The Healing Walk – A Labyrinth

Gleaning From Afar

Karie and I met on my first day that I learned of Sacred Cycle. Attending the 2018 Barnbuster Fundraising event, Karie was sharing her story on stage. One after another, before my eyes, the shocking statistics (1 in 4 women in her lifetime) were replaced with faces – survivors in my community. We met again in 2019 at the end-of-season participant retreat as Karie joined us to support and celebrate the current cohort. As I had not interacted with the participant survivors during the program, each time I saw her, I gleaned a bit more of her story.

We take safety, trust, and participant confidentiality seriously. And as such, the Sacred Cycle team is honored when an alumni return to mentor the current participants and/or share how the program continues to be a part of their life. Today you’ll watch and read how three years later, Karie Hassell is still impacted by her time with Sacred Cycle. With intention, I show Karie’s words in italic so you may sit with her thoughts, and her emotions as she shares the creation of a garden labyrinth.

A Tangible Expression Of My Journey

Designing my labyrinth provided me with the canvas where I could see myself and my life’s journey in the path. I know that everyone has a different story linked to life and surviving through violation and victimization. The layers of impact I experienced as a mother were extremely overwhelming. I am trying to guide my young adult children through the comprehension of consent, violation, retaliation through the public, and stabilization of internal processing. Simultaneously, I am trying to understand the actions of others in the world. This video depicts my journey of creation.

“One thing I learned at Sacred Cycle is that our story is part of us, but it doesn’t define us.” Karie

Each viewer comes with a bias and a unique lens. For me, these lessons struck a chord.

  1. As I journey with her I step inside the lessons learned through the program. From dry dusty dirt I began.
  2. To find a place of safety and trust. Sacred Cycle taught me to find a place to be one with myself. The grounded earth provides that in my barefoot feet.
  3. There will be moments when you will be triggered. The bike lessons teach a participant survivor to work through the challenges and then bring them into daily life. Balance rocks are elevated and find the sunshine.
  4. You are not alone as a survivor. Every plant is rescued in hopes that they would flourish.
  5. You may not know your way yet. We are here to guide you through and provide tools to being your own journey of healing. I started with the edge – but it had no meaning, so I created one.

My Past Does Not Have To Be My Future

Without Sacred Cycle’s support, I would not have found the personal fortitude to move forward as the guide of understanding within our family. It was every layer that brought something irreplaceable to my healing. Sharing my labyrinth story can support participants, reach others, and inform the deep need for support of healing trauma from within the depths of our beings.

“You have value and worth. I hope you all realize the value that each of you carries in the scope of humanity… Find yourself. I hope you find yourself.” ~Karie

Connection To Save A Life

Thank you for allowing and inviting me to share my process. This work on my labyrinth connected my time at Sacred Cycle and saved my life. It allowed me to reach deep within to reprogram the reaction for my family members. Each of my family members contributed and watched as I worked through my struggles right in the backyard.

Thank you to my family who supported me in the creation of this:

  • I can proudly credit our oldest son, Cy Hassell, for the video editing.
  • Our youngest son, Camden Hassell, for some mean lifting support as I asked for the crazy pieces to be lifted up to the labyrinth.
  • My husband, Roman Hassell, for never wavering with his love and continuing to be patient as I figure out myself.
  • Most importantly, Courtney Hassell, the artist, and daughter who will break the cycle of victimization because of her strength and our insightful healing conversations that I found the willingness to have with the support of Sacred Cycle.

As we connected over this blog piece, Karie shared that she had moved from the home where the labyrinth was created. It was complete and yet sad to leave behind. I asked would she create a new one at her new home? “It’s winter, so we shall see come Spring.”  The cycle of healing for a survivor lasts a lifetime, I look forward to hearing where Karie’s next walk may lead.

Please join me in bringing healing to more survivors like Kasie by spreading awareness of Sacred Cycle. I invite you to explore where in your life a labyrinth has been or may need to be created. Where will you find your own space? Per Karie, “May you find peace and strength in healing.”


  1. Roberta Walbert on April 17, 2021 at 11:47 am

    Karie, thanks so much for sharing your wonderful story of healing through creativity and creation. Your story is remarkably inspiring and I am so proud of you for finding a way through that is so personal to you and your story through healing from sexual trauma and abuse. I am sad that you had to leave this wonderful creation behind, but I hope you find strength and hope to create a new one at your new home if that is part of your journey, too. I also loved seeing your family, the pets and the rescued vegetation….all such important and meaningful aspects of your healing journey. You are a Warrioress and you and your story mean so much to me, personally. Rock on, my Friend. I love you.

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