervous system which travel from upper to lower body are also balanced by the heart. Studies have shown that positive heart-felt emotional states, such as love, care and appreciation, balance the nervous system and are an antidote to stress. These positive feelings significantly reduce the sympathetic signals from the brain and increase the parasympathetic signals which protect the heart and body, lower blood pressure and increase immune system activity.
Inner Quality Management
The hopeful news is that simple, scientifically-proven self-empowerment tools for "inner quality management" are available that allow us to take charge of our mental and emotional states. These tools do not require hours of practice or withdrawal from the world. For instance, studies have shown that the stress-relief tool Freeze-Frame lowers blood pressure, balances heart rhythms, and improves the balance of the autonomic nervous system and immune system. This can all be done in less than one minute with just a little practice of this tool. Freeze-Frame is designed to prevent stress reactions in the moment and create more effective responses to stressful events, resulting in increased mental clarity, productivity, and satisfaction. Learning how to Freeze-Frame, as stress is happening, helps you take charge of yourself by bringing the heart and head into entrainment.

Cut-Thru is another scientifically-tested tool that rids your system of emotional baggage and residue, such as energy-draining overcare, anxiety, self-judgment, guilt, recrimination, blame, jealousy, depression, even hatred. This is a long list of negative attitudes and emotions that, if not resolved, affect perception and health. People who experience negative feelings and attitudes repeatedly, often are trapped in "mind loops," recycling through a past event over and over, arousing and amplifying the negative feeling and stress reaction each time. This imprisons you in self-victimization and a sense of hopelessness.

Cut-Thru is a scientifically-proven technology on how to care without becoming a victim. Laboratory studies have shown that as women and men practice Cut-Thru, their hormonal system comes more into balance. In a controlled study, people practicing Cut-Thru significantly reduced stress, anxiety and guilt by over 30% and depression by 22%. Distress during PMS (nervous tension, mood swings, irritation, worry, depression and inability to concentrate) was lower in women after practicing Cut-Thru. Researchers observed a significant increase in the anti-stress and anti-aging hormone DHEA (average 100% increase), accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the stress hormone Cortisol (average 23% decrease) in both men and women. Dr. Norman Shealy, a well-known stress researcher and expert in DHEA believes, "DHEA is the single most important hormone in the body; a measure of vitality and life force." DHEA is a precursor to estrogen and testosterone, the sex hormones. Clinical tests carried out at the University of California, San Diego, have shown that increased levels of DHEA produce increased feelings of well-being and vitality. Dr. Etienne-Emile Baulieu, a French researcher, isolated DHEA more than 30 years ago while working with testosterone and estrogen. DHEA has since been linked with aging. 

This white paper is available from the Institute of HeartMath for $5.00 per copy, including postage for U.S. purchases. Call 408-338-8700 to order.

The Institute of HeartMath offers a variety of workshops and seminars where individuals can learn how to stop emotional drain and transform their lives. Authentic Leadership: Inner Quality Solutions for Women helps women discover how to use leveraged intelligence to:
• Stop inefficient mental and emotional "loops" to accelerate self-security
• Slow the aging process, increase your vitality and improve overall health and well-being
• Build and sustain personal power to make choices that align with your personal mission
• Increase personal magnetism and effectiveness
• Improve the quality of all relationships, especially the one with yourself
• Use intuition -- the conduit for your real spirit -- to cut through mental and emotional patterns and time constraints
• Map out a plan of action for personal and professional success
Contact IHM about registration information at 408-338-8700 or contact Christiana Bramlet cbramlet@heartmath.org at the Institute.

White Paper, Part 2Stopping the Emotional DrainSustainable Heart PowerRethinking Self-EsteemInterview with Doc Lew Childre - On the Next Step for WomenAbout the Author and EditorWomen's Stories About Using HeartMath Tools

Articles Page | Insitute of HeartMath Main Page

counter since 05/14/97


HeartMath LLC
14700 West Park Ave.
Boulder Creek, CA 95006
408-338-8700 / fax 408-338-9861/
info@heartmath.com

Last updated 07/23/97
© Copyright 1997Institute of HeartMath
http://www.heartmath.org/Articles/WWP/WWP1.html
hostedby