Sitting in Limbo 6 tips to get more out of your liminal experience!
liminality (from the Latin word l?men, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of a rite of passage, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete. (Wikipedia)
How many of you have experienced the disorientation of this liminal space over the past 10 weeks of Sheltering in Place (10 weeks..WHOA!)? We are all stuck in a seemingly endless new normal of social distancing and working from home without clear guidelines for landing in the next phase. As a result, many of us are feeling a little edgy with the uncertainty and extreme challenges this global pandemic presents. Liminal spaces are a normal part of life as we prepare for changes like going to college, having a baby, moving and job shifts. When these life stages have clear boundaries, it is easier to be in the liminal space.
However, this pandemic is presenting new challenges without good information and set boundaries. We are collectively “feeling around in the dark” which can create feelings of fear, depression and anxiety. Even during life’s normal transitions, we often miss the real potential of these liminal spaces by freezing or fleeing. If you are willing to listen, sense and sink in to this space, you can become aware of what is unfolding next and begin to direct that process forward. I would like to offer some tips to help you navigate the next few weeks and months and experience the creativity that is bubbling up through this period of liminality.
- Create back-up plans for your back-up plans. Planning is a creative process and will foster new ideas or unearth plans that were prematurely cast aside.
- What is now possible? Now that our structures have mostly dissolved, set aside time each week to hang out in the land of possibility…it’s where the good ideas hide! Think about what is now possible that was seemingly impossible before.
- Identify some Silver Linings. Focusing on the positive aspects of the situation will put you into a generative state where you feel more compelled to create. Perhaps you have created new rituals and routines, spoken to people who you haven’t reached out to in a long time, dusted off an old instrument..what is coming forth for you?
- Simplicity is where I have landed. There is a certain grace that simplicity provides that makes everything okay. Exploring new places in your own neighborhood…pulling out the shave ice machine my daughter received for her birthday 6 years ago…going through old photo albums…howling with my neighbors each night.
- Pay attention to your dreams. Dream experts believe that the withdrawal from our usual busy lives and daily stimuli have pushed our subconscious mind to explore themes from our past. As a result, we are getting at thoughts we may not have explored for years. Are your dreams more alive?
- Focus on what you can control. Grounding rituals always help to bring us back to the present where we have agency over our thoughts and actions.
I hope that you are all well and you are finding ways to include humor in your daily lives. Please remember to laugh when you can, as science has proven that laughter and humor can help us stay healthy. May you be gentle with yourselves and loved ones as we all muddle through this together!