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Liminal Space

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

By Nancy Bragg

Five years ago, my mom died.

I was grieving.

Liminal space unfolded in front of me,

creating space between “what was,”

nine years of road trips to be with Mom,

and possibilities of “what could be.”

This uncomfortable place

felt like an empty, bleak, void.

I paused,

and sank into the in-between.

It was my time for reflection

and renewal.

I felt like I was in limbo,

a place of liminality,

like gestating in a cocoon,

while transforming into a butterfly.

I practiced patience, waiting,

and not knowing.

I could tell I was standing on

a threshold of the unknown.

A sense of positive potential bubbled up -

a bit of excitement, expectancy,

like I was on the verge of something

genuinely new.

I practiced being open and receptive.

When my friend told me about a spiritual deepening program,

I immediately knew in my heart, without a doubt,

the program was right for me.

My spiritual deepening started with that inner knowing.

I recognized that I was already engaged

in my intentional spiritual journey.

Thresholds. We cross them every day. From room to room, from outside to inside, and back again, from here to there, from anywhere to everywhere, from age to age.

Each threshold offers an opportunity for change, for renewal, for transformation, from what we were and what we are to what we can be.

In this hour and in this place, we cross a threshold from our day-to-day everydayness into space and time attuned to the other, to the sacred, to the holy, into an awareness of new life pregnant with possibilities.

How will we be renewed in this moment? How will we be changed?

Participants’ Reflections:

  • This is a time of new beginnings, new thresholds I am journeying on that are scary and exciting at the same time.

  • Grief puts you right into the liminal space

  • So many ways we can look at being on the threshold. Expectancy stood out to me. I have been focusing on the light lately. Other spiritual readings have led me to look at the light, and where I need to put my energy and time. Groups like this bring unity. I don’t have to open doors alone.

  • My mom died 4 years ago. I never think about liminal spaces. A week after she died, we went to a Rowe Conference Center workshop on “Singing for the Dying.” It was my first time there and it was a perfect place for me to sit in a quiet nurturing liminal space to face life without my mom in my life and without having to take care of her. Seeing my life before me without taking care of Mom. Nice to think about these spaces, the words in the poem: cross the threshold from everydayness to think about what my mom wanted for me and what I wanted for me.

  • I have had a healing relationship with my mom since she died. I did not realize that rebirth could really mean more than getting “saved” as I was growing up, so I was late coming to the idea of rebirth every day and every moment. Thanks for letting us know that your Mom birthed you once and twice into a new place in your life.

  • I had never thought about the image of going through a doorway and when you do, leaving something behind and entering into a new possibility. It connects to your previous reading (Plot Twist, July 23). Being back at work today is stressful. I’m being out more than I have been, so as I go back, I have to think of it as an opportunity for something better.

  • This is a lovely image, an application we can use in all our lives. Having left my job gave me an opportunity. Nice to think about who I am at the moment. Right now, it’s ok to think of who I am at the moment, the unknowing. I can let go and just be present. That’s the foundation for what’s coming next. I’m on a quest to connect to my higher power and keep getting gifts and realizations of how close the world is. Rowe has been a big part of my recovery. Pay attention to the now. Trust that I am connected and look for signs and act.

  • Unknowing and being patient and waiting are all spiritual practices.

  • Our country is in a liminal space now and it will be interesting to see where as a nation we will go next and how.

  • How will we be renewed in this moment? How will we be changed?

  • Celtic tradition refers to this subliminal space as the “thin places”.

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