July, 20 2018

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Labyrinth helps teens find holiday tranquility

ST. GEORGE -- TEENs from SUNHAWK ACADEMY experienced a piece of tranquility on Christmas day.

Students from the RESIDENTIAL TREATMENT PROGRAM for TEENs took part in a labyrinth walk at the Green Valley Spa at the invitation of Mike Rice, PROGRAM coordinator for the spa.

The labyrinth is a pathway in a circular design with ancient origins. The path wraps around and turns until it ends at the center of the circle. A sign outside the labyrinth reads:

"Walking the sacred path relaxes the body, quiets the chattering mind and opens the channels to our intuitive nature."

Rice told the TEENs before they began the walk that everything in the labyrinth is a metaphor. He explained the three Rs of the labyrinth: Releasing, receiving and returning. Once they enter the center, the only way out is back the way they came.

As the students stepped onto the salmon-colored soil path and began to weave their way through the narrow strips of grass, Rice started some relaxing meditational music.

The students walked slowly along the path. Some stopped and just stood in the same place for a few seconds. Others gazed up at the clear blue sky.

When he reached the center, one student named Maxamillian knelt down and appeared to pray.

Sunhawk recreational therapy councilor Kent Christensen accompanied the five TEENs to Green Valley Spa and asked that they only be identified by first names. He said many of the students at the academy are there because of substance-abuse problems.

"My life has had a bunch of bad turns but it was really peaceful walking through it," said one student named Nick.

Before they entered the labyrinth, Rice gave each teen a rock with an empowering word on it. Delecta's rock said "purpose." She said as she entered the labyrinth, she was thinking of where her life was going and the word printed on her rock. As she walked the path she realized that stumbling blocks in her life could be overcome.

"It gave me a clear perspective about what our purpose is in this life," Delecta said.

Maxamillian said he was seeking guidance for his sobriety as he entered the labyrinth and connected it to the pathway's design.

"I started thinking about how there is only one way in and one way out," he said.

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