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INNER 911: The Power of Your Heart to Handle Emergencies

HeartStart to Your Week, Monday, February 18

Free Conference Call
Conference Dial-in Number: (605) 990-0700
Participant Access Code: 992522#


"Have you signed the card yet?" one of our mutual friends asked.

Fyera HomeI shook my head no as she handed it to me with a pen. As I began to write a birthday greeting, suddenly I could not see the paper in front of me through the tears.

"That's weird," I thought, as I brushed the tears away. Then it hit. The reason my eyes were watering. A searing pain cut accross my throat as if I was being stabbed in the neck with a knife. In an instant I felt my air passage closing off, my throat swelling, my breathing occluded, my ability to swallow suffocating.

"Oh God! Is this how people die? Am I allergic to one of the appetizers? What's happening?!" Panic.

In almost every HeartStart call, we talk about the power of the heart to help us upgrade old survival software in our physiology so that we can better respond to modern stressors that are not direct survival threats, like traffic, deadlines, too many e-mails or a conversation with someone who intimidates us. But what about the power of the heart to handle a situation that is immediately life threatening?

A week ago today, I choked on a green olive stem, having eaten the olive without realizing a piece of the stem was still attached. The stem sliced into my trachea, lodging itself at the opening at the back of the throat just far enough down that it was out of sight. Using simple tools that we teach in the Beginner HeartMath Webinar, I am, thankfully here to write this HeartStart reminder today.

At the birthday party there was a nurse present, who took my pulse and examined my throat, determining right away that it was not anaphylaxis (where your throat closes off in an allergic reaction). She was able to assess that I was, in fact, choking. She tried the Heimlich maneuver, pushing on my abdomen and encouraging me to cough, to try to expel the unknown invader. More searing pain. No progress. Desperation. Fear.

Fear! I know what to do with fear! HeartMath!

Once it became clear that I would not die immediately of suffocation- I could get some air through to my lungs (albeit a painful process), I realized right away that I needed to consult with the GPS in my heart for guidance.

Through the pulse of blood, hormonal communications, electrical fields, and pressure waves, the heart has immediate communication access with every other part of the body. The brain in the heart, with its unique intelligence, is the ultimate disaster control center- when we know how to listen to its emergency response. However, when we panic in emergencies, or others around us do, we create static to the signals from the heart and can lose sense of what to do. Often in emergency situations, there is nowhere to go but the heart, and people automatically key into its life saving messages. When we do panic, having tools and knowing that you can access your own inner 911 can not only be tremendously comforting- it can save your life.

While my friends and I spoke about taking me to the ER, I started breathing into my heart and calming my terrified body down. I could hear my heart giving me very clear directives. First it said, "Ask everyone to leave the room, so you can hear me without distractions. You need to lay down."

I managed through raspy voice and handsignals to tell everyone intuitively I felt I needed to lie down for a moment, and to go on with their party and I would be ok. I just needed a minute before we would leave for the ER.

I was afraid to lie down, for fear of losing my breath or dying, but I followed my heart in spite of the fear. Somehow, releasing the pull of gravity on my throat, brought the pain down from a 20 out of 10 to a 10 out of 10. With the pain reduced, I could better hear my heart.

"Do not go to the Emergency Room," it guided. "They will put an endoscope down your throat and it will cause more damage to the trachea. You also may not have time to get there. Do a Heart Lock-In (a tool that we teach in the Beginner HeartMath Webinar) and send healing to your throat. Appreciate all the things you have healed from in the past. Go to neutral (another tool we teach in the Beginner HeartMath Webinar) on all the emotion around this- the fear that you have done permament damage to yourself, the feeling that you are a nuisance to everyone at the party- every stressful emotion you find, neutralize that through me and harness the energy within it to recover by the time you walk out the door. You can do it."

Part of the challenge laying there was the unknown. I still did not know if there was an object there, or something had just injured me. I had to keep breathing through my heart, making peace with what was happening. After a half an hour of neutralizing the stress and sending healing through the heart, as if I was a puppet being moved by a puppeteer, I felt the strength and the guidance to lift my hand up to my throat and manually move the object that was piercing down my trachea. It was completely intuitive, and counter to what I would have thought to do as I would not have wanted to continue to injure the rest of the throat. Within seconds, I could breathe without pain.

While it took my throat a day or two to recover, I am so grateful to the power and guidance of my heart in this situation. I sincerely feel that it saved my life.

There was another time that my heart bailed me out in a direct emergency:

There was the sound of breaking glass, but I did not hear it. My boyfriend at the time looked over at me, concerned, and said, "Are you ok?"

"Of course!" I replied, not sure what he was referring to. We looked down and there was blood suddenly everywhere. "Oh," I said, already going into shock. "Would you get me a bandaid?"

"No! I will take you to the hospital though!"

"Huh?" I said, confused. Suddenly, a wave of dizziness washed over me. I had stepped on a drinking glass, and was losing so much blood that I started to pass out. I remember thinking, "I had better stay conscious," and immediately starting practicing Quick Coherence (another tool we teach in the Beginner Webinar). Within seconds of applying the Quick Coherence tool, the bleeding stopped. Again, my heart spoke to me lucidly, as if through a walkie talkie, telling me to raise my leg up to my hips like a yoga pose, what hospital to go to, what street it was on, what to do each step (or in this case hop!) of the way. Again, my heart allowed me to respond to an emergency with clarity, poise, presence, patience- and previous practice to be able to access the heart's intelligence was the key.

"Be prepared," is the Boyscout motto. Life can send lot's of things our way that we cannot anticipate or prepare for, but having a direct communication with the part of you that has an intelligence to navigate situations for the highest best outcome for the whole- your heart- is a way to be prepared for anything life can dish out.

Tune into to tonight's HeartStart call to learn more!


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Feb 24, 2008.

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Fyera is a trademark of Sheva Carr. HeartMath is a registered trademark of the Institute of HeartMath. Quick Coherence is a registered trademark of Doc Childre. Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved.