Liminal Space and Daydreaming

Last weekend I realized I’m living my life without any liminal space.

Or I have the space, but I’m filling even these moments in between. I’ve fallen into a trap of constant external focus. Having grown up in a home that groomed me to be keenly attuned to others needs and responses, even when I’m not engaged in some sort of activity, I far too often find myself focusing on others.

While this helps me to be a good therapist, left unchecked it can serve as a distraction from being with myself, and it can really deplete me.

Lately I’ve been feeling this depletion, and I’ve noticed a dip in my ability to generate ideas and create. Even when I technically have downtime, I find myself consistently tuning my attention outwards, or filling myself up by listening to podcasts, reading, or engaging in house projects.

I’m very good at keeping myself busy.

And although I’m a committed daily meditator of TM, recently even that has been more like something plugged into my agenda, than something that is spacious and without structure.

This weekend, I was out walking with Viva, my dog. And then I started to run, and as I was running I realized that I didn’t remember the last time I was walking or running outside without trying to learn about something, or “better myself” with some sort of podcast. I looked around and I was in awe of my surroundings. And as I continued to run up the hill, I was filled with inspiration and ideas. 

So many of us were chastised for daydreaming growing up.

Our grooming in early education is more about learning to obey than engaging in exploratory thought and creation. However, have you every noticed that some of your most brilliant ideas come about when you’re in the shower? That’s because for most of us, being in the shower is one of the few moments of our day when we’re alone without any distractions or notifications, and we allow our minds to just wander. Research shows that when you daydream, your subconscious mind is engaged and making associations to create new ideas. Imagine what sort of spaciousness you could experience, or ideas you could generate, if you replicate that experience of being in the shower throughout your day. 

I am going make a conscious intention to create more space for dreaming.

I’ve already made the announcement to my family that I’ll be carving out more time for this in my days. I find that these declarations help me with follow through, even when they’re sometimes met by eye rolls from my tweenagers.

I challenge you to join me in creating more space to daydream. 

And if you do, drop me a note to let me know how it goes, or the blocks that might have come up for you that stopped you from gifting this to yourself.