In Between

QuestionsRecently, I’ve been having a very unusual experience. I feel great and I don’t feel great. I’m in love with my life and I’m grieving my life. Confused? Yeah, me too.

I got out my trusty mind-body journal (which is just a spiral bound notebook where I use all my own tools on myself). I went outside to sit quietly and be with myself. In Wyoming, that means sitting in a clump of sagebrush. I picked a spot with a great view of a beautiful valley, breathed in the scent of sage, and got quiet. I asked my soul to help me understand what is going on in my life right now.

Soon after I asked, I heard my soul’s answer. It said, “You’re in the In-Between.”

The In-Between is a place the mind doesn’t fully grasp. The In-Between requires the wisdom of the body and emotions and soul. Otherwise, the mind just gets confused.

My soul helped me to understand the In-Between. As I sat, I saw images of my life this year like pictures on a movie screen.

Getting pregnant for the first time in my life

Celebrating the pregnancy with my husband

Working on my coaching business

Having a miscarriage

Grieving with my husband

Grieving, in general

Discovering new things about myself

Finding out I wasn’t saying everything I wanted to say – to readers, to clients

Getting new ideas for my business

Being in the process of starting new projects

Considering getting pregnant again

Waiting for my body to feel like getting pregnant again

Waiting for my soul to feel like getting pregnant again

Being in the process of renovating and redecorating my house

Being in the process of creating a new website and new material

Doing new work, with new people

Not having the end vision yet, for anything

Right now, everything is started. Nothing is done. I don’t have a full vision of what everything will look like. I’m not totally sure what I want, yet. I’m exploring. I’m not deciding. I’m looking at all the different flavors. I’m tasting them. I’m not sure yet which ones I’ll choose.

My soul explained that the In-Between is necessary. It is, in fact, more important than the Not In-Between. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can happen without the In-Between. Nothing can be born without the space from which to be born. Healing happens in the In-Between. The In-Between is about discovery. It’s the thing that happens before gestation. Even before a seed is planted.

In music, there’s a thing called a rest. It’s a notation on the music score that tells you to not make any sound for a certain number of beats. Most beginning musicians ignore the rests. Their eyes skip over them and see the next music note on the page. As a teacher, I used to have to explain, over and over again, that the rest was just as important as the note. That it was more important, because if you played in the rest, the music no longer worked. Playing in one rest could mess up an entire symphony. It could cause cacophony and dissonance. It could bring the entire orchestra to a grinding halt. Now I’m explaining to myself that the rest is just as important as the note.

The In-Between is a rest between two notes. It’s the murky, not-clearly-defined place between imagining and creating. I am imagining a lot right now. I imagine different colors of home décor in different rooms in my house. I imagine giving birth in different months of the year. I imagine different images on my website.

I don’t decide. Yet.  I don’t start.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll know more. In fact, this week I did choose some colors for the living room. They feel right. But the living room is still in process.

I pick one little thing at a time. I imagine some more. I listen to my body.

And, I grieve. Still.

In my opinion, we think the grieving process is a lot shorter than it really is. At first, grief is like a flood. It consumes everything we do. Later in the process, it becomes like summer thunderstorms. It arrives suddenly and passes quickly, several times a week.

I’m learning to let grief be a part of my life. I’m learning that it’s okay to be in the middle, half this and half that, undecided, in and out – In-Between.  The In-Between allows me time to process and assimilate the changes necessary right now to make my life an authentic representation of me.

My living room wasn’t quite me

My business wasn’t quite me

My website wasn’t quite me

I wasn’t quite me in my relationships

I wasn’t quite me in many ways.

I need a solid foundation of authenticity in my life before I race forward into What’s Next. I’m building it. I’m course-correcting where I need to – where I got off track due to not listening to my soul. Where I forgot to check in to see who I am, right NOW.

Course-correcting is just part of living. Sometimes I make little course corrections in a day, an hour, a minute. Other times I make a giant course correction that includes every aspect of my life.

The last time I made a giant course correction was when I stepped onto the mind-body path and decided to learn how to heal my body by bringing my mind, body, emotions, and soul into harmony. It was a major life change. It led to me being more authentic, to following my true dreams, to becoming a coach, and to giving myself permission to be me.

Then, I grew. I changed. I learned. It is time to catch up with myself again, and to really look closely at everything in my life.  Last summer, I had a garage sale. I spent two weeks picking up objects and saying – does this fit into my life? Is this really me?

That process is still going on, in every aspect of my life. I’m in the In-Between.

It’s a place of discomfort, for me, and at the same time, I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. I love where everything is going. I love how much more me I’m being. I love all the new in my life. And at the same time, I grieve what I’m releasing. I let myself feel sad when the living room couch leaves. I let it go. I let myself love the new chairs that took its place.

Now I see that thanks to the In-Between, I’ll know the right moment to start anew with the motherhood project. I’ll know what feels right to put on my website. I’ll know what feels right to create for my clients. I’ll know what feels right to add to my home.

I asked my soul how long the In-Between would last. It just smiled.

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21 Responses to In Between

  1. Linda Fennell September 29, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    I deeply resonate with your post, Abigail. It was a gift to read. 🙂

    Reminds me of the magic of dawn and twilight (although they never last as long 🙂 ). I’m in the “In-Between” place myself and working on not rushing/forcing myself to complete things just to have them done as well. I’ve actually been doing it and it feels amazing. Working and training with you has expanded and deepened my life in the most beautiful rich way. I am grateful. 🙂

    A big salute to the rich, fertile, magical grounds of the In-Between place. Isn’t it gorgeous.

    xo- Linda

    • Abigail September 29, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

      Oh yay, a fellow traveller in the In-Between! I like having the company. 🙂 It is gorgeous, isn’t it!

  2. Laura September 29, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    Hi Abigail,

    LOVE THIS!! I am in the “in between” too. My life has been changed this year in many ways and I don’t have a clear vision of how it will all turn out. But what I have learned is I can’t force anything, so I just have to be okay with the discomfort of the in-between.

    Thanks for the reminder:)


  3. Katie Darling September 29, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    Hi. Brilliant, and brilliant universal timing. I just gave a talk last night about a river between an old way and a new way that many of us are in. It is a 180 change, and we don’t know what we don’t know about what is birthing.

    I send you love in your grieving – I just lost a sister, a stepmother and a cat, and it’s the cat that I’m grieving (the others having been grieved decades ago).

    I thank you for putting forth your in-between perfectly-right-now ok with yourself message that arrived just at the right time for me. I’m a TMSer, among other things, in case you want to check out my website at xxx

  4. Janie September 29, 2011 at 2:42 pm #

    Excellent post, Abigail! Your closing lines brought tears to my eyes. I had the bittersweet realization that although my being in the in-between right now (and for what feels like eternity…3 years now) is where I’m SUPPOSED to be, that doesn’t change my human nature impatience from tapping it’s foot expectantly – “Are we there yet?” =)

    Thanks for the post, it’s heartwarming to hear your perspective on this.

  5. Michelle Russell September 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Wow! Thank you for the wonderful post! Once again, it was exactly what I needed to read today! It’s nice having a name for what is happening! I find others in my life want to rush me through this time. That is okay, & after reading this, I’m going to take it at my own pace. I am so thankful for your words of wisdom! 🙂

  6. Donna September 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    That’s it!!! The fear I’ve been feeling – I’m in-between!! In between who I was and who I was meant to be. I’m fearful because I don’t know who that person is going to be yet …..your post reminded me that I do know who that person is and I will get there on my souls time…not my mind’s time!! Thank you for a post I will read and re-read several times.

  7. stvance September 29, 2011 at 7:09 pm #

    you are still you, tho it isn’t ever easy to read and write back thru the tears.
    love n.

  8. Janette September 29, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    Oh, Abigail – you said it so perfectly! Yes, I’m another journeyer through the In-Between, and I agree about the inherent discomfort that is part of that journey. And I celebrate because a) you’re here to remind me that’s where I am; and b) it means I’m moving and not stuck.

    I’m reminded of the process of creative writing, especially poetry. There’s the initial idea that seems so good; and there’s the satisfaction of words coming together perfectly on the page, expressing what you meant to say. And then there’s the In-Between, which is an essential ingredient in that journey. For me it can be messy, fraught with gremlin voices and feelings of despair and frustration (why did I even START this???), and lead to wild mood swings (OMG it’s brilliant, OMG it’s complete crap!). It took me many years to really get okay with that part of the writer’s journey; to be able to recognise the In-Between for what it is, even (eventually) embrace it because it means I’m still on the path even if I can’t see it right now.

    Thank you for your eloquence and courage in posting about this. Hugs!!

  9. stvance September 29, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    another thing Ab is that nothing is a “have to”; those are the rules we make for ourselves; sometimes external deadlines aren’t the best guidlines or supports?
    you’ve said it best by reminding us to take a “time out”.
    love n.

  10. Fernanda September 30, 2011 at 6:44 am #

    Great Post!!!! I just woke up and after reading your post, I felt relieve!!! It is Ok to be “in between!!!”. I am ” in between” in so many aspects of my life. I am “in between” of moving to my own place for the first time, I am “in between” of finding out who I am, and what I like. I am “in Between” of letting go control and start enjoying Life, or should I say start LIVING!!!!! Thank you!!!!

  11. Colleen Troy September 30, 2011 at 8:56 am #

    “I asked my soul how long the In-Between would last. It just smiled.” this is just brilliant Abigail. Thanks so much for sharing at this deep level. I have a daughter who decided to take this semester off from college and yesterday called me expressing frustration. I had just read this blog and sent her this link. Sure takes the pressure off knowing it’s alright being “in between.”

  12. Jill Winski September 30, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Absolutely wonderful post, Abigail. It resonates so deeply for me right now — I feel like I need to catch up with myself after a year of a lot of change. Thanks so much!

  13. missy hooton September 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    Tears in my eyes… thank you for this heartfelt post. And thank you for explaining so eloquently exactly where I am too…

    • Abigail September 30, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

      Wow, looks like I am most definitely not alone in the In-Between! Thanks for all the comments, everyone! I feel like I’m in good company. 🙂

  14. Joanna October 18, 2011 at 9:54 am #

    So well said….as I sit here tuning into my guidance on where to take my business over the next year! Now I realise – as always – that it’s of course only ever about the next step.
    Thank you.


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