The Time of the In-Between

3-4 minute read

What’s Your Expression of Change?

Hello September! It is the time of the In-Between. Have you noticed where you are in your life often aligns with the seasons of the year, and the transitions between them? Do you pay attention to the signs in nature that a season change is coming? What about you— what are your signs that change is coming? What’s your expression of change?

 Signs of the In-Between

 

mums

Yesterday, I planted mums while my hibiscus still bloomed. I hung the fall wreath on the door, added the fall lawn ornaments outside, and decorated the inside with ceramic pumpkins. I did this while the air outside was hot and muggy. This is the time of the In-Between.

Here, in the Midwest, where the signs of the new season peak through and life continues to exist in the season that is leaving, can be quite vivid. The first sign I notice are the sounds during the day of the Cicada, the Locust and the Cricket. It occurs to me this is their final chorus before the air turns cold. In the In-Between, there are days that require a sweater or a light jacket and then back in shorts and a tank top. When the heat returns, there is an abundance of bugs: bees, boxelder and lady bugs— their final jaunt before the cold is here to stay.

It is the time when the deep, green leaves fade. Some begin to turn to their autumn color, and others dry up and fall to the ground. The grass does not grow as quickly, the sun does not shine as brightly, yet still brings warmth on one side of the body while the wind feels cool on the other. The days grow shorter, which initiates a sadness of the summer that is ending and the dread of a long winter. But before this happens, there is the excitement of fall and all that it brings: back to school, pumpkin spice lattes, walks in the woods— stopping to take pictures of the colorful leaves, taking a tag off a sweater that was too warm to wear in the summer, a trip to the apple orchard and making apple crisp, and the anticipation of the holidays that follow.

wreath

I am in the In-Between in my life. I am middle-aged. I am transitioning from a life of homemaking to a life of working outside my home. I graduated from college. After 3 months, I did find a job, but it is a temporary job. I am working, but also not for long. I am married, but I have changed. He has changed. We have changed. We find ourselves in the same bed at night, but little else is shared. It’s enough to still be welcomed to our in-laws, and enough to have a short fight. But it’s not enough to feel as in love, or as connected and fully together as we once did. We are in the In-Between.

The In-Between is difficult, and full of possibility. The In-Between means change. The activity of the squirrels, who run through the grass and up the trees, remind me it is also the time to prepare for the changes ahead. The squirrels understand the necessity of storing their food in various places to be retrieved in the winter. The In-Between cannot last, but sometimes it can feel like it will never end. Sooner or later, new life does unfold. The changes we desire and the ones we fear do occur. Our body and soul know this. They also know if we are prepared for the changes or not.

If you feel like your life mimics the time of the In-Between we are in, take a moment to tune in to your body, to your self, your soul, your life. Are there changes you want for yourself? Are there changes you fear coming? What does this feel like in your body? Do the changes, the unknown of this time in the In-Between, make you feel anxious? Excited? Calm? Do you feel you are prepared? If not, how might you prepare?

My Expression of Change

 

scarecrow

I have been anxious during this time. I feel the anxiety in my belly. I experience myself gripping and clinging, as if I’m trying to stop the changes from happening. I notice my thoughts, which try to control and analyze what is occurring. I also know these patterns. I have been here before. I know change is coming, and it’s coming fast. I know letting go and allowing is the antidote to the clinging and gripping, the controlling and analyzing. I know the transition is happening as it should and soon I will be in new territory. I take deep breaths, get still and consider some of my anxiety could be an indicator more preparation is needed, that I must gather my nourishment for the winter to come. I then begin to seek and gather this nourishment to prepare.

Soon the sounds of the Cicada and Locust and Cricket will fade. The landscape will be less green, and instead flourish with gold, brown, red and orange. Fall will be here. I will gain knowledge and new understanding. I will find resources through relationship and experience that will awaken and strengthen me in this new space. The nourishment I gather will be plenty. Eventually, I will thrive. Just as the snow will accumulate in January, so will my confidence. And in the Spring, change will come again.

I wish you wisdom and serenity during the changes in your life and in your self.

If you feel a need to have assistance and guidance during your time of transition, please contact me @ nikki@nikkidivirgilio.com. Together, we will create a space of support and a plan toward greater awareness and understanding. For a list of services, visit here.

The Soul Reporter.

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Stiff Like Winter.

A Short Spiritual Memoir: Gradual Growth & Awakening ~

photo

 

I feel stiff like winter.

I long to thaw like spring—and

See what transpired in darkness and struggle.

 

My life has felt harsh and ugly for so long, like those last days of winter when the snow is gray and the sky matches, and you have had enough of those bitter winds biting your bones. I don’t want this anymore. I want kind and beautiful. I find it again on a short walk. The day is as my daughter describes it: she will not sweat and and she will not freeze. It is a day of transition from winter to spring—a glimpse of what is to come.

As I walk I ask for more of myself to be revealed. I stop and look through the bare tree to the sun peeking through the gray. The song of birds remind me I am back. I needed to come back—home to Minnesota where I experience these transitions from winter to spring and later, summer to fall.

I know I have been through something awesome and difficult, and feel like everything will be alright now—at least for awhile. The end of an era, and it makes me cry. The tears thaw my stiffness and shed my heaviness, and prepare me for the warmth which is to come.

Thank God for this transition of tears. Sudden joy and elation might startle me otherwise. It is these days of transition: 32 degrees. Sun shining hazily through the gray, which make life of deeper meaning and connection possible and compatible with our ever-evolving soul.

As I end my walk, a woman approaches me and asks, “How’s the path?”

“It’s fine,” I tell her.

 

The Soul Reporter

 

 

Don’t Be So Quick.

Allow for S P A C E~

Source: scoop.it via Susanne on Pinterest

When so much has occurred, when a life has crumbled, when we find ourselves in transition it is not wise to be so quick to rebuild and configure. It is not wise to fill our lives up with perhaps more of what we don’t want or might burden us in a new life.

For instance my daughter met a dog at the humane society. Its tail between its legs. Its loneliness hooked into hers and she wanted him. She wants to fill her life up, and it would begin with this lonely dog. From here she would need to move out of our temporary residence and into a place that supports this dog and the income from her new job. If this occurred, then she would build a life around taking care of the dog: who will take care of it when she is at work, for example. It will also need vet appointments, dog food and attention.

I tell her from my own experience not to be so quick to fill her life up. I tell myself the same as I look around and see the emptiness from years of a former life that has crumbled and a new life that has yet to begin. Emptiness is uncomfortable for many of us. When I taught classes on clutter, I’d ask the participants to imagine themselves in an empty room. I asked them to pay attention to how they felt in this room. What were their impulses, if any? Did the mind fill the room quickly with things and people or did the room stay empty?

Source: ledansla.blogspot.com via MONOSQUARE on Pinterest

Some people felt relief in the empty room. But more often this exercise brought anxiety. There are unconscious impulses inside of us, which paint a life. If my daughter were to get the dog she would be rescuing a lonely animal, and this is a heartfelt sincere impulse. But, also she would believe that this dog was also rescuing her own loneliness, which is a deep and unconscious impulse, which cannot be satisfied, except temporarily, from anything from the outside world. There are women who have babies because they think they will finally have someone to love them. As those of us who have or have had babies know, we must love them and fulfill their needs and not the other way around.

Another example: my mother, during a time she was losing her home, had me over to help her go through her things. In her bedroom was her chaise lounge. In her former life, where she had lots of money and traveled, this chaise was filled with outfits that would soon be going in her suitcase for one of her excursions. This chaise was always filled. But, with little money left, this chaise was filled only with pillows- lots and lots of throw pillows.

Well, when I looked at her chaise lounge, knowing that she was in transiton and cannot travel as she once did, I see this as an opportunity. I see her on that lounge, reading and enjoying time with herself—perhaps imaging her next chapter. Seeing this image of her, I took the throw pillows off so she could actually sit down. Within minutes my mother found the pillows and put them back on.

In my mind, she could not handle seeing her travels and former way of life going away. She couldn’t see a future beyond this. She didn’t want the space or the possibility of something new. There are many difficult twists, tests and turns in a life, and this one I am personally witnessing is one of the more difficult: to allow this space of emptiness. To see the former life for all that it was in order to understand and make some peace and then to sit and be still silently in that space without allowing our impulse to fill the space.

If we do not allow for this space I can gaurantee one day we will stop and notice our life and see that once again it is filled with obligations, things, people and expeirences that are not enhancing and enriching our lives, but merely filling it up and keeping us stuck and stale.

Spring is on its way, and with it new life. During this transition, it is wise to allow for space. To be thoughtful. To listen and pay attention and embrace the emptiness between what was and what will be. And perhaps, someday we will find all there is, is this S P A C E.

Let’s allow for some freshness, to reawaken us—however long that takes.

The Soul Reporter

This month I am taking names of people interested in one-0n-one sessions, support groups, and classes. The focus of these services is what I wrote about here: taking an investigative look into our impulses—both the conscious and unconscious ones. As we explore, we will gain clarity about who we are, where we’ve been and where we are going next. It is an opportunity to invite in more space in our cluttered lives.

If you are interested, please fill out the form below and I will contact you shortly. (All sessions, groups and classes done online  unless in the Twin City area).