My clothes felt uncomfortable because of the cold rain I experienced during my morning meditation walk. I could see my breath as I sat under my umbrella and I could hear the song the rain made as it danced on different surfaces. I concentrated on separating the sounds. The drumbeat of the rain on the umbrella, the base sound of the drops hitting the clay, the higher pitch when it pings the leaves… it all combined to create a beautiful symphony. Nature, if we are willing to experience it can heal us through sights, sounds and smells.
With COVID and communication breakdowns in the family, I needed something to calm the screaming monkey mind chatter that was attacking my ability to focus.
I’ve had friends call me an empath for my ability to read and feel what others feel. My oldest child lovingly shared that her own feelings were too often ignored and has brought this ’empath’ description into question. I am listening to what she says. Step by step, I’m walking through the labyrinth to understand and figure out why I can be so present with others but not always with the people who matter most. Ah, life is complicated, is it not?
My labyrinth walk is helping me and each day brings me closer to trusting and knowing. I can hear what is being said, as difficult as it is, and discern what is mine to keep and fix, and what needs to be given back to the giver.
Everyone has a different way to walk a labyrinth. My friend Denise had a GoGo song come to her that played through her mind while she walked. At the end, she felt a lightness of being and had her own insights. It sounded like a joyful walk!
Most experts would tell you to focus your attention inward and be aware of your own feelings.
Although the walk unfolds on its own, there are three stages of the walk:
Stage 1 is Releasing: Palms down – I begin to release my thoughts and concerns.
Stage 2 is Receiving: Palms up – I sit and meditate for as long as I wish, clearing my mind and accepting what is.
Stage 3 is Returning: Palms up – I integrate back into everyday life with heightened awareness.
I’m very conscious of the feelings and thoughts that arise when I walk. My statement is:
“I am open and willing to receive guidance.”
There is no timeline so it will take the time it takes. The way to get grounded isn’t to dwell on what isn’t working but to get grounded in the moment and seek clarity and balance. What I’m finding is, it’s not “once and done” but repeat and do, repeat and do, until a new pattern is formed.
You don’t need a labyrinth to meditate but I suggest you find a few moments where you can completely clear and calm your own screaming monkey mind. You can’t fully trust others until you can fully trust yourself.