The Labyrinth

I am a destination person. Meaning, I believe that the trip begins once you “arrive”at the location of your travel. My husband on the other hand, is all about the journey and the process. Which translates into driving slowly and often taking a longer route than is necessary if it is scenic. This is something that I used to find extremely irritating and can still be a battle. But, it is also something that I am trying to appreciate and grow more accustomed to in my own life and not just on the road.

For those of us who love to plan, are very efficient in our thinking, and tend to have our eyes on the horizon looking for the ‘what’s next’, we can often miss what is right before us. Not that there is anything wrong in being orderly and structured. Those two words happen to be part of my monogram.

But, due to my own story, I have had to grow more in accepting the mysteries of life, and trying to find myself being present in the moment that has been given to me.

Which is one reason why I love the Labyrinth at the Well of Mercy.

When I went there for the first time, three years ago I was surprised to find myself being drawn to it again and again during my stay.  I did not really understand its purpose, and felt very self-conscious walking it in the beginning. But, after a while, I would find that my mind and soul would begin to relax. For me, it became a wonderful prayer tool.

Before I went to the “Well” for a two-day silent retreat, a wise friend told me to take some prayer requests of people in my life in order to still feel connected to my community and not become too self-absorbed. When I walked the Labyrinth, I was able to pray for everyone without becoming distracted.

There was something so beautiful and settling about looking down at what was right before me which freed up space in me to be mindful of my friends in need. There is nothing ‘efficient’ about the walk. Clearly the quickest route between two points is a direct line.  But in the seemingly ‘inefficiency,’ I was able to just be aware, in the moment, and at peace.

A website describes a Labyrinth this way…

Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.

A labyrinth has only one path. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous path to the center and out again.

A labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed.”

As someone who struggles with anxiety, I love anything that aids in quieting my internal world and helps me to have a ‘receptive mindset.’ After all, half the battle is getting a glimpse that there is another way to feel in life other than a mouse that is always running on a spinning wheel.

Because if I can taste that type of peace just for a bit, I have a better idea of how good it feels to just be quiet and at rest. Then I can bring the pictures of that experience home with me as a reminder to try and cultivate it in a world that tells me being still is unproductive and even worse….lazy.

Maybe the real beauty is that I can share those pictures with other fellow “mice” who long to know there is also another way to be and feel. if only for a moment.

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