Betwixt & Between: Navigating liminal spaces.

Ellen S. Wright, January 16th, 2023

“It’s interesting the way in which one has to balance life because you have to know when to let go and when to pull back … There’s always some liminal (as opposed to subliminal) space in between which is harder to inhabit because it never feels as safe as moving from one extreme to another.” — Bell Hooks

The Betwixt & Between. I have been meditating on luminal spaces recently. Liminal is from the Latin word ‘limen’, which means threshold. A liminal space is the time between ‘what was’ and ‘next.’ In this space we are unlearning our past experience while creating anew. We are simultaneously experiencing and BEING the past, present and future at once.

Liminal spaces are…

  • A unique place of transition.
  • A time of aligned timing and rest.
  • A time when we begin to explore thinking, being, or behaving a new way in relation to a change.

These spaces often occur when are when we are moving from the old to the new-behaviors, relationships, jobs or locations. They are very powerful spaces of creativity, reflection, rejuvenation and reconnection. They are necessary and natural. What is quite surprising at times is they can be challenging to navigate! There is no road map for the space between. Liminal spaces are characterized by transition, uncertainty, insecurity, discovery and emotional discomfort. Often, the human default is to speed through discomfort and/or we resist these moments of uncertainty. It is very easy during times of stress to return to the old way of being and behaving. This can often send confusing messages to others as we are navigating this space. Which can, in turn, create more of an emotional challenge during this transitional time.

Though it sounds and feels like a challenge, these liminal spaces are rich with opportunity to plant and cultivate a new (more desired) way of being. There is much to be learned from liminal spaces when we have guidance as we move through this time.

5 Tips for Navigating Liminal Spaces

In the following videos I define these psychological spaces, I give 5 tips on how to navigate and I explain why it is important to honor these times in our life.

I explain the following tips in full detail but here are the 5 tips for navigating liminal spaces.

  1. Keep going!
  2. Check in with your emotions, often!
  3. Cultivate positive self-talk.
  4. Connect with supportive others. One supportive person who believes in you is important.
  5. Focus on what you desire. Know your intentions and new vision.

Enjoy and be good to yourself. Much aloha, Ellen

More on liminal spaces

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