Find Your Way During Times of Transition, Crisis
& Life Stages
Making Decisions During Life Stages
If you find yourself in between projects, careers, stages of life, well, this post is for you. It is about embracing the in-between periods, and exploring potential paths forward. Recently, I was working with a client who was a designer who was considering a move to a different area in his profession.
He said he almost made a decision to do that. We did this exercise together and noted that he felt a tug backwards towards his current job. This led him to question whether he really wanted to leave and instead explored ways that he could learn new skills while remaining in his present position.
I am also in a period of transition and transformation, dropping some projects, taking on new projects. And while navigating this time for myself, I came across the concept of liminality, a concept that was developed by anthropologist, Victor Turner as a means of describing the the middle stages of a rite of passage.
So a liminal space is a space in-between, like Limbo, if you like, The word itself comes from limin, which means threshold.
Symbolic & Physical Thresholds
Things like doorways, windows, portals, rabbit holes, wormholes, and caves, are all symbols of thresholds ( physical thresholds,) They all represent a link between different worlds. And in mythology, the hero or the heroine has to pass through this threshold in order to transform from their current state into who they're becoming; a new symbolic life, if you like.
So, this exercise we're doing today is to acknowledge that often we find ourselves in between projects, careers, ideas, or life stages. And in our culture, these periods of transitions aren't really celebrated. In fact, we tend to try to rush through them. We tend to always emphasize productivity and momentum.
It can be scary or challenging to embrace if you like these periods of liminality. Okay, but these in-between times can be an open fertile space to explore potential ideas and paths forward.
I Can Relate
My life has been full of twists and turns and life changes. A few dark nights of the soul. I make music and practice as a holistic hypnotherapist. In my coaching practice, I help creatives get their projects out into the world so they can share their gifts and shine their own unique light into this world.
So if you find yourself at a point of transition and you think that it's not okay to be in between, if you think you need to be productive all the time, you may lose an opportunity to find a different, more fulfilling path ahead. And you may just stay with the familiar which would be a shame.
The Practical Exercise
Are you ready to proceed to our practice? Let's do it.
- First, what I invite you to do may sound strange: choose a door wherever you are. If you're standing in the living room or your studio or bedroom, choose a door.
- Stand there, at the door, nice and straight but relaxed.
- I invite you to close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths with me.
First of all, we'll go into a bit of relaxing, short-guided meditation to help us relax and get in touch with the deeper mind.
Take a deep breath through your nose, count to four, hold it in and then on the out-breath, give me a big sigh and let go of the day.
Let your shoulders drop down and push out the air, breathing through your belly, filling up that belly.
Stop for a second and this time, as you breathe out., breathe out through the nose, your mouth closed.
Take a nice long out-breath and see if you can allow let out all the air in your lungs. Take another deep breath in through the nose, keeping your mouth closed, holding on to that breath for a second or two. And then exhale.
Now we're going to take three more deep breaths and this time as you inhale, I want you to imagine that you're inhaling a column of energy that comes from the centre of the Earth.
Imagine that it's travelling up all the way from the centre of the Earth and is entering your body through your pelvis. It's travelling up through your belly, it's travelling up through your heart, it's travelling up through your throat, all the way up to the centre of your head, Exhale.
Allow yourself to let go of any tension in the body and mind, any to-do lists, any worries. Just imagine that these are flowing out of your body from your fingertips and feet into the ground, back to the earth. And perhaps visualise this energy in different colours as you breathe in.
What Color is Your Calm?
What colour do you associate with calm, tranquillity, and relaxation?
And as you breathe out, which colour do you associate with all that stuff that you don't want, all that stuff that isn't needed right now?
For me, I see the energy coming in as white, and I imagine all that yucky stuff leaving the body as a brown or black kind of energy. It's like doing the dishes and then watching the water flow down the drain, never to come back again.
Keep on breathing for just a few more moments like this, intentionally inviting calm and relaxation into your body and mind. Let go of any remaining tension with each and every out-breath.
Notice your feet planted firmly into the ground like the roots of a tree, throwing up energy from the earth. Embrace the sensation of being on a threshold.
Right now, this threshold is a physical one. It could also be a different kind of threshold. Maybe still a door or an archway of some kind. It could be a driveway or a gate, whatever makes sense to you. You can turn around and go back to where you've just come from or you could choose to step forward.
I'd like you to just acknowledge the pressure to choose; to step forward or back, and just let that go. For now, there is no need to do anything.
It's okay to just be here.
So just feel what it's like to be in this place right now. to notice what these spaces around you perhaps look like or feel like in your mind's eye.
Keep your eyes closed.
It's different, isn't it? You get a different sense. Notice colours. Notice if it's warm or breezy, and any objects that appear. Jjust stay here for a little while. Know when it's okay to just explore the in between relaxing in the threshold.
Your New Beginning
When you're ready, become aware that at some point, not necessarily right now, the transition will end and a new beginning starts.
Now, I want you to imagine if you will, that this space that you're in right now is on a rotating platform of some sort. I'm going to count backwards. I invite you to count with me in your own mind, from 10 all the way down to one. When we arrive at zero, the platform is going to stop.
So let's begin the countdown. I wonder what platform stops at zero. It will deliver a new space - let that news space begin to move on. And now, imagine that you could open your eyes in this world. You're keeping your eyes shut but you're now seeing or sensing a new space. Notice what this space looks like.
A new possibility for you. A new direction. A new project idea.
Allow yourself to just intuitively assign a project, an idea or a new path to it. Maybe it's a new career. Maybe it's a new way of doing things. Just notice what it is and take note of it. Notice whether you feel a physical pull towards this space.
Now we're going to put this space on one side knowing it's over there; we can come back to it anytime. But for now, let's step back on that platform.
So once again, count back from 10 down to one, Again, when we get to zero, the platform will stop and a new space will emerge.
And there you are, a new space in front of you.
Notice what it feels and looks like. What does this space represent for you in this moment? Trust yourself. Whatever comes to mind is the right thing. Remember to assign a project, career, an idea, a new path, to this particular space. See if you feel any pull, towards this place is in space.
Just make a note of it.
Once again, step back on that platform, we're always back on that platform. Now this last time, go through the steps again. You know what to do. Remember, when we reach zero the platform stops and deliver a new space. Just trust whatever emerges.
So I invite you to allow all of the three spaces to appear next to each other or however they want to appear, so that you're aware of all of them right now.
If you feel pressured in any way, it's probably because you need a bit more relaxation time at the beginning of the exercise. Try listening to a guided visualisation or something like that. Or take deep breaths for 10 minutes beforehand may be a better idea.
I hope this has been useful for you. If you found that you'd like more guidance or someone you can bounce ideas with, get in touch with me. You can always reach me by leaving a message on my Instagram or Facebook, the Dare to Be Seen Community, or simply go on my website.
Or book a call with me here: hypnotichealing.co.uk/coaching-for-creatives. It's free. I'll be delighted to help you with your creative projects.