Slowly, very slowly, I moved along the intricate route. My body, unused to the slow pace, wobbled out of balance. I stumbled often and had to stop occasionally to regain equilibrium. I felt impatience growing in my heart and mind to get to the center– and watched myself struggle with the feeling of self-judgment for being impatient. Each turn of the path offered up hope if it pointed toward the center or despair if it turned away from the goal – my heart leaping or falling with each redirection. Then, suddenly, I was at the center! I took a few moments to just be there, in the center, then began the journey out, back along the same path.
By now my body had become accustomed to the slow pace and I felt empowered by having reached the goal, so I moved along with more grace and centeredness. I felt that I held the center of the labyrinth within me as I traveled along. But, as time went by on my journey out, I felt a sense of loss growing in my mind and heart. Again I found my heart leaping or falling with each turn of the path. This made me curious. Why was the center so important and the exit so dreaded? Perhaps the exit is really the entrance – to some insight – or – to myself… wait, what? OMG – a zen moment…Ha!
What was my purpose in "walking the labyrinth"? It wasn't to get to the center, it was to experience walking the labyrinth – period. The goal of obtaining the center was imposed on my mind by the pattern I was walking on and I forgot, as I traveled along, what my true purpose was.
light filtering in through windows
piercing the towering masonry,
All the "things" I feel I have to focus on are exactly like the center of the labyrinth, goals imposed on my mind by patterns in my life. Absolutely nothing wrong with any of those goals, but they are all truly means to an end, that being to experience life, my life – consciously and with curiosity.
So, this year I think my theme will be FORWARD as I remind myself that, while my life seems convoluted, complex, and crazy, I am actually moving forward along my life – and that is my true purpose – to consciously experience my life and respond to insights born out of that experiencing.
Or, perhaps it should be CURIOUS as I remind myself that no insight can occur without a question.
OK – it seems clear now – my theme for this year is FORWARD WITH CURIOSITY!
Happy New Year! May you move forward with purpose and curiosity!
The labyrinth I walked was the Chartres design printed on canvas at St. Mark's Cathedral in Seattle, WA.
For more information about Labyrinths try: http://www.labyrinthos.net/chartresfaq.html or http://www.labyrinthsociety.org/