I was surprised and amused recently when, walking my labyrinth, I found myself momentarily disoriented and unsure if I was going the right way. This occurred within a structure that I designed and built.
It was a good reminder of how challenging it can be to find our way through life, even in familiar territory or surroundings.
The nature of life is growth and change, from the moment you are born into this body and this world to the moment your body dies and you move on. At times, the growth and development you experience as a human being can seem smooth, comfortable and enjoyable – not unlike drifting peacefully in the calm waters of a coastal tropical paradise.
At other times, your growth and development can take a dramatic turn into raging, tempestuous seas where you feel the need to hang on for dear life, grabbing for the closest rock, branch or anchor point, unsure of when or if a period of calm will come to pass.
How we navigate the waters is something we are challenged to consider and re-consider over and over again. For it is not just our own experiences that can change the course of our life, but also those of others, conscious or not.
A close, lifelong friend moves to another country. A loved one dies suddenly. Your employer eliminates your position. You are involved in a life-changing accident. Each of these scenarios, and many more like them, will transform your path even though they were not something you consciously chose.
The same is true when you yourself make a conscious decision to dramatically change your life in some way. Perhaps you choose to end a 20 year marriage, or to give up your highly lucrative corporate position in order to form a charitable organization dedicated to helping less fortunate people.
It is during these times of dramatic upheaval, that it can feel as if the rug has literally been pulled out from under your feet. You lose all sense of bearing as familiar points of reference disappear from your life. Your identity is tossed up in the air……
It is not surprising then that some people in the world wish to stop time or return to what they see as a happier point in time. Or, even remain in an unfulfilling place, settling for stability and relative safety. The uncontrollable tide of change seems unmanageable, even terrifying. Old beliefs, concepts and ideals are stubbornly held onto for fear of having to re-build from the ground up or start from scratch.
Back to finding your way…….
Given the fact that change and growth are inevitable, you have a choice as to how to approach and manage your transitions. With fear and resistance, or with amusement and enthusiasm! After many years of meditation practice and teaching people how to heal themselves and others, I can say with absolute certainty that it is preferable to choose amusement and enthusiasm.
Thankfully, in this day and age of accelerated global change and growth, in addition to one’s own personal change and growth, there are countless resources for support and encouragement along the way. Counseling, therapy, coaching, meditation, acupuncture, to name but a few.
In my own experience, I have found meditation to be the most beneficial simply because when you learn to meditate you naturally become closer with yourself. You become your own best friend. You listen to yourself first, tuning out those other voices. As a result, your decision-making process becomes more clear which, in turn, can help steer you more comfortably in the direction you wish to go.
With regular meditation, your vision and awareness also expands. You begin to see yourself and the world in a new light. You gravitate more towards positive sources of energy because you find the lower vibrations of energy drag you down. You also recognize the more subtle, less dramatic, but constant changes you are creating and experiencing every day.
I witnessed a wonderful, simple example of this at work the other day when a student walked through the door, looked at a painting on the wall and asked if it was new. The painting has been hanging in that place for a number of years and, although the student has been coming to meditation classes for a number of months, it was the first time she saw it.
Finding your way is much more fun and rewarding with awareness, openness and vision. Even the scary parts of the ride!