Taking A Step Changes Everything

Heroines! Here’s another blog post about the labyrinth! I can’t stop talking about them! This blog post accompanies the video I recorded for my YouTube channel, which is a pictorial view of my discovery of the labyrinth

Let's Talk About Labyrinths

While preparing to write to you today, I re-read all I’ve written about labyrinths, which reinspired me to work with them again. I know that the labyrinth is an energy field. Put one foot into one, and you don’t know where that energy will take you!

Writing my book, You Are a Heroine: a Retelling of the Hero’s Journey, then creating the School for Real-Life Heroines, has kept me busy these twelve years since I was certified by Veriditas to be a labyrinth facilitator in 2010.

I have walked many labyrinths in the meantime. I’ve facilitated labyrinth walks. I’ve helped to create a canvas labyrinth - and built a small one in my backyard. But as I looked at those photos of Chartres and remembered the feeling of walking that particular labyrinth (which I call “the mother of all labyrinths”), well…it sent me to the Veriditas website to look up what they were offering, especially in Chartres, France.

These two looked very inviting:

2022 CHARTRES PILGRIMAGES

  • Meeting Mary in Chartres — experience of the Sacred Feminine in Chartres with Judith Tripp
  • The Path of the Holy Fool: How the Labyrinth Ignites Our Visionary Powers. A Walking a Sacred Path Pilgrimage with the Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress, Hotellerie St. Yves, 3 Rue des Acacias, 28000 Chartres, France

I can’t go in September, but if either of these speaks to you, check it out. Listen to your intuition, Heroine. I did in 2010, and it changed my life!

I often tell the people I coach that taking a step changes everything. You cross an invisible - or maybe visible - threshold. That one step changes the configuration of the future. It’s no longer what it was (with its possibilities, opportunities, and options) because that one step, like a kaleidoscope, has shifted everything, so the possibilities are now different.

I see that’s what’s happening with me and the labyrinth. Every time I use it again (in whatever way), stepping in, everything shifts. There are new possibilities, opportunities, and options. So now, what will there be for me in 2022? I’m not sure.

There are levels to the facilitation certification. Or maybe it’s just resurrecting my backyard labyrinth that has become overgrown with weeds? Or maybe a trip to Chartres in 2023? Will I take women on retreat there again? (Be sure you watch that video on YouTube to see how beautiful a place it is.) I have more questions than answers. I feel on the precipice of something - yet, again.

But, along with the questions, there are certainties:

  • I know the labyrinth is a very powerful spiritual tool.
  • I know I’m connected to it in a significant way.
  • I know it’s helping me “flower” – to become my own version of “Heroine.”
  • I know I love working with the labyrinth and I’m not done working with it — or maybe the correct way to phrase that is - it’s not done working on me.

I think all this has to do with understanding and owning my gifts, my calling (yes, I’m still doing this — it’s a process!) I have a strong, deep spiritual life which I have gradually been letting out, sharing more and more - as you would know if you’ve been reading along in my blog. I think the labyrinth is inviting me, rather, providing me a way to share about spirit more expansively. Well, I’m up for it! I’m ready!

I’m taking a step (not sure what it will be…but I’ll take it when it presents itself!)

In 2010, to be certified as a labyrinth facilitator with Veriditas, I had to write a “self-reflection paper.” As I was uprooting all my files and writings so I could follow my renewed interest in labyrinths, I found my answers to the questions I was asked to address in my self-reflection.

The question: How has being a facilitator changed the way you look at yourself, others, and the world?

My answer: I have been a facilitator (and mediator) since 1994 – of all kinds of businesses and organizational groups (conflict resolution, strategic planning, contract negotiations, land use issues, etc) – as well as facilitating my own women’s groups. For me, then, this question is – how has facilitating the labyrinth changed how I look at myself, others, and the world?

Labyrinth Facilitation 

Labyrinth facilitation is very different from what I’ve known as facilitation. The labyrinth does the heavy lifting, as Lauren Artress said. I am confident that each person will experience what they need to experience as they walk the labyrinth — so I have a minimal agenda for labyrinth facilitation. I believe they’ll get what they need (because of the labyrinth, not me) – and they do.

When we went to Chartres this past May with our group of three women, there was one woman whose first experience of the labyrinth was that it was a dark, cold place. She was closed and rigid. By the time we left Chartres, as she said in her evaluation “I’ve been opened – spiritually, emotionally and culturally.” This wasn’t because I talked to her or counseled her. This was because of her experience in the labyrinth and in the cathedral.

I have learned to put trust and faith in the labyrinth as a spiritual tool that works on people in amazing ways — as it has worked on me. I feel that as its use spreads around the world, a growing community of believers will be opened up more and more – and connected as a result. I have heard such inspiring stories from the people who have walked with me – of troubled teenagers finding relief, rainbows coming down in the center of the labyrinth, and people seeing for the first time what’s possible in their lives. I feel like all I have to do is bring the labyrinth and then be there to witness and support.

The question: In the course of this work, where have you felt challenged emotionally and spiritually?

My answer: Ironically, I’ve felt challenged because I’ve thought my labyrinth work was “too easy.” My labyrinth journey unfolded effortlessly. I’ve been asked to speak about the labyrinth and to lead walks without doing any marketing, which is usually a chore when adding in a new line of work. In all my other facilitation, I have to figure things out; strategize; do a lot of thinking…there is work to keep the groups on task, collaborate, coming up with solutions. With the labyrinth, the less thinking, the better. Just walking is our mantra.

A friend of mine, when hearing that I’ve felt stymied in getting my message out there (My message is that there’s a Heroine in every woman and our life’s work as women is to bring “Her” out…), suggested that I needed “an engine” – a “something” that I could attach to that had momentum and a following. I think I could have that in the labyrinth movement, but I haven’t seen how I can “attach.”

Does it mean I give up my other work, or does it mean I bridge the two? That’s what I’m currently pondering. (That was my answer back in 2010. In 2021 I let go of my consulting and that “other type” of facilitation. I have more space now to let the labyrinth work in.)

Self-Reflection

As I self-reflect, maybe this is ego-related? Do I feel my role is minimized if I don’t guide more? In reality, with a labyrinth, I just provide a way to walk one and step aside while women step in and discover all they need without me hardly saying a word.

But, there is great joy in being the “bringer of the labyrinth.” I love to do it. I love to share its history. I love to bring it so people can see and experience it for themselves.

The labyrinth makes me (and others) come alive! 

“Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive... then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." — Howard Thurman