Many of you have heard the Toltec path being called a path of heart. I suppose most folks believe that means that the path is one of love or one that will make us happy. Those assertions would not be wrong, but the path of heart means so much more than that. Truly it is a path where the heart and spirit take precedence over the ego-mind and reason. Now don't get me wrong here, reason has been a favorite of mine my whole life - however it has been more of a tyrant than an assistant. It is a rare human that decides to tip the scales in their lives and put their heart in charge of their lives over their reason.

If you walk the path of heart know that you will be judged for doing so. Of course people judge us all the time, but normally that judgment keeps us in line doing what the societal dream wants us to do - rather than stretching our wings to create something amazing in life. Judgment will keep us on the straight-away doing what is expected of us and keep us linking our self-worth to others.

Walking the path of heart means that you take responsibly for what you are doing and saying and you can no longer indulge in self-pity or feeling like a victim - like someone is doing something to you. Honestly, most folks cannot bear to let go of the wonderful feeling of attention that self-pity brings us. But for a spiritual warrior, this kind of feeling is aberrant and no longer acceptable. There is no doubt that walking a path like this is difficult, challenging and unfamiliar. There aren’t many models of other humans living this lifestyle for us to follow and learn from. And even if we have a teacher to emulate - most of us will argue with our teacher for the right to defend our illogical logic and boring reason. I was one of those people.

In the end, to walk the path of heart you must give up all of your favorite things. Doing so is like giving up your most beloved toys and learning to be happy with something abstract that you can't sink your teeth into. Some of my favorite things were: arguing to hear my own brilliance speak, the need to be right to inflate my ego and make others wrong, the need to always have the last word, the desire to always have the perfect thing to say so that people would respect and adore me, my certainty that others had been responsible for my painful life so that I could have something to complain about. These are just a couple of deeply ingrained habits that were painful to detach from.

In retrospect, it seems incredible that I desired those tasty morsels - since now the very thought of behaving that way makes me queasy. Now being accountable for myself seems natural, and keeping my mouth shut when someone is expressing their point of view feels great - after all, it took a lot of personal power to show people how stupid they were! You see what I am saying? Having the deep understanding that no one can do anything to me is second nature and the idea that I could be a victim or subject to another’s actions is just laughable. It's down-right funny to imagine getting upset at the words and deeds of others or taking them personally. The end result of walking a path of heart is that you are no longer a mere human in the way we normally perceive humans. You become something else - powerful, calm, centered and clear - a channel for the light and you live to share your love with others. The heart rules the day rather than the mind.

So are you honestly ready to give up all your pet peeves - all the things that stir you up and get your blood boiling? Are you ready to give up that juicy feeling of being right, and that feeling of self-pity when things are not going your way? Well I hope so - because every path has its price. To stay the way you are costs a lot - your personal power is sucked dry whenever you indulge in a rollercoaster of emotional reactions. And yes, you pay for the path of the heart too. It cost you all of your favorite things and you must live a life of abstinence (no more self-pity and self-importance). I encourage you to tally up what you’ve been spending in personal power and ask if in the end it's better to pay the price of freedom or is it better to feel comfortable in your old routines and pay the price for slavery.

Author's Bio: 

Sheri Rosenthal DPM is a master Toltec teacher and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Toltec Wisdom and Banish Mind Spam!. Having trained with don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements®, she currently takes students on spiritual journeys works with personal apprentices and enjoys being extremely happy. You can reach her at or and