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Laura V. Hyde

The Journey Inward
by Laura Grace

Recently, I experienced my first labyrinth walk in the artistic and beautiful coastal town of Cambria, California. This walk entailed the classical eleven-circuit labyrinth, a replica of the design embedded in the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France around 1220. Before walking, I was informed that the labyrinth was "a sacred place, a spiritual tool meant to awaken us to the deep rhythm that unites us to ourselves and to the Light within." It was reassuring to hear that there was no "right" or "wrong" way to experience the labyrinth.

Gifts of the Soul by Laura Hyde

Not knowing what this path held for me, I decided to completely surrender any expectations and allow my soul to reside in the moment. There was nothing more I could do, for the labyrinth contained only one way in and one way out. Thus my only real choice was whether or not I went in.

Wanting to be as mindful as possible, I journeyed into the labyrinth, keeping my eyes focused on each step while concentrating on my breathing. Soon I became aware that I was near the left side of the center, and then the right side. From that point, it appeared that I moved away from the center and that it would be a while before I was actually inside the labyrinth’s core.

Walking the labyrinth, to me, was symbolic of our own personal pilgrimage. The pathway into our heart means moving through and beyond old wounds, fears and insecurities, and is part of the process of reaching our true self. It involves knowing there will be times when we desire to spiral away from our core, when we are afraid to face ourselves; not only our perceived weaknesses, but our light, love and inner strength. The heart of the labyrinth is symbolic of the place where we are free to be open to all aspects of self and to empty our minds of preconceived beliefs about who we are.

Genuine self-esteem surfaces as we tap into our wellspring of courage and take the journey inward. It blossoms as we realize that our sense of worth has nothing to do with what we do, how we behave, how much money we possess, who we know, or how many credentials we’ve attained. It has everything to do with our willingness to surrender, face ourselves, heal, and infuse our thoughts, words, intentions and actions with love.

Jesus once stated the only difference between us and him is that he knew he was love, and we don't. Unfortunately, most of us don't feel wholly loving, loved or lovable. Easily, we can point to numerous areas where we've "blown" it; sabotaged relationships, jobs, finances and health "prove" that we're unworthy of having everything our heart desires. Yet, A Course in Miracles reminds us, "Some of your greatest advances you have judged as failure, and some of your deepest retreats you have evaluated as success." The question then, is, "How do I correct my perception of myself and see past my errors to the truth of who I really am?" And the answer remains, "By recognizing everything you've ever done has either been love or a call for love."

The Intimate Soul by Laura Hyde

I truly believe that we never do anything that is not in some way an attempt to bring more light into our life. Any mistake we've made or crisis we've experienced has created the fertile ground for the birth of a stronger and higher self. And just as we would not expect an infant to walk before it crawls, our newly emerging self requires support and nurturing as we continue on our journey. Sending it signals of disapproval while it is attempting to maneuver, inhibits and delays its' progress. Therefore, as we give ourselves (and others) permission to make mistakes, we gain courage to look within to where our most light-filled self resides.

The road to remembering your deepest self is like walking a labyrinth. It entails moving inward—a time to release, let go, unwrap and empty the mind; centering—a time to be open, reflective and receptive; moving outward—a continuation of delving more deeply within, gaining comfort and empowerment, and extending unconditional love.

Allow yourself to journey inward toward your center as you would walk a labyrinth. There is no right or wrong way, for no matter how you proceed, the journey will always lead you "home." As you look within, what do you need to release in your life right now? What no longer serves your higher good and is time to let go of? Next, as you delve within and get nearer to your center, what is your inner voice telling you? This is a time to listen, consider new possibilities and experience the mystery of your life. And finally, as you move outward and return to your daily life, what do you feel inspired to focus on? This stage of the journey is a time for making commitments to what most honors you and then following through with integrity and courage.

It has been stated that a labyrinth is like taking a thoughtful walk, looking in a mirror of the soul, taking part in a religious dance, and going on a symbolic journey. The same is true for your life as you remember that all of your experiences and everyone in it is a reflection of you. Each situation and person has the power to take you into your being where your deepest Self resides.

Affirmations for Self-Acceptance:

I give myself permission to let go of external searching and to look within.

I lovingly forgive myself, knowing that I did the best I knew how at the time.

I easily let go of what no longer serves my higher good.

I take time each day to ask, listen, and follow my inner voice.

I congratulate myself often and honor every step I take, no matter how large or small.

I focus on what brings me aliveness and joy.

I trust that everything happens for my higher good.

© Copyright 2002 Laura Grace.  All Rights Reserved.

Laura V. Hyde
Laura Grace is Co-founder of Infinite Wisdom, an organization dedicated to the highest human capacity, and a national author and speaker. As a regular contributor for publications across the US and Canada, Laura writes about human awareness and spiritual growth. Laura is the author of the widely acclaimed book Gifts of the Soul and is the creator and teacher of various programs, including the transforming and popular Self-Mastery Program, Claim Your Inner Power!, The Art of Compassionate Forgiveness, Wonderful Women: Reclaiming Our Power, Passion and Purpose!, Creating Soul in Relationships, Living the Intimate Life and several others. Please visit Laura's web site at: www.LauraGrace.net.

From performing dream analysis for more than 20 years, Laura is an experienced dream counselor and is currently available for dream analysis. She provides assistance in three ways: 1) In-person, 2) By phone, 3) and via e-mail.  You may contact her by calling (888) PEACE-93.





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