Time & Your Heart-Brain Health
That one thing I wish I had more of is Time!
On my lunch hour today I rushed over to the new Temper Chocolate Pastry shop in Dundarave. As I cued up in the line up to place my first order – a gourmet curried chicken sandwich, I couldn’t help but look around at all the yummy tables full of people connecting, engaged, having fun. I was transported to Italy where these types of afternoon scenarios happen in quaint little hidden cafes on cobbled streets.
My heart kind of ached for a second and I longed for the spaces of time when I’m on vacation and that I don’t have right now. As my shoulders were doing their ‘tell tale’ squeeze, I made a note to myself to drop into my day a little more. Noticing the smells of Temper coffee and yes, chocolate croissants, I felt heart warmed by an old friend Trudi who trundled in the doorway with her warm smile and a story about her life as a grandmother.
I am inspired to note that people do trundle in Vancouver and little towns in Italy! I could too. Note to self, I will trundle more and stress less. I can have a little vacation time right here in this moment. Research tells us that the cues to positive smells in our environment go directly to our limbic brain to calm us. The sense of smell bi-passes the frontal lobe (the upper cortical brain) where we all keep those ‘to do’ lists and stimulates the parasympathic nervous system to calm us. You don’t have to eat the croissant. You just need to smell it to set up relaxation and engage your parasympathetic nervous system.
Do you trundle? I am personally committed to slow down and put the squeeze on my schedule to have more brunch, lunch and chinwag time. There will be a lightness of being that starts today! What is on your schedule? Here are five ways to know if you need to pay attention to how you spend your time:
- Do you fully drop into the conversations you have with others when you bump into an old friends? Or are you multi-tasking about your ‘next thing in the day’?
- Do you notice people’s body language when you talk? How is she or he feeling? Is his or her body language congruent with words? Nice to see you with arms crossed means, back off I’m in a rush. Are your own body signals congruent?
- Are you current with the friends and family you care about?
- Here’s a powerful question: If you knew you were going to die next week, would you do or say anything different today?
- What has been distracting you from doing that? What is important about that?
By the way, the lunch at the Temper Chocolate Pastry Shop has tastes to die for. And however, the sweetest moment for me today was bumping into Trudi! Maybe when I’m a grandmother one day, I will be a yummy grand-mummy too!
Dr. Rollin McCraty, a researcher of heart-brain coherence developed a science-based tool to measure the energy we transmit to each other through the heart- brain connection (Neurocardiology). His work suggests that we measurably affect each other in an immediate way through the contagion of emotional processing, but also in a global way. His research through the Institute of Noetic Sciences has looked at emotional impacts through natural disasters such as hurricanes and tsunamis, but also non-natural impacts of the 911 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers. His work is also reported in Tom Shadyac’s documentary “I Am”, a compelling film which proposed two questions: “What’s wrong with our World” and “what can we do?”
We can start to seek deeper understanding of each other. We can make a big difference if we seek to understand the underpinnings of our conversations and notice each other more. Seeing Trudi today made me look forward to the next stage of life. Find time today to take your lunch break. No matter whether you are in your teens, twenties, thirties, forties, fifties or sixties, you just may find your way to a happier life here or in Italy!