Today's message is about liminal spaces. The word “liminal” comes from the Latin word “limen," which means “threshold.” When we are in a “liminal space,” it means that we are on the verge of something new but we are not quite there yet. Liminal spaces can be physical or emotional - that traffic-filled tunnel under the river is a liminal space. The summer between high school and college is a liminal space. The long wait for a pandemic to end and “normal life” to begin again is a (really sucky) liminal space.
Because we are creatures who seek certainty, being in a liminal space can feel… terrible. We want to speed up time, to fast forward to the solid ground that surely awaits us at the end of this monotonous “phase.” We may numb our restlessness with substances or sugar or sex or shopping sprees. We become anxious or depressed from the agony of waiting to cross over to the next piece of solid ground.
Here's the thing: we can't speed up time (yet - looking at you, Elon Musk). We also can't escape reality using whatever our numbing agent of choice is (there isn't enough dark chocolate on this planet to speed up the resolution to the pandemic - I have a “friend” who tried that…) And the irony is that when we finally make it out of a liminal space - and we will get out of this one - most of us find that we stand on solid ground for just a moment before we are thrust into yet another period of uncertainty and in-betweenness.
So what we can we do? How can we survive - and maybe even thrive - when we find ourselves “trapped” in a liminal space? We can slow down. We can breathe. We can find the beauty in the smallest and most mundane details of our lives. The sweet-salty scent of the ocean breeze on our evening walk. The giddy laughter of our toddler as she watches the same damn episode of “Paw Patrol” on repeat. The mouthwatering aroma of the twelfth loaf of banana bread we have made since March 2020. Stay attuned to the little things, for you may one day realize that they were not so little after all.
Does any of this resonate with you right now? How are you faring in the liminal space that we as a society find ourselves in? I'd love to hear how you are taking care of your mind, body, and soul. And as always, if I can be of any help - I'm just an email/text/phone call/DM away.