When we scope the natural landscape we tend to think of the external resources such as land mass, water, sky and the living breathing planet. Though set upon this very planet are also the vast seven billion human forms. Internally there is a natural landscape that we continually shape by our thoughts, emotions and actions.
I’ve come to a conclusion that we are all just living labyrinths moving back and forth sometimes with intention, sometimes lost in thought and even sometimes dancing along a path as creators of the next reality.
Science shows us of the imprinted paths of our brain, digestive, and various bodily structures.. taking all that we are onto the labyrinth it is like a homing device where we instinctively know where to go and learn what is out of step when tuned in. That makes the course correction pretty simple and with easy adjustments.
The key is tuning in and then taking action. Of course it could also be that just taking action might be the thing that causes us to tune in as well. Thus lies the opportunity in shaping the external and internal labyrinths of the world.
It’s in the steps whether internally or externally, movement creates the change. In the movement there is a beautiful poem from the heart of Thich Nhat Hanh that speaks to us suggesting we kiss the Earth with our feet as we walk. In that way I think we will make a connection of inner and outer labyrinths.
Thich Nhat Hanh’s Kiss the Earth
Kissed for today,
Friends walk the heart path
What is more natural than friendship?
In the past week I have been having a dance of it in many ways with many different individuals and what is not at all lost in it all is how relationships take many turns, twists and discoveries.
Taking a walk along the labyrinth I realize the very nature of relationships is the excitement of the first connection and steps. The rise of expectation and the sudden turn of reality meets the first turn and a happy existence until the next growth in connection arrives followed by a period of time to apply what was learned.
Each turn draws us closer into our heart and just when we think we are headed in the wrong direction with someone we find ourselves closer and more in congress with them.
A variety of people have come into my life this week and left as friends, each bringing something and taking something away. I have to think as a whole I am richer for the experience and know that if I had not chosen to follow that path of friendship, there could have been deviations that put me off course.
Sometimes we don’t even think of the friendship we can have with ourselves in the process of it all and I have found this week that to be a good friend to others is to be one to myself.
Its been a week since posting and while I am feeling somewhat behind, it is also a time when many things came to a centerpoint. It reminds me of the journey to the center, as the days this past week were of one type of turn or the other and sometimes it seemed as if it didn’t make sense or that I wasn’t moving toward any answers or a center.
Each day of the last week was a bit of confusion on the labyrinth with small insights and much that came as distracting. I know that there is a greater purpose in this period of time, though the way is not clear and the path seems a bit indistinguishable right now.
That shadow is not confusion however, it is something that is simply undetermined as there is a feeling that in spite of all the calamity, the path is still present and the way is already paved. It is just waiting for me to step upon it and with each forward motion, create the reality.
It is times like these that the labyrinth holds the space for great insight and calming reflection. I am glad simply to step up to take a part in it and what I know is that my part is moving and the rest of the experience will flow. In this month of what is natural… this too is very true and natural.
Days of mystery have endless opportunity in them.
with curiosity and blessings on the walk,
Yesterday I heard the news of a friend who is passing on. She has been an inspiration with her attitude throughout her illness and I am still in a bit of disbelief…just as she is about the latest findings. There is a point of looking for the next path ahead and the reality of the struggle that has been and the wear it has taken on the body and the mind. In support it is about listening and going beyond our personal thoughts, it is being on the same path as our loved ones. Ours is a mission to learn our support role and in all being compassionate as we both grow in acceptance and change the conversation.
It is times like these that the labyrinth speaks kindly. Walking along the path it embraces us into the many folds and lets us feel safe in the center as we deliberate and contemplate the many varied emotions and experiences. The labyrinth is very conducive to the stages of grief giving us a full rounded walk as we enter into it giving us time to put the pieces together. The noted stages according to Elizabeth Kubler Ross, begin with denial and in the walk, we can take the longest of time to engage the first feelings along our outer edges. As we move into the stages, we are also moving more into the labyrinth and taking less time to come to terms and more intimate with each.
The aspect of grief is also a natural process of life and relative to our theme in walking with what is natural. It is a healthy walk and a honest understanding to have. Denied we would have guilt and that is of little service to a healthy soul.
Grief is loss and we all experience it all of the time. We think only in the terms of birth and death many times, though beyond loss of life… is the end of one thing and the beginning of the other. Our attachment to the item of loss is the thing that builds us or derails and one could think that on the crossroads that come up, the one that supports growth might be the best of answers.
May we all be so present to choose the path that serves.
Tis the Ides of April…and tax day no less.
It is the day when the United States goes into a terminal melt down of urgency for those in a hurry or worry to complete the IRS tax deadlines. What a great day for the labyrinth to be of use as stress will be most certainly present as we are asked to be accountable.
Be of service today in mid month and pass out a few drawings, create a few and give them away or show others the seed pattern. The labyrinth is a natural respite and on a day that has the world wondering about our financial picture, create a path to the great deductions. Let it be a wonderful day of creativity!
In walking the path today it was a blustery occasion.
The elements had scattered the elements so in the path were many interesting things to note and some may be seen as disruption and others a gift. The expected bits of twigs and earth items had blown their way onto the path as the wind swept up a day of Earth cleaning it seemed.
Along the way I began to notice the human scatterings that appeared and can be a reminder that civilization is indeed near by, first a wrapper from a snack bar, a bottle and the head of a barbie doll. I swear it was looking right at me and a bit eerie at first until I wondered where the rest of her might be.
If I am to remember anything of the days of playing with Barbie, she could be in a variety of reasonable explanations, according to any young girl under the age of ten. It’s moments like these that grab a little attention, make you smile and remind us of how we became who we are.
I notice too that there probably is a good story if I were to weave the bits and piece that found their way onto the labyrinth. Every story has a beginning full of suspense and introduction, a mid point that is also called the turning point or climax and a reflective ending and so today, I encourage all to find their labyrinth story in the wind and the elements and see how significant it is to your walk.
The Elevens of today reminded me of the path with the shortest distance as being that with a straight line. While many of our labyrinths are circular in nature, even the straight lines bring one back to a circular reference through its successive progression to a center in back out again in the way the circle brings us back to where we were… though perhaps not as we were.
While we tend to favor the circular in labyrinth design, it is the straight lines that give it the structure as we build them according to the patterns of four and three, particularly with the classical design and the Chartres.
Taking these number 11’s, I simply meandered to a point and then back again and in doing so, all with straight lines. I wonder if indeed it was the shortest path and it makes me wonder of the many steps in my day, how many are repeated and how much of the time am I creating a labyrinthic journey until I discover what I was going back and forth about?
Blessings to the straight line as I learn I may find myself walking the line a few times to see the point at the end a few times, though in that journey I do learn and in an appreciative way where I accept it more.
Getting to the end of the road, does not always mean we have arrived, traveling it and getting to know it gives us more definition about the destination and a few trips every once in awhile gives us the security in knowing the path that much more. Not all paths may need to be traveled though for those that are the well traveled paths, may they enrich and enliven.
Be well traveled with purpose today,
Today is the 100th day of the year…
In grade schools everywhere there is a celebration of all things 100 and I remember my daughter’s class enjoying taking 100 steps from any starting point they chose. Where they ended up they sat down and told a story about being in that place. I love the imagination they have, unfettered, unclustered and anything goes!
Today I thought I will have a little fun with this walk and in doing so, stopped at a 100 steps into the labyrinth and sat down with what was on my mind, I thought of how a five year old might tell my story. It was hilarious at what they would have altered leaving out the drama. Where the child’s perspective can really tell us the simple facts of what life is all about, I was enlightened with what was really important about the whole thing in the first place.
Refreshed and renewed with a more playful spirit I took in the next steps with 100 breaths… though I lost count in the relaxation and that just brought on more fun, which I think was more productive in all. I began to think of all those 100 things that could be possible and that just uplifted my thinking to more of an unlimited possible place.
Oh the places you can go with a couple of extra zero’s ! Are you 100%? Do you feel like 100 bucks! Do you have 100 things to do….? Congratulations to all of us… we have walked a 100 days! it feels good to honor our commitments, especially those we make for ourselves.
May you enjoy this day of 100 and may it take you more places than you might expect on a path of joyful learning.
Categories: The Daily Walk
By daylight this wouldn’t be the same, photographed by Candace Porth, Franciscan renewal center in Scottsdale, Arizona
We are blessed with both day and night, dark and light and all kinds of opportunities to see balance in nature. Have you ever considered that wrong is here because right is or that good and evil are the twins of mischief?
Just for a moment consider the necessity of darkness because anyone can smile in the sunshine. It is where we plant the seeds, nourish the womb and rest our little heads when our bodies grow weary. The dark is a necessity of life and when the unknown is lurking in the dark, who is to say it is evil? It is just the unknown and our tendency as humans is to make wrong what we don’t know.
Balance then becomes an essential in life in taking in the unknown of the dark and seeing it perhaps as a learning so that growth can take place. It is natural and the change that happens constantly. Becoming familiar with the great shadow and seeing it as the reminder of what is possible makes all the learning more palatable and in the scheme of balance, understandably necessary.
Enjoy a shadow walk today and ponder the delight of what growth lies ahead. I found that this early, early walk that I took this morning had the newness of the day just peeking over the horizon as I enjoyed the dimness of the hour. It was in the state of anticipating the growing light that I was reminded of the peaceful serene nature of the darkness I was present to.
In that moment and in those steps I enjoyed the fullness of what I did not know, what lay ahead and the great opportunity to place contemplation in my pocket as a companion for the remainder of the walk. In the end, it was a more gratifying experience and some of the things that I was walking with came to a thoughtful conclusion.
May your walk in the shadows present a growing knowing,
Look…up in the sky, it’s a bird, no it’s a plane, no it’s a Labyrinth!
The Intricacies of Nature
Yes there are many super feats of nature going on all around us on planet Earth and sometimes when we are looking around we tend to look down or out, though not so much up.
When was the last time you laid back and watched the clouds, it’s an effective meditation.
In the watching of the clouds one might notice the patterns and shapes that pass by and in each there are pockets of sky scattered enough to sometimes see a passage way winding around and around. The next time you have a chance to lay back with leisure, let your mind drift to the patterns and the paths and enjoy the labyrinths of the sky passing by.
Amazing no doubt that there are so many opportunities to see the designs and lines that intrigue us so in so many facets of nature.