Daring to arrive

My parents had a labyrinth based on the pattern of the one found in Chartres cathedral on the back portion of their property. It was one of the most beautiful gifts my father gave my mother. It took him hours of painstaking labor to faithfully translate the ancient serpentine pattern onto the ground.

The “lab” (as my mother calls it) had mulch for its winding pathways and wildflowers for walls. It was a place of active engagement with Spirit in their cathedral of Ponderosa pines.

Having access to our own private labyrinth emboldened me to do what I had always wanted but never dared do in public: walk directly to the center of the labyrinth heedless of the established pathways and walls. My young son always objected but I relished walking directly to the center each time.

Sitting in the chair in the center as the others worked their way through the lab gifted me with a new perspective on the spiritual journey. Could I learn to sit in the seat of “arrival” even as I journeyed through life?

Our minds are brilliant at helping us to navigate the world, plan for contingencies, and anticipate the many twists and turns of our lives. But our hearts experience life’s labyrinth in a very different way.

There is so much overlooked beauty in our lives. In our final hours, if we have the leisure, the quiet, and the inclination, we will notice that everything and everyone is illumined from within. In our hurry to get there, to that eternal someplace other than where we are now, we fail to experience the fact that we have already arrived.

We can practice “arriving” before our last moments. At any time, you and I can break with tradition, step over established pathways and walls, and arrive at the sacred center of the heart to sit in heaven.


Around here on the farm, we are readying for a passel of pullets that we are welcoming home this weekend. Pullets are baby chickens who now have feathers and no longer require a heat lamp. In addition to readying our chicken yard for a new flock, we are feverishly cutting grass before fire season, watering fruit trees, and planting two gardens

From the perspective of my mind, these spring days are nothing more than an endless series of to-do lists and feats of physical effort. But then I pause. Our farm, like our lives, is in the process of resurrection. After weathering a decade of illness, we get to begin again. And yet, I still (mostly) overlook the miracle of these days.

Arriving, allowing ourselves to sit in the sacred center, savoring the reality of heaven in our midst, is a deeply counter-cultural move. We aren’t encouraged by our capitalistic system to get acquainted with our inner wholeness, much less notice and savor the honeyed wisdom that we each carry in our hearts.

The mind argues that there is too much pain in the world to enjoy our days deeply. It is a sin to unite ourselves with these Ponderosa pines and sunlit fields fully, bodily, and without reserve.

In fact, it is a sin not to.

We’re never going to find our way into the world we dream possible (to use a phrase of Charles Eisenstein) until we learn how to bring the wisdom of the heart into conversation with the reason of the mind.

It’s not a long journey to arrive there, to that seat where we can experience heaven on earth, though thinking makes it so.

I know a shortcut. Join me. Dare to arrive, while still we live.



A small memento from the outside world that reflects the season, or speaks of beauty, or both to you.


We will access the heart’s view from the center with the help of the drumbeat or rattle.

Our intention is to arrive. We seek to arrive at the sacred center of the heart for an experience of heaven–a taste of wholeness, beauty, or completion–that we have not yet fully embraced.


If you would like to attend this month’s free online journey circle on Wednesday, May 19, from 4-6 pm PST, email me at anna “at” gaiashamanism.com.  All skill levels welcome.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *