Saturday, May 1, 2010

Walking the Labyrinth

Labyrinth, somewhere in the world, 1 May 2010

I walked a labyrinth this morning. The sun was warm; the river was active. I was feeling ready to walk within. Through twists and turns, I came upon my own interior and moved into the heart of the labyrinth. There, I heard my own voice say "You already know what to do. Make the connection."

I've been thinking about Campbell's Hero's Journey recently, which strikes me as being active and external. Its expression seems very much out in the world.


But is this the same journey women take? I'm not so convinced. Recently, someone said to me, "You're not on the Hero's Journey. You're on the Heroine's Journey and that unfolds differently." I thought, "Hmm, yes, that's likely true." As a woman, I feel the need to move within and journey there. Bring light into the shadows. Finger paint. Dig in the dirt. Express creatively. Employ deep listening. In this way I mother myself so that I may build and sustain enough energy to give birth to newness and to the seed I see within but which knows no expression yet. It's hard to explain this to loved ones. It's hard to explain the need for a room of one's own but there it is.

Maureen Murdock--author of the Heroine's Journey--explains the process nicely. She writes:
"The only way a woman can heal the imbalance within herself is to bring the light of consciousness into the darkness. She must be willing to face and name her shadow tyrant and let it go. This requires a conscious sacrifice of mindless attachments to ego power, financial gain, and hypnotic, passive living. It take courage, compassion, humility, and time.

"The challenge for the heroine is not one of conquest but one of acceptance, of accepting her nameless, unloved parts that have become tyrannical because she has left them unchecked. We can't go through life blindly. We have to examine all of the conflicting parts of ourselves. Each one of us has dragons lurking in the shadows. The challenge, according to Edward Whitmont, requires 'the strength to sustain awareness and the suffering of conflict and to be able to surrender oneself to it.' It is the job of the heroine to enlighten the world by loving it -- starting with herself"
(pp. 158-59).
So, what is there to do but dig in the dirt of myself...dig deep to the slumbering goddess at the core of the earth...at the core of myself...and breathe with her?

3 comments:

怡君 said...
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Olin said...

I know a great labyrinth in the Bitterroot you should check out! Thanks for your inspirational posts they have lifted my day.

A Walk in the World said...

hey, o!

ooo, dimmi! tell me more. you've been on my mind lately. i'll find you!

HUGS for now, k