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Stuck between floors: musings from the in-between place

I find myself outside of my comfort zone these days.

There’s a general state of unrest going on in my inner world.  I’m uneasy, unsettled, wishing for a wider ledge to sit on.  I know that if I could find a good perch, I’d be able to relax and appreciate the view.

But somehow I can’t.  Not yet anyway.

You know those teenagers whose legs are suddenly too long for their bodies, and whose noses are too big for their faces?  I feel sortof like that.  It’s as if certain parts of me have grown and are now out of whack with the rest of me.  It’s like I’ve outgrown certain aspects of my life but haven’t yet found a container that accommodates the new constellation of me.

I’m between floors in an elevator, and the elevator has jammed.  The serviceperson has been called, but got stuck in traffic.

Of course there’s good news in all of this.

When I inventory my life I see that it’s more a question of synching up the parts than getting rid of certain aspects completely.  My business is now officially off the ground, and I’m loving the fact that I’m enjoying being an entrepreneur. And that I do what I love, and people are changing their lives? This is seriously good.  I’m also at a new stage of parenting; my kids are finally in school most of the day and I don’t micro-manage them the way I used to.  All good.  I’m working on my health, my relationship and my personal development.  But I don’t find that the parts are congruent, and that my life is in flow.  It feels like there’s something big behind Door #2, and it will tell me where to take it from here, what’s next for me, how I want to grow.

Here’s where I do my best to apply what I have learned from teachers to my own life.

I am turning inward to see what my soul wants for me.  The most basic of outlines has appeared, and it leaves me tingling with excitement, but the details are nowhere to be found. And though it’s frustrating beyond belief, trying to coax the details before they are offered up to me doesn’t work.  So I try to focus instead on the here and now.  I’m doing my best to stay in my body, noticing what it wants to tell me.  I’m appreciating moments of clarity about what’s cooking, as well as clarity about what’s present now that is essential and unchanging.  I’m recording insights that may one day serve me.  I ask myself the questions that might yield helpful answers.

I’m not tripping about what might be, since it hasn’t yet revealed itself.

My teachers advise me to practice patience.

To stay open, and receptive, and grateful.  To be ready to receive, once it’s time.  And to stay flexible and accommodating, since new directions will definitely require some shifting around of what’s already here and not going away.

Luckily for me, I recognize this place.  I’ve been here before.  Have you?

When I’m here I find that there’s a new opportunity for me to go back to the basics, to remember what it took to get to this place.  Taking time to reflect on my life purpose helps me feel into the discomfort and ask what it wants me to learn.  Clearly I’m ready for more; I’ve made space for myself to show up in bigger and more powerful ways.  I want to play in a bigger playground.  There’s fear here too – am I strong enough?  Do I have what it takes?  Am I ready? – and I use fear to ground me, to bring me closer to the questions themselves.

What I know is that I don’t know the ending to this story.

I don’t even know the next chapter.  And being fully on board for the ride is scary and disorienting.  It’s also totally absolutely necessary if I want to navigate my way out of this time of uncertainty.  If I want to ride the elevator to the next floor, which I do.  Oh yeah, I do!


What about you?  What do you know about morphing from one phase to the next in your life, your career, your family?  How do you find your way?  How do you stay with not-knowing what’s next?

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  • Lisa April 13, 2011, 6:17 pm

    Absolutely! Thanks for your insights.
    Patience in transition is the hard part for me, for sure. I find myself looking under every rock to find what’s in store next until I crash from the pointless anxiety of it all. Then I just stop. Stop looking into the future. I become as present as I can with whatever it is that I am doing – whether it’s weeding or participating in a meeting – while also taking care of the things that might get in the way of movement. Really, I find that staying present is the only thing that keeps me from jumping out of my skin!