While Charlotte is rife with places to go and things to see, as a Charlotte native the most fun I’ve ever had was submerging myself into one of the city’s hidden gems: a labyrinth.
A labyrinth is more than an eye-catching piece of stonework; it’s an ancient spiritual tool used for meditation. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth is not for getting lost but for finding yourself. Despite the twists and turns, there are no dead ends. There is only a direct path to the center. Charlotte is home to fifteen of these hidden wonders.
When I arrived at the labyrinth and stepped out of my car, I was greeted by the peaceful sound of lightly pinging windchimes. It wasn’t a windy day, just a soft breeze rustling through the trees. The sound of the chimes inspired a sense of peace and childhood wonder, putting me in the perfect mindset with which to walk the labyrinth.
As I walked the wooded path toward the labyrinth, I could hear the rush of a nearby waterfall. It added to the calming sense of being surrounded by nature. In a place known for its lively banking and technology sectors, it’s incredible to step into a natural setting within the same city limits.
Before walking the labyrinth, I decided to sit in the shade of the oak trees and think about my relationship with this city. I had just arrived back in Charlotte, my home, after seven years of trying to find my way in the world. I knew I was on the right path, but still had a lot of fear and self-doubt holding me back.
I decided, in that grove of trees, that it was time to release that fear. It had been a few years since I walked a labyrinth. Personal development had always been my passion, so I thought I’d give it a try and see what happened.
I walked the labyrinth, my only company a nearby rabbit, silent other than repeating my newfound mantra: I release fear. Finally, I stepped into the center and out of my comfort zone, putting my arms in the air and yelling “I am not afraid!”
As the words left my mouth, a hawk swooped down and grabbed the rabbit, flying swiftly into the distance with its newfound treasure. In this place designed for meditation and awareness, I had witnessed the spiritual representation of courage carry off the spiritual animal representing fear. It was one of those strangely profound moments that brought both tears and a smile to my face.
In taking time to explore the hidden wonders of my home city, I experienced a powerful moment that would go on to be the motivating factor in my livelihood. Charlotte would be the place I’d re-establish my roots and help other women bloom to reach their full potential by founding Bloom Leadership. This quiet moment of self-care reestablished my belief in the power of Whole Person Development--balancing the different aspects of your life-- for success.
Charlotte has a lot of beautiful places, that are not only special and unique but magical to experience. To really experience the beauty of Charlotte, and to work on your spiritual development, seek out one of the many labyrinths in the area or join one of the local labyrinth walking groups. Be sure to invite a friend; sharing the experience is what keeps the magic alive.
Photo Source: Charlotte Labyrinth Group