Labyrinths are ancient symbols and tools, some dating back as far as 7000 B.C. Some people walk them to meditate, some people use them as they pray, often someone will be seeking answers for something and through the quiet rhythm of walking the labyrinth, they may find answers within themselves.
In Birthing From Within classes, I use the labyrinth, or LabOrinth as a metaphor for labour, birth and postpartum. Unlike a maze where there are walls and dead ends, the labyrinth has a forgiving path. There is only one way in and one way out, allowing us to follow the path, trusting that it will lead us where we need to go. We are not required to figure things out, only to put one foot in front of the other. It allows us to turn off our mind chatter and be fully present.
As we walk the path of labour, we are always allowed to rest wherever we feel necessary. Some labyrinths will actually have benches on the path where people can take a break and meditate or just experience what they are feeling. In labour we are also given these benches. They may come in the form of a bath, a shower, change of music, nourishing food, even an epidural. We are given the grace to pause and do what is necessary to continue.
Once we reach the centre and give birth, we are again given the space to rest and pause. As we emerge from the transformation of birth, we slowly unwind and make our way out of the labyrinth. For many women this takes much longer than the 6 weeks we often hear about, for some it can take up to 3 years or more. This unwinding encompasses getting to know your baby, breastfeeding, adjusting to your new life, changing relationships, finding a new way to be in the world, negotiating sleepless nights, and so much more. As we emerge from the labyrinth we are transformed. We can see where we were going, and where we have come from and most importantly, where we are now.
On Thursday May 28, at 7:00 pm, I will be holding a labyrinth walk at Damali Lavender Farm in Cobble Hill. Anyone is welcome to come, whether you are pregnant, a new parent, or anyone who is on the threshold of a change in your life or simply looking for a space to meditate. You will have an opportunity to walk the labyrinth and connect to the path of surrender on your journey, whatever that is for you. This will be a beautiful and peaceful time and I look forward to seeing you there.
Cost: $5.00 (goes towards the upkeep of the labyrinth)