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