I had the chance to walk the labyrinth (and I don’t mean David Bowie’s) for the first time a few days ago. I had never before even heard of such a thing. I’m so glad I had the chance. This was a makeshift one made with sticks and stones, embellished by each participants’ own message stone. The idea is to walk along it, quietly and meditating, maybe uttering a mantra inside your head and allowing thoughts to come to you unbidden, unstained by outside influences. It is a spiritual (not necessarily religious) experience. I did this as part of a writing class, so amidst the meditation, the walking, and the silence we wrote. We sat on the grass, on the benches under the trees, on the steps of the buildings around us and we wrote whatever came to our minds. I found that the words were just pouring out of me, easily and fruitfully. Here is one of my ah-ahs during that hour of meditation.
As I walk this labyrinth on the last day of the summer institute I’m reminded of how much I crave and have lacked peace, both inside of me and outside. The inner peace I’ve always carried even when times were rough and my “outside” was anything but peaceful. So when and why did I lose my inner peace? Why did I allow this serenity of spirit and mind be taken away from me?
I don’t know why. Maybe too many things happening at the same time, maybe emotional weakness, maybe one too many betrayals…whatever it was I let things get to me in a way I had never done before.
Moving forward I need to close that door, the door I opened to all the exterior influences that ultimately destroyed my inner peace. I need to close that door and open a window instead. When a door is closed no one enters, there is no communication, the outside is hidden from and you are hidden from everything else. A window keeps things outside but allows the sun to shine through. It allows you to see outside and you to be seen by those on the other side. It’s a more harmonious and healthier way of protecting your peace without shutting yourself out from the rest of the world.
I must take better care of myself. Learn to say no more often. Believe in what I do and how I do it. Open more windows but keep those doors shut.