All of us have stories the heart can tell; treasures of wonder, joy, heartache, loss and love. Until each of us unlocks our treasure house of stories, the heart’s wisdom to guide us goes unheard. They remain locked deep inside our hearts our stories ignored, our pain unrelieved, and our future murky.

My technique of heart mapping is a pathway to that most inner sanctum, our heart. By following the simple instructions we gain insight into our fear, release from pain, and tap into our joys and happiness.

Following this TEDx presentation on heart mapping are a template and instructions to create your own heart map.

How To Heart Map

Use this HeartmapTemplate and the suggested questions below to map what’s stored in your heart. You can write words or, if you’re more of a visual person, you can draw pictures using colored pencils, markers, watercolors or paint. You can also gather photographs and place them on your heart map to create a collage.

Here are some questions to help you get started heart mapping:

What memories have you stored in your heart (they don’t have to be HUGE or particularly exciting memories. For example, the smell of molasses cookies baking in the oven at my grandmother’s house is an important memory to me because it was something she would always do and every time I smell molasses my heart opens to the memory of her.)

What people have been important to you – and why?

What are some experiences or events that you will never forget?

What happy or sad memories do you have?

What secrets do you keep in your heart?

What things or objects are important to you — for example, a tree in your backyard or a shell you found on the beach?

What’s at the center of your heart – you might want to place the most important people, memories, and experiences in the center?

Ask yourself if you want to keep some things inside your heart and less important things on the outside of your heart.

Do you want to draw more than one heart – good and bad; happy and sad; secret and open – and include different things inside each heart?

Do different colors represent different emotions, events, and relationships?

Tip: Try not to write just one word on your heart map (family, nature, etc.) but instead try to use more specific words. Later, when you write from your heart map it will help remind you of exactly what you wanted to express.

About the Author: Georgia Heard is a writer, poet, keynote speaker, founding member of the Teachers College Reading & Writing Project and heart mapping pioneer ( who teaches writers and creatives how to use heart mapping to reconnect with the heart for inspired creativity.  Her book Heart Maps: Helping Students Create and Craft Authentic Writing is available at


Pin It on Pinterest

Share This