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02.14.2020 Sharon Spano, Ph.D.

Are You Stuck in the Quicksand of a Transitional Moment?

Transitional moments represent all the messy stuff that throws you off kilter. They unexpectedly interrupt business and life. Divorce, loss of employment, identity crisis, chronic illness, profit loss, empty nest syndrome, career transitions, an angry client, a problematic employee, a disengaged teenage daughter who one day shows up like a tattooed gothic queen.

You’re in it now. You know what I mean. It’s your transitional moment, and it hurts like heck.

It’s the stuff you try to move through as quickly as you can. You do this because it’s deeper than quicksand. You foolishly believe that if you work harder and faster, you won’t be sucked under.

But, the truth is, the harder you try, the harder it is to breathe. You’re simply paralyzed.

How to Pull Yourself Out

The answer lies not in effort. The answer lies in stillness. Be still. Do the hard work of reflection, and I promise you, the burden will lessen.

Sounds easy enough but how does one go about being still when you feel as though life is being sucked out of you?

Stillness doesn’t mean you sit back and do nothing. Stillness means that you lean into the lesson to be learned. Stillness means that you give yourself grace to settle into what’s next. You don’t fight your way through. You relax into the system you’re currently in so that you can gently find what’s needed to move forward.

You don’t push against the change. You become the change.

Honor the Liminal Space

Liminal space represents the space between that moment where you were enveloped by quicksand and that moment which is yet to come. That most glorious moment of your own transformation.

It is the space in between, the space where you lose who you once were in order to become someone greater. And, in this space, you will bump up against despair, defeat, and self-doubt.

You will wonder if you’ll ever be whole again. You will wonder if your business, your career, your life choices were all worth it. You’ll blame others. You’ll blame yourself. You’ll lack clarity of purpose. You’ll doubt your own skills.

Oh, the places you’ll go . . .

Minutes will seem likes hours. Days like years.

Rush through it too quickly, and you’ll miss the transformational moments that await you.  The truth lies in every moment of transition.

Then, one day, it will be over. And, you will know. As you begin to emerge from the liminal space of uncertainty, you will come out on the other side far greater than the one who entered before.

Mindfulness is required. Watch and listen carefully.

Published by Sharon Spano, Ph.D. February 14, 2020