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Navigating the 'Liminal' / Unknown Stage of Change

Once the structures of our world, lives, roles, or identities change, we reach a stage where we realise that we cannot “go back to how things were”. This is recognised across peoples, cultures, and ages past, as the middle or central stage of transformation and the rite of passage. This transitional or "in-between" stage of change is also known as the liminal stage. It can be viscerally uncomfortable, and includes the many challenges and tasks of being in an unfamiliar and unknown place of becoming.

Join myself, Hāweatea and Katie Asmus of The Somatic Wilderness Therapy Institute as we drop into a discussion on The Liminal Unknown Stage of Change, and some ways to move with and through it!





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What is the Liminal Unknown?

*(note: this is not a transcription of our discussion above).


The very things we had trusted and relied upon are challenged or fall away. For example. Collectively, we are in the liminal. With so many global shifts, our usual support and resourcing through external structures, communities and systems may no longer be ‘certain’ or dependable. Personally, this liminal stage is like entering a threshold: like an experience of the ground being “threshed” or moved, which falls away to groundlessness, a feeling of foundational disorientation. It is a passageway whereby our internal knowing and trust is challenged, becomes hesitant or in-doubt. And not just by others, but within our own heart and senses. Our sense of self, our sense of stability, or predictability, undergoes a shift. In the liminal stage we find that we can't contain change to one neat part of our world, like we might in 'ordinary life'. It spills into most everything, connecting experiences and aspects that were previously ‘separate’. It bleeds through our spiritual and emotional landscape, our relationships, and our sense of ourselves in the world. This is where we’re tested and “threshed” along with the whole. The greatest test is internal: eliciting deeper questioning, deciphering our core values and discerning what is most meaningful. It invites us towards clarity in our inner listening. This journey brings forth that which was previously unrecognisable, seemingly unsuitable, impossible, incompatible, unbelievable … as a wide open space of potentiality. We arrive in a landscape where there is something bigger than us, and it has burned away limitations, doubt, control, and the conditioned grip of how things were. In the liminal the new comes through in surprising, committed, catalytic, and connected ways.


What qualities do you notice in this stage? (uncomfortable to surprising...)

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