What do you do when an open space really isn’t open? This was a quandary I recently faced at one of my favorite places on a trip back from Mt. Shasta. In the lawn area of a local hotel is a beautiful labyrinth, one that I’ve walked each time I visit.
I stopped by a few times the day of my arrival, and each time the sprinklers were on, spraying a good portion of the walking path. Early the next morning I checked again, on my way to and from breakfast. Still on, and in the same place.
I walked to the office and asked when the sprinklers would be turned off. The same question asked last year, to the same yard person. The only thing new is the owner.
He told me to walk fast so I wouldn’t get wet. That he’d moved the sprinklers. He became defensive about needing to keep the lawn green. He’s doing the job he’s been told to do, and it quickly became evident that he wasn’t open to listening, no matter what I said.
In the past, I would have fought to have the sprinklers turned off. Last year, I ran into the owner and she asked him to turn them off. Then, he impatiently sat while I walked the path. He may not understand the significance of the labyrinth, and it’s not for me to try to make him understand. This year, I walked away.
But I had a strong feeling that I wasn’t ready to leave town. I thought the labyrinth was what was calling me. I packed some things in my car and walked behind the hotel to the bridge that crosses the river. I turned right, pondered the swiftly flowing water, and at the top of the walkway I happened upon beautiful gardens.
This lawn and flowers were freshly watered, and open to everyone. So many flowers in bloom: succulents, purple salvia, white lilies about to spring open, petunias, and so many more. Next to the gardens is a shady oak tree. I walked over and leaned against her. This whole magical space embodies the love that’s been put into her.
Its size is about ¼ of the lawn with the labyrinth. And yet, the energy and openness of the two, not more than 3 blocks from each other, couldn’t be more different.
The big lawn with the labyrinth that no one can really touch reminded me of the old me. I painted a good picture, but few reached the center of my heart. I thought I was open, I wanted to be open, but I didn’t know how. I was as closed as that lawn was. So many boundaries I’d put up in order to guard myself from the hurts in my heart. I did what I thought I was supposed to do, but all that did was keep me stuck on the outside of myself.
At the edge of the lawn and garden are stone benches built into the wall. I sat on a bench and placed my bare feet on the cool grass, sitting under the biggest hollyhocks I’ve ever seen. I cried for my old self because I understand how much she yearned to be seen. My heart cracked open even more, going deeper into an openness I didn’t know possible.
Coming to the awareness of what kept the door to my own labyrinth closed, and healing my heart has been one of my greatest gifts. At the core of this has been healing and releasing the internalized energies that created those original boundaries. Walls that kept out what I deeply yearned for.
This is why I’m passionate about and do this healing work with people now. There is no judgment, simply love for the journey to here. Those hollyhocks I sat with are a symbol of abundance, that reseed themselves in the circle of life. As you release the old, you make room for the new.
If you would like this for yourself, I invite you to reach out for a free explore the possibilities call. Let’s explore what’s calling you and the seeds you’re ready to plant. https://stephaniebmcauliffe.com/healing/
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