Healing Lesson From The Labyrinth

Consciousness, Healing, Personal

Center of LabyrinthI was told in advance that the Crystal Labyrinth I was going to with my friend Amy was “magical”.  Lately I have been told frequently to “look to nature” for answers, clarity and healing and this experience surpassed all my expectations.  I had several lessons “shown” to me in the Labyrinth by just being conscious with nature and the one I want to share is one I feel many mothers can benefit from.  I look forward to sharing my lesson learned from a mommy bird and her young and ask you to share lessons you have learned from nature.

The above picture is the center of the Crystal Labyrinth.  My friend Amy and I had walked for an hour and a half to reach the center.  We both walked slowly taking in all the beauty the Labyrinth has to offer.  We saw thousands of flowers along the way, heard the free range chickens and birds in the background and I had already received an important life message and was digesting that when I reached the center shortly after Amy.  Amy and I talked a little, soaked up some sun and she was on her way back out of the Labyrinth.  I knew I wanted to stay there a while longer and think more about what I had experienced so far, ask some more questions, listen for answers and set some more intentions but something happened that made me forget everything for the moment and just “pay attention”.

BirdsMommy Robin

A Mother Robin swooped into the structure and I heard the baby birds in the nest begin to chirp.  I noticed the nest nestled in the top of the gazebo and saw their little mouths open wide as they felt their mother in their vicinity.  I watched the mommy robin.  She had 3 worms in her mouth and I saw her hop over near her babies and look at them.  There were 5 -6 mouths wide open expecting nourishment.  She went back over to the center plank and dropped those worms on there and swooped out of the gazebo once again.  The babies all closed their mouths and nestled back in close together.  Not crying and chirping, just knowing their mom would return.  The mom bird went back out to get more food and she came back when she had enough to nourish ALL her children.

The Lesson

As a mom I am often torn between taking time for myself versus time with my children.  As my intentions, ambitions and business have grown I am faced with more of those decisions.  Many times I have allowed myself to feel guilty for choosing work instead of time with my wonderful children.  I have been told recently (and for a while now) that my limits are in the fact that I want to help everyone else before I help myself.   I have been told I need to “be more selfish” and TAKE time for myself for personal things and for work. Honestly I HAVE begun taking more time — I take yoga dance and belly dance lessons and am making more and more time for friends and networking in my community.  I have found that the more time I DO take the more conscious I am in those moments I am with my children and in everything I do. It truly becomes QUALITY time NOT quantity time.

The mommy robin assessed the situation “Do I have ENOUGH for ALL my children or do I have more work to do?”  I watched as she hopped back and forth close to the babies and further away seemingly deciding if there was enough.  She left the worms and went back to continue working to get more for her babies.  Her babies opened their mouths to receive and were calling out to her when she was close – when she went away they were again silent, patiently waiting for her to return.

I KNOW the value of spending time with my kids when I am nourished, jobs for the moment complete, fully conscious and ready to enjoy my time with them.  Yet sometimes I do check on them… half conscious — thoughts on work and they do call me to them but I can tell they can also sense when I am not FULLY THERE. My children are FINE while I am away and they know I will return – the question is “how DO I want to return?”.  Do I want to come to them unsure, thinking about work and feeling like I only have half of myself to offer them?  Or do I want to carry through on what I need to get done for myself, for work and come to them fully conscious and with my whole self and full nourishment to offer them?

Having been an at home mom for the last ten years it has been about quantity time.  My children are respectful, kind, funny, smart and I do attribute that (at least partly) to the love and attention my husband and I have given them.  I am lucky to have my mom who can watch the kids sometimes, to have a neighborhood where the kids can safely play with lots of friends and that they have tennis lessons daily to keep them active.  As a mom we often feel we NEED to spend all our time with our children but what does that say about how we are caring for ourselves? What example does it set for them if I am half there and wandering back to check email or “work for 5 minutes”?  This is something I have been struggling with a while and I am so grateful I got to witness the answer as shown to me by the mommy robin.  Yes, nature DOES hold lessons if we are quiet and aware enough to watch and listen.

Do you make sure you are fully present when you are with your children or with your loved ones?  Do you listen and watch when you are in nature? What lessons have YOU learned from nature?You know I LOVE comments and sharing! 🙂

20 Comments

  1. Steven Aitchison

    Jenny

    what a beautiful post. I totally understand what you mean about feeling guilty, thinking that you should be spending more time with the kids, however as you rightly put it it’s about quality rather than the quantity of time you spend with them. I even feel guilty when I buy myself clothes as I feel my kids could be doing with ‘this or that’ when in fact they have everythng they need.

    Anyway, great post, who would think a robin could teach you so much.

    p.s. Belly Dancing? 🙂
    .-= Steven Aitchison´s last blog ..Sunday Siesta – July 12th =-.

    • Jenny Mannion

      Hi Steven,

      Thank you — I am so happy you enjoyed it. Ahh the spending money guilt too — got that one covered as well — BUT I’m workin’ on it! 🙂 As you said, the kids have everything they need. Don’t know why it is so natural for me to do and buy things for everyone else but myself but I am realizing how that sends SUCH the wrong signals out to the Universe.

      I took belly dancing 15 years ago and loved it. I have a good friend who is in a troupe here and after seeing one of her performances and seeing her teacher I said “her – I want her to teach me and I HAVE to practice again”. 🙂 I’ve been having fun with it and though I am no where near ever considering a public appearance I will say I love the music and movements, it gives me a helluva workout and I have SOO much fun!

      It is amazing a robin could teach me so much Steven and I learned a lot of other things as well from the walk. When we take ourselves away from the noise and can just “be” with nature and see how effortless things flow — we can certainly learn a LOT. 🙂

      Thanks so much for commenting. I REALLY appreciate it. 🙂

      Love,
      Jenny

  2. Lance

    Hi Jenny,
    As a father, I can relate. And witnessing also what I’ve seen from my wife – I think a mother has an even stronger instinct to be there for her children.

    So, I think it’s easier though for me to separate from our kids and “go to work”. And it really is about the quality of our time with our kids – quantity alone doesn’t build loving and nurturing relationships. No matter what the quantity, what’s truly important is the quality of that time together. And I’m not saying that quantity is of no importance. In fact, my wife has been home with our kids definitely for the first several years, and still most of the time yet now.

    Anyway, Jenny – I really think what you’re doing is good. It is important to take care of “you”, and then you can be even more to your family. And that’s pretty awesome, especially considering the only thing I’ve witnessed has been an amazing love and caring for your whole family.

    Nature. It’s where I find so many lessons in life. And I think that’s because nature is just something so natural, so from a Higher Source. And nature just has a way of things working themselves out. I believe so deeply that nature is really at our core, that deep down we’re much like our natural world. And that’s why we connect so well with it – it’s ‘in’ us. If I’m feeling stress, all I have to do is get outside, into our backyard, and just let all the natural elements penetrate my soul. And when this happens, I feel peace. I feel connected. I feel “right”. And the world is good…

    Jenny, thank you for this wonderful post today. Your lesson from the robin was especially touching…
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

  3. Evelyn Lim

    I used to not be fully present when I was with my kids. I would be thinking about work. Now, with my kids in school, I find it easier to manage. I make sure that everything gets done before they come home. So when I am with them, I am 100% present or almost!
    .-= Evelyn Lim´s last blog ..Life Between Lives Regression Therapy Review =-.

  4. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Lance,

    I know dads can relate and especially dads who are very involved in their children’s lives like you are. 🙂 This post can also be carried through to ANY relationship. When we have not taken the time to take care for ourselves and make sure we have enough to offer someone our complete attention — no one wins….

    Quality is what matters. I am grateful I got to spend the quantity time for the first 6 – 10 years of both of my children’s lives with them almost 24/7 but now I must allow them to grow in their independence and checking on them frequently when I am not even “there 100%” is not serving anyone.

    We do have a very loving family. 🙂 Lots of I love yous, helping each other, laughs and hugs. I am very blessed. 🙂 That’s part of what makes it hard sometimes to take that time away — I deeply love spending time with them. BUT I also want to help save the world. 😉 Well.. I’ll settle for just living my passions through work and helping others to realize their own power and heal.

    I also LOVE my friends and the classes I am taking. I was just talking with friends about this yesterday — we all have SO many passions it is now about picking our TOP passions and not letting the others completely fall away. Not such a bad place to be in. 🙂

    Nature, ahhhh — I agree — my backyard and the park by my house are my places to connect daily. We are very much connected to nature and I also feel it is in us. We can all learn a lot from silencing the world we are so used to being connected to and just “listening and watching” in nature.

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Lance. I deeply appreciate your support and friendship.

    Love,
    Jenny

  5. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Evelyn,

    I am in that ALMOST category. 🙂 When they were in school it was easier for me — now with summer break I sometimes struggle with what to do…. I have so many projects yet want to have fun and enjoy the summer with them…. so am making choices on how to get my stuff done to spend that time with them and not let summer pass us by. 🙂

    Getting up between 4-5AM helps. It is so quiet here — just the birds chirping and me. Ahhhh… I DO love nature. 🙂 Funny — everyone used to call me city girl and while I do enjoy visiting I find such bliss being out in nature and living surrounded by grass and mountains. 🙂

    Ok — I am rambling. LOL Thank you Evelyn. I always love to hear from you. I haven’t read your latest — off to check it out. You know I LOVE your writing! 🙂

    Much Love, xo
    Jenny

  6. Ray Mannion

    We do miss you when you are away! However, I thought of you several times and every time I did, I imagined you with a smile on your face, warmth in your heart, and love in your soul. One day in 10 years isn’t too much to ask! Your post reminded me of swimming. Competitive swimmers know that taking a breath while swimming slows them down. Yet, if they don’t slow down a tad to breath, they will surely lose the race. Back when you were “sick”, you would never have taken the day like you did. I hope your post inspires more women to take a day for themselves!
    .-= Ray Mannion´s last blog ..Oneonta Sidewalk Sales Festival 7/18/08 =-.

  7. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Honey (Ray),

    I consider myself so lucky to have your never ending support in me taking time for myself. If I didn’t miss you and the kids so badly it’d be easier…why do you guys gotta be so great?! LOL 😉 I had a perfect day as you know and it was wonderful to come back and take a walk with you and fill you in. I love the analogy with the swimmer and it makes so much sense.

    Love you madly. Yea – date night tonight — wild and crazy as we are to the town meeting we go! 😉 But TOMORROW is Harry Potter!!!! Whoo Hoo!

    Love with all my heart, xo
    Jen

  8. Stephen

    I’ve learned from nature that existence is its own aesthetic. Somewhere, where no person can see it, a flower is blooming for itself. Just because it can. Nature is amazing. It is a great teacher of principles that underpin everything. Existence itself is amazing to me. It’s a constant dazzling show if a person takes a moment to stop and watch.

    Stephen
    .-= Stephen´s last blog ..Signs Your Diet is Right for You – Part 2 =-.

  9. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Stephen,
    You got it…. it is ALL in taking that moment to stop and watch. Nature is just one of the ways we can learn and a beautiful way at that. 🙂 The more I learn to quiet my mind — the more amazed I become. Wow — I wish these were some of the lessons taught in schools… I am very grateful I learned while my kids are young so I can share with them. Thanks so much for your beautiful words Stephen.
    Love,
    Jenny

  10. Jonathan - Advanced Life Skills

    Nature is such a good teacher if we are willing to take the time to learn. Humans my struggle to achieve balance, but the rest of creation exists in a perfect state of balance and harmony. What a perfect teacher.
    .-= Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills´s last blog ..Is Your Life Satisfying or Disappointing? =-.

  11. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Jonathan,

    You are so right – nature exists in such balance and harmony. Also abundance… seeing thousands of flowers and trees just makes me realize how abundant this Universe is at ALL times. Nature is the perfect teacher! Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to comment. Greatly appreciated.
    Love,
    Jenny

  12. Bradi

    Wow, I see so much of myself in you. I returned to work to launch my passion which was a HUGE adjustment for the entire family. Below is a blog in my son’s own words relating to this topic:

    What does it feel like to have a mommy that works?

    Sometimes it makes me feel um…like, happy that my mom is going back to work and I try to be happy because I know that mommy is happy and whenever my mom is happy, I’m happy.

    But, sometimes, it feels um, … like I feel really upset that I don’t see my mom anymore and don’t like to be with babysitters. When she comes home late and I don’t see her all day I try to hide my tears.

    Well, um…when I get off of the bus I hope my mom is home. When there’s a babysitter I wish that it can be my mommy. Sometimes I have to get used to it that when the babysitter is here… she’ll have fun with me.

    I know my mom is making money for the family and will use it on stuff for us like sports and places that are fun.

    What I feel inside is that I love my mommy and always will.

    Jack, age 8

    Knowing how he feels pushes me to focus on that quality time you mentioned and what ever is left, is for me.

    Thx for the great post!
    Bradi
    Co-Founder
    MyWorkButterfly.com
    @bradinathan
    .-= Bradi´s last blog ..Tatters =-.

  13. Suzie Cheel

    Ah Nature, I learn so much from nature, It helps me get clarity by the gratitude I feel for the beauty I am surrounded by each day. The magic of the sunrise and sunsets I experience most days.
    Also the power of nature to shape and change the coastline that we have seen after the last storms we had here.

    Thanks for Sharing
    Love and hugs
    Suzie
    .-= Suzie Cheel´s last blog ..Law of Attraction Mind Movies =-.

  14. Amy Park

    Jenny…
    It was a magical day. Sharing my experience with you was the beginning of yet another magical year on my path. What I received was a loud message from the universe:
    “You no longer have to ASK to receive…you are receiving…now EXPERIENCE what you have received and use it for joy.”

    I was so busy telling the universe I was ready that I wasn’t recognizing I could simply enjoy the gifts I had already received! And one of my most precious, most beautiful, and most amazing gifts I was given this year…charter memebr of my solid soul group: Jenny Mannion.
    I am blessed. So fortunate. Thank you Jenny for a year of peace: Now on to my year of JOY!

  15. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Amy,

    🙂 Thank you! You are constantly an inspiration — WOWWEEE have you manifested over the last year!!!! Yes, you have MUCH to be joyful about! Thank YOU for inviting me to share such a special day with you.

    It never ceases to amaze me how far we have come and how much fun we have learning and questioning together. Watch out RI! I am soooo grateful you are such a close friend AND that you a major part of The Living Matrix project as well!!!!

    Love you tons, xoxo
    Jenny

  16. Amy Jewell / Cirklagirl

    I was just reading about how labyrinths are meant to stir up the things that you are working on internally as you walk through them. I thought that was very interesting.

    It has been clear that you are often conflicted between family life and the work that you are doing on this planet. I am too. Although it is obvious that the work that we are doing as mothers and parents is very important, I think that often we forget that we are also modeling to our children a life that is fulfilled through making big strides in the world, as I know you are. Balance is key. I am so grateful for the work that you do, Jenny!
    .-= Amy Jewell / Cirklagirl´s last blog ..July Giveaway =-.

  17. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Amy,

    Oh boy – yeah the labyrinth stirred things up alright! I had a few amazing experiences and would love to share the other major one with you as well. 🙂

    We are modeling to our children and my kids KNOW that helping others is THE best thing you can do. Finding joy in your work and using that to bring happiness to others is a beautiful thing. I feel so blessed to do what I do. Thank you so much for your kind words and support Amy. I look forward to working more with you. I am getting the balance down a bit better…. for me appts. are necessary so that the day and weeks don’t get overbooked — so I book my belly dance lessons, yoga dance, “family time” in to ensure all the truly important things in my life get tended to…. My gardens are a bit sad this year but I am hoping to make that up to them soon…. the rain has made the weeds explode faster than I can tend to them….

    Thanks again — check out if there are any labyrinths near you – it is an amazing experience.

    Love,
    Jenny

  18. Mary Riposo

    Hi Jenny,
    Small world! I love the Crystal Labyrinth in Brookfield. It’s about an hour from me (Syracuse). Gives me hope that we may get to meet in person one of these days after all.
    Blessings,
    Mary

  19. Jenny Mannion

    Hi Mary,

    That is SUCH a magical place and I certainly would LOVE to meet you there sometime to share the experience. (It’s an hour from me as well) I am honored you would want to meet with me Mary – your work is hugely inspirational. Thank you for all you do and for commenting. 🙂

    Love,
    Jenny

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