The in-between can feel intimidating, but there are benefits to lingering there.
“OK, well what then do you mean when you say music happens between the notes?
Well, how do you get from A to B? Is it a smooth transfer; it’s automatic, it feels easy,
you glide into the next note? Or do you have to physically or mentally or effortfully reach to go from one note to another? Could the next note be part of the first note? Or could the next note be a different universe? Have you just crossed into some amazing
boundary and suddenly the second note is a revelation?” ~ Yo-Yo Ma (excerpt from his conversation with Krista Tippett on the On Being Podcast)
I looked through my computer screen into my dear friend’s face and felt every ounce of her frustration and exhaustion. She was caught in the terrible taffy stretcher of being in limbo. The place of not knowing. The energetic state of suspended animation. Having left, but not yet arrived. The in-between.
Tidal waves of Uncertainty. Waiting on news.
She had already begun to transmute the in-between world to her advantage. I could hear in her voice a conviction, a decision to make empowering choices as to how to ascribe meaning to the journey she was on.
As she spoke, I could see in the future. How she would look back on the pain of now and know that it had set her on a new path, the one meant only for her. How she would take the lessons of the in-between and pour it all into her art, her work with clients, and her passion for uplifting and changing the world.
Music happens between the notes.
But that’s not what our culture tells us. Instead, we are pelted with lore that the place of in between is a place to be feared, warred against, rooted out, quashed. We are violent in our distaste for this space of being.
We want to know, damn it.
We want clean edges. We want certainty. We want to know how the story of our lives turns out.
Buoyant And The In-Between
The following is an excerpt from my book, Buoyant: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Becoming Wildly Successful, Creative, and Free:
“As you continue doing this work, know that we can have a balance of joyful becoming while we love ourselves wholeheartedly right here, right now. We can stretch ourselves from the confines of our comfort zones while knowing the new destination is a playful journey, not an effort to wring out flaws. We can find that a state of flow lands when we create right at the edge of what feels too hard without white-knuckle effort.
That is, as we do this work, we can hold two opposites in our mind simultaneously: We can release the seductive trap of pursuing endless self-improvement while we mindfully, intentionally create our new lives into being. We can hold the energy of an explorer, not that of a punisher looking to bleach out defects. We can know we are already whole, already just fine, while we wonder if we can open our hearts more and gently inspire the center of us with delight, color, and joy. We can jettison the urge to fix flaws and still reach the shores of our hearts’ desires.” – Buoyant: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Becoming Wildly Successful, Creative and Free by Susie deVille
Limbo Can Be Luscious
Limbo can be luscious.
It can be our most fertile ground of becoming, creating, and being.
The in-between can be the place on the side of the trail where we finally hear our true selves speak up. Where we find the resource meant just for us. Nudging ourselves forward via a series of small moves guided by our best intuition.
The in-between world lets us hand pick from A, carry it across the threshold, and gently fold it into B.
Limbo doesn’t rob us. It gifts us self-actualized choices. It may be our most winning state of being or, as Yo-Yo Ma says, this space of in between could birth a revelation.
Lean into your journaling practice to mine this alchemical state. Take yourself on walks and let ideas collide. Make something–perhaps a quick sketch–that gets your hands moving and quiets your mind.
Most of all, linger. Linger much longer than your doing/fleeing/distracting self feels it can bear.