July 3, 2016
I recently visited my dear friend, who lives in Denver. Our 17-year friendship is very yin and yang. She is extremely extroverted, optimistic and laid-back; I am the opposite. She is also one of the most spiritual people that I know. Her life has been a series of unplanned blessings, while I rarely make a move without listing the pros and cons and weighing them obsessively…
Lately, she’s begun walking a local labyrinth on a regular basis; it provides a path for moving meditation and focused prayer. My friend can be quite persuasive and talked me into trying it after happy hour one evening. She explained that the winding path would untangle my mind and make my own way clear… She handed me a brochure, which provided these simple instructions:
Prepare. Before beginning your labyrinth journey, pause at the entrance and take a few deep breaths; close your eyes and focus on any aspect of your current life. It could be something that is troubling you or a goal that you are working towards; walking the labyrinth is a time for spiritual growth and personal realization. This short walk may yield fruitful outcomes and exciting prospects simply through an ancient form of directing your mind’s eye at your life’s path without the complication of personal doubt and resistance.
Release. As you enter the labyrinth, focus only on the rhythm of your breath and path set before you. Let go of the meticulous details of your life and focus on the bigger picture through silence of mind and strength of heart.
Receive. Once you reach the center, take time to reflect, meditate or pray; open your mind to enlightenment. You may ask a question and listen for answer(s) on your way out.
Return. When you are ready, follow the same path back to the entrance.
Exit. Exit and reflect.
As I walked the labyrinth, it seemed to illustrate my own life’s path in a tangible way. As I felt myself getting closer to my goal of reaching the center, my path was pulled in the opposite direction to the farthest possible point. This pattern was repeated again and again until I found myself standing in its center and contemplating all of the twists and turns that it took for me to get there. It illustrated the importance of putting one foot in front of the other and trusting your path even when you cannot see how it’s going to get you to where you want to be.
Lately, my path forward has not been clear. At times, it feels like I’m moving in the right direction, only to be whisked in the opposite way. I often find myself wishing that I could skip ahead and skim the last chapter of my life, just to make sure that everything will end up okay for me and my little family. This short experience made me realize that life is like a labyrinth. I must choose to trust my path and to have faith that my steps will lead me to where I’m meant to be. The journey requires faith and hope… and lots of love (always).
Curious? Visit http://labyrinthlocator.com to find a labyrinth near you.