11 Oct Intention Through Labyrinthian Eyes
A week ago I had the privilege of visiting a local labyrinth master who has created numerous labyrinths on her property. Anyone who knows the basic concept behind them knows that walking a labyrinth is a metaphor for walking through life. We set a goal and then walk in a circuitous path, twisting and turning, until we reach it (or the center in the case of the labyrinth). Much like real life, when trying to reach the goal we often can’t see where we’re going, we seem to be going in the opposite direction we think we should be heading, and we have to trust that we’ll eventually get there.
In the labyrinthian world, when we do reach our goal (the center) we’re encouraged to take a moment and bask in the satisfaction of having gotten there. But this is where real life and labyrinths differ: when walking a labyrinth, the center is only the half-way mark . Just because we’ve arrived at our so-called destination, this is not the end. We must turn around and go back out the way we came in, re-tracing our steps through the twists and turns.
What is the point of this return trip? It seems meaningless since we’ve reached our “goal.” But it’s obvious there’s no direct route out of the labyrinth—-we must walk the same circuitous route back to the beginning. I’m assuming labyrinth protocol would frown on jumping over the paths to shorten the experience. Perhaps there’s more to reaching a goal than just getting it? Maybe, as we’re ambling back out from the center, we have some time to reflect on our accomplishments, or even to give thanks for having hit the target. We might be able to ponder on the rich tutorial around intentions and fulfillment.
What a meaningful life-lesson those labyrinths have to teach us. In our real-life world, we set an intention, pursue the path to its realization, and then move on to the next intention. We try to blast through as many of those as we can, assuming that the more we get done during our life, the more success we can claim. The labyrinths say otherwise, however. They say we must carry that goal in our hearts back to where we began our dream.
The potency behind Feng Shui is built on the platform of intention as well. This is what sets us apart from interior designers and organizers, architects and stagers. As a Feng Shui consultant, I advise people to search deep with regard to their intentions and I make suggestions on how they can set up their space to reflect this corresponding goal. Do I talk to them about what to do after their intention kicks in? Do I make any suggestions for honoring the process from intention to reality? If I use the labyrinth as my model, it’s time I put a new twist to the program.