Just as the Mad Hatter asks in Lewis Carroll’s quintessential Alice in Wonderland, "why is a raven like a writing desk?”, I too spent most of this week deep in thought about all of life’s mysteries. Most of the time I am able to gain clarity quickly, as long as I let my ego out of the picture so that I can clearly hear guidance from Spirit. Admittedly, the week after Valentine’s Day, I allowed my ego to let me get into that icky, uncomfortable space where I question everything around me from my relationships, down to my hairstyle.
Looking for some clarity through the fogginess I had been experiencing over the week, I knew I needed to go outside and commune with Mother Nature. So yesterday, dragging my feet, upset that I had sabotaged myself and missed a group hike earlier in the day, as I was getting out of the car and walking up to the base of the mountain, I heard Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter ask why is a raven like a writing desk to which I heard a response of "why is a mountain is like a labyrinth?”.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the term labyrinth, it is synonymous with the word maze, though it most often takes a unicursal, or single path to complete the route. The first mention of a labyrinth comes from Greek mythology, where it was designed to hold a minotaur captive (much as my ego kept my emotions hostage over the past week). In a spiritual sense, a labyrinth is treated as a walking meditation, often asking a question upon entering the path and having received the answer by the time the journey is complete.
After about an hour of hiking, I got to a spot on the mountain and stopped to meditate, I was no longer angry with myself and had begun to start feeling magic surrounding me again. I could once again see the blue, wispy clouds of energy arising from the desert plants; I could feel the energy of Mother Nature clearing and washing out of the yuck that I had been stuck in all week. I felt my breathing shift from shallow and superficial to deep and restorative, filling each cell with oxygen on the inhale and carrying out the toxic waste with each exhale.
Once I had taken in the beauty around me and got safely down the mountain, I realized that I knew why a mountain was like a labyrinth: when we take the path of least resistance we find the answers we seek. When we sit in resistance and keep wondering why things are happening to us instead of looking at how we chose to react to the situation, we sabotage ourselves and trap ourselves in victim mode. I had spent so much time stewing in the why of my feelings and situation, I felt like I was trapped in Houdini’s Chinese water torture cell being suffocated. I had kept myself prisoner to my emotions, looking to the past at how the emotions spiraled out of control, and not looking to the future, for how to learn the lesson and finally move through them.
So, why is a raven like a writing desk? I don’t know, but I do know that it is okay to not know the answers to all of life’s questions. If all the questions are answered, what else is there to do, and I know I'm certainly not done here yet. But, if we let ego get in the way, we spend all this time pondering the correlations between a bird and a piece of furniture, desperately seeking the answer, not realizing that the man who posed the question was indeed, mad. But then again, all the best people are!
Love and Light,
xo Arielle Sterling
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Arielle is a best-selling author, holistic life coach and intuitive energy healer.