It’s autumn and corn mazes are popping up. Do you prefer to walk in a maze or a labyrinth? Take a moment and think which of these two walking experiences intrigues you.
First, mazes. Corn mazes are giant puzzles that you walk through. Farms take cornfields and cut paths into them. But to add more of a challenge there are loops and dead ends to get you lost. And since the corn is usually taller than you are, it is easy to get lost (and for some frustrated). People with strong problem solving skills love mazes. Maze play will help you find a maze near you.
On the other hand, perhaps mazes are not your thing, too frustrating or not relaxing. Perhaps you prefer a path where you can think and ponder and follow a clearly defined path. You might find you prefer a labyrinth. Take a look world-wide labyrinth locator to find one near you.
Labyrinths are in parks, faith places, hospitals, prisons, schools, universities and many other places. There are no rules for walking a labyrinth but many find if they follow the path slowly a calming sense can emerge. Some people pause in the middle to reflect, others turn around and walk right back out. Whatever suits you, it’s your path to follow.
Mazes and labyrinths can be helpful images for helping us navigate a challenge.
Think about those challenges on your plate right now. Perhaps it’s a new job, a colleague you are struggling with, or even a new business you are starting that is not growing how you expected. Ask yourself, do I want to try and look at this challenge as a maze or a labyrinth?
If you are inclined to think about challenges as mazes then you will want to move quickly, explore lots of different options, and identify the problem to solve while you are walking or running the maze (most children run mazes!). By moving, thinking quickly, you can narrow in on a solution and jump out of the maze with a clear decision.
Or, perhaps, you are more deliberate in your navigation of challenges. A labyrinth might be a better image to help you navigate. Start with identifying the goal (the center of the labyrinth)…where do you want to end up. Then slowly walk towards it and reflect on the pros and cons. You might find the thinking and reflecting helps you connect the dots. Once you are in the middle of the labyrinth, you might pause to see if you have settled on a solution or if you need to walk the labyrinth again as you explore another option.
Two options, a maze or a labyrinth. Which do you prefer?
Mazes are amazing images for people who like to execute on tasks and move forward quickly. Labyrinths are grounding images for people who need more time, reflection and space to explore the options. Both are great options and you may get skillful in using both strategies.
Get outside, try a labyrinth or maze near you and see how your solutions change by moving and walking on a path that suits your style, strengths, and approaches.
The choice is yours. Enjoy the walking!