I feel as if the Universe has somehow pressed my pause button, and I suspect it will be the best thing that has ever happened to me.
As I have discussed here before, last July I received a cancer diagnosis that truly stopped me in my tracks in a most profound way. While the normal activity in my life continued as it had been, the place in which I was experiencing it was somehow radically different. I continued to see clients, speak in churches, exercise, eat, meditate and pray; and yet all of this was occurring in an atmosphere that was unfamiliar yet only mildly uncomfortable.
In anthropology this is called liminal space. The word actually means threshold. It indicates a sense of displacement in which something new is able to come forth. It has been historically used as an initiation rite. It interrupts the status quo of our lives and opens a space in which something different can come forth. It can be a most transformative time. I say can be because the transformation depends on the relationship we choose to have with this space as it arises in and seemingly around us. If we choose to cooperate with the process, an integrated level of faith can come out of the chaos and uncertainty. If we revert to the ego-impulse of getting rid of the discomfort and immediately filling the space, nothing is learned or gained.
In a word, liminal space asks that we stay. That we simply stay with the feelings of fear, uncertainty, chaos, and loss. That we stay with the temptation to escape and pull away. That we stay with whatever is moving within us, yet is most clearly not being generated by us. At least it is not being orchestrated by the surface self. The Soul works wonders within liminal space. Miracles are born within liminal space. It can be a threshold to a whole new way of being. And it is scary. It challenges who we think we are. It calls us to look squarely at our habitual ways of being; at the ways we show up and the ways we don’t show up. When embraced, liminal space can result in nothing less than a quantum leap in consciousness. When denied, a subtle sense of suffering descends like a shroud upon us. Possibility has been rejected. The false self has won this round. And I assure you; another opportunity is on its way.
Just prior to my cancer surgery I was given an opportunity to enter into an inquiry around a rather enormous shift in my Dharmic expression. Since November, the liminal space around the cancer diagnosis has been multiplied and expanded by an additional liminal space surrounding my career. Uncertainty met with uncertainty. The well got deeper, and down into the space I went. It has been a blessing of epic proportion. For someone who years ago could not and would not stay with anything uncomfortable I have willingly and readily stayed afloat in a sea of I do not know. I am still there. And as I have made the choice to stay and to be conscious within this space moment by revelatory moment, blessing after blessing have come forth within my consciousness. Awareness after awareness concentrically flow forth from me. In this vast sea of uncertainty I somehow feel more certain than ever. Not about what is going to happen in my world of form. But in my sense of Who and What I am, and in why I am here in this incarnation.
While uncertainty and discomfort used to be my greatest foes they have become my greatest allies. The uncertainty of this period of liminal space is a chrysalis in which my Soul has been melting and remolding me into a truly different creature. While I am someone who has long embraced and dedicated myself to periods of silence daily and for periodic extended periods, I guess it was time for some quantum unfolding via this additional space. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I know that I trust what is moving within me at a deeper level than ever. I am profoundly grateful. I am incredibly humbled. And I am different than I was before.
And all I did was stay.