Mapping the Moments that Matter

     This week I have been working on a leisure time project in which I was required to create a map of some time in my life; identify an important place on the map, and write the details of what happened there.
     I have been spoilt for choice.
     My parents were adventurers who did not stay in any one place for any length of time. As a child I lived in several towns, attended several schools, and enjoyed visiting many places and people in the United Kingdom and the Low Countries before being launched into North America at the age of 14.
     As I have struggled to narrow down the scope of my map, I have become accutely aware of the meandering path that has been my life.
     Given my experience and possible obsession with labyrinths, it is hardly surprising that I would recognize – again – the strength of the metaphor of the Labyrinth as the Path of Life.
     The corners and turnings in my life can be measured in geographical changes which is not true for every life. I know and have known people who spent their entire lives in one village or county, rarely stepping outside the terrain that they knew and loved.
    My path can also be seen to turn at times of transition far more impactful than a simple, physical relocation.


     A change like the move from England to British Columbia affects much more than material space. My experience was like the beginning of the labyrinth pictured here. For fourteen years I had been inculcated into a culture that had particular and detailed plans for my future.  I could see where I was going, just as surely as this picture allows me to see the stone in the centre of this seven-circuit Cretan labyrinth. For fourteen years I had been moving forwards, however ploddingly, knowing that my destination awaited.
     Waking up on Vancouver Island, however, was like being at that first turn in the path, veering off to the left.
     My life was suddenly taking a less direct route. I was granted the chance to see new things; absorb more vistas; and observe the centre from many new angles.
     In my wanderings I discovered new truths which allowed me to create a life that served my own Spirit. Turns on the path were informed by books and ideas and ideologies. I reframed my understanding of the function of my life. I stopped feeling connected to an arcane system, or feeling any duty to accept a role which would serve it.
     Instead I have questioned and experimented and explored. I have expanded my understanding of how life can be. I have come to a place where my behaviour expresses very little of the cultural system into which I was born.
     I am not yet at the centre of my labyrinth path. I am enjoying the walk, knowing that it is taking me where I am supposed to go, without focusing on any distant destination. I am here, now, and life is good. With each step I can check in and see how it feels and what my choices are.
     The only rule of labyrinth walking is that there are no rules. I can choose today to turn around; to stand still; to side-step into a different lane; to walk backwards; to kneel; to dance; to laugh. In this moment choose to simply be. I choose to believe that the path I walk will bring me the events and people who will most support my journey, and I know that Cosmic love is flowing into me and through to others. What else matters? 

     Jo Leath has been supporting clients through change and growth since the 1980s. She has been working with labyrinths since 2008, and is a Certified Labyrinth Facilitator with Veriditas
     For a consultation, in person or by Skype click here
     For a free printable labyrinth click here

Pictured is the labyrinth at Nan's Rock Shop and Spiritual Center in Wilmot, Nova Scotia.