Manifesting 101:  Liminal – The Necessary Evil

Note: Longer post.

As I was getting ready for bed last night, a routine that includes prayer and meditation, I briefly considered that the weather had again shifted and I was looking at walking in cold rain come morning.

We’d just had warm sunny days so I wasn’t keen on playing Michelin Man again.


The Time Between

Somewhere between 4 and 5am I became aware though not fully awake.  What I got for my trouble was a message that put what I’m going through in perspective.

The Space Between.

Like so many, due to a confluence of variables, I find myself in a state of transition.

As is the world around me.

In his book Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, William Bridges explains transitions don’t always begin at the beginning.  They can and often do start with an ending.

Leaving home, a job, a relationship.

He brings up a critical aspect of transition.

One I’d never considered before reading his book.


The Space Between defines liminal as coming from the Latin limen, meaning threshold.

In its literal sense, a threshold is a doorway.  Liminal is often used to describe the threshold, or gateway, between stages.  When used in a general way, liminal is often used to describe in-between spaces, places, and feelings.

I was fully aware of being in the liminal and that this stage of transition doesn’t have a set time to completion.  That didn’t mean I was enjoying it.

Though I’ve been trying to.

Wasting Time or Coping?

A chronic multi-tasker and overthinker I knew if I didn’t find a way to distract myself I was going to be in trouble soon.

The much needed break would be pushed off and I’d find myself in a world of health hurt.

I took a number of steps that worked – for a bit.  Fortunately for me before real trouble set in the weather improved just enough that I could get myself out the door for a walk.

In cold, rain, sleet, and hail.

So long as I bundled up.

Feeling like the Michelin Man as I ambled stiffly along.

Building up to about 5 miles a day seven days a week I did my best to ignore the fact I could see my breath but not always feel my hands.

It took quite awhile to thaw out when I got back.

I distracted myself by noticing and focusing on signs of spring.

Buds that over the time I was walking turned into beautiful flowers.

Weeks turned to months and I found myself grasping for every distraction possible.

I’ve never watched so much sports in my life.  

Thank God for March Madness, MLB Spring Training, Stanley Cup and NBA Playoffs.

I love the new rules for Major League Baseball that make games a lot less boring to watch.

Distractions only work so long before the ego catches on.  Knowing I was at risk of losing the momentum I’d worked so hard to achieve I spent a good portion of yesterday thinking of ways to add a bit of interest.

I knew I couldn’t fool myself so I needed to do something not to distract so much as to calm.

Just before drifting off I told God I was out of ideas and would love a bit of help.  The answer came between 4 and 5am.


Walk Time is not Waste Time.

Looking back I see there was a bit of method to the madness that got me to this point which just reinforces my experience that the universe colludes to help you along.

Dropping little hint crumbs as you walk through the forest of doubt and confusion on your way to your goals.

Yesterday I participated in an online exchange where I shared a story from my time in corporate. I mentioned a wonderful manager I’d had who became the benchmark for the ideal manager.

His boss was awesome too!

Someone asked me to clarify a point which I was more than happy to do.  Case closed.

Or was it?

Turns out this exchange primed the universal pump as it were, opening the gate to an answer.

In Dreams.

That liminal stronghold.

Last night I dreamt of a company I spent time in along my tech career path.  Unfortunately, or perhaps not, the dream sequence took place during the toxic years.

The company was in a years’ long death spiral which brought out the worst in several  – though thankfully not all – coworkers.

In the dream I spoke to many individuals I’d worked with including a less than stellar manager.  

Who was referenced in the exchange – not by name – as an example of comparitive poor management response.

The Path is the Doorway.

You have to walk through.

The message received this morning was an image from a time in my life that was a transition of ntense difficulty.

A very sad and lonely time in my life.

Determined to improve things I spent weeks in late fall and throughout winter – in Michigan mind you – walking at night no matter the weather.

Through freezing temperatures and snow that had frozen into ice.

Back to the Beginning.

The benchmark. 

Jose Silva advises students to create advisors – real or imagined – that can help with any number of issues.  Though I hadn’t yet taken the BLS, I nonetheless naturally gravitated toward the same concept – to that wonderful manager who I was working for at the time.

It was natural as I have a vivid imagination and the process is similar to how I create characters for my fiction works.

Night after night as I considered the more painful aspects of what I was going through I imagined how this manager would advise me.

We’d had enough non-work conversations that I felt a confidence in what he would say, including the tone of voice and where and when he might laugh or exclaim over my ego’s attempts to stifle painful – if necessary – change which incuded cutting loose a lot of toxic relationships.

Remembering the value of walking through that liminal stage helped me see that the walking I’m doing now is the perfect solution.  The best aspect of the message was the reminder that though it may take time, there will be a point where I’m past this stage and into the next. It also served as a reminder I don’t need to know what the next is.

I certainly didn’t back then.

Have Faith.

Something I’d been working on.

Increasing faith suddenly became easier for the simple reason I’d been in this place before and it worked out.  Better yet it worked out without me knowing how.

Six months after making the decision to change, no matter how scary or lonely or painful, I met my husband, one of many blessings that came into my life once I made room for them.

By getting rid of  – no matter how painful or scary – that which no longer served.

When I set out to walk in the cold rain today I felt more relaxed.  I no longer had the expectation that an answer or aha moment should or would come.

Or that its absence meant I was doing something wrong.

Another Bread Crumb.

A clue along the path.

The idea for this article came as I was walking back.  I liked it not because it was an opporunity to share perspective in order to help others, but an opportunity to further ingrain the message the universe took the time to send.

A message that significantly reduced the stress of not seeing around the next bend on the path through the liminal.

Before I finish this post I’d like to share another coping strategy.

Get a Walking Buddy.

Or more accurately, a transition buddy.

As fate would have it, a good friend of mine – someone I’ve been friends with for decades – is also going through a time of significant and somewhat painful transition.

He had to move his mom to assisted care, is selling the house that’s been in his family for over three decades, and is walking the path of what is yet to be in this new stage of his life.

Ironically, when we met I was on the path of transition.

The begining stage of a different transition.

He and I have remained friends through a number of life transitions.

Which makes us ideally suited to support each other through the current ones.  

What I’ve found to be a key aspect of this support is that though we acknowledge the change and recognize it will change us in many ways, we also know we will be, at the end of it, who we are.

In our core.

By sharing anecdotes and small talk and generally just checking in with each other we provide assurance that though the hurricane winds of change are blowing, our inner houses are safely protected.

By a number of factors including our friendship.

As I eye the clock for the next walk I wonder if my shoes have dried out yet but even if they haven’t, it’s time to hit the path.

After all, each step is closer to getting through the liminal forest.

Be well.

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