“Honor the Space between no longer and not yet” – Nancy Levin
I am sure you have met the ‘space between’ on your path. You can be in this space many times in the course of life, you can be in it in many different ways and you can be in this space in more than one area of your life at the same time.
Can you think of any times when you were in the space between?
How did you experience it?
Has your experience of this space changed over the years?
How do you meet the space between stories, new ways of being, new stages of life?
The space between. The pause. The gap between where you have let something go and are not just yet in the new. You are between farewell and welcome, where one door closes and you haven’t walked through the other yet. It might feel like limbo land and you might feel like you’re in the hallway between doors – your old life isn’t coming back and your new one is yet unfolding.
You might find that the old answers no longer work, and the new answers haven’t emerged yet. You are no longer what or who you were but not yet what you will become. You’re letting go of what was and not knowing what will be. The ground you are familiar with, has shifted. Sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s celebratory and exciting.
It’s similar to a computer being upgraded. The screen shows ‘we are installing 2 of 10 upgrades please do not turn off your computer’. A place where patience and letting things take their course is required.
It is the birth canal of infinite possibility. And like birthing, it might not be easy and it can be messy.
A Natural Part of the Cycle of Life
The space between No Longer and Not Yet is a part of the natural cycle of life – time between engagement and wedding, time between pregnancy and birth, time between secondary school graduation and starting college / work, the end of a career and start of retirement, the end of a relationship, loss of a job, leaving a career, a death, a child flying the nest or even just taking the time out to figure out your next step and reassess your life and priorities etc…
Sometimes you choose this space. You create it. You stop doing something to make room for something else, even if you don’t quite know what that something else is yet. You detached from your old life and jump into your new world but you haven’t yet fully integrated it in your new way of being.
Sometimes, it is initiated by a breakdown in a core part of life or even in every area simultaneous – an initiation into a new phase of life calls you whether you agree to it or not. Sometimes we have to surrender to the darkness of this space, holding within our hearts the knowing that we ARE going to come out of it and with energy ready for action.
That space between No Longer and Not Yet is a time where you are being molded – a new way of being, living, thinking, experiencing life or a new path is coming forth. Your strength will grow and your faith will be tested as your move further into your heart & soul.
Depending on how you experience the ‘in between’ it can feel like torture to the body on all levels (physical, mental and emotional). It can seem like a dark and lonely place or something that will go on forever. You cling to the fragments of your old way of being / life / story and try to climb back into it. Sometimes you can experience a taste of the new energy coming in / the new story / the new life that awaits and it can also feel like a lovely deep inhale which nourishes the entire system. A breathing space.
ALL of these experiences are normal.
Navigating the Space Between
Are you are navigating the space between right currently?
Are you are sensing that you are still in an old story that is no longer ‘you’ or ‘no longer fits you’ and you feel it is coming to an end?
Have you just entered the freshness of a new story but the ground isn’t steady and it still feels uncertain as you find your feet?
It’s natural to get frustrated with the period of waiting. If the next big thing would just hurry up and get here, you think, you could get on with life. The space between isn’t something to be rushed through even though your brain will be saying you ‘should’ be moving faster’, ‘how long will it take?’, ‘why aren’t I there yet?’, ‘why isn’t it over yet?’ or ‘I don’t know what is around the corner but I’m trusting that something is’.
It's a space to be honored.
To sit with it and be in it and learn everything you can learn. It a space where you learn to accept that what you consider ‘normal’ isn’t coming back again. The muddy water will eventually settle so you can see clearly again but for now you need to be with the muddiness.
We can learn so much if we allow ourselves to breathe and BE in this often uncomfortable space. If we jump to the next thing without processing what just happened we lose a wonderful opportunity to grow and heal. This time can serve as a guide to the next wonderful steps on our journey. This space requires patience, kindness, compassion and lots of faith. It may take guidance, support love and healing to help you move through it.
It’s natural during this space whether it’s chosen / given to have doubts and growing pains and it isn’t like you never turn around and look back. The leap is only the beginning of your new life. It’s natural to feel disoriented during this time, even a bit out of control, tender or fragile as you navigate this space of emptiness and its challenges. That is okay.
It was scary but also relief for me to make the decision to No Longer be an accountant/auditor but I had Not Yet proven to myself that being a healer was the right step. I admit I stayed in that hallway for a long time, looking back at that closed door wondering if I should go back, would it be easier on me and everyone else. I had leaped but I also had one foot in both worlds energetically which made it even harder until I finally made the decision to close the ‘back door’ to accountancy.
Despite all the challenges, I am so glad I choose to keep walking up the hallway into the Not Yet. I had to get support, dig deep into my daily healing practices, ask for help, rely on my faith and that inner call and above all I was stubborn (I like to call it persistence and perseverance) to keep moving forward no matter how many stumbles I took and walls I walked into.
Ways to Navigate the Space Between
- Be with the emotions – the numbness if it was unexpected, the grief, the uncomfortable, the urge to keep moving, the need for something to do, the need for the safety of where you were, the loss of a life you had envisioned and even what others may have envisioned for you, the loss of a life that you had truly believed was set in stone.
2. Remember it’s temporary – allow yourself to see it as a space where you get to review, reassess and recaliberate. A time where you get to bring yourself back into alignement with your values, your priorities, your dreams and desires. You are being called inward so you can tend to your inner healing and emergy renewed and with clarity.
It is in this space we learn we are tougher than we believed, we can survive more than we thought. This isn’t an invitation to wallow in your pain but an invitation to sit with it, be open to it, feel it and be curious with it.
3. Don’t put a timeline on your future. Feel into your vision & your future. Explore what you would like to be experiencing but don’t try to rush your movement as this space between can be constantly changing and you might feel you can set nothing in stone.
4. Honor the past. Sometimes we have to shut one door before other doors open up to us. Take your time to learn from the past and move forward. Honor what brought you to this moment. Reflect deeply into your memories and experiences of what you have lost. Do your best to allow the emotions to move through you. These feelings aren’t setbacks, they want to be felt.
5. Learn to be content in the here and now & try not to move on too quickly. Find drops of happiness in your present day. Even if it’s just the simplest of things – to keep your spirit lifted. Don’t wait for it to be out there in the horizon as you know whenever we walk towards the horizon it just keeps moving further away from us.
6. Be ok with saying to yourself and others ‘I don’t know’.. I don’t know my plans, I don’t know what’s next, I don’t know when I’ll be done, I don’t know when I’ll be ready but I trust I will be.
7. Learn to take care of yourself when you’re in the space between. Learn to nurture yourself in different ways. Learn to treat yourself softly and kindly.
8. Ask for support. You might need to ask for help and lean on those who care for you.
9. Trust yourself more. Trust that inner voice or that call you feel drawn too. Know it’s here right between “no longer” and “not yet” that you need to be.
Say to yourself ‘Soon it will be time, but not quite yet’ to remind yourself that nothing lasts forever, that you can and will move through this period and you will come out the otherside.
Remember that sometimes this period happens and unravels in its own time, according to its own unknowable wisdom and that might drive you crazy. This is where you might need the support to help you understand if you’re right where you are meant to be, you’re stuck, gotten used to being stuck, ready to move forward or even just to start sensing what’s calling you.
What spaces in between are you navigating in yourself and your life?
What metaphors would you use to describe the transition(s) you are navigating?
Have you ever felt stuck in the middle of a transition, how did you become unstuck?
How can you take good care of yourself during the transition?
What are some of the tools you used to navigate a transition in the past? Can you revert to them again this time?
What new beginnings are happening in your life right now? What is ending as this begins?
What emotions come up for you as you start something new?Are there any patterns?
What is ended or come full cycle in your life currently that you are leaving or have left?
What emotions come up for you as you coming to end or ending something ?Are there any patterns?
How much energy are you giving to fear & possible disappointment?
How has your past prepared you for the transition and everything you’re experiencing right now?