As we glide into February, it’s impossible to miss all the references to Valentine’s Day with greeting cards and gift possibilities in every shop. There is no shortage of suggestions for declaring love to your romantic partner. I was pondering for the umpteenth time how we find it easier to direct our attention externally and pinpoint this focus onto another person. Everyone wants to love and be loved and share this experience.

Yet how about making a declaration to your own heart, first and foremost?  I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day and how the one feeling we all want to experience more of – love –  is manipulated in this way to distract us from the fact we are loved by many people every single day of our lives.

It can be a strange day for those who are single and wanting to be in a relationship. Yet we can choose to express love for ourselves and others in a small (or big) way in each moment. Alone does not necessary equal lonely and so if you are alone at this time then make the most of this time.  February 13th is international Self-love Day, so take that day as an opportunity to pause and consider what you most need from you.

I was looking back through some writing and came across this piece that I wrote nearly 2 and a half years ago, at a women’s transformational retreat in Bali with Wild Heart Awakening. As we completed our special week together, we had a beautiful experience of a water purification ceremony with Bali’s young, only High Priestess, Ida Resit Alit, just outside Ubud. The purpose of the ceremony is to cleanse any stagnant energies and feel refreshed and revitalised. The water element is very strongly linked with our emotional state and connects in with the 4 directions of the medicine wheel, which is a focal point with earth-centred practices and Shamanic healing. I highly recommend checking out the various workshops and retreats being facilitated by Beata Alfoldi at Wild Heart Awakening.michellemariemcgrathfrangipani

It was fascinating to watch other members of the group receive their purifications, with the High Priestess simultaneously chanting and pouring blessed water over the head and body of each person.  As I observed those going before me I felt a blissful peace descend upon me and a clarity in my heart and mind. It was a profound experience and I felt an intense amount of energy build up and release from my heart chakra. Firstly I cried as I released and then the energy shifted until I experienced uncontrollable, hysterical laughter. For me this was a reminder of how the ability to feel grief and joy are two sides of the same coin. Often we avoid intense emotion but if we have never allowed ourselves to feel grief, how can we ever experience joy?

Photo by Lisa Ambrose

During the next few days, I repeatedly saw the words ‘An Ode To My Heart’ but no other words. After constantly having this in my awareness I finally took some quiet time and wrote the words ‘An Ode To My Heart‘ as indicated. I let the words flow through me without censorship.  This is what followed, line by line and some of it was quite a surprise to me.

I share it with you below:

♥ ♥ ♥

Dear Heart,

It’s been a while since I took the time to sit down and have an intimate conversation with you.  I know we could be closer and more connected if I made more of an effort. Yet why am I sometimes afraid to let you take centre stage? 

If I let myself be vulnerable and listened more closely to your whispers, what would happen?  I know you have the answers.  Maybe this is a part of my predicament and the reason why I don’t always listen. Your clarity would mean big changes and once I’ve heard your truth, I cannot then pretend I haven’t.  Or I could……but based on past experience I know this never ends well.

Thank you so much for your hard work and your efforts to shield, protect and guide me. 

I can see, in hindsight, that during times of heartbreak and pain, you were assisting me to open up wider and deeper to let more love flow. I didn’t appreciate it or understand and I resisted your attempts. This meant that I contracted through fear of the pain, not realising that my closing down against this intense emotion was what was creating it. By fighting you, I was blocking love from flowing and storing all of the emotions that I was avoiding, deep in your welcoming chambers.  You must have been so tired as I forced you to hold onto all of that old baggage.It must have been lonely at times, when you felt I was not listening, especially when you have so much wisdom to impart.  

It’s time for us to start again anew. To enter into a divine partnership of equally balanced giving and receiving. I’m ready to receive what you are offering. I’m ready to commit myself to a relationship of trust and respect. You always want the best for me and I know that if I continue to ignore you, then I’m not going to be happy. 

You know my deepest desires. You have memorised them all and wrapped them up for safe-keeping deep within.  Thank youLove Michellex  ♥ ♥ ♥

Feeling much lighter!

Feeling much lighter!

 My invitation to you:

♥ ♥ ♥ Set aside some time this week to dedicate to writing an ode to your heart. Be your own valentine. What loving words can you write to yourself?

♥ ♥ ♥ Can you commit to blocking out 20 minutes as a first step in the next few days?  Light a candle, burn some incense and open your journal. For some suggestions of my personal 5 Favourite Self-love Rituals, read here.

♥ ♥ ♥ Take some deep breaths, place your hand on your heart and make a very conscious intention to be present and listen to what is waiting to be communicated to you.

♥ ♥ ♥ Allow the voice of your heart to flow on the page in front of you. Which part of you is yearning to be heard?

I would love to hear in the comments below if anything you learnt was a surprise to you? 

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