Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  an understanding that transcendence has nothing to do with escaping the world or your own self.  [All it means is stepping out and dancing your own heart-dance right out in the open, in the middle of the world and in the middle of yourself.]

“Listening to your heart” often seems like a scary thing.  Your heart keeps insisting that you just have to do things that are counter-intuitive and not-the-thing — the very opposite of what everybody around you says is the Smart Thing To Do.

Your heart often keeps urging you to make these moves that make no rational sense, insisting and insisting that the very thing you are trying to ignore or avoid or resist has to be embraced.

Your heartsong, it turns out, is also what holds you together when your life turns to dreck and you have been knocked down to the floor again by some other Life-thing.

Not only does it help you get back up, it can even help you keep your feet under you the next time you get a 2×4 upside the head.

This seems to me to be a very good thing to explore when you’re searching for meaning and mana for your ordinary life.


In this YouTube video of a TEDxRockCreekPark talk, “The Power of Resilience,” neuro-psychologist Sam Goldstein tells a story about his work with children and touches on some of the things that his patients have taught him.  His early work with children led him to focus on studying resilience in humans, his life-work.

Resilience researchers ask why some people handle adversity better than others and go on to lead normal lives despite negative life experiences while others get de-railed by them.

Goldstein is a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah, a Research Professor of Psychology at George Mason University and the director of the Neurology, Learning and Behavior Center in Salt Lake City in Utah.  He’s written many books and articles on the subject.

Goldstein’s own work has led him to understand that it is the ordinary, heartful actions of everyday people that fosters and instill in childen the strength, hope and optimism they need to face the world.  It is, as he calls it, an “ordinary magic.”

He also points out that our heart is connected to our brain in more ways than any other organ in our body.  It affects us physically and mentally as well.   He encourages us to listen more to our hearts.

In this YouTube video published by the HeartMath Institute, “The Importance of Resilience” further explains the real effects of the heart-mind connection, applying it to the business world.

HeartMath Institute is a nonprofit research and educational organization founded in the 1980’s by Doc Childre, an internationally known authority on optimizing personal effectiveness.

He believes that the “intelligence of the heart” can be harnessed and originated a system of “heart-based tools and technologies” that has been used widely in business, the military, hospitals, clinic and schools to enhance health, performance and well-being.

Another scientist (one who’s turned mystic) is Gregg Braden.  He spends his time exploring ancient wisdoms from a scientific perspective, sharing what he has discovered on his journeys and his thoughts on these discoveries.

This next YouTube video, published by philosophical freeborder in 2015, features Braden talking about how the emotions of the human heart can apparently affect the electromagnetic field of the earth in a GAIAM TV interview.

The thinking’s “out there.”  It’s also fascinating.

Braden’s book, RESILIENCE FROM THE HEART:  The Power to Thrive in Life’s Extremes, is also worth checking out.


From the ancient wise guys to modern-day big brains, the advice remains the same:  Listen to your heart.  That’s where the magic is.

Here’s a poem:


I am learning:

The wiseguys are right.

It really does NOT matter

What happens to me.

The only thing important

Is my response.


Building up and tearing down,

I wade through the stream of Time

And dance in the Creative

As I work on caring for

What is essential to me on

This journey I am making.


Caring for the essences of my existence

Keeps me hopping,

But on the stage

The dancer leaps with abandon,

Throwing out her heart

And following after it as

The beauty of the dance

Continues to grow.

by Netta Kanoho

Header photo credit:  “Sunny Sunday Mornings” by Chris Chabot via Flickr [CC BY-NC 2.0]

Thanks for your visit.  I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a comment or note below and tell me your thoughts.



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22 thoughts on “ORDINARY MAGIC

  1. This post is very interesting. I do believe that humans have a type of intuition that keeps them from making bad decisions and helps them to walk the right path. However, I do not believe that the heart itself has emotions. Yes we have very strong emotions that help guide us. Yes, human beings have emotions, intuition, and resilience. I believe that they come from our soul, not our heart. But very interesting and it really makes you think…. Well done!!!!!!!!! I really liked it!!!!!!!

    1. Hey VHayes2:

      Thank you for your visit and for your thoughts. I do appreciate them. Please come again….

  2. It’s so strange how it works, it the moment of a big decision it feels like the worst thing to do! Head is like: BAAD IDEA! But the heart says: ye go for it! Somehow it always worked out when I listened to my heart and I ended up learning a new thing or becoming a bit better as a human being. I love tedx videos so much!

    1. Hey Angie: Thank you for the video and for sharing your thoughts. Please do come again….

  3. Man, I really spent a lot of time on this site, watching the videos and watching more – I let time slip away as I watched Greg Braden’s stuff.

    Amazing stuff and especially as someone who is involved in personal development and fitness, truly eye-opening and interesting, not to mention, super exciting to find all this stuff out!

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hey Michael:

      Thanks for the visit and for exploring my site and being enthusiastically supportive.  I do appreciate it. 

      Please do come again.

  4. Sujandar Mahesan says:

    It is lovely. I really like your website. It has lots of good poems with tons of meanings to it. This one especially talks about the things which hapoens to all human. How the heart says something and the head says something else. Well done I really liked it! Thank you so much for writing this article.

    1. Welcome back, Sujander.  Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.  

      Please do come again!

  5. Heart is powerful. There’s no denying there. Just like you said, from ancient wisdom to modern science, we learn and confirm the power of our heart. But we are not taking about the physical heart. We are talking about our emotions and intuitions. This is always a hard debate for me since I do value logical thinking a lot but if that doesn’t make us happy, then what’s the point.

    Thanks for the inspiring post and the poem.

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Wei.  It truly is one of the hardest puzzles we humans face.  Logical thinking is valuable but it’s the heart that leads us to happy.  

      Please do come again….

  6. I loved this article and the super interesting videos, thank you very much for sharing them. I must say that I was always a person with fear to do what I really want, but that fear disappeared some time ago and now in every desicion or new challenge of my life, I always focus on following my heart, because it is true that the heart is always right! And also what a beautiful poem.

    1. Good for you, Paola.  Thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts.  Please do come again….

  7. Very interesting article. For me the heart symbolises the intuitive side of us, and most certainly the emotional side of us. Do I always follow what the heart says? I wish I could say yes.
    Thank you for a very insightful passage

    1. Renée, I do thank you for the visit and for sharing your thoughts. I do appreciate it.

      I have to thank you. You just helped me sort out a Hawaiian thing that I’ve had trouble explaining even to myself. Hawaiians differentiate thoughts as coming from three sources: the head, the heart and the na’au (gut).

      Head thoughts are the ones that are connected to the rational and pragmatic, mostly left-brained stuff.

      The heart is about connection — to other people and to the Divine.

      Thoughts from your gut come from body-wisdom and instinct.

      Your comment just gave me that. Thanks!

      Please do come again….

  8. I can resonate well with this discussion in this article. It is true that often times when there’s need to make certain decisions, it always seem like our heart and brain work differently. The status quo dictates something to be right then, the heart says another. 

    But then, in most cases, our heart always give the best suggestion and I’ve learnt to follow it. I know my heart can never lie to me and it doesn’t always pop up everyday to tell me what to do. So, on days when it claims I do a certain things, I always adhere to it. Thanks

    1. Ramos, thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts.  It does seem to work better when you follow your heart.  Cool, huh?

      Please come again….

  9. Henderson says:

    I do not know how you can come up with such inspirational content everytime. This is not something everyone can do I know that. 

    This is very good and I also believe in listening to the heart but sometimes a contrary voice speaks to us and it gets really confusing to pick which is from the heart and which is not. 

    These are all great videos from good figures too. I love your poem and your post generally, thanks.

    1. Thanks for your visit, Henderson.  I do appreciate your comments.

      Please do come again….

  10. Hi Netta

    Such a beautiful poem and yes, the heart can rule many of our thoughts and emotions. 

    Listening to your heart can be a double edged sword in that we want to acknowledge it but fear we will be misled into something worse. 

    I think the heart is only a metaphor, as we all know every decision is based on how our brains interprets the situation. The heart only pump blood around our system, which includes the brain. We can say without the heart our brain will not function..

    Our coping mechanisms is determined by our character, some are tough as boots, whilst others find it difficult to process information and emotions and get overwhelmed. Character is what we really are and have done.  People of character can handle any situation because to them failure is not an option, whilst others give up too easy.



    1. Thanks for your visit and your thoughts, Antonio.  I am intrigued by your way of thinking. I agree with you.  Without your heart pumping blood and doing all of the physical heart stuff, your brain is just a piece of meat.

      I suppose you are right that the heart is a metaphor, but it does help to differentiate between your conscious thoughts and the ones that come from your unconscious, the thoughts that originate more in your left brain and thoughts that arise out of your right brain.  Talking about “heart” and “brain” is a heck of a lot easier than all that other stuff.

      Here’s one other one for you — Hawaiians differentiate between the thoughts that come from your head and those that come from your heart and those that come from your na’au or gut.  Trying to explain THAT one is a trip!

      Thanks for thinking on it all, and for sharing your thoughts.

      Please do come again.

  11. Hi! 

    I agree with what you have expressed in your poem: We can’t control what happens to us but we can indeed control how we respond to it.

    I personally believe that there are occasions were we should follow our heart and there are other occasions when we should follow what makes rational sense. 

    I don’t agree we should always follow one of them, as most people tend to do. 

    But the difficulties arise when we don’t know which one to follow. 

    So, I believe we can be at peace when we give the final word to a Book that most people overlook nowadays. We must move away from our own criteria and humbly accept this Book’s guidance. None that have trusted in these sacred writings have gone wrong in the long run. Do you know which Book I’m talking about?

    1. Thanks for your visit and for sharing your thoughts, Henry.  

      I do appreciate the comfort that many people gain from having the Bible or other tradition to help them do their walk through the world.  All us humans need whatever help we can get, I say.

      Please do come again. 

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