To the best of my knowledge Solvitur Ambulando is the one and only piece of Latin I know, can pronounce and understand its meaning. This humble little phrase was introduced to my language only a handful of months ago and yet it has never been far from my lips since that day. In fact a wear a small blue rubber wristband, the type that is so very popular these days, that is inscribed with these words. The reason behind sharing all this is to impress upon you the powerful effect a couple of words can have on one’s life.
The practice that Solvitur Ambulando refers to has made a vast difference in how I perceive life and I know it has done the same for many others as well. The practice is actually quite prevalent in most aspects of our lives and on a daily basis as well. The fact is this simple process is one of the most prescribed practices for the relief of stress and worry. Solvitur Ambulando or It is solved by walking provides you a great excuse to get away from the stressors of daily life and commune with the Divine Truth of your life. How many times have you stood up from your desk and just took a walk around the office or invested a portion of your lunch hour walking around a local park or even around the block? Think about the sense of relief you feel during a lazy Sunday afternoon walk.
I am going to ask you to take a moment right where you are and simply visualize yourself taking a walk. In your mind you are free to walk wherever you like. Maybe you’re walking in the woods or a city street. Perhaps you’re walking along the beach or a grassy park. Wherever it is; invest a few moments to take a mental walk. Go ahead and take your time, I’ll be right here waiting for you to return.
Welcome back. I am confident that taking a mental walk was rather refreshing. I know this works for me. I have been using walking meditations for much of the past decade. As beneficial as taking a mental or physical walk can be I have found an even more profound way to practice Solvitur Ambulando.
Walking Labyrinths is one of the most profound Spiritual Practices I have everexperienced. The simply process of walking a path where you cannot get lost, where you will always reach your destination, where you will always find you way to your center and always find your way back to the beginning is incredibly relaxing and insightful. The Labyrinth never fails to provide me with the insightful thoughts and intuitive perspectives that are serving the unfolding of my Divine Life. Just like any great spiritual practice the Labyrinth is never the same twice. The experience is unique to each moment, each adventure, and each experience of Solvitur Ambulando.
I began walking Labyrinths simply because many of my friends were experiencing the power of this form of walking meditation. My first experience was in 2005 at a mystical place called Asilomar, California. During my first stroll into the center and back again left little impact. Sure, the walk was relaxing and yet, I did not have the epiphany many had assured me the Labyrinth could produce. In fact, I rarely experience epiphanies during my walks. Yes, they have occurred and yet more often than not I gain a sense and an experience of clarity around a pre-existing question or concern. I walked that particular Labyrinth several times during the week and with each step I found myself trusting more, listening more deeply and becoming aware of a deeper calling within myself. That call continues today as I have begun sharing this amazing practice with my children.
Both my kids, age 6 and 4, have begun to enjoy the practice of Solvitur Ambulando with me. We have discussed that when we walk in towards the center we allow ourselves to think about anything we might be done with, would like to let go of, or simply do not need any longer. Then on the way back out we allow Spirit to tell us what to take home, hold onto, or embrace as walk towards a new beginning.
Recently my daughter asked why I often stand in the center, open my arms, lift my face to the sky, close my eyes and stand silently for a few moments. I explained that I am praying to the four directions using much like Native Americans pray to the four directions. She is familiar with that concept and so easily took to the idea of standing in silence for a moment.
We also developed a few rules when walking a Labyrinth. One, we walk, as this is not a race. Two, we walk quietly, so as not to disturb others. Three, there is no right or wrong way to walk a Labyrinth. These three simple rules that they can remember and abide by have begun to instill a sense of sacredness as we share our walks of consciousness.
Now we have begun to seek out new and different Labyrinths. We travel to exotic, as far as my kids are concerned, locations to search out and walk together. Our adventures have begun to take us farther away from home and our trips become wonderful adventures. We visit different churches and retreat centers simply to find labyrinths. They always want me to take a picture and send it home so “Mom can see what we’re up to.”
Solvitur Ambulando began for me as a way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of my day. It was a way of being alone and separating myself from reality. Now it has evolved into a practice of being in the world. It is an expression of shared family time. It is an adventure of Faith and Trust and most importantly, it is a chance to experience the solutions I seek through walking.
Until next time,
Peace and Blessings
P.S. If you would like to know where my current favorite Labyrinth is just leave a comment below and I’ll let you know the location of a hidden gem in the heart of Lakewood Colorado.
Photo Credits: Walking Woman http://www.flickr.com/photos/aigle_dore/5481288539/in/faves-53047939@N06/
Labyrinth Photos: Robert Brzezinski