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    By Kelly Kralles

    Walking a labyrinth has always been in my sphere of influence. Hearing it spoken about, speaking to people that ran it, all going on around me for years. I never actually walked one until now.

    Wow, what a great experience!! The atmosphere generated by the participants was so peaceful, the beautiful flutes and magical music being played by Sonam Targee such a perfect accompaniment. This particular labyrinth was held at a church by the Labyrinth Society.

    I started at the mouth with shoes removed and thought of what I’d like to release or work through while walking the labyrinth. (This is what I was told to do, everyone is very helpful getting you started). Then I started following the person in front of me, stepping one foot at a time, single file, staying on the path or circuit. Taking the turns at first was a study in concentration, but I quickly got the hang of it, so that I could stop thinking about the turns as I approached them.

    About half way through, I started to feel slightly light headed. I started smiling to myself (and possibly to others) as I progressed further, because the feelings were starting to overwhelm the thoughts! As I reached the middle of the labyrinth, I joined the others gathered there to stop and say a quick blessing to the room and to the Universe for helping me find this quiet place in my mind.

    Now it is time to turn around and follow the path or circuit back out. Same feelings coming in waves now, light, airy, slightly dizzy. No room for actual thoughts anymore at all. Moving around others now too as I work back, so effortless to continue around each other without thinking about who was going to move where.

    Following one foot in front of the other, around and around until coming out again. Thank goodness for the chairs, had to go sit down, close my eyes and stay with the feelings for as long as possible. What a treat!!

    I have been around energy work and am a Wellness facilitator, so I am more sensitive to energy than some. I can honestly say, this was so much fun in more than just an energy sense. It really clears the head and allows you to concentrate on nothing but where your feet are going for just a little while. We all need that for balance and restoration. I highly recommend walking a labyrinth if given the opportunity.

    Go to the labyrinthsociety.org for more on how to find the next labyrinth walk!

    Five Steps To Finding Your Groove

    This is a great reminder of some easy basic things to do to change your daily routine so that you are functioning at a higher level. How great would it be to find that sweet spot or groove in your life where you are not being drained of energy while performing at your peak!!?

    Mindful magazine author Christine Carter wrote:

    1. Take Recess
      When we give ourselves a break from overwork, we increase our brain power and convert stress into productive and creative energy. Have some playtime.

      Take a good old fashioned recess after 60-90 minutes of hard work. Rest. What do you find rejuvenating? Reading? Napping? Looking at interesting things on the internet? Sitting in the sun? Whatever it is, it must be restful and fun, it can’t be “instrumental” in any way.

    1. Switch Autopilot On
      This doesn’t mean being “Mindless” and bumping into walls because we don’t know where we are. It’s about using our brain’s natural ability to run on well-grooved habits, which are more powerful than will power in carrying life’s burdens.
    1. Unshackle Yourself
      Take time to break free from things that tax us, like our smartphone’s constant siren’s song. It opens the door to more joy, and it’s much simpler to do than you think.

      We need to play! We need to laugh and delight in the small things. We need to play peek-a-boo with babies. We need to sing our favorite song at the top of our lungs! We need to dance with our children, lovers and friends!

    1. Cultivate Relationships
      What are friends for? Lots of things. It’s a cliché and it may sound hokey, but life is simply hard to pull off all by ourselves, and there is solid science that tells us our brain is healthier when we nurture our connections to others. It is also being proven as we speak, that maintaining connection to others prolongs your lifespanJ
    1. Tolerate Some Discomfort
      Do what it takes to develop mastery, which makes hard things easy; have the courage to follow your passion and purpose; learn how to bounce back when the going gets rough.
      Let yourself rest, and choose to live more like an olive tree- which bears fruit for centuries-rather than like your smartphone, which is built to last only a couple of years.

    When we judge our worth by how busy we are, we start to believe that if we’re not busy, we’re not worthwhile. Don’t let exhaustion become a trophy.

    Mindful magazine can be found at Mindful.org