Where is Your Heart?

Where is your heart?

Hamlet to Horatio:
Give me that man
That is not passion's slave, and I will wear him
In my heart's core, ay, in my heart of heart,
As I do thee.


Thus, Hamlet does not say "in my heart of hearts," but "in my heart of heart"—that is, at the "heart" (center) of my heart. The phrase is in fact a synonym for "In my heart's core." And like the heart of an artichoke, the heart of Hamlet's heart is its most tender part. He reserves this region of his affection for men who aren't slaves to their passion, who are governed by reason, like his friend Horatio (whom he addresses here) and, indeed, like the phrase-coining Shakespeare.

We've perverted the phrase into "in my heart of hearts" by way of expressions like Ecclesiastes' "vanity of vanities." But where Ecclesiastes had a number of vanities from which to elect a chief or encompassing vanity—presumption—one doesn't have a number of hearts. Even granting that we use "heart" mostly as a metaphor and not with reference to the organ, we never mean to speak of having more than one.

Point to your heart.

Now, point to your heart of hearts.

Where is your hand pointing? Below the shoulders? Above the neck?

Since perhaps the 13th Century, the shape equal to that of the redbud leaf has been used to signify a heart.



The HYPOTHALAMUS is a small part of your brain responsible for a lot of big things.  Among others, it helps regulate the part of your nervous system that deals with unconscious (or "automatic") bodily functions such as heart beat, respiration, blood pressure, and digestion known as the Autonomic Nervous System.  


Historically, in almost every culture of the world, the heart was ascribed a far more multifaceted role in the human system, being regarded as a source of wisdom, spiritual insight, thought, and emotion. Intriguingly, scientific research over the past several decades has begun to provide evidence that many of these long-surviving associations may well be more than simply metaphorical. These developments have led science to once again to revise and expand its understanding of the heart and the role of this amazing organ.

In the new field of neuro-cardiology, for example, scientists have discovered that the heart possesses its own intrinsic nervous system—a network of nerves so functionally sophisticated as to earn the description of a “heart brain.” Containing over 40,000 neurons, this “little brain” gives the heart the ability to independently sense, process information, make decisions, and even to demonstrate a type of learning and memory. In essence, it appears that the heart is truly an intelligent system. Research has also revealed that the heart is a hormonal gland, manufacturing and secreting numerous hormones and neurotransmitters that profoundly affect brain and body function. Among the hormones the heart produces is oxytocin—well known as the “love” or “bonding hormone.” Science has only begun to understand the effects of the electromagnetic fields produced by the heart, but there is evidence that the information contained in the heart’s powerful field may play a vital synchronizing role in the human body—and that it may affect others around us as well.


HeartMath defines resilience as the capacity to prepare for, recover from, and adapt in the face of stress, adversity or challenge.

Resilience has four primary areas

  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Emotional
  • Spiritual

Low energy in one area can effect another.

However, among these four, emotional energy typically has more influence on energy than the others.

Research has also shown that the heart is a key component of the emotional system. Scientists now understand that the heart not only responds to emotion, but that the signals generated by its rhythmic activity actually play a major part in determining the quality of our emotional experience from moment to moment. As described, these heart signals also profoundly impact perception and cognitive function by virtue of the heart’s extensive communication network with the brain.

Finally, rigorous electrophysiological studies conducted at the HeartMath Institute have even indicated that the heart appears to play a key role in intuition. Although there is much yet to be understood, it appears that the age-old associations of the heart with thought, feeling, and insight may indeed have a basis in science.

Something to know as you put your heart into building a business that builds your legacy.




Rick Burris


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