My first steps onto the Labyrinth at Unity Village were steps of faith. I had no plan, no instructions for how to walk a labyrinth or prepare for the experience.

The parking lot was empty, so I knew I would be walking solo, which was good since I wasn’t sure what I was doing. It was winter, only 32 degrees outside, so I was bundled up from head to toe. I found the entrance of the labyrinth and took a couple deep breaths. My eyes went to the one round, bluish stone that was placed at the entrance. I focused on the stone as I thought about my intention. Why was I there? Where should I place my attention? I knew the thoughtfully laid, stone path beneath my feet was special. Many hours of planning and labor went into its creation. After about a minute, my mind went to gratitude. I decided my walk into the center of the labyrinth would focus on gratitude.

By the time I entered the center of the labyrinth, I was humbled by an immense feeling of gratitude for my life. My heart was open and filled with goodness.

A Focus on Gratitude

I moved at a pretty good pace to stay warm. As I began, I started to think about all the things I was grateful for in my life. I went down the list of people close to me—my boys, my family, my friends, and my coworkers. I was very specific and said each person’s name. I just kept repeating: I am grateful for “fill in the blank.” I thought about my neighbor Mike who mows my side yard to help me out, my friend Brenda who checks in because it’s been a while since we spoke, my mom who calls from out of state to tell me about a new health tip she learned while watching TV. I moved on to things like my house, the birds and wildlife in my neighborhood, and my ability to provide a safe home for my boys.

The labyrinth at Unity Village

I began to think about my health, my education, my childhood and then, all the life lessons I have experienced. I thought about all the “missteps” that guided me to who I am today, to the happier, healthier version of me now versus the younger woman of five, 10, 20, and 30 years ago. I recognized I was truly grateful for all the times in my life that appeared dark, lonely, and not fun at all. By the time I entered the center of the labyrinth, I was humbled by an immense feeling of gratitude for my life. My heart was open and filled with goodness.

My time in the middle of the labyrinth was short; it was cold. I only lingered long enough to decide where to put my attention on the way out.

What came next is where the magic happened for me. I was already feeling the benefits of walking the labyrinth, so I decided to simply be open. I would allow whatever was supposed to show up, to show up. For several minutes I just felt good, content with my experience and at peace. My mind wandered a bit, and then out of nowhere I started to feel this overwhelming sense of oneness. That I was part of everything. I was everything and everything was me. Tears started running down my cheeks. I felt so loved. I spent the last 10 minutes of my walk enjoying this feeling and thinking about the gift I just had given myself.

The labyrinth at Unity Village

Embracing the Unknown

In the days to follow, I reflected on my first walk through the labyrinth, how I trusted the unknown and what I learned from the experience. I realized I often get stuck in the space of getting ready to do something or doing it the right way. I am discovering there are many right ways. Part of the beauty and delight of life is not knowing how to do something or how it will unfold, and faithfully doing it anyway. Embracing the unknown. My labyrinth walk taught me it is better to do it with imperfection than not at all.

I walked through the labyrinth with gratitude, and I received grace. Pure grace.

About the Author

Alicia Poole is the senior communications manager for Unity World Headquarters. She is the mother of two boys and is an integrative health coach specializing in balance for mind, body, and soul. Visit

Alicia Poole


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