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Mindfulness…Labyrinth

on May 20, 2013

While we were down in Milwaukee at St. Luke’s Hospital, the kids and I explored the grounds. We happened upon this wonderful labyrinth. At the beginning of the labyrinth, there was a sign saying that the it was put here for patients and family as a way to heal  mind and body.

Labyrinths have been used for many years as a path for meditation, healing, and spiritual discovery. I read an article by Lucy Pearce about using labyrinths with her family, and she wrote this,

“They are a symbol of our life’s journey: twisting and turning, the path unknowable, often misleading, yet the destination is always certain.

Unlike a maze, which is designed to confuse, and is laid out with many dead ends, a labyrinth has a single path which spirals in to the center and out again.

The journey into the center is symbolic of death and release, and the journey back out represents birth and rebirth. This twisting, spiraling in and out connects us to ourselves, to the earth and to each other. The labyrinth transports us to another realm of conscious awareness: occupying the rational, busy mind and the body, thereby allowing the subconscious to emerge.”

As I walked the path inward I thought about all of the trials we have been through as a family, Justin’s loss of sight, his return of sight, being away from home, the possibility of another surgery, the unknown of the future. When I reached the center I took three breathes and released all of the concern and worry at let everything be as it was in the moment. On my trip out again I let myself see that everything will be okay no matter what happens, for we cannot control everything that happens but we can decide how to react to what comes.

It was a wonderful experience as we waited to hear if Justin would need another surgery. Walking a labyrinth does not make your problems go away but it can give you a new perspective.

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While I walked the labyrinth the kids started by running the whole way in and out three times.

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They also tired walking on the brick edges and in the end walked the path quietly.

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The kids followed the labyrinth at many different speeds but I think they got something out of the experience more than energy release. It was a time to take their mind off the situation at hand, to decompress, to get away from the hospital waiting room. In the end, Justin did have to have surgery again, and the kids were able to flow with it. The surgery was a little over two weeks ago and there do not seem to be any complications.

The labyrinth was so nice that we decided to bring it into our home, and since we couldn’t make a yard labyrinth I decided to make a small one. I made a finger labyrinth. Instead of walking this, we use our fingers and trace the labyrinth. This is not exactly the same experience but you get a chance to calm down and clear your mind.

The kids have been using it to calm down when overly upset, for fun, and when they are in a quiet mood. I think it is good for all of these things and i keep it easily accessible so they can use it anytime.

Here is how we made it.

First I made some salt dough.

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup water

1 cup flour (I used whole wheat because that is all I had.)

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Mix all ingredients together until they form a ball.

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I gave each kid a small piece of dough and used the rest for the labyrinth. Smoosh your ball flat trying to keep it in a circular shape. Then use your finger to begin making the labyrinth. I suggest drawing labyrinths before you start. Draw many, it will help you get the shape down and is also very relaxing.Check out the Lucy Pearce article for how to draw one.

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I used my fingers to make the indentations and my smallest finger for smoothing.

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After you are done bake on low for three hours or so. I flipped mine part way through and then let air dry a few days to make sure it was really dry.

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When it was totally dry I used tempera paints to add color.

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 Then I sealed it with Mod Podge.

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Once fully dry keep out where it can be seen so anyone who comes in the house can use it.

Namaste

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One response to “Mindfulness…Labyrinth

  1. Marge Hallenbeck says:

    This is so interesting.

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