To be in transit means we are between places. The old hasn't quite ended, the new not quite emerged. We wobble in the face of the unknown. We don't know who we are anymore. Some of us cry and cling, others sigh with relief as we watch relics of the past fall wayside.
The good news is: in the ending, a new beginning's embedded.
We rarely notice, because we're busy starring into the abyss of Horror Vacui – our deep fear of the void, of empty space.
A man recently shared with me that his old status-driven life no longer fulfilled him, that he'd been focused on the wrong values, the wrong life, and now, he didn't know what to do. He was in panic. The emptiness inside and in front of him scared the shit out of him.
My optimistic response was: emptiness is good, rest into it, because there, you are buoyant, free to begin again.
The void is your creative cocoon: a chance to re-imagine your self and fill your life with new meaning, inspiration and joy.
When faced with empty our knee-jerk reaction is to fill it up quickly. With food, drugs and rock n' roll. The clamor of society and other people's voices. The mainstream temptation to belong. Anything to avoid the void. A-void.
What if you dove into the void like it was a warm, welcoming ocean?
Empty space, a new playground
The term "horror vacuum" was associated with the Italian art critic and scholar Mario Praz, who used it to describe the suffocating atmosphere and clutter of interior design in the Victorian age. As a minimalist Dane, I find this amusing. Because I love the decadent lushness of the boudoir, even created my own, and because, I've had to let go of all the inner and outer fluff and stuff to make room for something more simple and true to take shape. This is what we are all called to do - let go of the spirit-stifling fluff and stuff (and shoulds too).
My memoir Seeing Red is about the creation of a seemingly ideal life and the process of destroying it. Publishing it marks the completion one era of my life and I find myself standing at the tip of the springboard to a new. My heart is pounding. I'm holding my breath. I've worked hard for this freedom. The pond, my new playground, awaits me below.
The pond – how does it look? In truth, the water isn't all that clear to me. Still, I must jump, because if I wait for a perfect pond, I will be waiting forever.
At some point, you too have to climb onto the springboard of new. What does your pond look like? What will your new playground be?
Mine is expansive, desire-driven, inspired. A playground where I can express more of me and share what I love - namely to nourish our freedom, imagination and creative expression and bring a new soulful world to life. (My guess is you are here in my universe because you want some of that).
So, how do we navigate transitions?
We commit ourselves to be in the crucible of nothingness. In here, we slay fears, face horrors, notice our reactions, wrestle with useless judgements in our heads. We let go of stuff. We dismantle facades. We stay until we surrender. We use the void-time to listen deeply and get familiar with our soul's voice. It's the only voice worth listening to. We stay to get intimate with ourselves. Honest. Raw. Unfiltered. Feisty. Filthy. Shameful. Soft. Softer yet. And free and freer still.
Nurturing your free, creative spirit is fundamental to engaging consciously with life's transitions.
Personally, I protect my creative crucible. I embrace solitude and stay tuned to dreams, hunches and spontaneous inspirations. As I add ingredients to my new playground, I see that some have been with me forever, some are new, some still a mystery. Slowly the contours of a new scenic route emerges with experiences I want to have, projects I want to create, people I want to play with. I only want what feels real and right to surface, the rest, I let go.
Desire as compass
If I can feel it, if it excites me or draws me, I give it attention. If I can't feel it or it feels heavy, burdensome, and sound a lot like a 'should,' I let it go. When the vision is unclear, I allow space for more information to trickle in. If too cluttered still, I let more old fall away. This is the journey. At the core is freedom. To be you. Anew.
When I find myself longing to latch onto something solid, to know it all and have the big master plan figured out so I can feel confident and tell others that I'm on the right track, and and and… Oh, I'm still on the springboard, shivering, out of breath.
This is NOT what this journey is about.
Maybe I should just shut up a little longer.
Show a little faith in the process.
Anything and everything arise from the void.
To stay free is a daily practice. Detach. Release. Return to empty. Let the void bouy you up.
Transitions have no age. I used to get high on leap-taking. It used to be easier. This transition feels slower and requires the tenacity of an Olympic winner. It's more about inner attuning than outer pursuits. As I'm becoming less concerned with grandiose mission statements, empire building and end games, I find myself more openly, joyously engaged in the creative process that is daily life.
My dearest… I want to tell you, you'll be just fine.
Realigning with your soul takes time. Make re-discovering yourself a treasure hunt. Allow your self to change, allow your playground (your life, your world) to evolve. Let it happen with wonder. Let yourself relish the creative process. It is, after all, all we've got.
Like any cycle and seasonal change, transitions allow us to let go of that which doesn't serve and to call in what will. Do you begin to feel the lightness ?
Be gentle. Give space. Relish this time.
Re-imagine yourself, your life.
What a gift.
Resources to support your creative metamorphosis: