There is an abundance of wisdom, words, pictures, sayings and people out there right now offering us snippets of insights into the practices and results of an awakened life. They are all valuable, enchanting and serve a higher purpose, yet many people with whom I work and speak still feel confused, perplexed, stuck, and unsure of how to incorporate all the information and practices into their lives- they feel like they are living life in limbo.
While limbo can be an uncomfortable place to be, it too, means that you are moving forward, unhinging yourself from a life that did not serve you in all the ways it could. As you continue to wake up and live with more awareness everyday, have no fear of the space we call “limbo” for this is simply a temporary platform on which you stand looking back at what was, and collecting information about how to create what is and has yet to come. There are a several tips I can offer that might make this space flow a bit more peacefully, and allow you to learn and transition from “then” to “now” with a bit more grace and efficiency.
1.) Commit to yourself that you will allow yourself to see every irritation, frustration, or emotional reaction to someone, something, or a situation as a lesson for you, and you only. Tell yourself this is a gift of transcendence that will allow for expansion and growth within you. Quit trying to understand the other person or people through your perspectives because that does not work, ever, and it further reinforces the negative emotions that erupted in you as a result of the difference. Instead say to yourself, “Gee, that did not go well. What about that exchange can I own and adjust next time? Did I have expectations of them that were not met and subsequently, triggered a reaction in me? Did I fail to open my heart and my ears while ‘listening’? Did I already have my mind made up about what I could offer them or accept from them? If it’s not about them, am I too tired? Not eating or sleeping well? What is it in me not being honored right now?” Explore the exchange in every way you can, and then own your role, apologize if you need to, and bring that awareness with you next time.
2.) Be prepared to stop yourself mid-sentence in a fight, argument, or negative self-talk. Be diligent about catching yourself, and then revising your statement, or shifting the old pattern of behavior or triggered response. This step is particularly helpful in partnerships and roles we easily slip into as mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, etc. We are allowed to grow and evolve in those family dynamics, we don’t have to “show up” as expected or fall into the same story lines that once rang true. We get to choose to shift those anytime we want.
3.) Be open to everything, but only actively pursue paths, modalities, information, and insights that inspire you and resonate deeply. We can get lost in the information jungle, especially when we formally begin to open up to the world. The speed and rate that people and information will begin to flow into your life, or perhaps already have begun to, is astounding once you open your heart to it. So create some boundaries and intentions around only following the pathways that call to you. Otherwise, you can very easily get lost in limbo AND wear yourself down energetically, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Without setting boundaries and intentions, and being clear about seeking balance, you might very well “short-circuit” your system pursuing and receiving things.
4.) You may need to rock out hermit style for a bit as you figure out what is happening, what is changing, shifting, and growing within you. You may need to be still and quiet more often as all of these things take place in your life. Enjoy the down time, and reflect and rest here. This is always a safe, peaceful way to let some of those outside forces (people, places, emotional triggers) fall away naturally without having to run up against the same situations over and over as you try to incorporate the lessons you are learning, and the practices that will shift those. You may discover when you are ready to shift out of your yin space, that many “negative” people will have naturally transitioned out of your life nearly effortlessly. Learn to honor this space and time required, and know that this cycle of yin and yang will always come and go in our lives as needed.
5.) Think of yourself as an active observer of your life. I call it conscious detachment. This allows you to live in a less attached way to the outcomes of your life. Instead, you have the opportunity to quickly and easily adjust things as you observe them spiraling in a direction you don’t want. You won’t have to ride the wave, because the change in perspective allows you the space and humility to choose to jump off before you get swept away. And sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you will still get swept away, but at any moment you are able to step up, wipe yourself off and say, “I screwed up, and I am sorry”, or “Whoops, I missed that cue from life.” The more you practice this, the easier to move out of limbo it becomes. You also remain more in control of where you direct your personal attention and power.
6.) Acknowledge everything! Absolutely everything- from the trees and the clouds in the sky, to the way your hands feel on the steering wheel while you drive, your emotional charges in interactions, the reaction you have to standing in line at the store or waiting at a stoplight, and the sounds around you. Bring your awareness to everything possible in each moment. This keeps you present, grounded, and engaged. It is also grants you the freedom to shift in and out of spaces more easily, and it certainly keeps those things that are unacknowledged from creeping up in other ways in your life and biting you in the arse.
7.) LOVE and APPRECIATE yourself every day for all that you ARE currently, and for what you are becoming. Acknowledge the work of your physical body to keep you healthy and mobile, and if you are not healthy and/or mobile, use this as a chance to start healing your physical body by perhaps beginning to love on it for the first time in a LONG time. Mentally appreciate yourself for being open, becoming honest with yourself about ways you have been protective, scared, and insecure in your life and how that has perhaps made an impact on your relationships and beyond. Take a bath, go for a walk while telling yourself how amazing you are, go get a massage, take an art class, read a good book- find little ways to treat yourself all the time. Be grateful to all aspects of your being- your mind, body, and spirit, and equally when possible. Learning and mastering self love and appreciation is one of the most foundational and important acts for you to practice daily. Trust yourself to always show up in the best way you know how, and use this trust to allow yourself to be strong, insightful, and authentic every day. Think of yourself as your child- you would never think or say some of the things we tell ourselves and our bodies, often multiple times a day, to a small, vulnerable child. Release yourself from the abuse and/or neglect it has sustained for years- consciously or unconsciously. It is time for you to learn to nurture and love YOU, in every way you can. Be gentle, and patient, too, because we all have our own time frame and process of unfolding. Respect and honor yourself, and your process. Always.
8.) Release expectations- of others, yourself, what things are supposed to look like, and instead have a vision of where you going, but not the pathway that takes you there. Let that unfold as it should, and you will find that you are far less disappointed and frustrated by things. Imposing expectations on others and yourself is damaging and disabling. 9 out of 10 times having expectations will slow the process, and cause hang-ups, disappointments, and disconnects in the relationship with self or others. Let them go- be willing to be surprised. Enjoy it, in fact.
To the best of your ability, practice these eight things daily, and limbo should feel far less uncomfortable and painful. Everything you are going through is offering you the chance to transcend, expand and grow into a more full, and honest expression of who you really are. Give yourself permission to be free in limbo, not fearful. Pain is passion, and allowing yourself to feel it creates a greater capacity in you to experience bliss and stability on the other side of it. There is no bottom to the depth of expansion and peace you can feel. Free fall out of limbo by releasing all resistance to what may lie on the other side of your disconnection to your full reality in, and relationship to, this life.
Always rooting for you.
Yours in sacred, loving service,