When the heart weeps for what it's lost, the soul rejoices for what it's found.
– Sufi verse
All human beings experience loss. Over the arc of a lifetime everyone is touched by death.
Can there be joy after grief?
Shelley’s inspirational story illustrates why the labyrinth is the perfect metaphor for human life. When walking a labyrinth, at one moment, the way ahead is clear. At a turn in the path life’s messy contradictions reveal our stories are full of surprises, uncertainty and paradox.
Her story begins in the Summer of Love in the Sixties. She has a vision of a spiritually centered life: grounded in truth, non-violence and beauty.
She has two children by the time she is 20 and raises them in a high minded ashram. Disillusionment follows its disintegration but she pushes forward toward new forms of spiritual connection.
As she hits her 50th birthday she is blind-sided by tragedy. She finds her spiritual muscles are woefully inadequate to the monumental task.
Full of sorrow and disorientation she turns to the labyrinth to find her way out of the living hell she is in.
With an awareness of the finality and closeness of death she discovers the efficacious power tools: black humor, irony and self-deprecation. In time they become the crown jewels of humility and forgiveness.
As she repeatedly circles toward the center of the labyrinth she finds her way to a no bulls**t connection with the common miracles which are the fabric of LIFE.