Honor The Space Between No Longer and Not Yet
Updated: Apr 13, 2022
This quote from Nancy Levin has become one of my favorite coaching tools. I love working with clients who are in a transition phase of life. For some, it is a time of uncertainty and pondering “what’s next” after retirement or coming home to an empty nest. For others it is a time of deep darkness after the sudden death of a loved one or a divorce shocker. There is comfort and security in the known, so when life throws a curve ball, even one we were semi-prepared for, our instinct is to move as quickly as possible through the emotional pain and discomfort. And why wouldn’t we? We live our lives at warp speed, mentally and physically multitasking, scheduling back-to-back appointments, and creating never-ending to-do lists. We are always hurrying to tackle the next thing on our list. And when the “next thing” doesn’t come to us quickly, we are left uncomfortable, restless, and wondering what’s wrong with us.
What if you could reframe your discomfort and consider this space between no longer and not yet as an incredible gift—a purposeful pause that allows you to gain insight, wisdom, and clarity about who you have been and who you want to become? Honoring this space means slowing down, becoming more conscious, more intentional, more creative, and more mindful about the life path you want to create. Joseph Campbell said, “If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path.” We each have the privilege and the responsibly to create our own life path, so it is worth taking the time and making the space to assure it is the path you truly desire.
To begin embracing the space between, ask yourself some meaningful, though challenging questions.
Who was I?
Who do I want to become?
What am I supposed to learn?
What do I need to leave behind that no longer serves me?
What brings me deep joy?
The space between is a sacred time intended for you grow and change. It is where you build resilience and strength. It is important to not rush through this space too quickly, as uncomfortable as it may feel. When we hang on too tightly to the past and worry incessantly about the future, we create suffering. It is in the present moment, the now, the space between, where we grow spiritually.
If you find yourself in this space, be grateful. If you need help navigating the deep questions and designing your path forward, consider working with a coach or counselor.