• Marissa Bognanno

7 Steps to Heal Your Heart After Hard Times

The best way I know to really overcome; to hop over the hurdles, to step gracefully over the obstacles on your path, to make it past the rain and into clear skies - is by meditating.

I've been through it so I know. The death of a parent while I was in another country, painful childhood traumas, devastating breakups and relationship difficulties, car accidents, physical pain...amongst all of that I had meditation. Meditation saved me. You may be thinking that you don't want to meditate, though. You just want a to-do list or a formula to follow, but not meditation!

But, yes, friend, you have to sit with yourself and breathe. You have to feel the emotions coming to the surface and you have to remember your power. This all happens in meditation.

Here's how you can do it and how you can get to that beautiful post-hard-times rainbow:

1) Find the time. Make the space.

You're busy, I'm busy. We have a long list of self-care routines and lunches to prepare and texts to respond to and tasks to tackle. That's why you need to plan for your healing space. Put it in your calendar, block off the time. When you do that, it's like you're energetically getting ready even before you sit with yourself. You're already thinking about what you will do for yourself in that time and it sets the tone that you want to take care of yourself and you want to heal. That's an amazing first step in the right direction.

2) Get Comfortable.

Listen, you're about to potentially get uncomfortable, so you might as well make things nice for yourself before you do. I'm talking pillows. I'm talking essential oil spritzing. (This blend is my favorite!) I'm talking gentle music. Make it like a spa as much as you can in the space you have and with the resources available to you.

3) Breathe deep.

Your breath is your gateway to feeling better, period. Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras states,

“Calm is retained by the controlled exhalation or retention of the breath.” - Sutra 1.34, Book 1

If you can get into a flow and rhythm with your breath (gently in, gently out) then you will begin to feel calmer, more physically relaxed and ready to listen and tune into yourself. Focusing on the breath quiets the noise of our minds.

4) Listen.

When the chatter stops and you've been breathing and relaxing for a few minutes, you will find that thoughts come to the surface of your mind. Listen to them. They have been waiting for you to stop the distractions so they can speak to you, so get close to them and allow them to speak.

5) Allow your emotions.

Once when I was doing this exercise the thought that came to the surface right away was, "I just want to be happy." This brought up so many tears. So, so many. The point of doing this, of healing your heart, is letting your heart grieve. Letting your heart reach out and feel its pain. When we stifle our feelings by going through the motions of life, we don't cure them or heal them. They're still there and they will still rise to the surface when we give them the space to do so. So, dear friend, cry if it's coming up. Laugh if it's coming up. Scream if it's coming up. (If you can, of course).

6) Soothe yourself.

As you're breathing, thinking, feeling - you might find yourself re-living some painful memories or simply emoting things you haven't let yourself emote for a long time. This can be painful. Give yourself some kind, compassionate soothing. Caress your arms, your stomach, your heart, your chest. Tell yourself, "It's ok, you're ok, you're safe, you're doing a really good job, I'm proud of you, you're ok." Talk to yourself as if you would a child who was hurt. You are that child and you are hurt, so act accordingly.

7) Take notes.

After you feel like you've gone deep and released some burdens and figured some things out, take out a journal or notebook. Write down what came up. Think of ways to now move forward and feel better. Write down what you want to feel and how you want to take action moving forward. Are you ready to connect with others? Take a mini trip with friends? Discover a new hobby? What will really fill you up? Are you ready to just be happy - what will that take? What changes are you ready to make for you and you alone?

The last tip is to be gentle with yourself and ENCOURAGE YOURSELF! Wow, look at me, look what I just did for myself, good for ME! Say it often.


When you feel ready, check out my meditation mini course MEDITATE + MANIFEST! It will help you in the moving forward process so you can start to get the things you really want in your life. Manifestation has helped me create jobs, love, homes, trips and more. I want to share all my secrets with you and help you feel better in the meantime, too. Check it out here!


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meditate + manifest

Guess what helped me break free from being a victim and catapulted me into choosing my own reality? Guess what empowered me beyond belief and gave me the inner tools to heal myself, find authentic self-love, discover my passions and also magnetize awesome stuff? All that and more in this mini course.