Wednesday, October 21, 2020


There are few things harder for human beings than limbo.

And this period of extended limbo is trying our collective patience.

Call me crazy (and you would be far from the first) but the more mindfully and inclusively I dance with this experience of limbo the more hopeful I become.

It is uncomfortable. There is vast unknowing and complex uncertainty. There is sickness, death, division, and despair. Old structures are crumbling all around us. Religious structures. Political structures. Ideological structures. Ecological structures. The old order was no longer sustainable and so it is dying. Chaos and disruption are painful yet fruitful evidence that something new is rising. It is just below the surface. As it rises it unearths all that had been before. It is new possibility that is pushing over the old paradigms. The new is quaking and the effects are unmistakable.

Can you feel it?

And so countless people are beseeching: “how long will this last?”

The answer to that is above my pay grade.

I do suspect, however, that it will last as long as it takes for a critical mass of individuals to simply stay and to be absolutely present to this cosmic birthing of a new order. To stay with the sickness, death, division, and despair. To stay and to wait while the old structures crumble and the old order dies. To watch with open hearts and soft eyes while the unsustainable paradigms dematerialize in front of us.

This era of destabilizing will remain until we learn to stay.


Is there anything more difficult for our mind-identified sense of self than to simply stay?

Stay put. Stay still. Stay quiet. Stay attentive. Stay hopeful.

Stay. Stay. Stay.

Can and will you stay with what I am saying?

I point to what I have often referred to as puppy on the paper spirituality.

Stay with me.

If you have ever or have witnessed someone else paper training a puppy you might catch my drift.

You want the puppy to do its business on the paper and not on the rug. And so, you place the puppy on the paper and firmly say “stay.”

You begin to move away, and of course so does the puppy.

The pattern repeats. “Stay.” Puppy scurries off. “Stay.” Scurry. Louder, firmer “stay.” Puppy then runs and piddles on the carpet. Then there is the seeming magic sacrament of rubbing the puppy’s nose in the piddle and back to the paper we go.


While the effects are far more devastating, we have been collectively told to stay and we keep scampering off the paper. Even those who do choose to stay home or at a safe distance find it incredibly difficult to simply sit and stay. To stay and look deeply within. To pray for the guidance to see what we need to see. To change what needs to be changed inside of us. To listen for the new order that is seeking to emerge individually and collectively. To go below the surface while still attending to the crumbling effects of our old reality. To stay. To stay with the limbo. The liminal. The unknowing. The uncertainty.

For as long as it takes.

To practice building the limbo-staying muscle set a timer and simply sit while doing absolutely nothing. No goal. No endgame in mind. Ten, fifteen minutes of pure, paper-staying presence.

Watch the urge to pick up the smartphone: and don’t.

Watch the endless parade of thoughts, plans, goals, distractions. Observe the internal agonizing over how much longer you must stay: and stay. Think of all the things you would rather be doing out there: and stay in here. Obsess over dinner. Crave the cocktail. Argue over the pointlessness of this exercise.

And stay.

There are few things harder for humans than limbo.

One of them is staying.

For as long as this period of limbo lasts the one thing that I know I can do is to stay. Uncomfortable at times. Frequently distracted and yet ever- returning. I am giving attention to this limbo, this liminal space in purposeful and thus hopeful ways. I am giving lots of time to staying on the paper of my mind. As my thoughts and plans for the future seek to scamper away with me, I return, and I say firmly to myself: stay.

For the duration and for the sake of all, I am staying.