Carlos Castaneda wrote this wonderful book, “The Teachings of Don Juan”, which compiles his conversations with the Yaqui Juan Matus (Don Juan).

One idea that emerges in the book is the heart of our paths -I have chosen some excerpts:


“All paths are valid. Nevertheless, you must keep in mind that a path is only a path, and if you think that you should not follow it, you do not have to remain there on any pretext. Your decision to keep it or leave it must be free of fear and ambition. And in order to have that mental clarity you must lead a disciplined life. Only then you will know that any path is only a path, and you won’t be wrong to leave if that is what your heart tells you.

Observe every path in a detailed and deliberated way. Do it as many times as necessary. Then you must ask yourself a question. It is a question that arises only among the elder. My master taught it to me when I was very young and my blood was too vigorous, though, and I could not understand it. Now I understand. The question is: “Does that path have a heart?”.

… If it does, the path is good, otherwise it is useless.

Paths do not lead us anywhere, but some have heart and some others do not. Some give a pleasant trip, and you get one with them. The others confuse you and ruin your life. Some make you strong, others weaken you.

The problem is that no one asks the question, and when a man finally realizes that he has taken a path without a heart, the path itself is about to devour him. At this point very few are able to stop to deliberate and leave it.

For me, the only thing that is worth is walking paths with heart. I have traveled them through and its real challenge is  to go throughout all its length.

Along them I travel and I travel, observing, breathlessly.”


Yes, we should stop, from time to time, and wonder whether the paths we are walking in our lives (our relationships, our career plans, our desires) have a heart. It is not an easy exercise, it requires honesty, it requires courage, and ability to ask whether the time and energy we are investing in them makes sense.

I hope that your paths have a heart.


Kisses and hugs,



Alex Rovira