Emily Simpson will talk about how building the Centennial Park Labyrinth in Sydney became a spiritual quest which transformed her life. From her initial vision of a labyrinth in that much-loved, Heritage listed park, to the daunting task of having to raise $500K from a community that knew nothing about labyrinths, to learning how to navigate a resistant bureaucratic maze and finally arriving at the splendid opening ceremony of a landmark labyrinth in the heart of Sydney.
That first day,
before I knew
its path would become
my way home,
some part of me
fell into the labyrinth.
A thread of my cocoon
must have snagged
on the silence at its centre
and begun, very gently,
Step by step,
with every labyrinth that I walked
it continued to unravel,
years of carefully spun layers,
leaving traces of presence in its wake.
Today, I felt the tug
of the final fibres being claimed,
my life now woven deep
into that meandering path.
A new story emerging from the old
with a shape and a voice
by Emily Simpson
Emily Simpson has been an actress, an entrepreneur and a poet. She founded 'Full Bloom' in 1995 to make beautiful underwear for pregnant women. Their philosophy was one of dynamic self-acceptance with a sizing guide of Small, Medium, Large, Gorgeous, Extra-Gorgeous and Goddess.
During that time, she won several marketing awards including being a State Finalist for the Telstra Businesswoman of the Year Awards in 2000. She sold the business in 2006 and has since self-published two books of poetry.
She first walked a labyrinth at the Grace Cathedral in 2009 and went on to become a Certified Veriditas Facilitator and Board Member from 2011- 2013. She built Australia’s first sandstone labyrinth in Centennial Park, Sydney with funds donated by an inspired community. It was opened in September 2014 with the blessing of wisdom keepers from 11 different faith traditions.
She now manages the Sydney Labyrinth website and Facebook page, organizes facilitated group walks at the Centennial Park Labyrinth on the first Sunday of every month and is hosting a Veriditas Summer School in Sydney in January. She is also planning the first Australian Labyrinth Dreaming Festival for September 2017.