Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Liminality - the Space In Between

Reality is the place between the sea and the foam. Irish Proverb defines it as:
the transitional period or phase of a rite of passage, during which the participant lacks social status or rank, remains anonymous,shows obedience and humility, and follows prescribed forms of conduct, dress, etc.

It is defined as the space in-between. It is emptiness and nowhere. It is a place of dying and rebirth, the space between death and rebirth, something that cannot be seen. Liminality is where transformation occurs. It is when we are betwixt and between, and by definition, not in control. An uncomfortable place to be if you ask me, but a place of impending change, which to me is exciting.
In the book, Crossing to Avalon - it is described as passing through a gateway, a threshold - an in between zone where we are neither who we used to be nor who we are becoming. We are standing in a doorway between two phases of our own life.
In this liminal phase we are vulnerable, thin skinned, which means we are open to new growth. T.S. Eliot wrote about a point of intersection of the timeless with time. It is a place where eternal and ordinary perception overlap the spiritual world and visible reality come together. Only in periods of availability will a person respond to a call to adventure or love and the lessons they bring.

Okay, so what does this mean and why even talk about it? I came upon notes I had taken from books and other readings, which are shared above, at the right time in my life.
As I came back from a spectacular trip to the Omega Institute for a Women's Leadership conference, thoughts were screaming in my head, copious notes had been taken the whole weekend, I rewrote my ideas for a retreat center, cleared out some old personal "garbage", and was ready to take on the work of my next incarnation.

And I got home and none of this happened. I couldn't write, my thoughts were unclear, my head foggy. I got sick recently, which put my head in an ever worse fog and I wondered what happened to that energy and spark that was on fire in New York. Even my meetings with people I met on that trip didn't spark anything new or exciting. What was wrong with me?

Then tonight, as I tried to free write in my journal (with no luck), I came across old notes and writings, which included liminality. And I realized where I was at this moment in my life. Funny, once again, if you look for the signs, they are here in front of you.

I guess I, too, am in another state of transition, that place in between. I am letting go of the old and worn out but the new has not presented itself yet. Jung calls the psychological journey to wholeness as individuation, a task of the 2nd half of life.

So, again, I wait, quietly, because I know in the quiet and nothingness, things are happening that are out of my control, out of my realm of thought. It tires me, this non-work. But it also excites me, as I know out of it comes newness, new thought, new direction, new beginnings, new you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beauty in the Bra - October Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I am amazed at all of the response to our art bra project with Dominican University students. This was the first year we did this project and I already have new ideas for a much more expansive program next year. I want to include more stores, more goddesses, more events. Hmmm, I don't like to run, but could we have a 5K run to benefit the project? A goddess themed run? Hmmm, the ideas keep coming up. I am humbled by all the response, all of the women who have inspired me on this project, and who continue to inspire me in my work. Thank you all.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Seasons are a-Changin'!

It never ceases to amaze me, the zigs and zags of your life, how it's course changes in the blink of an eye, the change in direction so small, yet so determined and angled perfectly that sometimes you can't see it till a new person enters, or an old acquaintance reappears, and brings into the forefront an idea that had been cooking in your head for a while. I've said it before and I will say it again, an idea is hatched and is planted into the universe and then, if it is cared for and tended to, grows into a live project. It may have a face not quite like the original one, but has become a life of its own. I came back from the Women's Leadership and Power conference a few weeks back at the Omega Institute, and since then I have not been able to write anything. I was so filled with stories of hope and encouragement. I was so filled up that I tweaked my plans a bit more and added to them (of course), and came home with such a need to start working on these ideas. But I couldn't. Nothing would come. The next week I attended a luncheon for the Chicago Women's' Foundation, an organization that funds womens projects. I came away from that with more ideas, and was re-acquainted with former workmates. Again, I could not write. And so I wait. Phone calls have been made. Meetings have been set with new and old colleagues. The seeds are being tended to. And even though it is Fall, I feel a sense of newness is coming. Seasons are a-changin'. And I await with such enthusiasm, the transition that is coming, trowel, watering can and compost in hand.