Monthly Archives: October 2015

IF… the way is lost


If the way is lost in you

stop breathe pay attention.

Step again onto the path of your belonging

the path that calls from the center

of who you are and who you long to be.

Claim the journey that belongs

to your song, your story, your name.

Claim this day as the next step

this day as a promise

as a small hope that wakes up

something inside you that has been sleeping.

Step to the center of that hope

and let it surround you with light.

Let go of everything that doesn’t call your name

of all the baggage that keeps you in chains.

Let go of your certainty and your doubt

of your small plans and your grand designs.

Take this step

this one in front of you.

This breath this step is the only path

that brings you alive.

Gary J. Boelhower

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Traveling Curiosities

Atlanta Airport artistic expression Photo credit: @

The last two years I have had lots of traveling time and that means lots of waiting for flights and transit. I’ve found it a wonderful opportunity to simply be expressive and creative. I wonder how many might plot the course of the labyrinth in their head and then simply walk the path around objects present?  Airports and terminals are full of opportunities. We are always walking the labyrinth!

Instead of taking along a finger labyrinth, I found that I had a variety of ways to create a daily dedication and walk even on an eight hour flight.  I drew them on paper, exploring possibilities with design and meander. I used my food and with a child, the chocolate pudding is always a great forum to spread, swirl and share ideas in. I used strings, necklaces or tissues even to make small patterns and I found I had so many interesting thing tucked into my bags or pockets.

Sometimes I would outline my ideas, a schedule or topics that I would discuss in a training or presentation I was to give, then I would plot it out by drawing the labyrinth and adding the ideas as they popped up where I finger walked.

I also like to print out different designs on paper and laying out three on my tray table, I consider a topic and walk the first in release, using it to support me in just letting go of all the things to do. The next one assists me in being a good receiver so I can really listen to whats at the core and the last allows for the juicy bits to come to fruition. The reflective walk always leads to something more that I didn’t see before.

For a daily practice, I recommend curiosity… its where the labyrinth comes alive!

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On the Path

Chartres Labyrinth Design


I find on the path today

a soft gray nest of goose down

with every step another small pinecone

abundance of hope flung with wild abandon.

And leaves the color of pumpkins and fire

finch feathers and wet clay, scarlet, sunset, siren.

Acorns and the perfect caps that acorns wear.

I find on the path today

a memory of bread

the gift of her weekly ritual on Saturday morning

pungent smell of yeast

her hands always moving

measure, pour, mix, flour, water, salt.

And then the waiting

next to the window where the sun streamed in.

On the path today, how all seven loaves fit perfectly

in the small oven in the corner of the small kitchen.

Our mouths would water with the smell of it baking.

On the path today that warm bread

that always gathered us in a circle of enough.

Bread for the journey

all you need

bread that feeds you decades later

on the path today.

Gary Boelhower 10/20/2015

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The Annual Gathering 2015 …in Reflection

The Road to Waycross

The theme for 2015 was branching out, and from the heart of America, just south of Indianapolis in the seat of arbor filled Brown County, the setting for the 17th Annual Gathering of the Labyrinth Society unfolded. A year in the making, the seed was planted and collaborators came together to help nourish ideas to help it grow. Presenters and contributors helped it stand tall and inviting, and participants helped it to extend and branch out. From our US states and places beyond, extending our borders to as far away as Portugal, they came. All gathering for renewal, education, connection and allowing a purpose to form to give us directions that would carry us back outward at the completion of this short time together.

There were receptions, introductions and opportunities for the new to become acquainted with the walk of many paths. The seed patterns took root and grew on the property to extend in out areas and common areas alike, in multitude and variety for all to experience at their own pace. Some of the paths were designated with purpose and in some the purpose came from the walk. In all there was delighted creativity available to express itself artfully in meaningful manner.

2015 Annual TLS Gathering

From the playful to the responsible all functions of the gathering assumed their part in the walk created together, and from the community walk to the solo moments, all the labyrinths found their utilization purposeful to the mindful and once again the components left an impressionable image of a year’s walk on the path.

Old friends united, new friends became a part of the family and the sharing and caring once again evoked a feeling and sense of the larger perspective of the Labyrinth Society’s mission. We learned from the seed patterns, new emergence with practice, patterns and possibilities for our understanding. We learned from the leadership, what lies within the organization to help us grow external and we appreciated the contributions and efforts of those who added to the year of journey.

TLS Annual Gathering 2015

One could feel gratitude for those that shared their comprehension and widened our paths of wisdom and knowledge, from the data to the design our “how to” was satisfied. We look forward to the paths of those in great creation to share their future stories and tell us what’s ahead, as we look back in closing ceremony to appreciate the messages.

In this year’s close we were guided by an important message and the romp of a guide dog that encircled and pranced throughout to remind us to take the message and walk lightly, perhaps more  playfully and appreciate the simple truths of life when we forget and take it all so seriously.

Houston 2016 TLS GatheringThis is the gathering of souls who love to walk the paths of curiosity, this is the gathering of individuals who care and share the ways to walk together and this is the Annual Gathering of the Labyrinth Society that makes a community out of individuals, giving us roots to grow from and …branch out.

Blessings to those that gathered, blessings to those who could not….Waycross in Indiana 2015
Reflections of 2015
Lynda Tourloukis, TLS 365 Club Chair

Categories: The Daily Walk


hermitageIt’s always a good reminder to step back and take a look at the whole picture before proceeding forward when you have a question about something you are doing. When you are in the zone of what you are doing and trust the feeling you flow with, then full speed ahead. Life is a balance of knowing yourself in those moments.

In the spirit of the known and unknown, we tend to fall vastly in the land of in-between as humans go and see the two ends of the spectrum perhaps as the extremes. They aren’t really, though just the point of review and both equally important.

This retreat was a step back and a step forward. There was a labyrinth present to explore and reflect, though in the expanse of the property the winding paths moved in various directions and back again. When we stop and reflect where we are in any given moment, we can be reminded that we are at the center of any moment in time and when and where we walk can be a mindful loop of releasing the preconceived, receiving the experience and reflecting upon it.

Hermitage Retreat Images


Categories: The Daily Walk

Walk with a Smile… what you give comes back to you

Be a World Smile Ambassador

Be a World Smile Ambassador

Today is World Smile Day around the World. I am a World Smile Day Ambassador with a mission to give mine away. When I do, I know there is a good chance it will not only come back to me, but be passed on to others.

I wrote about the power of the smile in my book, Smile Awhile years ago when I was noting it’s similar benefit to laughter. It had many of the same benefits, though not the diaphragmatic, nor oxygenated ones that are significant boosts overall. The smile packs a lot of punch for its simplicity and for so little effort changes a multitude of perspective.

In 2009 I made a design using cut out smiley faces at a conference surrounded by the Rocky Mountains in Estes Park, Colorado. I made several labyrinths that weekend, though the smiley face was such a simple thing to do to create such a great reminder of how easy it can be for us to see things a little lighter. As individuals walked into the labyrinth the concept was simply to inhale and notice the walk, as they exhaled the suggestion to form a smile was shared. The idea was to simply exercise it and notice how it felt.

The Smiley LabyrinthWhen I went back home to Chicago, I created one again for our Laugh Fest in the Midwest the next year and found it even more delightful. This design is from the handouts I made so people could practice at home with different ways to spread the smile into their lives. I share this with you on the anniversary of tribute to the artist who designed the smiley face, Harvey Ball.

His design was commissioned during a time when people were feeling lackluster in Massachusettes in 1963 for only $45.  It worked and has gone on to make people feel better with its simple message for 52 years. His son began a tribute and a World Smile Ball to honor him for his contribution to the world and in this concept of World Smile Day, when you give yours away, you get back another. Become a World Smile Ambassador and see how many you can give away…. practice it in your everyday walk and notice how wonderful it feels on the labyrinth to experience the slow appreciation of how one can simply exhale into a smile at any given time.

With practice we just get better.

Categories: The Daily Walk

A New Step….

Launching Private 365 Club Facebook page October 1stToday, October 1, 2015  also marks the launch of a new Facebook page for our club. It is a private page for those who are registered members. Our purpose has been to walk daily and in doing so it is a commitment we make. Support, resources, ideas, motivation and inspiration come in the forms of what is shared by others on the same path.

Whether it is a creative new idea to consider or a similar struggle, together we have something in common, our appreciation and value for the labyrinth. Some will see the metaphor, some the patterns and some will just unwind the mind. Whatever our walk in life, we know it will show up on our labyrinth and in this we are easily in step with each other. Laughing, learning, experimenting and comforting that is the passion and purpose of this group.

If you are not a member and would like to be, register your information at the Labyrinth Society at this link: 365 Club Membership

If you are a member, you will have received an email notification to join. If you have not, we may not have your current email. Please send update info to

Categories: The Daily Walk

Pumpkin Patch Promises

Pumpkin Labyrinth TLS Annual Gathering

The Pumpkin Labyrinth at the TLS Gathering in New Harmony, Indiana

Happy Fall and welcome to the month of October. Named for the eighth month of which it once was in the Julian calendar, October is our tenth month in the year of your life.

We are daily walkers and in this month, ask what makes you committed to the path?  In a world of instant gratification and urgency, how is it that we create value in being attended to our purpose or promise each day?

What do we hold important in our walk and how is it the same or different in the other things we do in our lives for meaning? It says something about character when we can make a devotion to ourselves to listen, learn and reflect and beyond the questions of the curious mind, there is also appreciation and gratitude reflections to ourselves for what we not only say we find important, but actually follow through and stay connected to the invested time we make for what matters.

Labyrinth in a pumpkin by LabyrinthLessons.comThe pumpkin knows its season to be in the fall harvest and it yields both nutrition and savory sensation as well as a time of remembrance. Every year this time shows up and if planted, the pumpkin arrives to serve the purpose it was planted for and perhaps a little creativity along the way.

Without the intent and active nurturing components it would not arrive on schedule if at all. This is purely a seasonal expectation, though imagine cultivating the pumpkin for everyday appreciation? That is how it is with the seeds we plant and care enough to sow, when we have a value for the promise it holds, we commit the time and care to see it through.

Harvest the harmony of promise and purpose this month.

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