Embracing Transitional Periods and Learning How to Be In-Between

Good morning beautiful angels,

If you’re a writer you probably know the feeling of unspiration, that in-between phase when you simply don’t feel the drive or creativity coming through. I’ve been learning recently that allowing creativity to flow has a lot to do with creating space.

I feel like I’m in the Bardo. Not the literal Bardo—a figurative Bardo on the physical plane. I’m feeling in-between. We’re always in-between, even when we feel like we’ve arrived somewhere—a new country, a new job, a new something, it’s always a transitional space in a timeline that is ever-changing.

Rosalinda Learns How to Surf

A stark example is the story of one of my friends Rosalinda (name has been changed). Rosalinda suffered a series of debilitating heartbreaks. She would get into a relationship with a man and later find out he was sleeping with her best friend, sneaking around, or a serial cheater.

This happened to Rosalinda three consecutive times. She was stuck on a loop. Finally, she broke her cycle and decided to move to Australia on a whim. She boarded a plane in Toronto and eventually landed in a foreign country with no plan, place to live or clear vision for her future.

Instead of embracing the beautiful ambiguity of it all, she was suffering severe anxiety. She journaled about how she was wasting time—she was supposed to be working, saving for her future, looking for a partner, finding a home to settle down in. Instead, she was sitting on a beach, restless and afraid.

A trip that was meant to be a year was cut short when she decided to jet off to Thailand with some friends. The change of scenery didn’t change her state of mind. She continued to stress. In a series of random events she ended up with a mystical Shaman elder in the jungle somewhere—he immediately sensed her anguish.

He told her to write down all of her worries and then rip up the paper and toss the shreds into the lapping waves of the ocean. She did as he said, and she described to me the sensation wash over her like cleansing salt water itself—she felt free. Releasing her worries about the imaginary timeline of her life allowed her to be here now.

After this sacrificial ritual, Rosalinda surfed through her trip with ease. In a series of fateful run-ins she saw the same man at every island and every hostel she stayed in. They bumped into each other at a full moon party in a crowd of thousands of other travellers and re-routed both their trips to spend more time together.

It turns out this person was the love of her life. They have a home, a job, and a life back home in Toronto together. Once Rosalinda embraced the present moment and released what she believed should be, she created space for her life to manifest into reality.

Being In the In-Between

The nature of the mind makes almost every moment into a moment of the in-between. The week becomes a time in-between weekends,  time without food become in-between meals, meals become time in-between to-do lists. Soon your entire life becomes a series of events in-between birth and death. We must let go of the concept of the in-between all together.

This moment is all you have. Whatever you’re doing right now is a moment full of possibility and yet empty in essence. Do you feel that breath? That’s what’s happening in the now.

I’ve struggled with this as of late, hence why I’m writing about it. I often feel as though whatever I’m doing right now in this moment is not enough. I’m always supposed to be going somewhere or doing something. This is a trap.

Do not become trapped by the illusion of productivity. In many cases, people become so wrapped up in the doing that they forfeit being or experiencing. If you feel as though you are in-between right now, take a deep breath. Take comfort in knowing that where you are right now, may be exactly where you need to be.

The key to Rosalinda’s success was her decision to surf through life rather than breaststroke through the massive waves. This isn’t to say surfing isn’t hard work—it’s just a lot more fun.