How to Live in the In-Between
It seems like many of the self-help gurus have the “BIG wake up call,” the grand epiphany or the message in the bottle instructing them to change their ways.
It was not like that for me. Instead, it was hearing myself, day after day, say things like, “Man, this sucks,” and “God, there’s gotta be more than this.” These thoughts were accompanied by feelings of disgust and hopelessness around my body, food and my life.
However, you may know the routine. We say that we’re disgusted and fed up, but we don’t do a darn thing about it. We stay in that constant state of stuckness.
Well, I realized that I had to do something different, so my moment came when I made a choice to live my life differently.
Yep, it was just a choice that catapulted me into a very unfamiliar place, and:
-I didn’t know what was next
-I was scared.
When you decide to make changes in your life, you go to a place I refer to as the In- Between. It’s that awkward place of uncertainty and chaos. For my weight loss clients, it’s the time between when they make a choice to work with meand reaching their ideal weight. For a smoker, it’s that time between deciding to stop and actually becoming a non-smoker. For the newly divorced woman, it’s between the decision to divorce and learning how to live single again.
The In-Between is basically the time between the point of a major decision and the place where you take on a new identity.
Now, this may sound a bit woo-woo for some of you. I get it. I’m not really a woo-woo kind of girl, but just hear me out on this one. Understanding how to navigate the in-between can change your life.
1. It starts with an event and/or decision
Linda had a heart attack at the age of forty-two.
Linda entered the in-between. She decided that living reactively and unconsciously in life was going to most likely kill her, and she really didn’t want to die, so she decided that she was going to change.
Sometimes entering the in-between is not because of a life-threatening event, but because you are really fed up with tolerating or settling for a less than stellar life.
The act of deciding is powerful and sets things into motion.
2. It is SO uncomfortable
As destructive as our habits can be, they are very familiar, and we tend to do what we know, even if it means stuffing ourselves until we are physically miserable. It’s a misery we know. We don’t know how to deal with the uncomfortable feelings of NOT doing it.
So, when you decide to change, it’s going to feel very strange and uncomfortable because it’s new territory. In fact, I’m not going to lie; it’s going to be down right hard sometimes, both physically and emotionally.
But, just knowing ahead of time to expect discomfort will help you navigate through the uncertain waters of change.
3. It’s temporary
The in-between is temporary. In fact, each moment is temporary.
This idea that our lives are fixed is a fallacy. It only feels that way when we continue to do the same things over and over again and keep getting the same results.
Where you are now is temporary. My grandmother used to always say, “This too shall pass.” It always passes.
Everything, whether we label it good or bad, will transition to the next moment, so don’t fear permanency because it doesn’t exist.
4. Don’t try to get through the in between
The one mistake that I see people make over and over again is to try and hurry up to get “there.” However, there is no “there.” There is only “here.”
Instead of visualizing the in-between as a physical place, try to imagine that it is a state of being. As you begin to dissolve limiting beliefs, take action and transition into a new stage, the in-between dissolves, and you’ll find yourself right here, where you’ve always been.
The difference is that you will have new tools and a new way of being in the world that doesn’t live by false limitations. You’ll see the world through clean, fresh lens.
When you try to rush through the in-between, two things generally happen. First, you become extremely frustrated because your mind has fooled you into thinking that life will be better when you get there, so you keep putting off living your life fully now. Second, you miss out on your life and the lessons that it’s trying to deliver in each moment.
The only way to live is to live in the “here.”
5. The in-between is full of limiting beliefs
I have SO much weight to lose. I’ll never get there.
I can’t run.
I am disgusting.
I don’t have control.
Blah, blah, blah….
These are thoughts I hear all the time from my clients, and they are ones that I know all too well personally.
Here’s what you need to know about these nasty little mind messages: they are LIES!!!
However, we all have them. It’s what you do with them that counts.
So, when it comes to limiting beliefs, you have several options:
a. Believe it
b. Ignore it
c. Disprove it
d. Change it
Personally, if a thought feels bad, I know it’s not my truth. So, sometimes, I just ignore it, and say to myself, “There’s another one,” and get on with my day.
Sometimes, though, I can’t just ignore it. Maybe it hits a deep rooted nerve, or I need to prove to myself that it’s not true, so I go out and seek evidence against it. The interesting thing is that I can ALWAYS find evidence against it, just like I can always find evidence for it.
Beyond disproving a belief is the act of changing it. The Buddha said, “What we think, we become,” so finding beliefs that support who you want to become will change your life.
Do you want to be overweight, sad and lonely? Then, take a look at your beliefs. When you change those, your world will change.
6. The In-Between is perfect but it’s NOT for perfectionists
I know. It’s a paradox. Again, hear me out.
When I accepted my circumstances as perfect, I began to see all kinds of neat opportunities that I would have never seen had I been spending my time and energy arguing with my life.
A personal example was when I began to consider that my struggles with food and weight were perfect, I was able to extract the lessons that they were meant to teach me. In previous years, I had spent so much energy arguing with what was, that I was not able to move forward. Yes, I felt stuck.
However, on the flip side, you must give up your need to be perfect while residing in perfection. Trying to “be” perfect prevents you from taking imperfect action and moving forward in your life.
I like to think of the in-between as your college years without the sorority and frat parties. It’s when you are learning, growing and discovering who you are. It’s okay to screw up. In fact, you will, so stop trying not to. Just grasp the lesson and move on.
Here’s the way I see it: each imperfect action is perfect because it is your teacher and guide.
7. The In-Between can be lonely
People generally don’t like change, especially when those around them are transforming.
I can’t tell you how many times I heard some version of “who do you think you are.”
Those people had decided to no longer be on my team, and that was okay. Again, it was perfect because I learned.
When you decide to live your life consciously, you are going to find your elevator empty as you ascend to the next stage in life. It can be lonely. But, the elevator doors will open, and you will find the most extraordinary people jumping on to advance with you.
8. It can be FUN
When I started creating my ideal life, I found it to be fun, in a scary-I-don’t-know-what-the-hell-I’m-doing sort of way.
However, when you understand the previous seven principles of the In-Between, you can begin to let go and enjoy your life right now.
Honestly, when I stopped trying SO hard, let go of attempting to get somewhere other than where I was and began to look at each moment as an opportunity to learn and grow, my life EXPLODED with joy and opportunity, and yes…lots of fun!
The In-Between is constantly occurring in your life – in your family, health, career, friendships, spirituality and community. Lives are cyclical, not linear.
When you accept the In-Between stage of life as part of living, with all of its chaos and uncertainty, you give yourself the gift of growth and expansion, and before you know it, you are right “here” again.