aligning our will and our heart


Day 49, Right Intention and Right Effort
Meditations on Intention and Being: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, Mindfulness, and Compassion
by Rolf Gates

“Something happens when we align our will and our heart. Our efforts become an unstoppable force for good. The joy that we take in this kind of action is not the pride of achievement, nor is it the joy of possession, for it does not belong to the realm of the separate self.  The joy that is felt when our will soars on the wings of our heart is too big to belong to any one aspect of creation. It is a joy that belongs to all of us. The strength we embody is the strength of us all, the kindness, the wisdom, the grace, the wit, the poetry, the vision, the courage, the beauty that we love and create — all of this belongs to us all. For a moment we are the hand of creation, thh voice of creation, the heart of creation. The ancients called this “vivid true knowledge” or “direct knowledge of the soul.” and it is enough for any heart. The only reward we ever need for such an experience is to be given the opportunity to serve once again as the hand of all of us.”


Rolf Gates’ writing has been inspiring and guiding me for well over a dozen years, since my friend Celeste gave me a copy of his first book, Meditations from the Mat: Daily Reflections on the Path of Yoga, which I have read cover to cover at least five times. That’s 5 years of my life listening and feeling Rolf’s wisdom. What a gift!

Other posts inspired by Rolf:


* I took the above photo on my vacation to Italy. This tissue paper heart sat on the steps just outside the Duomo San Giorgio in Modica, Sicily, just after it been thrown with joy upon a newly married couple. Below is an image of the cathedral and the many steps leading up to it. Modica Duomo.PNG

A new chapter opens

Near Piazza Amerina Sicily Italy.JPG

A New Chapter Opens

The air is filled with the richness of possibility
A special kind of freedom stretches before you

May you be filled with hope about the experiences ahead
May you embrace the opportunities that walk into your path
May you move with grace as you dance with the unfamiliar
May you step confidently as you engage in new adventures
May you find wisdom in even the most unexpected places

Be awake and curious, open and unattached
Listen to your heart as it whispers your dreams

Know that you are enough, just as you are
Trust everything to unfold beautifully

Step boldly into a future that is uniquely yours
Intentionally create the memories which will write the story of your life


I wrote this poem for my husband when he retired in January. Today the words seemed so fitting when I replaced the “you”‘s with “I”‘s and “me”‘s. While I wrote these words for a special occasion, it seems like a little prayer that can be used any day – because we always have a chance to start anew – this moment, this day, this week, this month, this year – not just this milestone, to be intentional about what we want to create and about the choices we make and actions we take.


* I took this photo in Sicily, somewhere on our drive around Piazza Armerina. I picked it because it’s one of Jim’s favorite landscape shots from the trip.