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Separating heart from head

15 January 2014

Separating heart from head


It’s a stomach churning feeling when your heart and head are in conflict. Not sure whether to listen to either can leave you in a situation of no action or angst. How could you look at this from another angle?

A few weeks ago and executive contacted me in a state of distress. Big decisions on the table he asked me, “How do I separate my heart from my head?”

There was a long pause before we both laughed. He knew exactly what I was thinking. I was processing his suggestion literally and I had a very comical picture of a man in my mind’s eye trying to pull his body apart. I said nothing and he immediately broke the silence by saying, “Come on Madelaine, I know what I am asking you is biologically huri-kuri!” He was in pain from his feelings of upset over decisions that needed to be made.

My executive needed some resources to rationalise his feelings and I appreciated that fact. The resources we discussed unexpectedly assisted him to put the power of his heart and the power of his head together to achieve an unexpected resolution.

The heart is an organ that pumps oxygen-rich blood to every cell of your body. Your heartbeat is a muscle contraction that is vitally important for the quality of every cell. The head contains a number of very important parts including eyes to see, ears to hear, a mouth to eat, drink and make sounds from, and your head also contains your brain. Your brain sends life supporting messages to every cell of your body.

The benefits of bringing your heart and head together include reduced stress, fewer health problems including a reduction in stress induced headaches and palpitations. Oxygen rich blood flow works more efficiently to maximise energy. Clarity and energy increase happiness and confidence.  Ability to be effective and harmonious in all areas of your life personally, with family and at work increases.

When someone wants to separate their heart from their head, what they are often really saying is, “how can I pull apart my emotional feelings from my analytical thinking? My analytical thinking is making me feel heartless and my emotional feels are making me feel incompetent.” What would be immensely beneficial for the individual is to do the exact opposite.

In NLP we regularly find the conflict of heart and head stemming back to the separation of two parts within the psyche that were once part of a greater whole. What the heart and head want can often be the same outcome, however the neurological pathway to realising this has become disconnected.  Bandler and Grinder the founders of NLP discovered this in the 1970’s and created specific processes that enable to reconnection of neurological parts, actually re-connecting pathways in the brain that led to a reduction in internal conflicts.

Clarity and power comes from asking yourself, “heart and head, how could you work together right now to achieve an outcome that goes beyond my expectations and produces something incredible in this situation?” In a moment of internal conflict this is how you could break the boundaries to expand your thinking. Alternatively working with a qualified professional who deals with these issues regularly is helpful.

What if you are still having an issue with separating heart from head? Asking a trusted friend or colleague to help you break the boundaries and look for an integrated solution can be helpful.  Instead of asking them to help you separate heart from head though, ask them the opposite.  Ask them, “how could I bring my heart and head together?”

My executive client did not perform huri-kuri! We did have a good laugh though. He was able to find a solution to his problem that ultimately turned out to be highly beneficial for all parties. What he found most remarkable was how he felt making the decision. He describes the congruency as life changing. For the first time in many years he described a feeling of immense pride, love, compassion and solid business sensibility combined. He received verbal feedback and appreciation from his colleagues that he has never received before. He truly saw himself as a competent leader.

Seeing the benefits you could gain from having your heart and head work together can be life changing. You just need to tell yourself a different story. A feeling of congruency, power, love, intelligence and pride in decisions is your gift for the effort.

maddiMadelaine Cohen Author

Lipstick Learning is an initiative of Sydney based business leader, Certified NLP Trainer (ABNLP), entrepreneur and Master NLP Practitioner Madelaine Cohen. Sharing information and joining forces with people who choose to lead.  Madelaine has more than two decades of inspiration from her businesses in consumer products, sports marketing, executive coaching and healthcare. She takes a leading role in mentoring executives and training business leadership in large and small enterprises. Why? Inspire people to lead and together we can create lifetimes of health and happiness. To find out how you can lead with even more authenticity and ease, contact Madelaine through Lipstick Learning.

Madelaine welcomes connection and networking so if you have something to ask or share, go for it.
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