\ The Three R's | Christina Brandt

The Three R’s

I’ve been spending a lot of time lately engaged in two practices: designing, building and walking labyrinths, and Sit Spot/Inner Tracking.  Both involve time outdoors, which is always a good thing.

My friend Michael Trotta, and amazing coach and teacher, has been schooling me in the art of “Sit Spot,” sitting outdoors for 30 minutes a day, rain or shine, and just noticing.  When I sit outdoors and get still, I’m noticing the effects of nature on me, and the effect I have upon the environment.  So many questions arise:  What do I bring to the place I sit each day?  What do I want to let go of while I’m there?  What lessons will I be given by the gulls, ducks, water and other life forms that surround me in my seaside spot?  How will I leave my spot and go back to my “regular” life?

Labyrinth with Kwan YinAnd then there’s the labyrinth work.  This month brought an opportunity to create one at a friend’s home in California.  Tucked away in a secluded, sun-dappled spot between two steep hills, I began by drawing the circles that ultimately form the frame of the labyrinth while my friends searched the property for rocks.  We all got into the act of rock placement, noticing which stones “felt” right and finding the spots in which we knew they belonged along the circles.  As we tested out our creation, walking (and sometimes skipping) around and around, I thought of the three phases of the labyrinth journey:   

  • Releasing – walking into the labyrinth and letting go of whatever stresses, mind chatter, or concerns came before entering,
  • Receiving – reaching the center and pausing to receive whatever messages or insights come as a result of being there, and
  • Returning – taking whatever you’ve learned back out into the world.
Sitting, and walking, in nature provide wonderful opportunities to practice the Three R’s, but you can also use them while sitting at your desk, driving, or standing in line at the grocery store.  Ask yourself:
What can you release in this moment?  Judgment about the person who cut you off while driving?  Worries about money?
What are you meant to receive?  Sometimes the insights are obvious, and sometimes you’ll need to look for a pattern – how is what you’re seeing in front of you like something that goes on in your life?
How will you take what you receive and use it in the world? The world is waiting for you to share your gifts.  I can’t wait to see what you create!

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