Sometimes it’s difficult to begin. New experiences beckon but we don’t want to enter. Or there’s resistance after returning home from time away. We want to stay in that other place. Fear might also greet us at we approach something difficult such as calling a friend who is suffering.
How might we enter with our full selves, “ready and able” for whatever unfolds?
For Entering a recent retreat I prepared:
- I considered what to wear in the casual setting;
- I completed the suggested reading;
- I drove mostly in silence, allowing the stunning scenery to quiet my mind;
- I started with a glad heart grateful for the opportunity;
- I didn’t prepare too many expectations or crave a particular outcome.
Patience on Arrival
On arrival it took awhile to actually enter. A longer road-trip than anticipated meant that there was no one to greet me at Check-In. There was a folder nearby with my name written on it which was found only after walking around the registration area three times and re-reading emails on my laptop (which would be the last time for seven days my laptop enjoyed attention). Anxiety about “being late” surfaced: “It’s ok. I’ve almost arrived,” I told myself.
Shifting to the Present
Only when walking through an entry at the “Casa del Sol” into a placid courtyard, like walking over a threshold at the beginning of a labyrinth, did my mind shift towards the present experience.
This required becoming comfortable with the unfamiliar. Lifting my eyes to the horizon I was comforted by the stunning landscape of northwest New Mexico.
Granting Myself Ease
There would be people who I didn’t know in the intimate space. It was ok to take my time and ease into the comfort of the surroundings and experience. I would meet everyone at dinner and it didn’t matter that I wasn’t arriving perfectly on time. We’d be eating dinner together regardless and that would be a nice entering experience.
How else might we enter with an open-heart and confidence? Adopt the “rules” for entering a labyrinth.
Here’s what was suggested for entering a labyrinth by Christine Ng, facilitator and Spiritual Director of Stillpoint:
Entering a Labyrinth
Pause before entering and consider how you want to show-up;
Follow the path in and out with its twist and turns. It’s not a maze. There is a beginning and an end;
Remember that there are no dead ends;
Stay present with each step. Pay attention to the path;
Breath and allow yourself to settle;
Yield right-of-way to those entering;
Pause before exiting, express gratitude and notice the quality of your mind, body and spirit;
#Stillpoint #GhostRanch #SpiritualDirection #Travel #InnerJourney #DivineWithin