Follow Your Heart – It Knows

Last Friday, driving home from the day job and scanning XM Satellite radio channels, I heard a promo for Bob Edwards Weekend radio show. The ad caught my attention for a couple of reasons. First, I’m a Bob Edwards fan and second, what I’d heard was a sound bite from his interview with Sir Derek Jacobi, an actor whose work I love.

Saturday morning I made a point of listening to the show. I wanted to hear the entire interview and to write down exactly what I’d heard Derek say, since I hadn’t been able to that at seventy miles an hour, going down the side of a mountain, while passing a tractor trailer, though, I must admit, I tried.

The interview was delightful. You can hear it in its entirety on Here’s what Sir Derek Jacobi said that got me out of bed early Saturday morning:

“If you want to be an actor, don’t. If you need to be an actor, do. You have got to need it like air to breathe.”

That applies to everything you might be driven to do. Masters are not people who follow a whim. Masters are those who follow their hearts and do what they know is theirs to do. The way is never easy, but is always rewarding.

Everyone has a heart’s desire and makes a decision to follow it or ignore it until it fades into the forgotten corner of their memory.

Rilke put it this way:

Sometimes a man stands up during supper and walks outdoors,
And keeps on walking,

Because of a church that stands somewhere in the East.
And his children say blessings on him as if he were dead.

And another man, who remains inside his own house,
Dies there, inside the dishes and in the glasses,

so that his children have to go far out into the world toward that same church, which he forgot.

It’s never too late to step out and do what you know is yours to do: unless you’ve totally lost touch with what’s yours to do.

Not to worry. You wouldn’t have read this far if you didn’t know what is yours to do. The question is, are you doing it? If you aren’t, start now… do something right now that will move you in the direction of your church in the East.

I’ll leave you with a passage from one of the most beautiful works of prose that has ever been my pleasure to read, study, and lose my myself in:

“Let me apprise you of something:
You are one of a string of beings; an ongoing radiation… 

What was not engaged, you inherit as a duty.
What was accomplished, you have as a strength.

Thus, what you ignore or sidestep, you pass on as a load to be carried.

And only your secret victories enlighten posterity.” 

From The Divine Moment by James Lane Prior (Pama Rab Sel)


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