Theme For Week One: The Threshold

1. Liminal Spaces-Patti Digh says:

“What spaces are you standing between? Now, and then? Here, and there? Whole, and broken?

Now imagine those spaces as trapeze bars: what would it take to throw your heart over the bars and let your body follow, as one veteran trapeze performer has advised?

What monkey bar are you moving from, and what monkey bar are you moving to, in 2012? What does the space in-between feel like, sound like, taste like?”

2. Why Not Begin Where You Are? Jennifer Louden says:

“What gifts do the parts of me I don’t like have to offer me? What gifts could the parts of me that I’m afraid of have to offer me? How could these aspects of me help me create more of what I desire?

You might try interviewing a particular aspect of yourself—say the part that is never satisfied or the part that keeps wanting to rewrite history—and allow her to answer via your non-dominant hand. Use your regular hand to ask questions and then let whatever comes, come!

There Is Only Now

by Joy

I am re-reading the book “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls.  As I read, I am acutely aware that I have never had a liminal space.  Growing up in a  chaotic household, I learned to survive, not to *live*.  Healthy, whole, complete in relations to self, others, or World was not my norm.  Routine, stability, commitment was not my norm.  Abundance and prosperity was not my norm.  My status quo was chaos–not particularly nurturing– but, because it is what I had known, when in doubt in life, chaos is what I had learned to fall back upon.  Chaos is even what I have drawn to me; I had learned to be comfortable within that discomfort.

The skills in learning to survive include: strength, perseverance, manipulation, retreat, agility, faith.  In general in life, I have no fear–I have been physically and emotionally pushed past most people’s “breaking point”.  When I am not “pushed”, I love challenging myself to explore and experiment. To survive requires great movement..I know how to move, I am not afraid to move.  It is staying still that frightens me–in survival staying still means vulnerability and even death.

Metaphysically when I am still, I am most vulnerable internally.  Without noise or clutter or external distractions, there is only me and *I*.  If there are pieces I do not like about my self, staying still means internal death–without self love and self acceptance, the moments of stillness might result in a gradual wilting of spirit.  Until I learned to apply the same love, compassion, and encouragement to *me* as I shared generously with others, stillness in spirit or in body was virtually inconceivable to me.

To transform my life and not only allow for peace within my life, but to honor peace as my foundation for living required not that I re-write my history but that I took one moment to become aware of what was life enriching to me (body, mind, soul, spirit) and then to invest my energy in all that is life enriching.  Awareness is my transformational tool of choice.

Six years ago, I made the choice to change my life.  If then, I looked back and thought “it took me 35 years to become this way, how long will it take me to transform my life?” I would have felt overwhelmed–possibly hopeless– and kept embracing status quo, with my spirit drained and a feeling of emptiness.  But, each time I chose to be aware in that moment of who I am and to allow gratitude for what I have--I chose to *live*.

Fast forward six years later. Only in the last five months, have I felt comfortable exploring commitment and routine.  I have discovered that commitment to quality (such as peace) is a commitment of my heart and instead of restricting my movement, allows me to soar freely.  If I am on the monkey bars now, it is not to keep my feet moving, but because I am having fun and delighting in the exercise.  Staying still is now a concept for me to embrace–there is great joy as I celebrate this new “rooted-ness” and allow my self to blossom fully and completely before choosing to nurture the next seed.  As I experience stillness, I am able to move–just in new and different ways.

To me, there isn’t a here or there, there is only a now. And there isn’t a love of self, or others, or world; there is only love.

Thank you.


Comments on: "Theme For Week One: The Threshold" (9)

  1. I believe that our purpose in life is to love. Peace to you Joy, thank you for your insight!

  2. I completely get “feeling empty” and “spirit drained”. Thank you for sharing your discovery of peace. I look forward to this AYWM journey because it allows me to travel with women like you.

    • Hi Beth,
      In general, mainstream is “used to” empty and spirit drained…it is my heartfelt wish to encourage and inspire pleasure and delight and joy as we create in each day:)
      Thank you for your presence here–I look forward to connecting as we allow this adventure to unfold:)

  3. Megan Bord said:

    I’ll have to remember that left-handed (non-dominant) writing exercise. I’ve heard of it before, but haven’t yet done it. I like the idea of asking the parts of me that I’m uncomfortable with (or that are uncomfortable with staying as they are) what they’re all about and how they serve me. Please remind me of this! I could use some help in that department.

    I love what you wrote at the end: that there is no here or there, or past/future; there is only now, and there is only love.

    Can we sit still long enough in silence – in the nothingness – to recognize that just as we are, with what we have, we are EVERYTHING? Seems this is the year when we’ll find that out. I’m with you, dear friend. This journey is not one you’ll walk alone. Your tribe will be with you.

    • Megan,
      When I tried the left handed exercise it allowed me to consider any residual of “perfectionism”…my mind immediately critiqued my writing but my heart immediately swooped in with delight at the exercise.
      I think, in general, we are afraid of that which makes us uncomfortable so we shy away from that..when often the most precious treasures are buried deep within that discomfort. May we learn to excavate joyfully :)
      Your last lines touch me..brought tears to my eyes…thank you for that reflection! This is my current journey: can I sit still long enough in the silence???
      Thank you for walking with me..the thought adds buoyancy to my step!

  4. Having peace is something that is so remote in my society. In Singapore, if you are not productive, you are replaced. Nobody lives in certainty and it doesn’t matter that we are a country enjoying prosperity. We are always rushing, only to nowhere. I would try to find the peace in me and I foresee that to be a long journey.

    AYWM is a great project for me to reflect on the way I conduct my life and connect with like-minded people. Looking forward to more of your post (;

  5. Lisa Faulkner said:

    Thank you for this: If then, I looked back and thought “it took me 35 years to become this way, how long will it take me to transform my life?”

    It actually comforts me and reminds me to be patient as I am still transitioning & creating after leaving a job as a professor at the end of 2010. A job I was at for 5 years after spending even longer getting educated to do that job.

    • Hi Lisa,
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
      I can identify completely with you because I just released my full time job. I think, in general, we attach relevance to the label rather than to the skill. Everything that you studied and learned and experienced is still within you, and still in all that you continue to create, just not under the title “professor”.
      Thank you for recognizing that you are in a period of movement as you transition, yet stillness as you honor patience to allow all of the seeds that you have planted thus far to germinate and blossom. What a beautiful gift to yourself!

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