Entering the Labyrinth

Do you ever feel like you are walking in circles?

You see your Creative Dream in front of you, but no matter how hard you try, it feels like you will never GET THERE?

You were told to devote time to Instagram, so you spent all this time and energy, and it hasn’t converted to sales.
You were told to join this group of fellow Creatives and you feel like you have nothing in common with them.
You’ve read a TON of books and taken courses, and yet you are not seeing your income increasing.
And even though, you are spending time doing yoga, or meditation, you are still JUST as frustrated and devastated when you hear NO.

Any of this sound familiar?

All you want is for someone to just tell you HOW to make it happen.

You are so ready….why isn’t the universe answering your call?
Why aren’t you getting what you are asking for?

Is anyone listening?

I imagine it’s exhausting, seeing your vision in front of you, and feeling SO confused.

Can it just be a simple path laid out with a clear direction?

 

Two weeks ago, I was at the Lifebridge Sanctuary retreat center in upstate NY. I was there for a four day intensive on Non-Violent Communication.

I had A LOT swimming within me.  I just got married, was missing my husband, and had all kinds of fears coming up around making this marriage better than my last.

On a break,  I took a walk on the grounds and came across a sign,
Welcome to the Labyrinth.

I looked ahead of the sign, expecting to see entry to some high wooded walls, my mind already creating versions from Harry Potter or Stephen King novels.  When I didn’t see this entrance, I turned to my left and instead saw a ring of stones on the grass.

This was the labyrinth. Simple.

The sign read:
 “As you enter this ritual journey, may you deepen your understanding of what is means to be in the right relation with the magic that is in yourself, the environment, and the Universe….”

As I entered the labyrinth, what struck me was how CLEARLY I could see the middle, the end point. With no walls, it was visible the whole time.  So, I started at the entrance, seeing where I wanted to go.

Immediately, it was disorienting.  I thought I was going towards the center, but actually found I was moving towards the outside.

How could the steps moving forward be taking me further away from the middle as opposed to closer?

Have you ever felt this in your Career?

But, I kept walking, step after step, and found myself viewing the center from ALL angles.  Even when I thought I was close, the path would lead me away, suddenly swerving to the other side.

But, I kept walking…….trusting each step, even though to my EYE it didn’t look like the path was leading to where I wanted to be.

And then, there I was, in the middle, actually a step away from the entrance.
I had arrived.

I looked down at my feet, and at the crazy swirling path that brought me here.

I thought of how in the face of my divorce, I pleaded with the universe for it not to happen.
I thought of losing my home, my car, and just wanting it all to stop.
I thought of hiring a life coach for the first time thinking I would do more film & TV, and instead launching a blog, and a business that actually allowed me to be the Artist I had always wanted to be.
I thought of all the heartbreaking dates I went on, desperately wanting the next guy to be my man.

The path was NOT linear, although I wanted it to be SO badly.  I went ALL over the place to arrive in this moment, here, married to the love of my life and doing work I love.

It didn’t look like I thought it would, and many times, I felt like I was so far away from my dream and vision.

But I kept walking, in faith and trust, knowing CLEARLY what I wanted.

 

So, what do you want?
Is your vision clear?

 

We can really caught up in believing things are going wrong if the PROCESS isn’t what we expected.  But the truth is, you don’t know what you don’t know.  You are working towards something you’ve never had in your life before, so how could you know what is actually looks like to get there?

This is where you hire mentors and coaches who HAVE taken the path to guide you on the way.

 

I NEVER thought I would live in NJ, and here I am.
I ALWAYS thought the only way I would be fully fulfilled and feel like I “made it” was to be on Broadway, and yet the work I do now far exceeds any show I performed in.

I didn’t have this before, so I HAD NO IDEA what the path would look like. I had a lot of ideas about what I thought it SHOULD look like…and so really it was a journey of letting go of that, and just being open to the experience, all the while staying deeply connected to what is important to me.

All the while staying deeply connected to my life, every breathing moment. Every disappointment, every frustration, every heartbreak.

We will all experience pain along the way, but you have the power to determine whether or not you suffer in it.

Can you walk the twists of your creative life, and instead place your attention on something far greater?

Faith.

One of my teachers said,
You get in the boat, and set your course due east, but you have no control over the water.  It may be stormy with crashing waves, it may be calm as glass…that is not under your control. 

Release your iron grip on what the journey looks like, and instead place your focus and intention on your vision.  The raging storms are not proof you should stop, but merely a PART of the journey.

What is possible for you now?

 

Welcome to the labyrinth.

Here are a few guidelines:
1) Set your intention for your walk
2) Have no expectations
3) Pause and take a few deep breaths
4) Walk at your own pace
5) You may pass others, others may pass you.
6) As you reach the center stay as long as you wish; pray or ponder.
7) When ready, return on the same path to your starting point.
8) Please maintain silence

 

“Those who have walked a labyrinth with an open heart know the power of the experience.  Its path is a ritual journey from the threshold at the entrance to a more metaphoric threshold at the center – A path of discovery and self knowledge.”
– John Bloom

The Sun in St Paul

Have you ever gone on a vacation and gotten sick?
Have you ever had a BIG exciting trip waiting for you, only to experience delays, snafus, and disappointment?

It can be so frustrating!

We have so much to balance these days, and those precious vacation days or DAY are what we look forward to.

A chance to have a NEW experience, to relax, to get away from the GRIND.

Isn’t everything supposed to be perfect in these moments?
Haven’t you worked hard enough that you deserve peace and ease?

As an Artist, these moments are so crucial to recharge.

Has this ever happened to you?
How did it affect you?

 

Two weeks ago, I boarded a plane with my fiance for Anchorage, Alaska.  My bags were packed with my binoculars, and many warm layers, ready to stand in the cold winds so I could witness the bountiful birds far North.

If you didn’t know, I’m a birder:)  I geek out over feathers, migration, and wing spans.

Birding nourishes me.  It’s time in nature slows me to the present moment, and has commonly been bonding time with my family.  In the wake of my divorce, my parents bought me a pair of binoculars, and I started going to birding festivals with them.

At a time when I was in deep pain, I found birding to be a healing balm.

My family and I planned this trip over a year ago, and we’ve been talking about it for months, getting so excited and even all buying the same Eddie Bauer coat in different colors.

On every level, I was VERY ready for a break.  Planning my wedding, running my business, settling into NJ, and recovering from a shoulder injury, I could feel it was time.

We touched down in Anchorage, after two long flights, and I could feel my body relaxing.  We took a selfie with a stuffed moose in the airport and met up with my aunt who’s flight got in right after ours.

VACATION! Yay!

We met up with our family, our tour guides, and the rest of the tour group (16 in all!) and crashed right after dinner.  With travel, we had been up for 22 hours.

The next morning we all flew to St. Paul, part of the Pribilof Islands, and the farthest west you can go in the United States.

St. Paul was cold, barren, and very windy.  The sign at our hotel said, “The Galapagos of the North”, as it is a huge destination for birders.  Indeed the hotel was full, not only with another tour group, but Cornell Ornithology research teams.

At dinner I started to feel light headed and nauseous, so I turned down the night birding and went to bed early so I could be well rested for the next day.

After a long night of sleep, I woke up feeling better, but as the morning progressed, I felt like my energy level was at 20%.  At breakfast, I turned to the tour guide and said,
I’m not doing so well….

My mother held her hand to my forehead, no fever.  I looked at her and said,
I think I’m going to pass out.

The room swirled for a moment, and I knew I couldn’t go birding.  One of our guides drove me back to the hotel, and I could feel the disappointment rising.

This isn’t what I wanted.
What’s happening?
Why NOW?

Have you ever felt like this?

I went back to my room, feeling like I was walking through soup…crawled under the covers, and crashed.

 

Two hours later, I woke up.  The hotel was so quiet. The guide was going to be coming back in another hour or two to check on me.  I had time, and reached into my bag for The Sun.

The Sun is a collection of interviews, short stories and poems.  I love it.  I started reading it four years ago, and it used to be my weekly joy.

Then life became very full with launching my business, and my daily time to read was cut shorter and shorter.  I used to take it on the subway, but my commutes were soon filled with social media and catching up on emails.

I had to stop my subscription to The Sun, because I had so many issues piling up.  I would wistfully look at all the magazines, hoping time would open so I could read them.

And here, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…..I finally had the time to read.

As I opened the page, I could feel a warmth coming over my body; almost a sigh of relief. After reading a few stories, I decided to check in with my body and do some healing.

I did Walter McKichen’s Rainbow Meditation, where I brought energy up from the earth, to each of my chakras, one at a time.  On every chakra, the color was strong and traveled up my right leg to my center line, and then down my left.

Except one…my second chakra.

This is the chakra for creativity.

The color was so light, and barely traveled up my right leg. Usually bright orange, it was almost a dull gray.

So, I went back to bed.  I slept again, and again.  I stayed in the hotel, not going out birding.

And I finished reading The Sun.

As I closed the last page, a huge smile came across my face.  I could feel my energy coming back, and the dull gray morning light had now turned into afternoon sunshine coming into my room.

I remembered coming home from college, so exhausted, and then sleeping for a day.  I remembered a Christmas where I laid on the couch opening presents because I had the flu.  I remembered so many times I had gotten sick….and I realized what they all had in common…

My body needed to rest.

I had finally given it the space to recharge, and this is what it looked like for ME.
I actually was given the space to nourish what needed the most nourishment.

I had finally stopped, gotten off the carousel of my life, and here I was…..me and the Sun; shining it’s bright lights of inspiration and stories of humanity.

Right before dinner time, I sat up and did the Rainbow Meditation again, and when I came to my second chakra, the brightest orange light climbed up my right leg, connected at my spine, and then gloriously traveled down my left.

In flow.

I opted out of evening birding again, and slept soundly for 9 hours.  And the next day, I put on my binoculars, and saw Puffins for the first time in my life.

 

It’s a fallacy that we can push forever.  We all need rest, and most of all, we REALLY need it as Artists.  Our work comes from a very deep place, and is highly personal.

We decided to become Artists because we LOVE our Art, and we love expressing it.

This is not a process to PUSH through, or create on fumes.

The body never lies.  As Creative forces, we need to stay connected to our inner life, because it is our inner life and humanity we are expressing in our work. If your body is calling for rest again and again, listen.

So, what is your Sun?
What nourishes your Creative flow?

If you were to take a moment and stop….what would happen?

Things may really slow down….AND you may be getting exactly what you need.

Open the pages.

Open to your Sun.