As I write this article, I do not know the presidential election results. And because we may not know the results for a while, this time period feels very liminal. Liminal, as you may recall from a previous article, is a space which is neither here nor there. Liminal space occurs at the threshold: where one leaves what was and is about to enter what is to become. Liminal spaces can feel mysterious and exciting. They also can feel scary and apprehensive.
Below is a guide designed to support navigating liminal spaces. May this guide as well as your connection to your loved ones make you feel better.
Sending everyone much love,
A Guide to Navigating Liminal Spaces
Liminal spaces are not spaces to rush into or to leave quickly. If you were visiting a friend’s house, you would not burst through her door, run around her house, and then zip out to your car, would you? Of course not! Take your time approaching the threshold. Be mindful of the space you are entering.
Set an intention.
When you set an intention for your practice, your relationship, your business, your life, you do not know the outcome. Intention setting is not about predicting a result; rather, intention setting is about getting clear on what you want. Knowing how you want to show up, what values you align with, and what your boundaries are will help you navigate a new situation. When you set an intention, you are in essence saying: “I don’t know what the future will hold but I do know I want to handle whatever comes my way in this manner.”
Humans like to organize their world. Putting things or people into categories makes us feel in control and gives us the illusion that we understand what is happening. Putting things and people into categories also can lead to assumptions and unfair or inaccurate judgments. What might we learn if we abstain from labeling and instead stay open to learning? What new information might we gain to help us navigate our world and our relationships?
Staying curious, being open, does not mean you will not take precautions. Finding the balance between curiosity and scrutiny is necessary when taking care of yourself and the people you love. You can be cautious and inquisitive.
One way I like to maintain this balance is to focus on my body’s reactions. When I approach someone, I notice physical sensations. Is the hair on the back of my neck standing up? Is my stomach feeling fluttery? Is my jaw clenching? If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then I slow down even more and may not proceed at all or without help.
Ask for help.
Humans are designed to reach out for help BEFORE they move into the fight or flight response. It is in your nature to seek the solace of another human. If you struggle with asking for help, then know you are working against your instinct and are victim to familial and cultural conditioning which implicitly or explicitly told you to isolate. (No judgment here. We all have unhelpful and hurtful conditioning to overcome.)
When feeling anxious, scared or hurt, pause and ask yourself: Who would I most want to be by my side right now? Whether this person is available is not the issue. Knowing that you want someone by your side is evidence that you desire connection.
The next step is finding ways to get that connection. Having a list of friends or family readily available is one possibility. Finding a support group is another. Reaching out to a minister, a therapist or a mentor also is a possibility. The important piece is to make contact with another and to keep trying until you do.
Healing happens when you seek connection.
Kim Bushore-Maki is a soul-driven entrepreneur who understands the undeniable urge to create a business and a life filled with meaning and purpose. Her vision of opening a center where women could heal and grow led her to open Shakti in the Mountains in Johnson City, Tennessee: a place where the creative, feminine energy is nurtured and valued.
Five years later, Kim is still in the flow of supporting and building a healthy, vibrant community and now guides retreats, teaches yoga, and provides one-on-one services for women who want an immersion experience into the life-affirming, Shakti energy.
Kim’s training as a therapist and yoga teacher allows her to safely and compassionately guide women on a heart-centered journey to Self, where women re-connect with their beautiful, authentic spirit.