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6 Ways to Enrich the In-Between States

The in-between state is the gap between an ending and a new beginning. It’s a time of being between the past and something different arriving.  We are in a time of waiting, reflecting, and sometimes planning.  

Pregnancy and waiting for babies to be born and the fun of dreaming about who they might be is an example of an in-between state.  Finishing a job and the excitement of getting ready to start the new one is also an example.  Trying out for something and anxiously waiting to hear if you will be doing one thing or another.  Perhaps you’re waiting for tests results, knowing that one way or another, life will change.  The ups and downs while looking for the “till death do us part” relationship.

Most of us want to jump into new beginnings as quickly as possible like we’re getting off the hot coals of the unknown as fast as possible.  As a modern culture, we dislike waiting.  We want to move on quickly.  We dislike messiness.  We tell ourselves, “you can’t change the past” (which, of course, we can’t), yet failing to mine the lessons of the past, we lose the growth and wisdom that might have been gleaned from the experience.

There is tremendous potential and richness in the in-between state.  But this gap, this in-between space, is also full of ambiguity and uncertainty, feelings that we often try to avoid.  We often fear the slowness of time in this space and try to fill it with busyness; we try to get rid of what makes us uncomfortable – all of which, ironically, adds to our discomfort.

Why would anyone want to widen “in-between” state and spend even more time here?

The in-between state is where we search our souls and question our hearts.  The sometimes slowness of this state allows us to go inward and ask ourselves big questions like “Why am I here?”, “What is my purpose?”, “What happens in death?”

The in-between state contains the full range of human emotions, from peace to excruciating pain.  We can question our sanity, experience our madness, and even enter  “the dark night of the soul.”

The in-between state is where we learn and grow, more so than any other transition stage, like the butterfly in the chrysalis.  Creativity and courage are explored in the in-between state.  And, here in the in-between state, we put up the mirror of who we are and release our masks.  It is where we integrate the parts of the personality, and emotional healing is possible.

The in-between state is where we shift from doing to the states of being, allowing, and receiving.

When you find yourself needing “time to think,” you are searching for the recovery that can be found in the in-between state.  When you feel overwhelmed by life, the in-between state is the place to unravel.  The in-between state can be a private inner sanctuary where you retreat, rest, restore and create.

How do you spend time when in the in-between state?  How might you widen the space of this state to experience the depth to which your soul wants to go?

  1. Meditation is one of the most effective tools we have for entering the in-between state. Most of the time, our mind is caught up in thoughts, emotions, and memories.  Meditation takes you beyond the noise and into the stillness of consciousness.  There are so many tools available today to help you quiet your busy mind and enter this space.
  2. Journaling allows us to enter the in-between state by noticing and expressing our inner thoughts and emotions. Because habitual negative thinking can spiral our emotional state progressively downward, journaling opens the in-between state not as a form of denial – but as a way of cherishing the preciousness of life, even when we feel rough.  It seems we all have an inner quota of emotional pain to process in our lifetime. At certain times of life, the in-between state can provide us with the pause to learn how to celebrate the poignancy of our pain and the beauty of life at the same time.
  3. Yin yoga is unique in that you relax into a posture, soften the muscle, and move closer to the bone. Yin offers much deeper access to the body and is much like time spent in meditation.  Yin postures are held for three to five minutes, and some even 20 minutes at a time.
  4. Living with Questions is simple and is become a powerful gateway to stay present in the in-between state. We live with questions by gently repeating the question to ourselves until an insight occurs.  We widen the space as we meditate and journal about the question. And we can further broaden the space by taking the question into our dreams and asking our dreams to reveal clues to help us understand the question more deeply.
  5. Reconnecting with Nature will open the portal to the in-between state as you experience the living connection to all of life and the connection to something bigger than yourself.  Widen the in-between state by walking barefoot in Nature.  In the words of Tich Nhat Hanh, “Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”
  6. Expressive Arts like painting, drawing, storytelling, intuitive writing, collaging, and art journaling also open us to the in-between state. Widen the gap by working with symbols and imagery, our first and primary means of internal communication.

About Terri Altschul

Terri Altschul is an ICF Professional Certified Coach and the Founder of WomenConnected.net.  She is devoted to guiding others to their inner knowing through depth coaching, visual journaling, mindfulness, and lots of love & bravery.  Learn how Women Connected programs can support your journey here.

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