Some years back, back when my life was reconfiguring towards the erotic, I walked a labyrinth in the style of the famous labyrinth of Chartres. It was during a retreat I was attending with a particularly important lover. At the time, we were in a dynamic process of shifting our relationship from being primary lovers to being something else. There were many questions in the air. There were many feeling swirling in us both. There were many desires inspiring us, encouraging us, and scaring us!
We were at that retreat exploring and expressing; looking for answers and asking for support. We cared deeply about each other, and we cared deeply about our separate ways.
She was exploring her self with a new lover. I was deeply inspired to know myself through dance, through the medicine of expressive movement. It was a residential retreat and after one particular restless night I awoke before dawn and meandered towards a far field where an eleven circuit traditional labyrinth had been devotionally constructed. Seeing the Labyrinth, with its identifiable and mysterious geometric wisdom, was an invitation. I was magnetically drawn to its starting point, to its entrance, to the beginning where I shed my clothes and willingly step in!
Because of the long days of exuberant dance, sex, and emotional expression, my body, heart, and sprit felt both content and stirred. I knew I was on steep edges of change. I knew I was rapidly entering a new stage of my life, of shifting identities, of gathering new intentions, and letting go of past orientations. I was both inspired and grieving.
I knew I needed to let go of things. I was ready to let go of past identities and limiting relationships structure. I was open to exploring and expressing new and compelling questions of personal meaning and empowering vitality! I felt ready to live in new realms sourced from within. I felt ready to love richer, move clearer, and to live more erotically expressed and confident!
Standing at the entrance of the labyrinth, at a point of caring about nothing else, I knew I needed to only walk in, and that ‘being in’ would also be ‘leaving behind’. With my first step in I was surprised to hear a loud inner voice proclaim a basic statement, ‘work on inner strength’. Immediately I realized I was there just to listen, to walk, to wait, to trust. I was there to learn what was now and what would be revealed ahead.
As I walked the unknowable and knowable geometric logic of the labyrinth’s mystical way, I felt myself releasing. I felt a sweet sense of ‘not caring’ about the days behind or the days ahead, but rather caring only about being obedient to the now. I felt willing to wait without needing. As I walked obediently on, following the twists and turns of the sacred geometry, my heart opened by trusting the flow.
At another seemingly random point along my way in the labyrinth, another voice arose, ‘love thy neighbor’. Not needing to ask why or from where the voice came, I continued on. And, as the center circle appeared before me, I graciously stepped in to hear a final voice clearly proclaim, ’Prepare for death’.
Ever since that innocent morning of trusting the wisdom of my path, I have held these three proclamations dearly. ‘Work on inner strength’, ‘love they neighbor’ (practice love), and ‘prepare for death’, have become principles guiding my living. They are principles I look to for supporting my orientation towards living more intentionally. They support me to know when I am clear, in my integrity, and when I need to slow down and reflect purposely. They have been reference points defining my way. They define my fearless way. They keep me from wandering astray.
Work on inner strength! Practice love! Prepare for death!