The Feel Good Idea Of The Day: Labyrinth
My friends and I walked a labyrinth
Monday evening was the first time I walked a labyrinth. I had seen many pictures of labyrinths and was always intrigued. I had heard they were vehicles for contemplation and peacefulness. My first experience had a bit of magic to it: some joy, grief, expansion, and closeness. Closeness to myself and to my companions.
Walking a labyrinth is inherently solitary, your thoughts are what propel you forward, toward the center. The center of the labyrinth we walked was a beautiful six petaled flower.
I entered the labyrinth. As my walk began, the path took me close to the center of the flower. I felt that I was almost there, then the path took me out to the edges of the circle. The path is winding. My senses of perception were heightened in the moments when I felt close to the center, moments later I would feel far away. There were moments I felt that the labyrinth would never end, and I wanted it to end. A couple of times I thought, oh...I'll just skip all this and go straight to the center, I don't need to walk in these lines. When I saw this happening in my mind I decided to watch closely--remain curious.
I kept moving toward the center...watching my thoughts, when something peaceful or joyful came to mind...my style of walking would become slower, languid and relaxed. Conversely, when a thought I was uncomfortable with came to mind my walking became hurried...these were most likely those moments I described above--not wanting to finish the labyrinth: abandoning my process. It is clear now, my movements reflected the quality of my thoughts, it was an automatic process. I didn't try to make this happen, it just did.
My anticipation grew as I met the center. I stood in the middle of one of the flower petals. Taking a moment to pause.
Allowing myself access to my heart I was met with feelings of gratitude for my life...being a newlywed. Joy for this new chapter unfolding thru my living. Grief for a friend who had recently passed away. Softening around the grief, morphing into acceptance of the cycles of life. This moment didn't amount to anything more than me standing, but my intention--my willingness to be with my heart made all the difference. I stood and listened a bit longer, deciding to make my way back when I felt intuitively ready to.
Walking back was more peaceful than walking toward the center. I felt that my walk had more purpose; after I had allowed myself to creatively process some of my emotions--those fresh on my heart. The sun was beginning to sit lower. I made it to the outside and sat on a bench, the sun on my legs. I looked back at my companions and their silent contemplation. I smiled.
A labyrinth is a vehicle for the contemplation of life. Choosing to walk this maze is a commitment to explore our inner ways. The process provides an opportunity to look within. I also think the labyrinth is a metaphor for life. We are on a journey, some moments we feel close to our goal, then it seems simultaneously, we feel far away. Then we make it to the center and there are feelings of peace--states of grace. We continue our walk with a sense of renewal that alights our steps. Repeat.
Have you walked a labyrinth? Weave your experience within this tapestry by commenting below.