Nickie Lynn might say the U.S. is under siege from two pandemics.
There’s the coronavirus, obviously, but Lynn spends her energy fighting a different sort of sickness — one of the soul.
“Everyone is at such a high level of stress and anxiety. And they’re trying to figure out in their own heads how to deal with it. But it’s not their heads they have to worry about,” she said in a recent interview. “Our spirits are under attack. We are under spiritual warfare right now, and you can see the evil day in and day out… my job is to help people become aware they need to armor up, however they armor up.”
That’s why Lynn is opening up a new business called the Urban Sanctuary in downtown Enumclaw, to give people a space where they feel comfortable exploring and growing their spiritual side.
“This is a place for healing,” she said.
The sanctuary, located at 1221 Myrtle Avenue, plans to open May 1. Many know that date as “May Day,” which is a celebration of workers, but it’s also World Labyrinth Day, when people from across the world traverse their labyrinths at the same time to “walk as one.”
Lynn is big into labyrinths, having earned a Masters in pastoral studies and has been certified in pastoral ministry, spiritual direction, and labyrinth facilitation. In fact, her own home-made labyrinth is one of the first things you may see when entering the sanctuary, covering almost the entire floor of the room.
Labyrinths are used in many cultures and world religions (or “wisdom paths,” as Lynn puts them) as a tool for meditation and self-reflection — prayer in motion.
“We tend to think our prayer life has to be very static and very stoic and very quiet and don’t move. That’s what we were taught,” she said. “So I offer alternatives to that — walking meditation. Walking prayer. Praying through creativity.”
In addition to offering the labyrinth to anyone who needs a private moment, Lynn also offers spiritual direction consultation and creative expression opportunities.
“I offer sessions for you to dabble in paint, journaling, collage-making, calligraphy, fiber arts, clay, beading, and more,” Lynn writes on her website. “It’s not about perfection, it’s about your expression.”
You can join Lynn during the Urban Sanctuary’s grand opening on May 1. The ribbon cutting is at noon, and will be followed by a variety of World Labyrinth Day activities. For more information about the Urban Sanctuary, head to visiturbansanctuary.com/.