Over a decade ago, I found myself between jobs, between relationships and between roommates. Old patterns would have spun me into a panic. I would have found myself immediately searching to fill these voids, with my decisions based in fear. But gratefully by that time in my life, I'd done a little groundwork and introspection so that I could begin to trust in the crafty Universe clear-cutting a path leading somewhere...
I took a month off and traveled to Kauai. I went by myself, packed my tent, rented a small truck and booked my first few days in a private in-law rental right on Hanalei Bay. In those first few days I swam and napped on the beach..alot. I explored to Secret Beach. Wandering down a jungled slope, with many chicks and roosters flailing out of my way, the path opened to expansive golden sands and cerulean blue water. I napped there too, only to awaken to a tall, tanned, man standing over me, wearing only a straw hat and his long golden beard which was bedazzled with daisies. As I was startled, he simply gave me a daisy from his beard and wandered up the sand to his cave dwelling edging the jungle path from where I'd come. It was one of those moments I just needed to take in stride.
Upon my departure from Hanalei, my plan to camp around the island was thwarted by reports of some crazy serial killer on the loose with a penchant for women camping by themselves. This was just another hiccup, which led me to a bunkhouse at the base of Sleeping Giant. It was where I met Max, the toad-herding border collie and his owner Tom, a retired landscape architect who had come to Hawaii in the early 1960s and never left. He and his wife had created a small complex of bunkhouses, guest rooms and bungalows surrounded by tropical gardens, fruit trees and meandering paths. Tom and I would chat on the lawn in the evenings while watching Max the dog pounce on toads and roll them with his nose until they leapt away. Out of all the places I saw and things I did during my month-long stay, it was that time in the evening and those chats that I really loved the most. Looking back I suppose it was simply the downtime where I got to just do nothing. The ease, the spaciousness amidst everything that was swirling back home.
One evening after the dusk had finally dimmed into dark, I said goodnight to Max and Tom. I climbed into bed and laid there with one hand on my heart and one on my belly. I asked for guidance, clarity on what to do next with everything up in the air in my life. Just then, it felt as if a secret window slid open at my forehead. Beyond it I saw a scene playing out in a crystal blue lagoon with two dolphins guiding me out into the water. Diving with them into the water, I began to fall asleep, but not before I heard this phrase coming from a very distant voice, "Emptiness is the space reserved for the spectacular to come in and lounge." The next morning I woke with a distinct clarity that I needed to do some sort of healing work on people. It was such a foreign idea to me, putting my hands on people, healing them?? But something was calling...
Very often, we find ourselves in the limbo of transition. Our tendencies are to fill the void, whatever it is, rather than feeling the spaciousness of it. Even in our spiritual practices, when we drop into meditation, clearing our mind, there is a part of us that says, "oookaayy, what now?" Or in our yoga practice when we surpass that old physical barrier, we stretch even farther to the next destination, rather than hanging out in the pose to see what arises. We overlook the necessity of integrating what we've learned or accomplished so that the new wisdom may inform how we now show up in the world.
What we forget, or don't yet realize, is that those pockets of limbo are put there for a reason. If we can't slow down, the Universe will do it for you and will happen over again until we find that ease, the trust, to simply sink into it. Allowing ourselves to even float along with it like a calm, lazy river. Because it's in this spaciousness that our psyche becomes more aligned with our spirit. We say we want answers, but we don't make the time to listen. In our fast-paced, task-oriented, instant-gratification society, the moment we get a pocket of time, we want to fill it up, many of us don't even know how to be in the quiet. It's why I love the modality of Reiki, because it simply returns us to that deeply quiet place where we can get the downloads..perhaps not in that exact moment, but it facilitates a quieter state so we may receive the answers with a clear mind.
With this quarter's Mercury Retrograde from 10/3-10/25, I encourage you to pause, slow down and enjoy the spaciousness. Try not to schedule too much, be patient with missed meetings, calls and emails. Astrologer Robert Wilkinson, says in his report, "“I know there are many unfortunate things attributed to Mercury retrograde, but there are also many productive things that get done, connections that are made, and different angles of view glimpsed that make our understanding more complete and well rounded…”
If fear is the lock, let emptiness be the key.
How do you deal with limbo? Tell me about in the comments below!