As the snow covered patches melted and gave way to spring’s green, the universe seemed to be showing me messages like signs on a path reminding me where I should be and which direction I need to continue. Sometimes we can walk a while on our life journey without having to think about it. Other times we come to a crossroads and have to choose, one way or another. As the season changes and the sun shines longer and brighter, the natural world sheds the sleepiness of winter as we shed layers. It’s a natural time to reconsider and reevaluate. Many of us spring clean and purge possessions we realize we don’t need. Some of us try to start new healthier habits like exercise or diets. All of these choices can affect us but if there’s no real transformation, it’s just decoration, adornment. The message I keep hearing over and over is not so much about what to do but how to do it. How.
I recently attended a yoga retreat where there was a labyrinth in the tradition of a many thousand year old pattern. A labyrinth is a unicursal- one single non-branching path that takes you to the center and back out. The path was bordered with rocks and lined with wood chips. Twenty-six attendees of the retreat walked it together in silence. Walking one behind the other, we stepped into the labyrinth mindfully and with intention. I took off my shoes so that I could really feel the ground beneath me. As it was lined with wood chips, I had to walk gently which helped me to keep a slow intentional pace. I found myself stepping onto small random grass tufts to avoid the sharp edges of the chips. The path seemed to be a metaphor for the journey of our lives. In life, we often choose escape and pleasurable distractions to avoid the hard difficult stuff. We think of the challenges as obstacles and interruptions in our journey. What I’m realizing more and more is that regardless of where we put our experiences on the value scale of good and bad, I like it or I don’t want this…it’s all part of the journey. The dark tunnel is what takes you to the other side, it’s a path to the light. As spring arrives full and robust, I’m drinking in the warm sun and feel nourished by the new growth all around me- like vitamins for my soul. Instead of fixating our minds on what we lack, past baggage, negative self-talk- we can practice returning to our centre, to our truth. From there our perspective expands and clarifies. Our eyes soften to the moment and we are able to take it all in with compassion and acceptance. A dedicated practice to self-knowledge and awareness can teach us to tread a little lighter on our path, getting less caught up in drama and embracing more abundance.
Integrate Rebirth and Renewal into your life by setting the tone for your day and week. Move and feel your breath. Journal and contemplate. Sit in stillness and hold space together in meditation.
Mindful Mondays: Movement & Meditation
5 Mondays May 6 – June 10 8:15-9:00am