Healing Hamilton

Assisting you on your path to physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well being.

Showing posts with label journey. Show all posts
Showing posts with label journey. Show all posts

Friday, April 13, 2012

Labyrinths - A Path to Healing

L is for Labyrinth

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness and healing.  It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path.   Labyrinths represent a journey to our own centre and back again out into the world.  They have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. 

A labyrinth is not a maze.  Mazes are puzzles with twists, turns and dead ends where many decisions are required to find your way to the centre.  Navigating a maze is a left-brain task that requires logic and sequential thinking.  A labyrinth on the other hand is a right-brain activity that invokes intuition, creativity and imagery.  It's a more passive, receptive experience where there's only one decision to make - to enter or not.  There's only one path in a labyrinth - the way in is the way out.  Once you decide to walk a labyrinth you're on the path to renewing the mind-body-spirit connection.

Research conducted by Harvard Medical School's Mind/Body Institute has found that focused walking meditation such as walking a labyrinth is highly effective at reducing anxiety.  Done on a regular basis walking a labyrinth can result in long-term health benefits including reduction of insomnia, reduction of chronic pain, lowering blood pressure and improved concentration.

If you're interested in walking a labyrinth in Canada or the U.S. click here to access the labyrinth locator.

Click here to see some beautiful labryinths and read a short history of labyrinths and mazes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Journey together

"J" is for Journey

We're all on a journey, and as Maya Angelou wrote, I "Wouldn't take nothing for my journey now."

In her great inspirational way, Maya tells us about Annie who "looked up the road I was going and back the way I come, and since I wasn't satisfied I decided to step off the road and cut me a new path".  Annie made a conscious decision to abruptly change her life.  This change was forced on her by circumstance, and she boldly moved forward on her own.  But not every new path starts with a sharp left turn.  Sometimes small decisions pile up one atop the other and, like waves lapping at the side of a boat, nudge us in a certain direction.  Or we may not make conscious decisions at all (which in itself is a decision-making style),  and just go with the flow.  Each path is as unique as the traveler.  But what is common to all is the opportunity to do what Annie did - stop, take stock, and strike out in a new direction.  The resulting changes can be subtle or significant - it's up to you.