Embracing the Liminal Space

The Guardian reviews Katharine May’s book, Wintering. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/feb/04/wintering-how-i-learned-to-flourish-when-life-became-frozen-katherine-may-memoir-review

Christmas is over, the New Year is quickly approaching, and my mind has turned to resolutions and what I’d like to accomplish this year. I’ve had plenty of rest in 2020 and now I’m ready to go, but where and ….how?

Every year, the space between Christmas and New Years offers an opportunity to look at our life, evaluate our successes and shortcomings and dream up a plan for the future. What do I want 2021 to look like? What should I let go of and what would I like to attract?

As the thoughts and feelings swirl around my head, I am overwhelmed. There are a lot of goals yet unrealized and habits I’ve been determined to change but which continue to rest on my shoulder. Will this be the year that I figure it all out? Will I be able to shed my self destructive habits and move into my best purpose? I’m not sure.

I am in my 50s and have spent years studying how to access the subconscious for a better understanding of my inner beliefs and feelings. I have looked at ways to manifest my reality and techniques to steer my life in the direction of my deepest yearnings. However, I still get drawn into the liminal space of this particular week, the time just after Christmas and before the start of the new year, a time of suspension in which we have left something behind but have not yet entered into the new. 

The concept of liminal space came to me yesterday while reading a lovely book I received as a gift for Christmas called Wintering by Catherine May. She talks about this “crossing over” time as a confluence of grief, uncertainty, doubt, and fear as well as excitement and anticipation of what is about to come. Liminal space is sometimes uncomfortable. The pandemic has brought it to the forefront and forced us to work within its confines. The result has provoked anxiety and fear. Yet, there has also been healing, blessings and discoveries, experiences and realizations we would not have found otherwise. 

In her book, May points out that liminal space often accompanies periods of transition in our life, offering us an opportunity to reflect, to heal, to forgive, to redefine and then to design, to dream and to set intentions. The concept at its simplest tells us that when we empty or are emptied of something, there remains a space waiting to be filled. I believe the contents of this space can be influenced if not fully determined by our thoughts, efforts, and wishes. 

It dawns on me that this must be the idea of New Year’s resolutions and that our ancestors no doubt felt the need to address this period of suspension and fear with productive planning. I have realized that entering the quiet or wintering period as May puts it, removes the daily static and encourages us to face our truths head on.

I have always been one to seek happiness, comfort, and joy, but I am realizing that these aspirations are only part of the picture. As I move into 2021, I have decided to try something new, to embrace the winter, to hold love in the space of darkness, to forgive the limitations and deflate their power, to feel the sadness and pain of loss and then to move through the discomfort instead of running away or shutting down. Perhaps, this will be just the approach I need to help me leap over the hurdles that have blocked my way for so long. 

Wendy’s Other Websites.   Body: https://www.inbalancetherapeutics.net/   Soul: https://www.mysoulpurposeproject.com/  Music: https://www.wendydarlingandthelostboy.org/

5 comments

  1. I guess the hurdles will always be a part of l every season. “Wintering “ sounds
    renewing. …..a good way to leap into the new year! May 2021 brings us all healing , growth and peace.

  2. Liminal …thanks Wendy, I learned a new word ! Great piece ! Happy Birthday dear friend- I am truly thankful we met in high school- you have enriched my life!

    INHALE THE FUTURE ~ EXHALE THE PAST

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 2021 🎉

  3. Great writing! I love the concept of embracing and enjoying winter as it can be a most remarkable time of coziness particularly after a hearty walk in the woods. Looking forward to seeing you on your day! Xoxo

  4. Good food for thought. Well written as usual. The hurdles are our growth opportunities so why not embrace them if we can. The liminal period is especially powerful for you since you have a birthday at its end!!

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