One of my favourite mental models is the adaptive cycle. Its double-looped, infinity symbol reflects the continuous evolution of life on both the micro and macro scales.
While its simplicity renders it useful as an overlay on any developmental journey, there is something missing: the liminal space between each step in the cycle, the tentative tendrils that snake past one step and move ahead into the next, the fluid, dynamic push-and-pull of the in-between places that we experience in our feeling bodies.
While some liminal spaces call for a short pause to reflect or make a decision before moving along the cycle, other in-between moments stretch out and extend their reach, clouding our very sense of being and permeating every aspect of our daily lives. In particular, the space between conservation (homeostasis) and release can be particularly uncomfortable to navigate through, as described in a recent newsletter by Executive Coach Starla Sireno**: "I could feel the pull of an emerging future that doesn’t yet exist - the plans, the ideas, the next steps that are unfolding, but haven’t yet come to fruition. And with the excitement, there is a grieving for what will have to change to make room for that new reality. But for now, there isn’t much I can do except live with the restlessness of nothing being wrong, yet having a deep desire for resolution."
Confinement of the body can breed expansion of the mind, a powerful engine that moves forward at the speed of thought, breaking barriers and reaching beyond the physical. This is the space, the loop many of us find ourselves living through, a state of internal flux where our minds are free to explore and expand while our bodies are, for the most part, stuck within the confines dictated by the COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols.
We then find ourselves living in a time of uncertainty, waiting for our physical realities to catch up to the etherial plane, there is no comfort in plans and strategies. Instead, we can find solace in the certainty of uncertainty - the ever-changing seasons, the rhythm of nature's cycles, and the stillness of simply be-ing, letting the mind and body settle in and rest in a cozy nook of our own creativity, mirroring the deep freeze of February in the mountains. But that is a story for another time...
on the journey to