With the touch of my awareness, the maze dissolves,
confirmation of the work I’ve done before on beliefs that have worn out their usefulness.
The hidden beliefs await me deeper in.
A path through treacherous swamps appear.
I sense long-repressed emotions watching from the depths of fetid pools,
but I continue on, carefully keeping my feet on the path.
Should one ancient repressed emotion crawl from the depth of the swamp to greet me,
what should I do?
Can I look upon that which I have previously feared to examine?
Can I embrace what I find deep in myself?
I must, for why else am I here?
Everything has its place, even pain,
and nothing is gained by hiding it from ourselves.
“Hello, ancient hurts, I say to them.
“I’m surprised you still live, but here you are.
Come, make yourself known to me so we can heal.”
I embrace the long repressed, comfort them,
and they fade to nothing in my arms.
I find I am hugging myself.
But I know this is just a mental preparation
for what awaits me deeper in the underworld of my psyche.
The path continues, growing steep and rocky, always changing,
but the light ahead draws me onwards.
I realise I’m carrying baggage that weighs me down, outdated perceptions of self.
I cannot carry these with me up this rugged path.
I must leave them behind.
What hidden baggage do I carry that I will be forced to see
before I can relinquish it and walk free of the burden?
I fight despair.
Will I ever find something other than this foreboding landscape?
Is it because I’m struggling to overcome my reticence,
wanting to move forward while afraid of what I might find.
But I will not turn back.
I have ony just begun.
The way grows steeper,
and rock fallen from ancient ruins block the path.
I retrace my steps, try another path,
but still the way is blocked.
What is this thing that blocks my way,
that prevents me from realising my creative potential?
Ah, yes, this is what I have come to discover.
But I don’t know the answer, so how will get past this?
Determination floods me.
I will not give up.
Overcoming obstacles is part of this quest.
These blockages are nothing more than my own mental constructs.
I rest a while and meditate on images of freedom.
I visualise wide open spaces where nothing blocks my way,
and I am free to move on with my quest across vast inland planes.
The resulting mental spaciousness lifts my spirits.
I wish I could look into a crystal ball and see my way forward.
I would ask it, ‘How do I find a path free of blockages?’
But I have no crystal ball.
I have only my imagination and the seer within me.
So I look within to find the part of me that knows – the shining jewel at my core.
That is where I will find my way.
But I feel trapped, as if stuck in a wall, chained in place.
Struggling is useless.
Only tiny pieces fall away as a result of my efforts.
How will I free myself from whatever binds me?
Surprisingly, just becoming aware that I’m stuck releases me from the chains,
a reminder of the importance of awareness.
But I am still trapped,
free to roam only inside the walls of my self-made prison.
In search of release, I elevate my mind.
I imagine myself flying free,
the stone walls falling away as if they never existed.
I soar high over the obstacles blocking my way,
and all cares, all hopes and fears, and all conceptions, fall away.
They become mere specs in the distance,
fast disappearing behind me.
The mental release of my flight into spaciousness disintegrates my prison walls.
I smile, breathe a sign of relief,
and step out back onto the path
to resume my search for what lies hidden in the depth of my psyche.
A door appears in the rock wall that is blocking my path,
and a ray of hope pierces my heart.
I stumble to the door and heave my weight against it.
I grit my teeth in frustration.
But even a locked door can be opened.
I simply have to find the key.
Suddenly, I find myself in a world of keys.
Keys are everywhere,
but I have no idea which one will unlock the door blocking my progress.
And the likelihood of finding the right one is very small,
This task could be depressing, but I don’t allow it to drag me down.
Chin up, determination engaged,
I choose a key that seems the right size,
but it doesn’t fit, so I try another and another and another …
Randomly searching for the right key is pointless and likely doomed to failure,
so I cease the pointless activity and ask myself, What bars my way?
And what is behind these locked doors, anyway?
Life is full of doors, I realise,
portals to other realms of experience.
Every decision is a doorway.
Do we step across the threshold into another adventure in life
or do we stay in the world of the known?
a speck of light in the darkness that grows
until the light of awareness illuminates my way.
The light falls upon a hole in the wall,
one just large enough for me to see the other side.
I look through.
What do I see?
Not the wide-open planes for which I’d hoped, but a dark place.
Do I really want to go there?
I put trepidation aside and remind myself that I am here to uncover the unknown.
I must know what is in that globe that holds their attention.
A child holding a globe of light?
In an instant of insight, I realise that this path is leading me to my child,
to the little girl I locked away so long ago.
The light of this awareness illuminates a key.
It shines so brightly,
colours flickering around it,
that I’m surprised I didn’t notice it before.
It likely only just arrived.
This is the world of my psyche, after all,
the realm of dreams and imagination
where ordinary rules of reality don’t apply.
I pick it up, keen to use it,
but a myriad of doors appear all around me,
and I don’t know which one it opens.
The doors become corridors of doors that lead off in all directions,
offering a bewildering, but inspiring, array of choices.
Excitement races through me.
I’m eager to explore the worlds to which these portals lead.
But which of these many doors does the key open?
And how does one choose when there are too many choices?
Frustration threatens to overtake me.
But before it can burst forth, the corridors disappear
and just eight doors appear before me
lined up in a neat row.
much more managable.
I step towards the one with the colourful childlike design
and place my hand on the ring.
Decades ago, I left my child self behind,
abandoned her, even took a different name.
It’s time to reconnect.
‘Wait,’ a deep voice reverberates in my mind,
and a cloaked figure steps out of the shadows,
one gnarled hand holding a tortured wooden staff.
I stare, heart pounding,
unwilling to look and yet unable to look away.
No face resides within the hood.
No eyes, no mouth, no nose, nothing.
And yet it speaks.
‘Entry requires a token.’
A bony hand thrusts towards me, palm up.
I place the key in his hand.
‘No. Not that.’
The key crumbles into dust.
My jaw drops,
and I look at him in dismay.
‘If you wish to enter the realm of childhood,’ he says,
you must give up your runes of experience.’
I touch my neck, expecting to feel nothing,
but there is indeed a necklace there.
I look down at the glistening jewels
and grip them tightly.
What am I without my decades of experience?
‘This is what you will discover,’ the gatekeeper says.
I see his point.
Resigned to the demand,
I take a deep breath,
and exhale long and slow.
I release my grip on the metaphorical necklace
and allow layers of experience to wash from my being.
A load I didn’t know I carried lifts from my shoulders.
The runes fly off the golden chain,
leaving it smooth and unblemished.
They settle onto the gatekeeper’s palm,
coating it with gold.
He fades into nothing
and the door clicks open.
To continue following my journey, click on the door to the world of Growing,
or choose a different door.