New ventures and that large map like thing on the floor

Inspired by my sister in law.

Sometimes you can know something so well and it feels so familiar that you can forget that to others it just looks like a rather odd map on the floor. Well that was the chat between my sister in law and I today.

‘What is your new job, is it that map thing?’ She was asking about the labyrinth which probably sounds as mysterious to her as it does to many. So I started to describe it and mid way through, thought I really ought to have a better answer than the ramble that I blurted out.

I remember the first time I saw people walk the labyrinth (aka the large map like thing on the floor)and thought, why on earth would anyone walk around in a circle and call it anything other than a waste of time. In fact, the first few times I walked it, my opinion did not change. I struggle to pinpoint the moment it became meaningful to me, because once I got it, I got it.

For many years I had known I could not sit still easily, I am a natural fidget or leg shaker or finger tapper or whatever other movement I could find. This is hard when you belong to Quakers, a community for whom sitting in silence is a regular practice. I felt and often feel inadequate.

It was on a pilgrimage where despite constant movement I felt stillness of heart, an inner peace and calm. I returned to the labyrinth and it felt different. I could be at ease; moving yet still, quiet, yet heard.

The labyrinth can be a spiritual practice for those seeking some time listening to God. It can be a walking meditation and it can be a time out for those interested in wholeness and wellbeing. I like it because it can be all of those things and it can be a rather elaborate game of duck duck goose with my children.

I do not walk it with expectation, but I hope for some time from the busyness of the everyday. I do not walk it with hope to be distant from the world, but to be more present to the needs of those around me.

I now have a floor labyrinth that I can bring to groups as well as handheld labyrinths for those who would prefer that option. For more information on my workshops, head over to maudgrainger.com

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