In this episode, we welcome back Bruce Cryer of Renaissance Human and the former CEO of HeartMath, and Regan Caruthers, founder of the Aset Yogo Center. In this captivating episode, we delve into the world of HeartMath, a cutting-edge system for managing stress and enhancing emotional well-being.
Our expert guests explain the science behind HeartMath, how it connects the heart, brain, and nervous system, and why heart coherence is essential. Learn about HeartMath techniques and how they can be seamlessly integrated into daily routines for lasting change. Listen in to hear inspiring success stories and find out how you can leverage the power of HeartMath to transform your life, improve resilience, and adapt to life's challenges with ease.
To learn more about Bruce Cryer and Renaissance Human, visit BruceCryer.com. To learn more about Regan Caruthers, and to register for the October 2023 HeartMath training, visit AsetYogaCenter.com.
[00:00:07.100] - Candi Broeffle
Good morning and welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you the local experts who share their progressive ideas and the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, publisher of the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine, and I am honored to bring these experts to you. Today on our show, we welcome back our friend Bruce Cryer, founder of Renaissance Human, and Regan Caruthers, founder of the Aset Yoga Center in Washington, Missouri. Welcome back to the show.
[00:00:42.530] - Regan Caruthers
Thanks so much.
[00:00:43.750] - Bruce Cryer
Thank you. Looking forward to it.
[00:00:45.450] - Candi Broeffle
So, Bruce, you were with us a couple of weeks ago, and we said during that show that you were going to come back the following week, and we just had some scheduling issues. So we are happy to have you back with us today. And we asked you to come back because you were the former CEO of HeartMath, and you have been using HeartMath with clients for decades. And HeartMath is a tool that I think is so valuable and so much, maybe not a lot of people understand it or know a lot about it. So I was really excited to have you come back and help us learn more about HeartMath. And of course, you said, If I come, I really want to bring Regan Caruthers with me as well. So I'm very happy to have both of you on our show. Before we get started, I always like to ask our guests to just give us a brief overview of what brought you to where you are today. So what brought you to doing the work that you're doing in the world at this moment? So, Bruce, I'm going to ask you to go ahead and get us started.
[00:01:46.520] - Bruce Cryer
You did say brief, though. That's a problem. I'll do my best. So at this point in my life, the heart has for the last more than 30 years been the major focus, my personal practice, as well as professionally in terms of teaching, coaching, leading, workshops, consulting. And that's been a journey. As a young man, I was artistic and I found my heart through singing and dancing and performing on stage in New York City. But I didn't know it was that exactly. But it fulfilled me tremendously. I decided to leave that career, went to California in the late 70s and to explore my spiritual development and health from lots of different angles. Little by little, I found myself more and more drawn to the heart. And then I met a man, first I met him in 1980, and then we reconnected seven or eight years later, who later would go on to found heart math. And I sat with him one evening out in the woods over a campfire. And I said, So what does it feel like to be in the heart? How do I know when I'm in my heart? And he said, It feels like appreciation.
[00:02:55.400] - Bruce Cryer
And for me, that answer for me was the perfect answer. I'm sure if it was somebody else, he might have given a slightly different answer. But for me, I could relate to appreciation. I am moved by nature. I am moved by people. I'm moved by my friend Regan. I'm moved by music. I'm moved by dance. And so I know that feeling of appreciation and gratitude. And I thought, okay, I'll run with that and see where that takes me to the heart. And so a few years later, he started HeartMath Institute. He asked me to be part of the leadership of that. Later on, as you expressed, I did a lot with HeartMath for many, many years. And so today it's still in me. It's who I am. And it's a joy to get to talk about what the journey has been like for me and to hear from others like Regan and the hundreds of thousands and millions of people who have been impacted by this idea that the heart is a source of intelligence. It is wise. It is something to be followed, not something to be shunned. And I look forward to sharing more about that.
[00:03:54.520] - Candi Broeffle
Great. Thank you so much. And Regan, I know you have such an interesting story and an interesting background, so I welcome you to share that with our listeners, please.
[00:04:04.620] - Regan Caruthers
Yeah, sure. So I had the privilege of attending a school from the age of 3 to 11, where we meditated every day and did taichi and sang songs about how thought creates reality. And we spoke and sang about love. And I don't know where I would be without that. I mean, it really informs everything. And then when I had a dramatic spiritual awakening at the age of 27, that feeling that just rose up through me is what the heart math practice helps to sustain. So if you've ever had a moment where you feel such deep gratitude and love for just being alive, it's not as if there's a context for that. It's just this innate feeling that I think we all have had moments of. And in learning how to continue to sustain that emotion, that emotion of gratitude, not only does that feel really good, you think a lot better. And so I had a career for a long time as an executive in the education industry, publishing educational software. I was able to sustain, I think, really high performance in a startup environment because of the Hartmann tools and because of the early education I had.
[00:05:44.030] - Regan Caruthers
Any opportunity I have now at the Aset Center, as a teacher, as a spiritual teacher, as a consultant to executives, all of what I just described informs what we do here. And having the opportunity to teach and to help people embody, basically, the efficacy of love is just great fun.
[00:06:13.710] - Candi Broeffle
Well, and I really want to get into and learn more about what the Aset Center is as well. So I think I'm going to ask you to just share with us, what is it that you do at the Aset Yoga Center?
[00:06:25.410] - Regan Caruthers
Yeah. So it is on my property. I have a 10 acre estate here in Missouri wine country, very close to the Missouri River. It's really beautiful here. And on my property, I have a 3,000 square foot building that I renovated for this purpose. And my intent here is to create community, a sense of home. And whether you come to a set to practice Yoga, you might be coming to my ready to awaken courses that I offer. You may be coming for energy healing from a practitioner that is connected to my Center. You may be coming in October for a two day heart math program.
[00:07:11.020] - Candi Broeffle
I was going to say, Bruce will be coming to share the heart math program.
[00:07:16.240] - Regan Caruthers
Yeah, that's October seventh and eighth. I'm very excited to have him here. And it'll continue to evolve as I get more acquainted. I've only been here a year. So as I get more acquainted with my community, really understand their needs for personal growth and connection, that'll inform what I offer. But right now, it's Yoga courses that uplift, and heart math.
[00:07:44.420] - Candi Broeffle
Awesome. So Bruce, I also want to know from you, what is Renaissance Human?
[00:07:50.780] - Bruce Cryer
So Renaissance Human is a term that I coined. I don't think I'd heard it before. It popped into my head one day because I had gone through a period of about two years of some pretty extreme health issues and personal tragedies. Loss of my mother, my marriage ending, cancer, staph infections in my blood, double hip replacement, all of that in less than two years in sobering time, to say the least. I obviously got through it all. I'm over 13 years cancer free now. I'm almost 13 years staph infection free, coming up on 12 year anniversary of my first hip replacement. And three months later, the second one was done. So I survived all that and not only survived, but thrived. And one of the outcomes was that I felt an impulse to start to sing again. And I reached out to a friend of mine who was a brilliant singer, composer, performer, and we started performing together. And he convinced me that I should try this form of dance called five rhythms. I started dancing again on two titanium hips and was shocked that my body was able to actually dance again. Singing was coming back.
[00:09:04.380] - Bruce Cryer
It was being reborn. I discovered I could actually dance even though I'd had both hips replaced. And so that part of me was getting reborn. And there was a whole creative energy in me that was coming alive for the first time in decades. I was now actually being asked to do these things. Kaiser Permanente, the huge health system in California, actually it's national but based in California, invited me to come do a keynote talk, which was also a performance. Little by little, people were discovering, You're singing again? I didn't even know you ever sang. You're dancing? I didn't know you were a dancer. I was getting comments like, You're like a Renaissance man. Because not only are you the heart math guy that's a teacher and executive and business, but then there's this whole other creative side to you we didn't even know you had. So you're like a Renaissance man. So I kept hearing this term Renaissance man. I was thinking of writing a book and blah, blah, blah. I finally just as I kept pondering, I thought, Well, what do I mean by Renaissance if I use that? And I thought as I continued to explore my own journey as a series of rebirth, I began to realize, Well, what Renaissance actually means, the literal definition, Renaissance in French, is rebirth, to be born again.
[00:10:20.750] - Bruce Cryer
But I didn't mean it in a religious sense. I meant it in the sense that we as humans get to give birth throughout our lifetime, men and women.
[00:10:29.980] - Candi Broeffle
[00:10:30.360] - Bruce Cryer
Nongender identifying, whatever we are, we get to continue to give birth to new parts of ourselves throughout our life. And I went through that very profoundly. I'm singing again at a high level. I'm dancing again. I can't believe I can actually dance, let alone actually do it well. So Renaissance Human is the acknowledgement that every human, everyone, whether or not we think of ourselves as creative, has the power in us to be creative. It's designed into who we are to get to give birth through our life.
[00:11:02.530] - Candi Broeffle
That's awesome. Well, we have to go into a break right now, but when we come back, we are going to get into what heart math is and learn more about how it can help us in our day to day lives. So for people who want to learn more about Bruce and the work he does, visit BruceCryer.com, and that's Bruce, C R, Y, E, R.com. To learn more about the Aset Yoga Center, visit AsetYogaCenter.com, and that's A, S, E, T, Yoga Center.com. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast to this show on AM950Radio.com, on Apple and Google podcasts, and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota, and we will be right back.
[00:12:05.220] - Candi Broeffle
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle, and today we're welcoming into the studio Bruce Cryer, founder of Renaissance Human, and Regan Caruthers, the founder of the Aset Yoga Center in Washington, Missouri. So Bruce, I'm going to ask you, as a former CEO of HeartMath, if you can help us, give us an overview of what HeartMath is and how it got started.
[00:12:31.870] - Bruce Cryer
My pleasure. I always think of heart math as three things. Number one, it's a foundation of a scientifically proven research looking at the intelligence of the human heart and how central it is to every aspect of who we are as humans. So there's this very solid now 32 year scientific foundation, meaning 32 years of research have gone into it. Over 400 peer review studies now have been published in journals about heart math, not just by the institute itself, but by many other institutes as well. So that's number one. Number two is simple, practical, easy to apply techniques that can be used in the middle of stress as you're in the argument, as you're in the meeting that's driving you crazy, as you're about to go into something that is already worrying you. So to prevent, to neutralize, and to recover from stress, practical techniques that can be learned easily and quickly in practice simply. It doesn't require a PhD. It doesn't require academic knowledge or any particular affili. It's not a spiritual system per se. It can just enhance what your beliefs may be. And then the third aspect that's also very valuable and very attractive is very cool technology.
[00:13:49.100] - Bruce Cryer
Three different versions that Hartman has developed over the last 23 or so years. Finally now, the main one is an app that works on any smartphone with a sensor allowing your phone to become a feedback tool for yourself, about your heart. So it's a way you can train yourself using the heart math techniques, which are based on all this research, to learn how to get into a state of flow, for those who can relate to that term, a state of optimal wellbeing, which we can all aspire to. Higher performance, which executives and athletes care about. So it's a way to get into that state with the feedback provided through the app and the sensor that are part of it. So it's research now more than 30 years, practical, simple, easy to apply techniques, and this cool tech that can be a game changer for people.
[00:14:36.870] - Candi Broeffle
So, Regan, you use this when you were in your previous position, when you were working in corporate America. Is that when you were introduced to it as well?
[00:14:47.230] - Regan Caruthers
Oh, no, I began actually working with Hart math in 1995. At that time, I was working with an author named Peggy Jenkins, who wrote the book The Joyful Child. Joseph Chilton pierce, who was connected to her work, suggested that I go to Hart math and attend one of their seminars. I did, and I felt like I was home. The techniques really reflected my early education. They were very similar to what I used to do every day as a kid. I became certified as a trainer for heart math at that time and then was extended an opportunity in 1998 to actually come to the institute, work there as an employee and lead retreats and programs. So I did that back in '99 and then returned to corporate America a couple of years later. Needed to do that for economic reasons. So I always, even in the context of being an executive again in EdTech, any chance I had, I would share a tool. You're in a meeting and it's just ineffective and inefficient. Let's pause. It's incredibly powerful when a team of people has a common toolset.
[00:16:15.150] - Candi Broeffle
[00:16:15.890] - Regan Caruthers
Helps them become more clear in their thinking and more connected to themselves and to each other. And sometimes I think if we had the courage, there's many meetings where we should just say, Let's end this now. We're not getting.
[00:16:35.550] - Candi Broeffle
Anything done. I have been in some of those meetings, let me tell you. Well, yeah.
[00:16:40.810] - Regan Caruthers
And we have a sense of it, too. You walk into a meeting and nothing's being said, but you can feel it and you already know it isn't going to go well. But we don't tend to have interventions that we can call upon that are based in science, which are incredibly accessible, doesn't take long to teach it, doesn't take long to understand it and learn it. I try to share it every chance I get.
[00:17:13.010] - Candi Broeffle
Awesome. So, Bruce, give us an idea, if you can, what do people learn to be able to do in heart math? And I know that's a big, broad question, but just to give people an idea of what do the tools look like? What is it that they're going to learn if they come into a class?
[00:17:34.740] - Bruce Cryer
Sure. There's a term that has gotten very popular in the last decade or so called self regulation, and sometimes it's referred to as emotional regulation. But the idea with self regulation is that it's become very, very clear from decades now of research, not just through HeartM atth, but many, many other institutions that people... We are often our own worst enemy. That, yes, we are all exposed to levels of stress that are unprecedented in our lives. That's what's going on in the world today. That's a given. We're all going through a lot of stuff we didn't vote for. We didn't want to have happen, but we're in it. But how we respond is everything. And it isn't like the only option is to respond out of fear and feeling like a victim to everything that happens to us. But when people do that and are in what's been called the fight flight response a lot, then we lose perspective and everything looks like a threat. And we're constantly in this, what's been called a hyper vigilant state where you're waiting for the next shoe to fall. You're waiting for the next bad thing to happen and this relentless anxiety.
[00:18:44.500] - Bruce Cryer
And the research says that there are simple ways and Hart method uncovered a very powerful one called heart rate variability, enabling us to regulate how our system is actually responding day to day and creating a new internal state. So, yeah, this all kinds of craziness is still going to happen, but we're not as thrown by it. We're not so off kilter or constantly in fear, what's the next terrible thing that's about to befall me? So at the heart, it's self regulation. It's learning how to manage that stress response, even prevent it before it gets going through things that we heart method has learned about the breath, learned about how the heart is affected dramatically by our changing emotional state, how the impact in the heart is fed to every cell in our body. Think frustration for a moment. Think the last time you were really frustrated. Our research says every human in a state of frustration, high anxiety, what their heart rhythm looks like, the pattern of their heart looks like an earthquake, which means every cell in their body is receiving this very chaotic drum beat. And if you think about yourself when you are frustrated, that's not the time you tend to have the highest of IQs.
[00:20:03.310] - Bruce Cryer
You're sometimes like, Wait a minute, I'm sure I'm a triple digit IQ, but that last decision, that last thing I just said, that might have been single digits. That was the stupidest thing I possibly could have. So frustration makes us stupid as one little quick example. So Hartman learned that if you can learn how to self regulate and not buy into the frustration through slowing down your breath, through trying to calm down these turbulent emotions, initially through the breath, and then learn how to engage more positive emotions, like, what could you be appreciative for at this moment? What are you truly grateful for in your life? What about this person is wonderful, not just awful, that the ability to change emotions is another part of self regulation that is really essential because so many of us, especially in these last several years, and I'm highlighting the pandemic era, especially, but not only because of pandemic, we've been living in the stress state a lot. We've been stuck there, not self regulating. Our attempt to self regulate might be an extra glass of wine or maybe doing some retail therapy, none of which are inherently bad, but we're not really regulating our system and preparing ourselves to get better and better in the midst of so much that's outside of our control.
[00:21:26.340] - Bruce Cryer
So self regulation is key. So heart has a set of techniques. They all involve the breath. They all involve slowing down the breath. They also involve learning how to engage a positive feeling like appreciation. And the more you do these things, the more your system has started to balance itself because you're putting it in a more balanced state. We call it coherent, coherence. And the more that becomes a default mechanism instead of the default mechanism being, I got to get ready for the next fight because they're out to get me and the company hates me and the boss doesn't appreciate me and the spouse, whatever about her or him, whatever. So that's a lot of it.
[00:22:10.820] - Candi Broeffle
And then the tools that you have that you said that there's like the app that you use as well, that helps you to visually be able to see how your heart is responding?
[00:22:24.370] - Bruce Cryer
Yes. So if you go back to the visual I mentioned a moment ago of the imagine what an earthquake looks like. Have you ever seen a TV thing where they show out in California 4.5 and they show you this very jagged, disordered looking pattern? That's what every human being's heart looks like when you're angry, frustrated, fearful, and anxious, it looks chaotic. What heart math figured out 30 years ago, maybe 31 years ago now, was that if you can self regulate, slow down and get in a more positive state, the pattern, instead of looking like chaotic jumble, looks like a beautiful sign wave. And it looks like it's smooth, it's efficient, it's ordered. So that your body is then receiving all of that simply by slowing down the breath and trying to focus on something positive in your life. That's the secret.
[00:23:16.180] - Candi Broeffle
That's great. Well, when we come back, we're going to continue our conversation about heart, mouth. But for people who want to learn more about Bruce and the work he does, visit BruceCryer.com. And that's Bruce, C R, Y, E, R.com. To learn more about the Aset Yoga Center, visit AsetYogaCenter.com, A S, E, T, Yoga Center.com. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, the Progressive Voice of Minnesota, and we will be right back. Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're welcoming back to our studio Bruce Cryer, founder of Renaissance Human and the former CEO of HeartMath, as well as Regan Caruthers, founder of the Aset Yoga Center. So, Regan, I want to start with you this time and ask, because you have so much work that you do around stress reduction and emotional regulation, what makes heart math different in your view than other techniques that you use to reduce stress or help you to regulate emotions? Yeah, that's.
[00:24:34.070] - Regan Caruthers
A great question. There's so many things I can say in response. I think the thing that makes it the most effective out of the pack is that when you're utilizing a technique for stress mitigation or to just bring yourself into greater emotional balance because there's a triggering event of some kind, you can call upon a heart math tool and nobody knows you're doing it. Eyes open, I can literally shift my focus to my heart. I can change my breath and I can access a positive emotion. Well, nobody knows that I'm doing that, whereas so many of the other techniques that you would call upon aren't that subtle. I can't do child's pose in the middle of a board meeting that isn't going well or take dramatic deep breaths that are audible. People will be like, What the hell is the matter with you? That I think makes it really profound. Also the body of research, so that when you are utilizing a heart math technique, you can really have assurance that it is doing as it is doing. You know that there is an absolute physiological event that's accompanying the shift that you're facilitating with the heart math system.
[00:26:16.970] - Regan Caruthers
And then to be able to see that privately, not in a meeting, you can't look on your phone. Well, maybe you could. People are looking on their phones a lot.
[00:26:25.860] - Candi Broeffle
But anyway, you.
[00:26:27.320] - Regan Caruthers
Can get immediate feedback, too, which is incredible. And lastly, I think what makes it such a unique system is how easy it is to learn. You have to practice, you have to be disciplined. But I've taught heart math to three year olds as well as to CEOs. So the accessibility of the toolset, I think, is also incredibly powerful.
[00:26:52.880] - Candi Broeffle
Bruce, one thing that Regan said is it's shifting from your head into your heart. So talk about that a little bit. Why is that so important when you're talking about if you're under a lot of stress and shifting that process from your head to your heart? I think.
[00:27:09.140] - Bruce Cryer
There's two dimensions to that data answer that, Candi. Number one, the head is an incredibly important tool in our lives. We could not balance our checkbook. That thought may send shudders of fear through people. Oh, my God. When was the last time I balanced my checkbook? We can't navigate to get downtown. We can't analyze data in a business that we may run. So the mind and its ability to analyze and organize and logistics and all the things that the mind is good at is essential. But if we try to live every dimension of our life from the mind, forgetting we have this whole other dimension called the heart, which is where we feel and how we love and how we connect to other people. We're not connecting with other people through analysis unless it's other robots that only function at that frequency range. So we connect through the heart. And so being able to add the heart to life is a core tenet of heart math. They use the phrase, add heart, that you're bringing the heart into things instead of living life solely from the mind, which so many people do, partly because of fear and anxiety and everything else running around in their mind all the time.
[00:28:19.480] - Bruce Cryer
So shifting to the heart means literally in the heart math context, shifting our attention, focusing intentionally in the area around our heart and all the heart math tools are designed to do that shift the attention here away from the thoughts that are worrying and spinning like a hamster wheel inside our mind, up in the head area. Instead, bringing the attention down to the heart, then that can start to, as it grows and you practice it to Regan's point, this is something that does require practice. It's a self rewarding practice. You feel good every time you practice, pretty much. It may not be Valhalla every time, but you feel better from practicing. So there's a reward built in to just the practice itself. So that becomes then a new state of being where you're communicating more from your heart, more of the time when you're speaking, when you're in the conversation with someone else, just when you're by yourself and you're able to listen to your heart's wisdom, whereas when you're only in your mind, you're rejecting those thoughts. You're rejecting the whispers from your own heart, from your own intuition.
[00:29:28.120] - Candi Broeffle
What I find so interesting about it is we've heard for decades, and even in coaching, we hear your thoughts become your emotions. Your emotions become your actions. And there's been how many books written on the topic of change your thoughts, change your life. But it's also something that's extremely hard to do. Because if you start thinking about what you're thinking about and you're angry about it, and you're trying to shift that thought pattern in the moment that you're doing it, you're not addressing the emotion part of it. You're not addressing what's happening in your heart. And so what you're saying is instead of trying to shift and think positive thoughts and da da da, shift down into the heart and let's change the emotion around it. That way you change the action that you would be taking. So instead of... Preferably, instead of lashing out at your coworker, you're able to have a more productive response to what is happening.
[00:30:34.750] - Bruce Cryer
Exactly. And one of the ways I've always looked at this is that positive thinking is fantastic until the next tunami of unmanaged emotion overwhelms it. So that's for a little positive thought that you just had has now been swamped by the wave of fear, the wave of anxiety that's overtaken you. And that's not just a matter of, Oh, I need to think more positively right now. Think more positively. Heartmath, I think part of the secret of heartMath is it's in your body, guys. It's not just a mental process to solve that. So you've got to release some of that stress that's going on inside, shift it through the power of positive emotion and the breath in order to change the state, which allows the new thoughts to happen that can be sustained instead of the old thoughts being overwhelmed by the unmanaged emotions that were not bad for having, by the way, joined the human race. Most people are walking around with unmanaged emotions because who taught them? Regan was one of the few people that had some grounding in that starting very young. She's so fortunate.
[00:31:34.610] - Candi Broeffle
Let me ask you this, Bruce, and then I'm going to ask Regan when we come back about her experience as well. But when it comes to working with people with heart math, give us an example of how this has played out in somebody's personal life? How has it impacted them in their personal life? Boy, so.
[00:32:00.080] - Bruce Cryer
Many examples. It's interesting. The first one that came to mind was this 21 year old soccer player from Germany. He came to the United States on a full scholarship to play soccer at Division 1 school. And four months after he got here, COVID started. And so suddenly his soccer season was pretty much wiped out. He didn't know if he could get back to his home country in Germany. The amount of anxiety that he was experiencing, he was unfamiliar to the US, number one. Number two, COVID was ruining the reason he was in the US, number three, didn't know when he could get back, if he could get back, all this anxiety. And this went on for months. So we had a year of coaching together. And every week it was about learning the core heart math technique, bring the attention to the heart. Learn how to breathe slowly through the heart and focus on the things that you love. Focus on Victoria, his girlfriend. Focus on how much you love your parents. Focus on it's going to be okay. And what he noticed, what he kept noticing was even though it was crazy and so much was outside his control, he was able to make peace with it more and more and more.
[00:33:07.190] - Bruce Cryer
The amazing ending to the story is last season, that team, which had played six matches out of 25 his first year, second year, they weren't even in the playoffs for the SEC as far as the team. They won the national championship as the soccer team in 2022. So this kid who came and was in so much chaos, and he wasn't the only one that was struggling on the team, they all were. But he became a rock in the team. And to realize when they won the entire championship of the country, it's like, Wow. And I talked to him recently. It's a marvelous story. So the impact we can have not only for our own life, but on how we impact others when we learn how to manage these natural feelings, all the ones that he had as an 18 and 19 year old, all that was legit. I never made him feel wrong for any of this bad stuff he was feeling. I don't know how you're dealing with this dude, but let's keep talking. To make people feel normal, but then to give them a way to stabilize, balance it out is game changing for a lot of people.
[00:34:20.950] - Bruce Cryer
And I can't.
[00:34:21.710] - Candi Broeffle
Even imagine, I mean, to be away from home, probably for the first time in your life in a completely different country, to not have a team around you for support to be pretty much quarantined and not being able to do anything that had to be so just scary and unnerving. But also, how remarkable is it for him that at age 21, he has these tools.
[00:34:46.050] - Bruce Cryer
Exactly. That he learned.
[00:34:46.900] - Candi Broeffle
These tools at young. And man, I wish I would have learned them that young because unlike Regan, I didn't get to go to a school like that. So when we come back, we're going to continue our conversation about heart math. But for people who want to learn more about Bruce and the work he does, visit BruceCryer.com, and that's Bruce, C R, Y, E, R.com. To learn more about Regan and the work she does, visit the Aset Yoga Center at AsetYogaCenter.com. To read the online version of Natural Awakenings magazine, visit NaturalTwinCities.com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950 Radio.com, on Apple and Google podcast, and anywhere you get your podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM 950, the progressive voice of Minnesota, and we will be right back. Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations. I'm your host, Kandi Broffle. And today we are visiting with Bruce Cryer, founder of Renaissance Human and the former CEO of HeartMath, as well as Regan Caruthers, founder of the Aset Yoga Center. So just before the break, you guys have given us a really good idea about what HeartMath is, how it's used.
[00:36:12.890] - Candi Broeffle
And Bruce, you shared a really great story about how it was used as an individual. Regan, I'm interested in learning your experience in using heart math with maybe a leadership team or with an organization and how that has impacted the work that they do. Yeah, sure.
[00:36:29.780] - Regan Caruthers
So this client of mine was an education company. They provided intensive skills training for software coding. It was a boot camp company. And the CEO was a long standing client of mine. He and I had worked together when I worked at McGraw Hill, the publishing company. And so we had this trusted relationship that had developed over many years. And in this instance, I continued to coach him as well as all of his direct reports. And what I told him was that in the feedback that I receive, people are going to learn these tools, and then they're going to be able to articulate to me, I believe, quite coherently, what they're challenged by, not just personally, but organizationally. My agreement with the CEO was that needs to be a sacred process and a confidential process. But what I will do is look for patterns. And so if everyone is giving feedback that you're not a good communicator, let's say, as an example, then there's some adjustments to make. And so I rolled up through this six month engagement to the CEO, what my sense was of the changes that needed to happen both to business process as well as to his particular style of leadership.
[00:37:58.280] - Regan Caruthers
From that final report, there was a major restructuring.
[00:38:03.050] - Candi Broeffle
[00:38:04.400] - Regan Caruthers
In more aligned roles because it was a startup. You have a lot of flexibility. A lot of people are doing a lot of different things. There was greater alignment then with the team in terms of role. And then they were using Holacracy, which is a very complex way of managing an organization. And so there needed to be some changes to how that particular system of management was being implemented. And yeah, and that restructuring and reorganization went very well. I don't think he would have had the insight because prior to that coaching, he wasn't getting coherent feedback from his team. To Bruce's point, when you're in a stress response chronically, everything's a problem. You don't have discretion around what truly is a priority because everything feels urgent because that's what your physiology is telling you. Then there is also something when you're communicating and working with people and you have a common toolset like the heart math system and you're using it in real time together, the intelligence that is then available is.
[00:39:25.810] - Candi Broeffle
[00:39:26.430] - Regan Caruthers
Different. And that reminds me, too, I'll give you one more example because I think it's pretty cool. I was working with a major health system in St. Louis, and I was working with their HR team, and they wanted to create a new rewards and recognition program.
[00:39:42.630] - Candi Broeffle
[00:39:43.500] - Regan Caruthers
Shift in what they thought was important to provide employees after they started using HeartMath, it was a completely different program. That is awesome.
[00:39:56.250] - Candi Broeffle
You guys both work with executive teams. So you both coach executives, you both work with organizations to help them, and you utilize the heart math techniques with your clients as well. So Bruce, tell us a little bit about the work that you do in this. Do you travel to organizations or do you meet generally online? How do you work with people? Sure.
[00:40:19.880] - Bruce Cryer
The answer is yes to travel. It wasn't yes for three years for most of us, but that has changed. I've got a new client that will be doing some work for in Europe with an executive team of a global medical device company where the leadership realizes the amount of pressure they're under as a health care company coming out of COVID is massive. The company is doing well, but he knows the leader recognizes his people need tools to manage themselves better because it's not going to get easier in the work itself, in the market itself. So I'll be going over there in the next couple of months. We're starting up some work in the Middle East in the UAE, meaning Dubai Abu Dhabi area. I have partners that were working together to work specifically in the executive level of corporations, health care systems, etc. I'd love to give intensive trainings in heart math virtually through Zoom. I'm doing one right now with an executive in Abu Dhabi. And we get on the phone and we do a deep dive in heart math and the science and the techniques and how to incorporate this into their life.
[00:41:28.710] - Bruce Cryer
But beyond that, it's fun for me to work with the leadership team, as well as the individual because the team dynamics can be dramatically improved through heart math. There's a language of accepting we are stressed out people. It's okay to admit that. The whole world is. It is not smart anymore to try to hide that. We strengthen numbers. We're in this together. Those feelings are part of what it makes it very valuable for a team to experience. This is a set of tools. It's non denominational and non judgmental. And there's tons of evidence around this efficacy. I've had the privilege of doing a lot of work in Europe with major oil companies, consumer products companies like Unilever and Shell. We did an article for Harvard Business Review back 20 years ago around the effectiveness for a specific leader of one of these oil companies whose performance was suffering, whose stress and health was really in the toilet, and whose marriage was not doing great. And through learning the heart math tools, his ability to manage the stress improved, his ability to listen to his team, understand their issues improved, his health started to improve, and he was better at home as a dad and as a father and as a husband.
[00:42:41.150] - Bruce Cryer
And so those are the kinds of benefits that are very fulfilling to see because people are realizing I have the power to do things more than I thought. I don't have to walk around like a victim, even though I didn't want to believe I was acting like a victim. I don't want to be that guy. I want to be the guy that can be in charge of my life.
[00:42:58.400] - Candi Broeffle
Yeah. So I do want to reiterate that for people who are listening to this show, if you have a team, reach out to Regan and Bruce and see if this is something that would work for your team as well, because this is just something that's very effective and I think gives you that shared language and a shared technique that you can all use to help reduce that stress. But now you guys also have an event coming up in October. You alluded to it earlier in the podcast here. And you talked about that you have an event coming up in October at Regan Center. So why don't you tell us a little bit about that? Yeah, sure.
[00:43:37.180] - Regan Caruthers
So October seventh and eighth, if you are coming from the St. Louis Metropolitan area, that's just a 45 minute drive to the Center. If you're coming from Minneapolis, you're going to fly into the St. Louis airport. I don't know. We haven't quite worked out transportation details. I think we might be able to provide some help for people to get here. That being said, it's two full days, beginning late morning, ending in the late afternoon, where you learn the science of heart math, you learn all of the techniques. And most importantly, I think you learn from Bruce all the ways to apply it. Because the heart is central to your being. When people want to identify themselves or talk about what's important to them, just nonverably, you go like this, right? You connect with your chest. We know that intuitively that that's where we are. And so as you develop more intimacy with your heart, not only do you feel better, you perform better, you connect better. And those two days are designed to help you learn just how to do that. I'll be providing organic snacks and an organic lunch, lots of yummy teas and coffees and beverages throughout the day.
[00:45:05.550] - Regan Caruthers
And it's just a lovely setting. There's 10 acres here. We'll be spending some time outside. There's a beautiful limestone sanctuary where we will also connect in the heart. And then the Center itself is really a very peaceful, beautiful space. And I think people will be forever changed if they commit to those two days.
[00:45:29.260] - Candi Broeffle
Great. So, Bruce, we have a couple of minutes left. Tell me what you're most excited about with this event coming up in October, because you're going to be there doing some of the teaching, leading the teaching, you and Regan working together. But what are you most excited about?
[00:45:45.360] - Bruce Cryer
Most excited, I have to say there's several things I don't know which is the highest. So working with Regan again is definitely very high on the list. We're long time friends and this is a dream to get a chance to work with her again. I'm excited to just do a two day event that's live again, to be honest. It's been quite a few years since I've led a two day retreat and I did them for years, for 20 years. I did that often. And then life changed and COVID happened and all that went away. So the opportunity to work in-depth with people and have the time of the break when you're having the tea or the coffee or the organic snack and the little side conversations that can happen, let alone in the evening. So the spaciousness when Zoom and TikTok and the life we lead now is these tiny little increments. So not have that boundary is going to be great. And to get to meet people in that part of the world. I've not spent that much time in that part of the US. So I think that'll be a joy to experience this beautiful property and Regan Center and the people that are attracted to be with us.
[00:46:55.530] - Bruce Cryer
Well, thank you.
[00:46:56.870] - Candi Broeffle
Both for being with us today. I really appreciate your time and your expertise. And I just want to encourage people, if you are interested in learning more about the work that Bruce does, visit BruceCryer.com, and that's Bruce, C R, Y, E, R.com. To learn more about the Aset Yoga Center, the work that Regan does, and to register for the upcoming event in October, visit AsetYogaCenter.com, and that's A, S, E, T, YogaCenter.com. You've been listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM 950, the progressive voice of Minnesota, and I am wishing for you a lovely day.