veru8_23_17After this week’s amazing solar eclipse, I suppose it’s not odd that shadows should occupy space in my mind. I was out for my run this morning when I happened to notice my shadow out there in front of me.

As I trotted along, however, I began to feel as if I was chasing myself. There I was, right in front of me. Except my shadow seemed almost more me.

My pony tail flipped from side to side as I made my way. My shadow self looked happy and youthful and energized. Carefree. Playful. It was me out from under the layers of anxiety and constraints I tend to carry around with me all the time. Sort of an odd glimpse at the inner child in a way.

I began to think about how different I am when I’m running anyway. I notice all kinds of things with a sort of unabashed joy. I actually say out loud, “Hi, beautiful,” whenever I see a butterfly. I always wave to the cows that I see in the fields at the outermost reach of my run. I see the dew sparkling on the grasses. I notice how many shades of green there are in the foliage. I feel a kinship with two sandhill cranes, unperturbed by my passage nearby.

I notice all the symmetry around me. I notice all the asymmetry, too. I notice how humans have a strange tendency to screw metal identifying tags into concrete or poles or fences or any crazy place.

I hear the mocking jay. I smell the fresh cut grass. I hear thunder in the distance. I relish a run in the rain. I stop and look up for airplanes. I stop for turtles, too. I jump to avoid stepping on a lizard. Some things I see make me laugh out loud. Like the underwear that pops up on the sidewalk one day, which then travels over subsequent days to different locations.

I notice the array of thoughts that travel through my mind. I often have important insights when I am running. I notice what I notice. I always run up hills, however slight or steep.

So I suppose it’s not just that my shadow self is more me. I am more me when I’m running.

It’s easy for my shadow me to disappear when I get back from a run. All the worries and anxieties and the critical inner monitoring assume their places and usually manage to take charge. A little less than they used to, though.

That shadow me is really all good, though. I should let her out to play more often.

I stopped to take a pic of her, but, of course, it took all the motion and fun out of it. Nevertheless, it’s a sort of picture of me, of who I might be, if I just let me out to play.

a gift from the labyrinth


For what seemed like the very first time in my entire remembered life, I felt completely free of fear. I let that realization flow through me. Elation, gratitude, amazement, love, joy rushed in to fill the space left by fear’s retreat. Oh, to capture and keep the treasured moment alive!

The labyrinth never fails to surprise. It never fails to gift me with experience, or insight, or a restful acceptance.

veru8_10_17aThis day, my mindful steps in the labyrinth allowed me to finally learn what it feels like to carry no fear, and to see the possibility of living joyfully without the abiding fear.

I paused in the moment of discovery, smiling. Then, inevitably, my steps resumed. Concerned solely with each step I was taking, only aware of the short distance directly beyond my feet, I followed the path that presented itself.

As my steps wound slowly, seemingly meaninglessly around, I could see that the footfalls of my past traced a path. The future, too, would be forged by my steps. And then there was simply the step I took that very moment.

Looking back, and looking ahead, and standing silently in the center of that labyrinth, I knew I walked the path of love. I had always walked the path of love. No matter how convoluted or nonsensical it may have seemed, the path led unerringly. Step by step.

Today, I awoke with the familiar anxiety and fear. I thought of my path. I don’t know the path. I don’t know where it goes. I can only see just where my foot is about to land, and that’s a little blurry.

I know, however, that this is the path of love I walk. There is trust in each step. There is trust in the path.