09/06/2017 08:15 BST | Updated 09/06/2017 08:15 BST

On Being Sensitive And Living In Your Heart

It seems more so than ever that kindness and compassion are of utmost importance at the moment.

I hesitate in regards to listening to the news these days as it's so difficult to hear, but at the same time there is so much strength and pulling together going on too. There is so much distress around at the moment, it's important to rest back from it all now and then and take care of yourself.

It's no secret amongst those that know me that I am very sensitive, I feel things incredibly deeply and I definitely live from the perspective of my heart. It took me a long time to accept this is my way of being, but once I did it became much easier and actually I feel quite lucky! I have managed to weave it into my job, my way of being with people, and the way I live my life.

I want to talk about living in your heart, and it's not just for the sensitive types, it's for everyone. I recently taught a heart meditation at a retreat, and so many people benefitted that I want to share it with you.

Joy and sadness are on a continuum, you can't have one without the other. We wouldn't know happiness if we didn't know sadness. It's welcoming the good and the bad into your immediate experience that makes things easier. I have said so many times before that it's only when you allow yourself to fully feel something that you can find some acceptance and perhaps truly move forward. It's so important to also embrace gratitude - for the good, this impacts massively on our brains over time, enhancing the feel good chemicals.

Living in your heart meditation

Take a moment to follow your breath, really noticing where it is in your body, without trying to change it at all. When meditating we are never trying to change what we experience, we are allowing whatever is happening to be seen.

When you feel ready you can move your awareness towards your heart, (do this however you can - some people find it easier to visualise a heart or just that area of the body, or even both). How does your heart feel today? Perhaps joyful and confident, or maybe a little sad? Just notice whatever is there, embrace it with a sense of kindness. What we feel, we do indeed heal.

Next you can bring to mind a good experience of late. Something that makes your heart sing. Imagine holding that experience in your heart, feeling gratitude and anything else that arises. Sometimes it's quite surprising what does arise. Whatever comes to you just feel it and try not to question it.

Next when you are ready get a sense of a difficult experience and again hold it close, visualising the experience close to your heart (do this in a way that works for you - it's not prescriptive, and sometimes it may take time to get used to working with things in this way). Just allow any emotions to be felt.

This meditation is embracing the good and the bad, allowing you to heal and feel. It's when we try to hold difficult experiences at arm's length that we start to feel tired and unwell. Often the anticipation of feeling something is worse than the experience.

It's also quite wonderful to fully feel the happiness in our hearts, remembering the good things, the experiences that help to make the world go round.