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Your Heart Brain
December 14, 2009

What an exciting past week.

A good portion of the country survived what many are calling the storm of the decade.

It started out with wet heavy snow, followed by several hours of freezing rain, sleet, back to rain and then a couple of days of snow.

We ended up with close to 16 inches of white.

It wasn't quite the monster they were predicting for my part of Michigan, but there were parts of Michigan's upper peninsula that reported 30 inches of snow (without lake effect).

Now that is impressive.

I kept busy shoveling out an area for the fur kids to do their thing and keeping bird feeders clean.

The wind whips just right that a drift always forms right by the back door.

When you have small dogs, shoveling is a priority or you have a mess inside.

Fur kid walks were lacking for a couple of days, but I have started up again over the weekend.

Dogs aren't dumb, they realize the time of day and motions, and wonder why we aren't going outside.

The past week, I've seen and heard several flocks of snow geese flying over.

Frozen ponds have forced the local ducks and Canada geese to find open waters and feeding grounds.

Bird feeding is at a frenzied pace these past few days.

As you have noticed over the past few months, a new camera in the hands of a nature buff can be a dangerous thing.

Certain birds like Northern Cardinals in particular are photo opportunities calling out.

The red with a white background is special.

The pictures to the left also taken through a window this past Friday,

One of those right place at the right time moments.

I was looking out a back window, when she came flying in (with her talons full) from no where, and I mean fast.

Instantly the area was deserted.

Well, this female (the impressive size) Cooper's hawk stayed for a few minutes, giving me plenty of time to grab the camera and take a few shots.

Isn't she beautiful?

She even earned her keep for the week.

A closer look at the dead bird in her grasp shows to be a European starling.

You may notice the winter spots and the black bill sticking up be the left foot/leg of the hawk.

The pictures also tell you that this Cooper's hawk is an adult.

If you aren't sure by the markings, the eyes will let you know.

An adult has the red color eyes.

An immature Cooper's eyes are yellowish in color.

The same holds true for the smaller Sharp-shinned hawk.

I'm happy one of my nice birds didn't get nailed.

I know it happens, it is part of nature.

They (hawks) have this look about them, don't they?

It was a full 30 minutes before feeding birds began to feed once again.

Is I mentioned last week, the next few letters will be different, off the norm.

Today, the Heart Brain.

You may wonder why I am writing on this topic today, however stay the course and you may understand how this can pertain to Gardening and Wildlife.

Love, passion and the human heart.

Works for me.

Follow Your Heart

"Our hearts may actually be the 'intelligent force' behind the intuitive thoughts and feelings we all experience."

Long before the brain develops, the human heart is pumping and sending signals throughout the developing fetus.

Throughout the ages, the heart has been referred to as a source of not only virtue and love, but also of intelligence.

One of the most prevalent themes in ancient traditions and inspirational writing is the heart as a flowing spring of intelligence.

Many ancient cultures, including the Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Babylonian, and Greek, assert that the heart is the primary organ responsible for influencing and directing our emotions and our decision-making ability.

Similar perspectives of the heart as a source of intelligence are found in Hebrew, Christian, Chinese, Hindu, and Islamic traditions.

For example, in the Old Testament Proverbs 23:7, "For as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he,"

Even with all these traditions and colorful heart metaphors, most of us have been taught that the heart is just a ten-ounce muscle that pumps blood and maintains circulation until we die.

Medical science asserts that the brain rules all of the body's organs, including the heart.

However, it is interesting to note that the heart starts beating in a new fetus even before the brain has been formed.

The heart and soul of the body is hard at work.

I read about this a few years ago in a book titled "The Other 90%" by Robert K. Cooper, and recently the subject came to my attention again.

I figured what better time than Christmas season to share this with you.

After all, it is one of God's many gifts to us.

in the 1990's Neuroscientists discovered exciting new information about the heart that makes us realize it's far more complex than we'd ever imagined.

Instead of simply pumping blood, it may actually direct and align many systems in the body so that they can function in harmony with one another.

These same scientists have found that the heart has its own independent nervous system a complex system referred to as "the brain in the heart."

There are at least 40,000 neurons called baroreceptors (nerve cells) in the heart as many as are found in various subcortical centers of the brain.

The heart's electromagnetic field is by far the most powerful produced by the body. In fact, it is about 5,000 times greater than the field produced by the brain.

Electric charges from the heart can be felt and measured as far as 10 feet away.

It is suggested that this is why some people can feel good or bad when near others.

This complex network is as large as many key parts of the brain.

The heart communicates with the brain and the rest of the body in three ways documented by solid scientific evidence:

Neurologically (through transmissions of nerve impulses).

Biochemically (through hormones and neurotransmitters).

Biophysically (through pressure waves).

In addition, growing scientific evidence suggests that the heart may communicate with the brain and body in a fourth way.

Energetically (through electromagnetic field interactions).

Through these biological communication systems, the heart has a significant influence on the function of our brains and all our Systems.

This new scientific evidence shows that the heart uses these methods to send our brain extensive emotional and intuitive signals.

Along with this understanding that the heart is in constant communication with the brain, scientists are discovering that our hearts may actually be the "intelligent force" behind the intuitive thoughts and feelings we all experience.

It terms of human ingenuity and initiative, it also turns out that the heart is not only open to new possibilities, it actively scans for them.

Thanks to the discovery of heart intelligence, with its premise of the heart as a primary source of emotions, we have a new paradigm for understanding our emotions.

With the strong scientific tie established between our wellness factor through emotional management.

The more we learn to listen to and follow our heart intelligence, the more educated, balanced, and coherent our emotions become.

And it naturally follows that the more balanced and coherent our emotions become, the less likely we will be to experience sickness and disease.

Because of the ever growing scientific research on heart intelligence, it may be time we developed a new personal attitude about following our hearts."

Every single heartbeat speaks an intelligent language to your whole body.

It is suggested that the heart brain makes it possible for heart transplants to succeed.

It is also suggested or documented that some transplant recipients transfer over feelings from the donor. I have no clue if this is true, but it give one reason to pause and think about it.

Here are some tips for learning to recognize our heart's intelligence:

Think positive thoughts throughout the day to increase your personal energy.

Our internal power, or the amount of physical, mental, and emotional energy we have, is a determining factor in the quality of our lives.

Internal power translates into vitality and resiliency.

Positive thoughts and feelings add energy to our system.

Negative thoughts and feelings deplete our personal energy.

Encourage your deepest heart feelings.

There are many positive heart feelings including love, compassion, non judgment, courage, patience, sincerity, forgiveness, appreciation, gratitude, and care.

Experiencing these feelings increases synchronization and coherence in our heart's rhythmic patterns.

Each of these heart feelings has a powerful, beneficial effect on how we relate to life.

Reduce your stress.

The less stress we feel, the less internal confusion we will experience, and the easier it will be to hear our heart's intelligence.

When we are relaxed, we don't need to strain our body to stay focused and productive.

Focus on recognizing your heart's intelligence and realize the importance of listening to it before making choices.

The brain operates in a linear, logical manner that works great for many problems but can limit us in others. Often we need more than logic to solve a problem, especially if it is an emotional one.

Heart intelligence provides us with an intuitive awareness that is expanded beyond linear, logical thinking. As a result, our perspective usually becomes more flexible, creative, and comprehensive.

Use calm or quiet moments to reflect on your heart's intelligence and listen for intuitive thoughts.

Make time each day to sit quietly and focus on your heart. Imagine you are breathing through your heart.

Calm your mind.

Try to not think of anything but breathing through your heart.

When your mind is clear, you will begin to receive impressions and ideas.

These are coming from your heart.

Pay attention now.................

If we don't feel our values and goals, we don't live them.

Something else to ponder.

When you are happy or sad, where do you feel it?

Why does your heart skip a beat?

Why do we get broken hearted?

After a good day and you are satisfied, (it could be a good day gardening, birding or just enjoying life) where do you feel happiness and joy?

Nature and gardens make you feel good where?

Where do we ask Jesus to come and live?

We feel love, anger, sadness, happiness, fear, loneliness, a separation from God and a host of other feelings and emotions in our heart.


Do you may understand why the heart is more than a muscle that pumps blood.

Now you may understand why you have a heart for wildlife, gardening, people or what have you.

You feel it, you think it in your 'heart brain.'

Cool huh?

All part of HIS creation and master plan.

I wonder how Darwin would theorise this on the evolution path?

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here are a few Christmas memories from readers and your positive thought for the week.

Marti-Lake Milton, Ohio:

There are so many fun, good and exciting times at Christmas! The one that stands out in my mind is when our daughter was between 1 and 4, Santa always came to our house. He was a policeman. One night, the cruiser pulled down the drive-had his lights on, no siren, but the way the lights reflected off the garage into the living room (-red-was awesome) and of course it was Rudolph's nose! I was even excited!!

I love putting out my Christmas decorations, and some that were given to me, just put a smile on my face. I have a Santa my daughter made in the 6th grade, and cherish it the most. Every year I make a little something and pass them out to about 15 people. I enjoy doing that. With all the things to do, I'd rather sit and do little crafts. When my grandson was younger and not in school, I'd have him make little things for family members. My memory there will be the overflow of glue, crooked hats, noses, etc. Just seeing him get such enjoyment is priceless.

"Santa" writes letters to the grandchildren, and hopefully that is a fond memory to them. My daughter gets them out every year-handwritten, with Santa stationary, and personal tidbits about their lives- that Santa would know is hopefully special to them as it is to Santa. That time frame doesn't last long, but it is wonderful. I don't think there is anything sweeter than children and innocence.

Then there's the small living room., 23 people, and there's always room for a friend who has no where to go, or share Christmas with. One friend and her son have been coming for 10 yrs. This year I have another person coming. Maybe we'll skip the chairs, sofa and love seat and all just sit on the floor!

Oh yes, wrapping gifts in oddball cereal, soup, little Debbie boxes and many others, they all get a kick out of that, and still laugh about it. Although I've done it for years- they expect it too. Oh, then I pick a few gifts and write a quirky notes, pertaining to the gift they read out loud, and we all have a good laugh.

I guess my memories include people and the simple things in life and hearing the 'Little Drummer Boy,'no matter who sings it. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! And to all a Good Year !

Thank you Marti, that was great.

The police car? Was their an officer in the family?

I still wrap things up in odd boxes just to disguise the contents,sometimes I'll add a can of soup so the package weighs more.

What we go through huh?

Grand memories Marti, thank you again.

Marsha from mid-Missouri:

My very best memory is the year my husband of 35 years was living temporarily apart from our family to start a new job until we could sell the house and move down to the country with him. The four kids and I were lonesome for him but he was really very isolated and alone. He used that time before the holidays to make all kinds of cookies and candy. When he came home for the holidays it was such a good time and the separation made our time together even better. Not to mention all the goodies. :)

Thank you Marsha.

I think I gained 10# just thinking of the goodies and I'm sure the reunion wasn't bad either.

Memories are something we cherish and I feel it is so important to create as many good ones as we can.

Kathy Kuhnert, Sioux Falls, S.D.

As a child we were very poor with a family of 10 children. Each year when I was younger I would get a doll but it just never looked as nice or had that 'smell that my friends' dolls had. When I was about 10, what woke me up on Christmas morning was that 'smell' of a pretty NEW doll. I couldn't run fast enough to the tree.

My FAVORITE memories though are watching my 5 children on Christmas mornings with the excitement that I had when I was 10. I would give anything to revisit those mornings on Christmas Day with my small children, but they are now all grown and making their own memories with their children.

Thank you Kathy.

You brought back a flood of memories for me. I am one of eight, so I am familiar with some situations. Being the 4th child didn't help.

I am speechless, as you touched me so.

Thank you.

Emily M. from East, Texas:

Last year one week before Christmas, our Scout Venturing group planned to go caroling at the local Nursing home. I was really excited, I wanted to give back to the people who were the foundations of our small town. When we got there it took a while before we figured out what we were supposed to do but eventually we were ushered into a small room with about fifteen senior citizens there waiting to listen to us. We starting singing the carols completely out of sync and somewhat out of tune! But we got through fine and the people there truly seemed to enjoy it, when we finished we stayed behind for snacks and chatted with the people in the nursing home.

We had a good time listening to the stories these people had to share about our little town when it was littler! So even though it wasn't as great as we planned, it was a joyous time knowing that we blessed these peoples Christmas and that we learned about our past and the importance of the future on our shoulders. I pray we will be truly worthy to be trusted with the future of our world.

Thank you Emily.

The fact you showed up was important to the folks at the nursing home. I'm sure they enjoyed everything and all had a smile, including you.

Trust and the future.............. sometimes a person doesn't wait and wonder, you need to make things happen.

Well, I'm sorry to say that that is it with Christmas memories unless you care to add one for next week.

As you can see, there is an underlying theme to our memories.

Kids, the elderly, lonely and needy.

That is awesome.

Even though we celebrate the birth of Jesus, it becomes a time of giving and joy and that is an underlying theme of Christmas.

Giving, sharing, loving, helping, after all, isn't that what our Creator wants from his children?

I must say I enjoyed your memories as much or more than you did sharing them.

As I write this, I am full of mixed emotions (that is good).

You brought back memories for me that I had forgotten about until I read yours.

LIFE IS SO GRAND.......................................

If you care to share a memory, return this back to me with your vitals please.

Twice year (Christmas and Easter) I allow myself the opportunity to share my thoughts and beliefs.

As I Christian man, I wont back down and usually lose some readers.

Please feel free to delete or ignore My Christmas letter next week.

Hopefully we can remain friends and we'll get together the following week.

Now here is your Positive Thought for the week.

Until next time

God Bless.

Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.

Helen Keller (1880-1968)American Writer

Here I go again with Helen Keller once again.

Why not?

Few people in history have over come such odds.


This kind of fits into today's theme on the heart.

Faith, hope and confidence are rooted in the heart and must be felt in the heart.

Optimism grows though faith.

Through faith you believe.

With belief, you can accomplish just about anything you go after.

How wonderful to have such hope and confidence in yourself.

Wouldn't it be nice if you can help others develop confidence and hope?

This Christmas season, why not give yourself a gift of confidence, faith and hope.

It is true, you can't build up others if you are weak.

We are meant to help others and one way to help is to build up.

You can start with a smile.

Maybe bend down to help some one in need.

It may be a simple good job or I'm so proud of you.

Words are powerful.

Words with meaning can conquer many things.

Often a silent hug is needed and can mean the world to someone.

Follow your dreams with confidence.

But, you have to pay up front and helping a fellow human is a good way to start paying up front.

You'll feel better

Another person feels better

Your Creator will smile upon you and who knows where that can lead you :-)

It is after all one of his commands.

It is the giving season (it should be year round).

Until next time my friend.

God Bless.

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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