Why A Labyrinth
In searching for a way to find peace and centering in my life, I learned that walking a labyrinth gave me a perspective and calmness I needed to do that. I was able to clear my mind and body in a way I had never done before, and put myself into a meditative state.
I know this might sound hokey to some of you, however, let me tell you. It was life changing to know I had the ability to do this when I needed to. Walking the labyrinth in this state allowed me to let go of the pain and emotional suffering I had been carrying around with me. I forced myself to purge myself of the toxicity I was holding onto, and even if I look back on that dark time in my life I am free of the angst and severe pain that came with it.
“Research conducted at the Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Medical Institute by Dr. Herbert Benson has found that focused walking meditations are highly efficient at reducing anxiety and eliciting what Dr. Benson calls the ‘relaxation response’. This effect has significant long-term health benefits, including lower blood pressure and breathing rates, reduced incidents of chronic pain, reduction of insomnia, improved fertility, and many other benefits. The Labyrinth Societ ”
photo from labrynthos.net
My First Labyrinth Journey
During some of the most difficult times in my life when I felt so utterly helpless and paralyzed with pain and stress, I found my way to a labyrinth. At first I was skeptical. However, I desperately needed something more.
Letting Go Of The Pain
The first time I walked a labyrinth I needed to release and let go of my pain and grief. I needed to find peace and my center. I was at The Boulders in Scottsdale on Father’s Day feeling sorry for myself, however, also feeling very brave and independent I took this trip by myself. The resort has a beautiful and peaceful labyrinth. I researched them and studied what I was supposed to do. I asked the spiritual advisors at the spa how it worked. In the end, I stood at the beginning of the labyrinth for a very long time focusing on my breathing. I picked up one of the rocks in a pile next to the entrance of the path.
I closed my eyes and let everything go from my mind. I focused on the sound of the birds, and the breeze and the sound of peace.
As I started to walk along the winding path, I let my pain, disappointment, anger and grief of losing my husband wash over me. I cried. I stopped for I am not sure how long and sobbed. I let it all out in that private hidden garden of peace. When I was spent from all of that emotion I knew what I had to do. The rock in my hand was all of that pain and misery. I needed to release it, let it go, leave it behind. I don’t know how long I was there. I walked so slowly. With every step, I let go a small part of all of those emotions that had been paralyzing me for several years. At times, I stopped as I let them wash over me. I then pushed on. Forcing myself to breath and find peace and my center as I let it all go walking closer to the center of the labyrinth. This was so hard. So painful.
Only for the first time in 3 years I was utterly calm, so in control of my emotions and sure of my purpose. I stood in the center of the labyrinth for a long time. Just breathing. Finally…I felt the rock as such a huge weight in my hands. Representing the huge emotional weight I had been carrying around for years. I simply dropped it down into the center of the labyrinth. I closed my eyes. And cried again. I said goodbye. To that weight, to my marriage, to my past life. I then started walking back around the labyrinth to where I started, and again I cried. These were different tears. These were tears of relief, of joy, of saying “hello” to myself, to my new life, and the journey and adventures it would take me on. I was free. I was hopeful. I was me!
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