Last Friday, my son’s school hosted its annual Advent Walk. Akin to a labyrinth, this event invites the children to walk purposefully, silently, to the center of a large spiral. At the center of the spiral stands a single candle, burning brightly. It’s enchanting to see each child pause, carefully light the small candle they carry, and continue their sacred walk, warm light illuminating their gleaming faces. The experience reminded me of labyrinth walks, which are similarly special.
What make these walks so extraordinary? Is there some divine magic to the patterns? I’ve come to realize that the magic comes from inside us — it’s the magic of presence. The pattern of these walks is mesmerizing. They beg for our undivided attention. They flood our senses with the ordinary. They invite us to look just one step ahead and feel the weight of our feet on the ground. As our senses tune in to the present moment, our monkey brains are silenced. For a few minutes, we have quiet minds and superhuman senses.
Can you imagine what it would be like to walk in and out of our offices like this? What if you treated every walk down the hall as an opportunity to empty your mind, feel the earth holding you up, and attend to what is before you? What if every doorway represented stepping into sacred space? How might we make space feel sacred in the workplace?
Once again, it’s not magic – it’s presence, and every one of us is capable of it. It requires noticing what is right in front of you, which always involves people, directly or indirectly. Presence leads us to listen so deeply that our minds let go of every distraction. Presence invites us to feel the weight of each move we make, to light our candles, and to leave our light behind for others to enjoy. Happy Holidays, friends – enjoy the walk.