Seasons, whether in the year or in our lives, are liminal spaces. Spring is a liminal time between winter and summer.
A liminal space is the time between the ‘what was’ and the ‘next.’ It is a place of transition, waiting, and not knowing.
It can be scary as F*&%! I think its important to transition well. I am currently in between seasons and thought it fitting to share what I am learning as I walk it out.
How to identify you are in a liminal space: If you answer yes to any of these, you are most likely in a liminal space.
Do you find yourself answering questions with “I don't know”?
Are you living a bit outside of your normal environment?
Are you questioning yourself and the existing social order?
Have you just experienced a new level of pain?
Are you experiencing feelings of being dislocated and socially unstructured?
Do you resonate with the concepts of being destructed or constructed?
Are you ready to occupy a new social role or status?
How to move through liminal spaces more gracefully : In transitions we usually don’t know who to become or how to navigate the transition. Here are a few things I have learned that have helped me wade the waters of liminality.
1. Stay as long as you can Richard Rohr says “This is the sacred space where the old world is able to fall apart, and a bigger world is revealed. If we don’t encounter liminal space in our lives, we start idealizing normalcy.”
Dont rush out of this space, you are watching, tasting, touching that bigger world.
If you rush you wont get the full extension. The expansion needs time. Trust deep time. Trust in long term payoff. Zoom out 20-30 years, maybe even into the next generation or two, see how this yes now will allow for a better, larger, more expansive world for future generations + future you.
2. Write Journaling strengthens immune cells called T-lymphocytes and has been shown to be associated with drops in depression, anxiety, and increases in positive mood, social engagement, and quality of close relationships. “Writing accesses your the left hemisphere of the brain, which is analytical and rational,” says Maud Purcell, a psychotherapist and journaling expert. “While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to do what it does best, i.e. create, intuit and feel. In this way, writing removes mental blocks and allows us to use more of our brainpower to better understand ourselves and the world around us.”
Write every morning, write at least 3 pages, with a pen, on real paper.
3. Choose balance Continue to eat healthy, asking your body what it needs each day, exercising and going to bed and waking at the same time. Consistent balance in the body will help bring balance to the transition.
4. Seek companionship Continue meeting with your Spiritual Director, Life Coach, Therapist and other health professionals. Their wisdom will hopefully encourage you as you walk out your transition.
We cannot move out of these spaces without new concepts of ourselves and the world.
Be willing to let your guides speak into that new world.
Why transitions are important
Its where genuine newness can begin.
You cannot fabricate innovation. If you have any interest in being made new, making innovative art, or bringing fresh ideas to a particular problem or field of study - you must pass through this liminal space. Its the birthplace of originality.
Here we are taught openness and patience as we come to expect to meet, experience and hear from God. We grow more human as we wait on God and hear what is said.
We learn to trust that there is a higher power at work on our behalf and that (as Rob Bell says) the whole system is rigged in your favor. The universe/God/Jesus/Spirit is bent toward you being at peace. It wants you to be whole. As odd or off as you may feel in this transition, trusting that it is a part of your journey of peace and wholeness is what its all about.
You will only come out the other side through surrender.
“Liminality,” Austin Harrington, Barbara L. Marshall, and Hans-Peter Müller, Encyclopedia of Social Theory (New York: Routledge, 2012).
Rundel, omas J., "Liminal Spaces: A Narrative Spirituality of the Bible" (2015). Doctor of Ministry. Paper 109. h p://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/dmin/109
This post is in collaboration with The Refined Collective Series. Be sure and check out the other ladies in this wonderful group -