10 Aug Liminality and how it relates to ‘relax and create’
Liminality. From out of nowhere I have suddenly started to come across the word in different, and yet unconnected, locations. I had previously met the word in a theological context, as the thin place where heaven and earth meet. You may have encountered such liminal moments yourself when you’ve sensed something so beautiful and so amazing, that you just knew it wasn’t of this world.
Wikipedia offers us this definition: “In anthropology, liminality (from the Latin word līmen, meaning “a threshold”) is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete. During a ritual’s liminal stage, participants “stand at the threshold” between their previous way of structuring their identity, time, or community, and a new way, which the ritual establishes.”
Liminality is clearly about becoming both aware and comfortable with being in a place of transition,and not in trying to rush through the space to get to a more comfortable or familiar one. From these linguistic encounters I began to realize that the intention behind ‘relax and create” is also in fact bringing you into a liminal space. You arrive here feeling some stress or anxiety and agree that being creative could help, and by entering into that agreement you arrive in a liminal space. I will often feel a little uncomfortable as it is beyond your usual comfort zone, especially if you don’t think of yourself as being very ‘creative”. Yet as you let go and allow yourself to create you move through the liminal space and leave, hopefully, feeling a little more centered and calm.
This realization triggered another train of thought. Since learning to relax and create is more than just doing a craft project or coloring a mandala (although simultaneously it can also be actions like these) it seemed my offerings should go deeper. As I followed this idea further, I found myself amid references to mindfulness, intuition, and most puzzlingly, gratitude. So as I step into the liminal space of not knowing where these ideas will take me, as they used to say on TV, “watch this space!”