A few days after Thanksgiving, I felt a knock on the door to my heart, I opened the door, and there stood a stranger. I invited this said stranger into my house and realized that the stranger wasn’t strange at all, but quite familiar – it was my old friend sadness- a mix of seasonal depression, grief, overwhelmed, burnt out, loneliness, and just not feeling things. Sadness sat down, took off its coat, and decided to stay a while. Its energy came like a darkness descending upon my light. It disarmed me for days, stripping me bare of my usual techniques- no fighting back, nor pushing it away, or returning to my optimistic self. Now I was to sit and keep it company.
When the set and setting feels safe enough to dive into our darkness it can be like stepping into a Labyrinth. A labyrinth not a maze, there is a difference between the two. Mazes are meant to confuse, disorient, and get us lost along the way. Labyrinths date back over 4,000 years and can be found in cathedrals, caves, outdoors, hospitals, and so many other places. A labyrinth is designed for contemplation, prayer, ritual, and meditation- it is meant to bring us back to ourselves. There are many labyrinths some quite complicated and fancy schmancy, others very simple in its design. In its simplest form, it is a spiral with one entrance – this entrance serves as both a way in and a way out. A single path snaking towards a center. Some (but not all) labyrinths have a threshold stone that sits in front of the entry, a reminder to pause between one world and another. And maybe that’s why I am being asked to pause and be with my darkness, sitting in the “messy middle” between one year and the next. Shedding the old to make way for the new. One version of self sacrificed for another. Sitting, listening, and asking myself – what do you want to take with you and what do you want to leave behind?
Our yoga can be like entering a labyrinth, the twists and turns, the doubling back around on old thoughts or old habits, missing a step, and trying to return to our center. And center is always in motion, always one step ahead, propelling us forward through the darkness – one step, one breath at a time – reminding us that we must keep going because finding our true center is worth the journey.
Our days are dark right now. Here on the east coast, the sun rises by 7:20am and sets by 4:45pm, a mere 9 hours and some of daylight as we approach the winter solstice or as some call it – the dark night of the soul.
Draw a Labyrinth.
Try and use watercolors or oil pastels because they are more unpredictable (like life).
1-Grab a piece of paper
2- Turn it so its width is larger than its height
3- Mentally divide the paper into thirds
4- In the center of the bottom third of the paper, add a plus sign
5- Then add 4 right angles mirroring the corners of the plus sign
6- Add a seed dot in the center corner of the right angles
7- Follow the pattern in the picture to connect the dots and lines to make a Labyrinth
8- Enter the Labyrinth, the new/other world with a destination towards center
8- Meditatively trace your finger through the Labyrinth
9- Question – What came up? How did it feel to move inside the lines? How might this exercise be used in trusting the journey ahead?
Inspiration Station ✨