There are times when I forget. I forget that I can do something. I forget that I have the power to influence and create change. I forget that I have coping skills. And, when I forget any of these things, I also forget how to find meaning and perspective. I lose myself in the chaos and noise and see my skills begin to erode away. When this happens the most important thing I can do is recenter myself, find my core and listen to the inner voice that guides me. This challenge is often resolved when I find a labyrinth and walk with intention.
Whenever I talk about the labyrinth, I get looks of confusion. Why would I want to walk a maze when I am frustrated? (Hint: It isn’t a maze but a single path that you can’t stray from.) Sometimes I get an attitude of disregard because all this mindfulness talk is too “airy fairy” for some folks. It is important to know that whatever you think the labyrinth can be it will be. Dating back to the times of the Druids, the labyrinth represents a journey complete. When we are struggling, isn't that what we want – a completed journey?
So, the next time you “forget”, find a labyrinth (www.labyrinthlocator.com) and walk with mindfulness. Walk slowly and reflectively. Don’t try to ignore your distractions because they will only become bigger. Acknowledge your distractions and choose to let them go for now. Don’t rush. Take deep, slow breaths. Breath in for a count of five and exhale for a count of five. Imagine you are breathing in peace and exhaling stress and anxiety. Calm your body and brain as you walk and remember – you can.
There are labyrinths all around us. I can’t help myself. Wherever I go, I am on the hunt for these beautiful opportunities to remember myself. They can be ornate or simple. They are like us – organic. Some are quite large and intricate while others are remarkably simple. This photograph is me walking the labyrinth in Ogunquit, Maine. If you are looking for greater mindfulness and need guidance, contact Elliott at 617-834-4235 or at Elliott@insightbrookline.com.