I hope you were able to join us for February's free Masterclass. In case you missed it, or if you want to review some of the scientific research on Love, check out the Show Notes below.
Enjoy watching the Facebook Live Broadcast embedded below, and feel free to interact in the comments as if you were live. We will see your comments, and look forward to seeing you take on the Wild + Brave Love Challenge issued in the Masterclass!
Thank you to everyone who said #ChallengeAccepted, and who shared and connected with us online. You'll notice we really meant it when we weren't selling anything - there's no sales pitch anywhere during or after the Masterclass. Was it a welcome change? Do you have insights or feedback on how we can be better? Please share your wild ideas with us. We want to hear from you.
Make Love Welcome Masterclass
3 Things You Love
If I were to ask you all to tell me 3 things you love, I’d probably get a lot of different answers. This one 4-letter word can mean so many different things. It covers how we feel about our first cup of coffee, or our puppy, as well as how we describe our most intimate relationships.
Which is just a little crazy, especially when you know that according to the University of Glasgow, the Scots have 421 words for snow. They have words that describe the consistency of snow, the types of snowflakes, the way snow moves, the clothing you might wear in snow, the way snow effects animals. They need so many words, because snow can be a matter of life and death in Scotland and so they want to be crystal clear about what they mean when they say “snow” But love is literally a matter of life and death to us, so today we want to get crystal clear on what love means.
But to do that I want to know if you’d be willing to take love off the pedestal for the next few minutes and think of love through the lens of science. I promise you what we’re going to tell you wont take the sparkle out of love...actually, it will enhance the love you experience already and create more opportunities to find love! So who’s up for a challenge? Give us a thumbs up or a smiley face if you’re ready to think a little wild with us and get more love in your life!
Pretty much every religion or spiritual practice has love as the central tenet of belief.
But whatever your world view is, I think we can all agree that love is something that’s outside of ourselves. It’s an energy that has the power to heal us and to heal our world.
We’re hardwired for love, but we make it too hard to get and like the song says, we’re looking for love in all the wrong places.
Love is not a soft emotion. It’s our weapon against fear.
Love’s not a soft emotion: It’s our weapon against fear. Love makes us fearless in life and it’s a game changer in our business. Forbes actually calls love the best business strategy there is.
I don’t know if you’re aware of it but scientists have been studying love in the lab for over 20 years. Researchers have hooked tens of thousands of humans up to fMRI’s, Cat scans, EEGs, EKGs in order study it, define it, measure it, and understand it. And what they’ve found - is extraordinary!
Scientific Definition of Love: Shared Positive Emotion
They’ve given us a new definition of love; love is shared positive emotion.
Now we experience loads of positive emotions on our own, all day long: like gratitude, amusement, awe, peace, or joy. But if the conditions are right - when you share a positive emotions with another human.… love happens!
And when it does, it sparks a cascade of physical, psychological, and neurological reactions that build and sweep over you and the other people you’re sharing the positive emotion with. And this love cascade doesn’t just happen when we’re with people we like or have a relationship with….Love can happen in a micro moment with total stranger!
Love is actually a micronutrient.
Who here takes microgreens or micronutrients or vitamins? I know we have a lot of health coaches and wellness advocates and health conscious humans with us…A lot of you probably take green shakes or vitamins. That is LITERALLY what love is for us as humans...it’s the essential element we need...it’s so powerful that even microdoses have profound effects on every cell in our bodies…. And that is why it is the best things we can do for ourselves and others every day….so we want to start gathering tons of micro moments of love with as many people as possible, right Mom?
Absolutely! So there are many moments of love waiting to be captured all around us every day. And we definitely want to capture as many as possible because researchers have found that Love leads to success in every domain of life: In our work, our health, and our relationships, Love makes us more creative, productive and resilient. Love helps you communicate, and play and relax.
AND the amount of love you experience on a day to day basis has a tremendous impact on your health: Love actually affects our glucose regulation, our immune function, our pain levels, depression levels, our heart health, and even how our cells replicate. It’s pretty radical to think that love even affects our DNA.
The amount of love you experience - or don’t experience- is even a predictor of how long you’ll live! Clinically speaking, love is as important - maybe even more important- than what you eat, how much you exercise, or even if you smoke!
That’s a lot to expect out of a 4 letter word.
We can literally infuse our health, our happiness, and our success simply by becoming intentional about sharing positive emotions and picking up positive emotions that others are trying to share with us!
This sounds simple, But there are conditions!
Now I know we talk about unconditional love, but in this version- there are 2 pre- conditions to be able to share positive emotions: One is Safety and the other is real time connection: Both participants have to feel safe to be able to share - and you have to either be together in person or on the phone or video call to be able to connect. You can’t share love in a text or an email.
Preconditions for Experiencing Love:
So to upgrade our view of love so we can get in on these amazing side effects… we need to stop thinking about love with our heads or even with our hormones….and start thinking about love with our hearts. Literally with our physical hearts!
So for just a moment, (if you’re in a safe place) would you close your eyes and place your hand on your heart . Lets just take a couple of seconds to connect with our heart beat. Feel each beat as it sends life to every cell of your body with every single beat.
You can open your eyes.
Our heart doesn’t just beat in our heart muscle. Every cell of our body beats with the same frequency of our heart. And the heart acts as an emotional conductor. It's like a big tattle tale that radiates our emotional state to every cell in our body. Which explains why the CDC, says that over 80% of all of our physical health problems have their origins in our emotions.
Have ever noticed how your health is tied to your emotions? Maybe you get stress headaches, or stomach aches. It's literally true that people can be a pain in our neck or that our stomach can feel tied in knots!
But our emotions don’t just stay in our body. Their energy field can be detected from 10 feet away.
Our emotions can be detected from 10 feet away!
I know every one of you can think of a person in your life who gives off a positive vibe. They don't even have to say anything for you to like being around them right? Their positive energy makes you feel better. Give us a thumbs up or a heart or you can even type in the name of someone who is characterized by giving off positive energy.
But we all know people who gives off negative vibes too, right? You can almost feel the stress or negative emotions rolling off of them.
So we’re all walking around broadcasting how we feel whether negative or positive, and everyone around us can feel it - if they’re tuned in. In the same way, we can tune in to how others are feeling.
Now of course our heart doesn’t do all this on its own. Its connected to your brain stem by the longest cranial nerve in your body - called the vagus nerve.
Health Focus: The Vagus Nerve
Now you all know the saying that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas...well that’s not true of your Vagus nerve.. It’s the longest nerve and it radiates out to affect your entire body. This nerve is like the central command of our nervous system and it helps us relax, digest our food, feel calm and peaceful! Life gets us revved up, constantly and it’s the vagus nerve that is responsible for slowing things back down- taking the foot off the gas, so to speak. Whenever you're in distress or under stress, and your body has that automatic stress response: your heart starts beating wildly, your blood vessels constrict, your blood pressure goes up - it’s your vagus nerve that brings your heart rate back down, and lowers your blood pressure.
Since someone dies every 43 seconds from cardiovascular disease, stroke, or heart failure, we want to keep this nerve healthy and strong!
So our vagus nerve is pretty important. Doctors used to think that once you reached a certain age it’s functioning was pretty well set- but now they’ve found that there’s an easy way to improve the functioning of this really important nerve...simply by increasing our daily doses of love. It sounds a little crazy, but beat by beat, our physical heart is literally registering our recent history of love. So I guess the saying is true - that love can heal a broken heart. That’s a wild idea!
Remember the preconditions of love is that both partners need to feel safe, and there needs to be a real time connection. If you have both of those, then you only need 3 ingredients to make this love potion that can improve your relationships, create success at work, and literally improve your heart health.
3 Ingredients of Love
Ingredient #1: Shared Positive Emotion
First ingredient is sharing a positive emotion. And positive emotions aren’t just the big happy ones we normally think of like joy, celebration, gratitude….They include more subtle ones like interest, or serenity, or contentment.
Ingredient #2: Biobehavioral Synchrony
And The Second ingredient is Biobehavioral Synchrony: which is fun to say and it just means = you act as one: Both of you are in synch Physically, emotionally, and neurologically - even if for a microsecond!
Ingredient #3: Mutual Care
And the third ingredient is Mutual Care. Which means that for the moment each of you is offering respect and good will to the other person. You aren’t giving to get something or sell something or take advantage in any way.
And when all three of those events line up- a beautifully choreographed dance unforlds. Some of it - you can see… like when your body language changes. But there’s a lot happening that you can't see. You're neurons are firing in synch and even your heart rhythms become syncopated. And in that moment a single emotion rolls like a wave over both of your bodies and brains, and heart...to create a momentary resonance -of good feeling and good will between you - which is the dance of love: And it all happens in a microsecond!
This may sound like a lot, but every one of you has experienced this dance before even in groups of strangers!
Like when you’re at a ball game and your team scores…what happens? Everyone jumps up and does the same thing…at the same time. And if you’re really feeling the love, you might high five the total stranger sitting next to you or even give them a hug! That’s synchrony!
My junior year of High School our class went to Niagara Falls and I remember the moment we all got to the edge of the falls- almost simultaneously our jaws dropped open.The girl standing next to me - who I didn’t really know- grabbed my hand. For just a moment - all 85 of us were experiencing awe together.
That experience changed our class. We began sitting with new people at lunch, saying hello to classmates we usually overlooked, and the girl that grabbed my hand, become one of my best friends. Sharing love changes everyone in its vicinity.
Now, I know I’m not alone….this was a unique experience for me but it is a totally universal phenomenon….So I know many of you have had experiences like this too! Throw a heart emoji in the comments to let us know you have a story like this! You can also feel free to share your love story in the comments…
Small Moments of Love
But love’s too important to wait around for big moments. we need to be able to find love every day, in all kinds of situations!
But it's a little awkward to go up to someone and say “Hey want to share some love” -I wouldn’t recommend that - but there's a way you can broadcast to others that you’re open to love….in a very appropriate way!
Using a Smile to Share Love
You all know what it is- A smile! But There are all kinds of smiles.
You all know what a fake smile is….You know it's the one we usually give automatically when someone says “Hey, how’re you doing!” …It’s a flat smile. And it says we’re too busy or not really open to connect.
Flat smiles don’t lead to love . Only smile leads to love is called a duchenne smile It lifts your cheeks up and crinkles your eyes. This big smile signals your brain to release oxytocin - the love hormone. YOur smile also attracts attention. It’s a signal for someone to look at you - And when that person looks you in the eyes, the mirror neurons in their brain fire just like yours, resulting in their brain releasing oxytocin too. It’s kind of like doing a mini mind meld with someone.
Now I’m sure you can think of a time when you felt connection with someone just by smiling. And if you experience enough of these moments, they turn into rapport.
Have any of you ever met someone and you almost instantly felt like you just clicked! That’s rapport. And Rapport can lead to deeper bonding and commitment
So let's practice together. Wherever you are- whatever you’re doing, smile and hold that smile. Even if no ones around or if there are a lot of people around. Wrinkle those eyes and keep smiling till I say stop! I know it feels weird, but trust me...keep smiling and don’t worry about permanent wrinkles..my dermatologist told me that anytime I wanted to get rid of those smile lines she could take care of them for me. But I'm kind of proud of mine ..but you now have that option now! So don’t worry about it- keep smiling as big as you can!
Ok you can rest your cheeks now…
Let me ask you...Even though you smiled by command -did you notice a change in your energy or emotions?
Give us a thumbs up or a smiley face if you felt a little upsurge in energy or positive emotion just from smiling for no reason.
Which is why, if you’re ever feeling out of sorts or sick and you’re by yourself - you can still generate positive emotions simply by putting a pencil in your mouth. The pencil makes you smile big enough to trick your brain into releasing those same hormones which have the power to make you feel better. But guys... please - if you’re going to try this, use a clean pencil and stick it sideways not directly in your mouth…
You don’t always have to be the one to initiate love- you can join in. Just learn to notice when someone is experiencing a positive emotion like celebrating an achievement, or when someones laughing or acting silly. That’s an invitation to join.
And you can learn to tune in and notice more subtle emotions like interest or appreciation. For example, maybe someone's looking at the same books you are at Barnes and Nobles or they’re ahead of you in line and order the same coffee you like. Sharing an interest is a great way to share some love.
Even in difficult circumstances you can can experience love…. often by sharing the positive emotion of hope.
Love is all around us just waiting to be captured. It's the fuel that makes us wild+brave enough to chase our grand adventure.
Love isn’t love until we share it- So Love makes the whole world wilder and braver too!
It’s easy to think that we can’t really impact our world… But that’s not true. According to chaos theory: which most of us know as the butterfly effect- Even the smallest action you take can have massive impact - in ways that you may never even know about!
The Butterfly Effect: even small actions have massive impact
I experienced the butterfly effect in 1980 when I was working as a FA. I will never forget this trip- It was the the end of a long flight from Boston to London. During the flight we started and stopped our drink and dinner service 7 or 8 times due to turbulence and because we needed to help so many passengers who became airsick….Anyway, let's just say it was a difficult flight for everyone. As passengers were deplaning, this older gentleman with white hair and a beard - he kind of looked like Colonel Sanders stopped at the door, looked me in the eyes, gave me a twinkly smile and said…“Young lady, I watched young during the flight and I just want you to know that there's something special about you. You never lost your smile or sense of humor through the entire flight. You are going to make a difference with your life.” And with that he left.. It all happened so fast - I don’t remember if i even thanked him…but I do remember that I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day.
The funny thing is…Later that evening the entire flight crew met for dinner and as we sat around talking, someone told the story of how a nice, older gentleman had told him that he was special and going to make a difference with his life. It turned out, the Colonel (as i like to call him) had encouraged every single crew member at some time during the flight! But finding that out didn't change the impact that his words had on me. Because his words had already entered my mind and taken root in my heart and it became part of my identity. Now that happened over 35 years ago, and I'm sure the colonel has passed away, but love never dies. The love he shared with me that day continually reminds me to smile and find humor even in difficult situations.1800
Now of course..Love is a choice. We can’t make someone share love with us- but we can make it welcome. So we'd like to leave you with a challenge for this Master class- We call it the Make Love Welcome challenge!
TIME FOR A CHALLENGE:
Who is READY FOR A CHALLENGE!!!! I want to you throw and emoji in the comments that shows YOU ready for this challenge...maybe it’s a rainbow, maybe it's a laughing face, maybe it’s the live long and prosper symbol!
- Each day, for the next week, look for three opportunities to connect and share love with someone: It could be a relative, friend, colleague, or complete stranger. Each interaction can be with the same person or with three different people.
- Then each night think about your three interactions. And ask yourself: on a scale of 1-7 where 1 (not much at all) to 7 (very connected)” How in sync or connected did I feel with the person during that interaction?”
- If you rate yourself high then ask yourself what was it that made it such a great connection so you can repeat that.
- If you rate yourself low, then ask yourself what might have happened to interrupt your connection and what could you do in the future to create a better connection.
This reflection step can help you discover ways to make love more welcome in your day to day life.
So at your next staff meeting maybe arrange the chairs in a circle so everyone can make eye contact. And maybe, instead of texting or emailing your family or clients, you could Facetime them or call them.
You don’t have to change your personality, or your schedule - you can just turn your daily interactions into opportunities to make love welcome.
We were created to love- it’s deep in our DNA.
Each of us has the power to fuel our own well being and change our world one micro moment at a time.
If you’re brave enough to you take the challenge this next week, we’d love to hear your results. Or if you want to continue this conversation or have any questions, please feel free to message us. Our greatest joy is to share practical ways to help you live more Wild + Brave every single day.
So who is open to being surprised by love this week? Who’s open to seeing love as their micronutrient?
If you’re in, if you’re open, if you’re doing the challenge with us, we want you to share it with the world! When you post about your love challenge this week, be sure to use the hashtag #wildandbrave...we would LOVE to repost and share what you’re doing with the whole wild + brave community! You can also feel free to tag any/all of us and Hendrix Coaching. But if you use the #wildandbrave, we’ll be sure to find you!
Remember why we’re even doing this….Love is the ultimate wild + brave fuel…it’s our micronutrient...it’s how we change ourselves and world one interaction at a time!
We love you!