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The Labyrinth: How to Quiet the Mind and Connect With Inner Wisdom in Matrescence

Have you ever heard someone say 'You just have to learn how to quiet the mind.' and immediately thought 'That's impossible!'?


I have. I've also been that person sitting on a meditation cushion focusing intensely on quieting the chatter in my mind...pouring incredible amounts of energy into it...only to have it chattering throughout the whole meditation. Instead of feeling relaxed, it felt frustrating. What I didn't know in my early experiences of meditation was that the mind was just doing its job...until that point, it had never learned that it was safe, I was safe, within the experience of stillness and quiet.


One of the tools that has consistently supported me on my journey with meditation is the labyrinth.


Labyrinths have been with us for thousands of years, throughout the world, in a variety of forms – carved into rock, painted on pottery, laid out on the ground. Transcending time, religion and culture, they’ve been long associated with spirituality and ritual – a universal tool that can assist the individual to reconnect with their inner self.


Journeying into the labyrinth is symbolic of release – release of what no longer serves us on our journey. At the centre, we find the space for Being – for connecting with the Inner Self. Journeying out represents rebirth – stepping out into the world, embodying the wisdom gained from the process.


At first glance, labyrinths resemble mazes, however, the two are very different.


Labyrinths have a single entrance/exit and are unicursal, meaning there is only one path – we can’t get lost. The only decision that needs to be made, is whether to enter the labyrinth. Once we step in, we trust the forward movement will bring us to the centre and then return us to the entrance.


Mazes may have more than one entrance/exit and there are dead ends. They are created to confuse and bewilder. We have to think, plan and persistently decide, throughout our journey in the maze.


Nature's labyrinths in plants, animals and wether patterns. A sprouting fern, a snail shell and a cyclone.

A labyrinth’s spiraling shape is mimicked throughout nature - in plants, animals and weather.

Labyrinths in the human body: the inner ear, the gut and the brain.

 

 

 

 


In the human body, we see it reflected in the inner ear, the gut and the brain.

A classic, seven circuit labyrinth in the soft lighting of a salt lamp.

 

In fact, the classic 7-circuit labyrinth very much resembles the brain in its shape.


Its use helps us access both the left and right hemispheres of the brain.


Why is this important?


As I described in Into the Unknown with Confidence, so much of our focus as women and as mothers, in our modern culture is on the left hemisphere of the brain – gathering information from a variety of sources, analyzing, planning, categorizing, Doing. Even though its intended to be supportive, it can leave us feeling overwhelmed, depleted, exhausted and scattered – especially for experiences in which we don’t have complete control.


Having a way to efficiently access the right hemisphere – where creativity, flow and connection with intuition (inner wisdom) exist – can feel nourishing, balancing and grounding.


The 7-circuit labyrinth is the most widely used around the world and its 7 paths/rings correlate with the 7 chakras (energy centres of the body), the tones on the scale (sound energy) and the colours of the rainbow (light energy).


In my experience, labyrinth meditation – either walking within a garden labyrinth or using my finger labyrinth – is a beautiful way to quiet my busy, often loud (!) left hemisphere. It can focus on the process of moving through the labyrinth, while the rest of me connects with the quiet whispers of right hemisphere intuition, inner wisdom.


Are you ready to feel more calm, more grounded and more connected with the unique wisdom your holding within?

Wisdom that has the potential of supporting your health and guiding you along the twists and turns of your mothering journey?


We use the labyrinth meditation as a supportive, nourishing practice in Well Rooted Matrescence - a monthly membership space containing practices for nourishing rest and resilience, a resource library for expanding knowledge on a variety of topics related to pregnancy and early mothering and a private online community for connection. Explore more and join us here!

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