How a Personal Finger Walking Labyrinth Board will Benefit You

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What is a finger walking Labyrinth board? Well, in short it is a 3 dimensional, or carved copy of a Labyrinth that you would normally walk with your feet. These designs can be of any type of Labyrinth, from the various square meander and maze like patterns, or the round Chartres design, to the simpler Classic or Cretan design. For the sake of this article I will be talking about the Cretan or Classic design as they are very similar.

The Cretan design in a mirror image of itself provides one with the ability to trace, or finger walk the pattern with both hands at the same time. This mirror image creates a left entrance on one side, and a right entrance on the other. It does not matter what finger you use, or whether your fingers are in sync with each other when you walk. The idea is that when you trace the pattern with your dominant and non dominant hand at the same time, your left and right brain is brought into balance. This provides you with the benefit of being calmer and more centered, with an increased attention span. This results in better relationships, an increased ability to problem solve, calmer students, more focused workers, etc. etc.

In an episode of the show "The Doctors", it was suggested that we practice brushing our teeth with our non-dominant hand. This helps to create new neural pathways to the brain, which is a good thing to do as we age. If this is the case, the usefulness of a double finger walking Labyrinth would be expanded into retirement homes. Currently, the boards are in local Montessori schools for the students to use when feeling anxious or stressed. The teachers see the value in the boards and are also using them when they feel stressed.

Just like a Labyrinth that you walk with your feet, a portable board can also be a valuable tool to use as a metaphor for your life. As in life, there is a beginning, a centre (or perceived goal), and an end. It is your choice whether to trace the path of the board with your eyes open or closed. Just like you would when walking a large outdoor Labyrinth, bring your focus into yourself and set an intention before you start your finger walk. You can do this by taking 3 deep cleansing breaths. This allows you a moment to honour yourself and the Labyrinth before embarking on your inner journey.  (By finger walk, I mean you trace the path with your fingers)

If you are doing this with your eyes closed, just FEEL your way around the path. Learn to use the sense of feel, rather than sight. As you move from one direction to another, just become aware of what feelings are bubbling up to the surface as you move or get stuck. What are your feelings as you move around the first turn? The turns represent the challenges in our lives. The first turns have you far away from the centre or perceived goal, and then close almost like you are there, only to move you away again. How does this make you feel in the Labyrinth? How does this make you feel in life? As you get closer to the centre the turns get more challenging. How do you handle the challenges in your life?  Sometimes in life the closer we get to our goals the more difficult the journey becomes. It is here that we can throw in the towel and quit, or we can throw up our hands in surrender and enjoy the journey. Which do you choose?

Are you moving quickly and with confidence, or are you moving slowly and cautiously? Do your fingers stray over the edges leaving you lost and frustrated? What feelings are you experiencing now? How do you react in life when you get lost, frustrated or STUCK? Are the feelings being brought up similar? Do you just keep blindly moving forward hoping that you are still on the path? Do you do this in your life? Do you realize that you messed up, and go back and find your way again? Or do you make your own rules here as you finger walk, and in life?

When you get to the center, how do you feel? Pause here for a moment, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. Feel the peace here at the centre; breathe it in. Are you satisfied? Did it take too long to get to the centre or perceived goal? Was it too fast, or not fast enough. Do you pause in the centre and enjoy it? Do you stop and smell the roses in your life? Did you pat yourself on the back for a job well done? When you are ready, start your journey back out retracing the path the way you came in.

As you come back out, it is if you are returning to the surface. Do you feel the difference? Is the journey back out easier? Do you feel lighter, less tense? Do you move faster and with more confidence? Are you grateful for the lessons or insights you received on the way in? Were you aware of receiving? How do you receive in your life? When you reach the exit are you anxious to leave and get on with whatever is next? Take a moment and become aware of these feelings.

As you leave the Labyrinth, stop turn, and bow to the space in honour of the journey and the insights you may have received along the way.

Keeping a journal of the insights you receive using your personal Labyrinth, will help to deepen your understanding of yourself, and your relationships with others.

IrmaHaggith-2009AREconf

Use your Labyrinth Finger Walking Board with no expectations, simply ENJOY the Journey!

Irma M. Haggith ©

 


Note: Article published on "Toronto Labyrinth Community" website November 3 2009.