Monday, October 16, 2017

16. Welcoming the Liminal

"All the buried seeds

crack open in the dark

the instant they surrender

to a process they can't see."

                                                 - The Book of Awakening                                        
                      Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have 
                                                           by Mark Nepo

When I first wrote about liminal time last summer, it was a brand-new concept to me. It's definition—the time in-between—brought immediate relief. It's a transition, the space between when an ending occurs and before something new begins. I could feel my body relax when I heard an explanation of what it is and the importance of leaning into the time. Having a name for the strange place I found myself in brought comfort and made it easier to drop my resistance to not knowing what the future held.

It's a scary, uncomfortable space, but when one surrenders to its possibility, it can nourish, restore, and be a time of preparation for the next season. When one abides this time, it has a protective feature too. It prevents leaping into something before one is ready. It also requires discipline—a letting go of plans, a sense of control, and the need to be assured of what's to come. It also requires a lot of faith.

Now as I write a year later, I feel the benefit, wisdom, and peace that comes with having relaxed into the in-between. I am far better at not knowing what's around the bend. I'm not surrendered to the unknown 100% of the time, of course, but I'm much more settled about waiting to see how the future unfolds than I have ever been.

I mother myself by letting go of the need to know what "the plan" is. I rest easier in the unknown and see it as adventure now. Acceptance of liminal time is one of the harder forms of self-care to practice, but it also reaps more powerful results. It is worth all of the effort, and definitely gets easier with time.


  1. I've never heard the term before, but love your positive qualities of the 'in between' seasons. Such hope!

  2. wow that's so true - the more I lean into the the not needing to know the next step, the more at peace.

  3. The "middle" - I think I'm there now.