This morning I did not wake with a message but just a heavy feeling in the heart.

The State of one’s heart inevitably shapes one’s life; it is ultimately the place where everything is decided. A courageous heart will go forth and engage with life despite confusion and fear. A fearful heart will be hesitant and will tend to hold back. A heavy heart will make for a gloomy and unfulfilled life. But a compassionate heart need never carry the burden of judgement. A forgiving heart knows the art of liberation and a loving heart awakens the spirit to possibility and engagement with others.

The power of the heart’s attitude is expressed beautifully in the New Testament: ‘Where your treasure is, there is your heart also’. And all though the Old Testament, God is interested only in the heart – not sacrifices, rituals or rules – only the heart. Indeed the mystical tradition would suggest that the heart is beautiful precisely because it is where God dwells: the heart is the divine sanctuary.

Many of the shamanic traditions that I have studied often use the metaphor of a Sacred Garden to create a sanctuary in the heart. A sacred space to journey to and spend time in to understand what treasure lies deep within.

Viewed through the metaphor of a circle it becomes the place of ending that is always a new beginning. The circle is an ancient form: it signifies continuity, belonging and permanence and in these uncertain times is an important anchor. It is consoling to think that at the centre of the human body the heart holds one’s life within its sure circle.

When I entered into my heart circle this morning I realised that my heavy heart was in part due to an opportunity that I recently passed up to receive a much wanted puppy. There were lots of reasons why I did not accept the offer that made good sense but I had not reconciled my head decision with my heart. By allowing myself to feel the truth of what I would love, I came to an awareness that I will honour my heart’s desire to have a puppy, and that the love in my heart will make this happen.

My heart now feels lighter knowing that I have attended to it and listened to the message it was carrying. If your heart feels heavy or anxious spend some time in the sacred garden of your heart and listen to what might need reconciling between your head and your heart. When you allow your heart to speak, the burdens it carries diminish, a new lightness enters your body and relief floods the heart.