By Megan Repass, MS, LADAC-II, CCM, EAGALA-C, Director of Adventure and Equine Therapy at The Ranch
Ana was in treatment for drug addiction and working on her tendency toward morbid rumination. Obsessive thought overwhelmed her, making it almost impossible for her to get out of her own head. But as someone who’d spent much of her life in the city, Ana didn’t find outdoor activities appealing. She hated bugs and she didn’t even feel comfortable with the smell of fresh air because it was so unfamiliar.
And then Ana walked the labyrinth.
She stepped mindfully and slowly, allowing herself to feel the earth with each step. Navigating the many unexpected turns forced Ana to focus on the task at hand, interrupting the thought patterns that had held her mind hostage. When Ana found her way to the center of the labyrinth, she imagined her pain being released into the earth. She then turned around and walked out the same way she came in, embracing a renewed attitude about the outdoors and a powerful sense of hope.