We can go through much of our lives following the credo, “No Pain, No Gain.” Or we can choose to create joy in our lives whenever possible. The difference between experiencing joy and experiencing pain can sometimes rest on the small decisions we make. For example, I know that a small decision of mine greatly affected my experience walking a labyrinth.
About a year ago, I was walking an outdoor labyrinth in New Mexico with two friends. The labyrinth was a series of circular pathways marked by stones on each side that led to a center.
Our purpose in walking the labyrinth was to enjoy a tranquil meditation, and to focus on the good we wanted to invite into our lives.
A labyrinth is not a maze, there is no way to get lost, but yet I did. You see the friend who had walked this labyrinth before was leading and took her sandals off before she entered the labyrinth.
So being a good follower, I took my shoes off. I realized within my first few steps that I was not walking on a soft surface like an ocean beach. Instead it felt more like I was walking on sharp gravel with tacks mixed in. This all amounted to a strong sense that I was treading on hot coals.
I noticed my friend who was leading walked a few steps into the labyrinth and then circled back and put on her sandals. But I was determined to walk the labyrinth the way I thought I was supposed to walk it.
Wayne Dyer says in his forward to The Joy Factor by Susan Jones that, “When we fight anything, we become weaker, for in so doing we are violating the very principle of harmony and cooperation that holds the universe together.”
My goal in walking the labyrinth was to further open up to all the surprises life had in store for me. Instead of obtaining this goal, I was suffering because I made the choice not to wear shoes to prove I was walking the labyrinth the right way.
I was thinking about this experience because I was out at Joshua Tree on a yoga retreat this weekend. There was another labyrinth and our group walked it. I kind of cringed when I saw it. But this time as I walked, I left my Nikes securely laced and enjoyed a very pleasurable and meditative experience.
Wayne Dyer also observes in the forward to The Joy Factor that, “Everything we experience is a choice. Our personalities are the result of the choices we make.”
Let us all make choices that bring us joy and leave our feet and our bodies happy.
Game of the Day
What is the next small decision you can make to bring more comfort, quality and joy into your life?