Something I have noticed lately in myself and some clients is a kind of dance between moving forward and backwards that ends up looking like the Hokey Pokey.I put my foot in, I take my foot out, I put my foot in and I shake it all about. As a childhood game, this is really wonderful because I get to try on being "in" or "out" and also I can celebrate the "in" with a "shake" and "turning myself around." As a way of life, it is not so great, in fact, it's nothing to celebrate.
Living in limbo is a precarious state that I keep my eye out for in both myself and my clients.It is a negative habit pattern that I have chosen to transform in my own life, which has been a powerful move towards greater freedom and joy. Getting familiar with our limbo patterns is the first step in the journey. Think of it as an adventure in curiosity... hmmm I wonder how I do limbo?
Limbo is much like the Hokey Pokey where we move forward and backward - between yes, and no, between this or that.It's also like putting your toes into the waters of a new project and then quickly taking them out, as it's far too cold in there. And this can go on and on ad nauseam until either we choose, or the Universe does, but make no mistake, a choice will eventually be made.
Life-Force is not static, so if we stay inactive for too long, our soul will co-conspire with the Universe to wake us up.And let me be clear about this, that's usually not much fun. I'm an entrepreneur, and have had plenty of experience of both ways of moving forward, and for sure I enjoy sitting in the creator seat way more than hanging on by a thread as my soul plunges me into some kind of seemingly eternal wake-up-call-from-hell. But does limbo have to be a stop along the way to change? My experience tells me that it does not, and can sometimes be simply an issue of time urgency.
I find that sometimes limbo is supposed to be the place in between, a place of rest and integration which is a natural part of expansion. Often, because we get off-balanced in our sense of timing, we turn it into a kind of self-inflicted purgatory, where we beat ourselves up for not moving fast enough. This happens when we know we want something and are impatient to move forward. We are probably moving faster or slower than our essence pace, the natural flow that feels most alive to us. These are times when limbo is simply an issue of timing. It usually looks like this: When we've made a decision there is a natural time of letting our bodies align with it, before we step fully in. We might simply need to sit in the YES for a little while, in the in-between, as we gather our whole selves in for our first step.
There is a natural rhythm for expansion, and when we are moving forward consciously, we will experience contraction as merely part of the journey. This is when it is time to locate ourselves in the spaciousness, and allow the moment to pass, or it's time to rest and integrate. I do this by saying Hey Now, I am Here or Here I am and feeling my feet on the ground and checking in with my pace. If I notice that I am speeded up, I ask myself what my time urgency is about, and if I feel sluggish, I wonder whether I might need rest. Either way, I ask myself whether I am needing rest, or activity and then I recommit to my goal by doing what feels authentic.
You might be wondering how we know whether it is rest and integration time or limbo. I think that practicing body intelligence is key. Can I feel the difference between rest/integration and limbo? What does limbo feel like in my body? And what does rest feel like? These are excellent questions to wonder into. I notice that the more I practice listening to my whole body, the more I have clarity about what I want, and whether I am in flow or fear. Because make no mistake, limbo is based in fear. It is a contractive energy, rather than an expansive one. Rest and integration are spacious and light, fear is tight and heavy.
You can try this on right now. Think of a situation in which you are undecided. Let yourself think about it for a few seconds. What type of energy came with the thought? Did you feel expansive and excited, or tight and contracted? Did you beat yourself up for being undecided? Whatever came up for you, take a few deep breaths and give yourself some love for being willing to experience whatever it is.
So what if we really are in limbo, playing the hokey-pokey with a decision or phase in our life? As I mentioned earlier, the thing about life is that it refuses to be static. I often tell people to think about what they are fighting against when taking on the Universe. Hmmm, let's see... in this corner there's Michele Roberts, and that corner, Infinite Energy and Power. hmmmmm. And though I see that infinite energy and power is available to me, I haven't yet been able to achieve it at the cosmic level for more than a second or two, so I do my best to stay in the flow of energy rather than taking it on nose-to-nose.
What I am saying is that limbo is a dangerous place to be. I would love to inspire you to look at whatever in-between state you are in and recognize it either as the natural "rest and integration" phase of change, or the fear-based hokey-pokey and then act accordingly. Oh, yes, it will mean action, even if that action is moving towards rest. Rest, you say, who has time for that? If that is what came up for you, let me assure you that you require rest, and ignoring your need for it can be your trap in limbo land.
So this is where commitment comes in. Yep, I said the "c" word and I'm not even a bit sorry about it. Without commitment we can not move forward. Without commitment, our ideas, goals and desires have no wings. So why is commitment such a scary word if it is our gateway to success? First of all, we often are far more afraid to succeed than to fail. We are all familiar with what failure feels like, but when was the last time you checked in on how comfortable you are with success?
This is another concept that comes alive through noticing body signals. Think about something really, really wonderful that you want in your life, and allow yourself to get super excited about it for a minute. Maybe it's taking a big trip or changing your line of work, or meeting an amazing partner to share your life with. Be sure to let yourself really touch and feel the vision. Now let me ask you, when you got those good feelings flowing, did you notice any pangs in your body?
Gay and Katie Hendricks teach the concept of the Upper Limit Problem (ULP), and I make up that it is why most of us stay in limbo. It is not that we are afraid we will fail, it is far more likely that succeeding is beyond our comfort zone and that we are scared to experience so much good. For me, this shows up as when's the other shoe gonna drop? I'll be feeling super happy one second, and then suddenly I'll feel a little pang in my stomach and I'll have a fear thought which will involve something bad happening and unfortunately I can be pretty creative about this.
This used to be an unconscious process for me, but since I learned the ULP concept, I now recognize the feeling in my body when it's up for me. One of my favorite new moves is to face the "shoe's gonna drop" idea by imagining that I have a shoe box filled with tiny Barbie shoes in all different colors and sizes. When I have the "shoe ULP," I imagine taking a big scoop of the shoes and playfully tossing them in the air which always brings a smile or a laugh, and then I'm back in flow, expanding my capacity for love, success and abundance.
So, can you see how limbo and our upper limit problem go together? Sometimes the fear of committing is simply that we are experiencing an ULP and instead of noticing, giving curious attention to, we use it as an excuse to stop. Now think about that decision that you were playing with earlier and wonder into whether achieving it will take you to more joy, abundance or success than you are used to, and then picture yourself expanding bigger than the doubt, bigger than you've ever been before. Allow yourself the full expression of your doubts, fears and excitement, and then breathe deeply and make a choice. And if you decide to move forward, seal it with this: "I commit to..." and then take a step forward, literally putting an action step into the commitment. You have now taken the first of many steps towards your goal. Because commitment is only a step along the journey and it will likely be followed by a series of "recommitments" as you move through the natural expansion and contractions of your journey.
Recommitting is not failure, it is quite the opposite; recommitment is a firming up of the edges of your forward motion, and the more tricky the expansion you are navigating, the more times you will be doing it. There is no shame in recommitment; simply gather yourself up, do it, and leave your shame personas in the back of the bus where they belong. Or put them in charge of leading the journey, as they've served you so well in keeping you down, and perhaps they will enjoy the new task of cheerleading each of your steps forward.
So if you've been playing the Hokey Pokey with something in your life, take a brave new step and jump all the way in. I've recently been practicing this and I have found more joy and aliveness with each step, and every day it feels a less scary and a lot more fun. And a big shout out to Temple Hayes who during a sacred ritual leaned in close and said to me, "Put your whole self in... like the Hokey Pokey." I never forgot those words. So let's leave the Hokey Pokey for the kids, andput our whole selves in.
I'd love to hear about your journey and what you think of my musings, so please comment below, and if you find my blog valuable, please consider sharing it on social media or with friends.
Peace and Joyous Blessings, Michele
Michele Roberts Certified Big Leap Coach Agape Licensed Spiritual Practitioner Sassy Visionary of Wholeness Co-Owner, Michele and Dean, LLC Michele@MicheleandDean.com