by Suzee Connole

Grow, change, adapt. As a college student, Howard Martin realized that a heart-filled life should reflect those three themes. “Whatever is gained in growth should be shared with others,” says Howard. The author, speaker and business executive argues that anyone can discover what they are meant to share once they form a genuine connection with their heart’s intelligence and engage their own intuitive guidance.

One of Howard’s main teaching points, which he will be presenting at the Embodied Positive Psychology Summit, focuses on the heart as a source of both intelligence and guidance. “Intuition is a direct knowingness,” he says. “It manifests into thoughts and feelings and allows a sense of knowing what is right and not right.” Once we understand the process within ourselves, we can extend it to our larger community. At the Summit, Howard will share breakthrough research on human health and performance, and speak on the power of positive emotion, practical intuition, and how to increase your ability to catalyze global change.

“The heart demonstrates compassion, appreciation, kindness, and patience,” says Howard. When those emotions are engaged, personal and community purpose is activated and change happens. A question that appears during this change phase: What will I leave behind? What can we do to make a lasting impact for the greater good? Howard teaches that by being uniquely you, you can aid others in being their best self. Understanding this heart-head connection allows people to access their intuitive guidance and helps to unfold our real, deeper selves.

After acknowledging your heart intelligence, how can you express it in a way that invites reciprocal efforts? “By approaching life through eyes of appreciation instead of judgment, you open up a magnetic emotional state,” says Howard. He believes that appreciation is drawn back to us when we express it. “When we are around someone who is genuinely appreciative, we feel that, embody that, and see things in a different way.”

Acts of kindness are another way to exhibit your growth and willingness to initiate adapting. Howard clarifies that this does not mean that you have to pay for someone’s meal—it’s about how you walk in the world and approach others. How we talk to others, show respect, and offer a willingness to help instead of judge becomes catching. “Doing these things casually creates a contagion of positive psychology momentum,” says Howard.

He insists that the most important emotional quality that develops in this three-step process is self-compassion. Especially during challenging times, we need to recognize that we are doing okay. When you’re confused or frustrated with your environment, reconnect with your heart. Constantly revisiting the heart-head connection and our intuitive guidance centers us amid chaos and renews our spirit.

Suzee Connole is the Marketing Assistant for Wholebeing Institute. Part of her role at WBI involves highlighting how alumni, faculty, and guest speakers are taking positive psychology principles and applying them in the communities where they live and work.

Howard Martin helped Doc Childre found HeartMath in 1991, and serves as a key spokesperson and executive for the organization. He is coauthor of The HeartMath Solutionand a contributing author for Heart Intelligence: Connecting with the Intuitive Guidance of the Heart. Howard played a key role in launching the Global Coherence Initiative (GCI), a science-based, co-creative project to unite people in heart-focused care and intention, and serves on GCI’s steering committee. He has been instrumental in delivering programs to tens of thousands of people worldwide, and has conducted keynote presentations and trainings for Fortune 100 companies, government agencies, the US Military, school systems, ecumenical organizations, and events in more than 50 cities on four continents.