Do you ever have the feeling that you are in a holding pattern, not progressing, or lacking fulfillment? How do you handle this type of experience? If you have noticed that you are out of alignment with yourself and your values, you may be experiencing discord. Handling discord with an understanding and grace for yourself can allow for a transformational experience.
When I think of transformation, the word liminal comes to mind. I think of it as the space between what was and what will be. It is the transition preceding transformation. Liminal literally means threshold, where we stand in the waiting room before we proceed to what is next, if we have the patience to wait and not know exactly what is next. Yes this can be trying for many!
Two summers ago, I inadvertently took the summer “off.” I took a trip to visit friends. We played, celebrated birthdays, reminisced, walked and talked in the mornings and let each day unfold in a less planned manner.
Next, I took a family trip to Colorado, and it was the first time we had few must do’s on our list. We visited family and had time with just my little family unit. It had its ups and downs, and yet we had many lovely and ‘chill’ experiences that are not a typical part of our family vacations.
Another short trip was to the Grand Canyon to meet some new friends as part of our extended family and to take in one of the seven natural wonders of the world. A great reminder of the power of time in nature and the beauty it can create.
My final trip included visiting family in the Midwest with my daughter; then driving across the state with my sister on an epic ancestry adventure. We had a loose agenda, combined with fun discoveries, i.e. visiting a Frank Lloyd Wright home and finding ancestor gravesites we had never found before. The most impactful find was our great grandparents homestead founded in 1851. We had been told it was gone, and then drove around the rural area and stumbled upon it. We got to go in and I found it incredible to stand in the home my ancestors built around 170+ years ago. I hadn’t realized that both sides of my family were farmers. This new insight put me in a reflective state about my roots, literally!
I put the writing of my women’s leadership book on hold, and business building on hold as well for the rest of 2021. I allowed myself time to redefine “progress.”
The key elements to making this time valuable and rich have been:
- Remembering I know who I am at the core
- Being satisfied that I am enough, regardless of progress or lack thereof
- Awareness that I am not hiding out, avoiding or in overwhelm
- Taking good care of myself on multiple planes
- Not letting myself get too isolated
- Patience with the process (i.e. I don’t need to be in control of everything or know exactly what is next.)
I am grateful that the Co-vid time gave me time to learn, study, read and reflect. I know I am one of the fortunate ones and am grateful I had the luxury of this time. This has created space and new experiences to build on so that when my liminal soup is cooked, I will be ready to serve and take on what is next.
It may seem easy but likely is not that easy to move on past the two+ years of discord, fear and uncertainty most people experienced related to the pandemic. It did not bring out the best in us overall. Yet, it also created new possibilities and ways of relating, working and more. If you are in a “stuck” space, you often don’t need to wipe the slate clean and launch a full on re-start. To get moving again, it can be as simple as asking yourself: what small step can I take today towards something that is important to me?
For you to ponder:
- Are there places where you are experiencing something that is a bit stuck or not progressing?
- Do you feel pressured to progress, even if you are not sure to what or why?
- How might you relieve some of that pressure for yourself?
- Are you unable to access a sense of fulfillment or satisfaction?
- How can you start taking small steps towards increasing fulfillment and/or satisfaction?
- How are you building self-care into your regular routine?
- How might you up your game here?