Inside: In the liminal space of emerging from winter into spring, it’s important to resist urgency, to give ourselves ample space and nourishment and compassionate tending as we slowly unfurl.
This is the third time I’ve been sick in the past five months. I didn’t get sick once all the years I was advocating for my son nor in the first two years after he died. But now, as I emerge from a long and hard winter season into spring, my body is having a bit of trouble recalibrating, it seems.
It reminds me of how my daughter would go, go, go during the university year and then crash during Christmas break. Or how years ago I’d ignore my limitations and finite energy and then crash and lie on the couch reading all weekend – a welcome respite.
After three and a half painful years, in late winter I began feeling a sense of burgeoning expansiveness, like I was shedding an old skin, and on the cusp of stepping into a new story.
It felt so good. Hopeful.
The moment in between what you once were, and who you are now becoming, is where the dance of life really takes place.Barbara De Angelis
the liminal space of EMerging from winter into spring
There’s a temptation after a long, cold winter to dive headlong into spring, taking on too much, too fast. Too soon. And this is what I did, though not intentionally. I’m trying to find my new sustainable rhythm. Learning what my nervous system needs to feel safe and grounded in this new season of expansion.
Figuring out all over again how much is enough. And what that looks, sounds, and feels like for me in this new season. I’m both expanding my capacity and also familiarizing myself with my new capacity.
As much I am attuned to my body and live with clear vision and direction, we only find our way in progress, not before. Sometimes we cycle round and round for a while as we find our footing, regain our balance, move through the transitional time of no longer but not yet.
There are many forms of liminal space. Grief, for instance, can be a significant liminal space as we release our grip on what was and ready ourselves through hard, vulnerable, courageous work to open up to what’s next.
Spring is a tender time. We’re still raw and new. In the liminal space of emerging from winter into spring, it’s important to resist urgency, to give ourselves ample space and nourishment and compassionate tending as we slowly unfurl. In my corner of the world, in early spring it’s common to alternate between flip-flops and winter boots for a while until spring decides to take root for real.
Seasons of transition always, I believe, involve waiting, listening, resting, longing.
Liminal space can feel challenging and deeply vulnerable. Richard Rohr says liminal space is….
where we are betwixt and between the familiar and the completely unknown. There alone is our old world left behind, while we are not yet sure of the new existence. That’s a good space where genuine newness can begin. Get there often and stay as long as you can by whatever means possible…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.
Having cycled around the sun many times already, I know that this experience is healthy and I’m safe here. The body is wise – constantly whispering wisdom and guidance to us. I know I’m on the right path and all I need to do in this season is be patient. Just keep taking one small step and another, pausing to listen in-between.
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