This week has been a week of introspection, healing and transition for a new class of TBW warriors. Without realizing it, when they began this week they introduced themselves to a place sometimes referred to as liminal space.
What is liminal space? The word liminal means, “a state, stage, or period of transition”. It comes from the Latin root limen, which means threshold. This place is where all transformation takes place, if we learn to wait and let it form us.
It’s where we go when we exit our old world of “familiarity”, but haven’t yet entered the unknown; the place of transition between “what was” & “what is“. But most importantly, it’s the space where new discoveries about oneself are made. It is the space in which a person begins to change.
The thing about change is, it doesn’t exist in a box. No matter how hard one might try to contain it. There’s always a ripple effect. You see, change in one area of life always spills into other areas, and that can disrupt the “status quo”. This happens because community, vocation, relationships, spirituality and emotions don’t exist mutually exclusive from one another - they constantly intersect and intertwine.
When we become aware of our own liminality most of us (if we’re honest) don’t know who to become, or how to navigate that transition. And in that state can miss the real potential of our ‘in-between’ place by either standing paralyzed or fleeing the terrible cloud of unknown.
So, if you can identify that you’re in this place, as are the men going through TBW Class 007 currently, here‘s a challenge:
Rather than becoming paralyzed, running away or going at it alone, approach this space intentionally and within a community. In doing so, you may find that though initially this type of change can be daunting and uncomfortable, you can boldly approach it and confidently move forward into your future.
One final thing- being in, and transitioning out of, a liminal space is a practice that isn’t always easy. It takes focus and intention. Establishing a reflective mindfulness practice, having the fortitude to stick with it, and a community to lean on through-out makes all the difference. And, the more you begin to trust the flow of your own life path and work with it instead of fighting against it, you may find the words by late astronomer Carl Sagan resonate with you on a whole new level, “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”