Maze or Meander…. Walking the Labyrinth of Life

I was speaking to a friend recently who was planning to walk a Labyrinth in the UK.  Walking labyrinths is an ancient custom.  In them, you walk an intricate combination of paths or passages in which it is difficult to find one’s way, or to reach the exit.

This piqued my interest and upon reading up on Labyrinth’s, I came to realize the correlation between Labyrinth’s and life as we experience it.

There are two types of Labyrinths:

  • a Maze, with repeatedly dividing paths, forcing the traveler to choose among options, some of which may be dead ends, while others double back on themselves, so that the traveler has no assurance of ever reaching the goal and is constantly faced with decisions and frustrations, but also may experience the relief and surprise of having made the right choices leading to the goal; or
  • a Meander, with a single, undivided path and no choices to make other than traveling onward through the winding pattern to an assured goal. The meandering pattern may tease the traveler by leading now inward, then suddenly outward, but eventually it arrives surely at the goal.

Some labyrinths are playful, providing surprises along the path, or obstacles to be overcome.

Other labyrinths are artistic because of the elaborately beautiful patterns they make.

Life can feel like a Labyrinth – a series of paths to choose from and obstacles along the way.

Writer Martha Beck sums it up perfectly… “We want to solve the maze and get out, to the place where we imagine there will be no problems to solve.  I should be going faster, getting somewhere.

We didn’t enter life to get it done. There is no place not worth revisiting. We double back to find the pieces of ourselves that still clutch the same issues like a baby clutching its pacifier. Compassion invited us to this unbearably repetitive, slow, complex path of self-discovery, to show us that only when we surrender our idea of how things should be going do we notice that the entire thing is breathtakingly beautiful.”

In your life, are you in a maze or a labyrinth? And… most importantly are you enjoying it?


Catherine Munro is the Chief of Staff and Joy Facilitator at Change My Life Coaching.  Catherine’s role as Chief of Staff is to give Executive Support to our CEO and COO. She is the go-to resource for the senior team to lead key corporate initiatives and to get special projects done which promote and support our corporate goals, mission and vision, as well as managing the day-to-day of the executive office. Catherine’s role as Joy Facilitator is to lead, support and articulate the culture of Change My Life Coaching and to be there for our clients, from their first initial contact and as they move through their coaching journey.  You can reach her at

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