We are living in strange times. So much feels uncertain, changeable- as if the ground we are standing on is becoming a bit shaky. My oldest is packing up and heading home from her freshman year in Chicago unsure if she will return before next fall. The younger kids are off school for the foreseeable future. Markets are volatile. Grocery stores are crowded. The timeline we reach for to steady ourselves seems to change by the hour.
We have entered the liminal space. The space and time between no longer and not yet.
At first glance, the liminal space can feel like a holding pattern. This not knowing frustrates us and make us anxious. Let’s face it, we humans like to feel as if we are in control. The holding patterns of our lives create a sense of certainty. These days, nothing seems as certain.
I received a text from a friend today asking for advice about how to calm her family and move forward at this time. Their family business is cleaning others homes and her grown children are afraid and unsure of how to proceed with their work at this time.
I had no answers but I did have time and space to hear her concerns and let her know she and her family are loved and are not alone. We traded ideas for staying healthy and rested for a time in the liminal space together and our pain and fear lessened a bit.
This period of not knowing, while at times scary, is potentially rich and fertile for growth. Unchartered times like these force each of us to pause in our regularly scheduled programming. The status quo simply no longer works. It gets harder to move thru life asleep or to stay on auto-pilot. In this pause, in the space between, that which we work hard to push down in ourselves gets stirred up. If we can stay present to the stirring, sometimes our perspective shifts and we catch glimpses of more. We begin to Remember. “Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. (May Sarton).
My direct experience thru meditation and Grace revealed that we, each and every one of us, is more than we think we are. We are Light enfolded into human form for a time in order to Remember and awaken to our true nature. Humanity has fallen so deeply asleep and out of touch with this fact that we are getting stirred awake in many unpleasant ways these days: global pandemics, extreme fires, separative politics, economic uncertainty.
It is time for each of us to awaken and greet ourselves lovingly and compassionately in this liminal space. No time like the present to surrender for even a moment to our “not knowingness.” In the coming weeks, when we are forced to pause and slow down, we have a real choice. We can resist the liminal space and stay on autopilot- creating suffering for ourselves by scrolling on our screens for hours, reading and sharing about all the worse models and predictions for this time.
Or, we can use some of the extra time given to us to consciously slow down. We can choose to carve out some time for entering this liminal space consciously. Prayer, meditation, breath work, walking in nature, observing the sunrise, chanting and so many other practices can assist us in moving thru the threshold into stillness. These practices can usher us into the liminal space- outside of time and the constraints of our everyday worries.
What I remember with every cell of my being when I rest here beyond the threshold, in the stillness, is that we are not really separate or alone. We never have been. We are connected to one another, to the Earth, to the Field. We are part of it, not separate from it. We are here together and together we are nourished. When we Remember we are not separate, the dance of life changes. We love easier. We fear less. We respect the Earth as the Being she is. We become the slivers of light humanity needs at this moment and we begin to wake one another up.
There is a Creation story from the Hopi Nation that resonates.
Creator: “I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality”
Eagle: “Give it to me, I will take it to the moon.”
Creator: “No, one day they will go there and find it.”
Salmon: “I will bury it in the bottom of the ocean.”
Creator: “No, they will go there too.”
Buffalo: “I will bury it in the Great Plains.”
Creator: “They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there.”
Grandmother lives in the breast of the Mother Earth and has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes.
Grandmother: “Put it inside them.”
Creator: “It is done.”
May we remain vital and steady in the coming days. May we love ourselves, our family, our neighbors and those we think we don’t yet know. Let’s meet in the liminal space and remind one another of our light and our capacity for service, love and amazing ingenuity.
“Out beyond ideas of right and wrongdoing,
there is a field, a singing field.
I’ll meet you there. -Rumi