Liminality & Retreat

insight stories Nov 22, 2021

Liminality speaks to the times of transition, the space between. It could be transitions of day, the season, a job, or the space between who we are now and who we are becoming. 

I first fell in love with liminality in the early mornings at the retreat center that I worked for and lived at. In the mornings before dawn, many people gathered for meditation and prayer. Everyone respected the silence of those mornings and we would walk through shadowy halls to get our morning tea then head to the meditation hall to chant and ‘sit’. I got to know everyone’s profiles, their shadowy outlines. This represented to me the shadow self that we are learning to integrate through bringing the conscious attention of practice to the liminal spaces of our life.

This ritual of the liminal happened at the transition of the day, every day, and it became the stabilizing force in my life for a time and now my love affair with the liminal continues on. It takes the shape of simple actions like stopping to watch the light change from day to night or taking some deep snoozy breaths in bed upon waking to allow my dreams from the night to become conscious.

As we traverse into a time of transition in life and in the calendar year allowing time for rest and rejuvenation can make all the difference in staying well in the upcoming season. Embracing the space of liminality as a time to release the past, allowing us to open to the possibilities of the future, instead of remaining closed off in states of chronic stress and overwhelm. 

“The two greatest liminal spaces in a human life are great love and great suffering. Without some sort of guidance and reframing, we don’t understand the necessary ebb and flow of life, the ascents and descents, and the need to embrace our tears and our letting go as well as our success and our triumphs.” 

- Richard Rohr 

As the speed of communication and consumption culture continue to progress at breakneck speeds overwhelm and exhaustion can become our normal states, leading to chronic and debilitating distress and disease. By making time at home or in a community to pull back from your ‘business as usual’ approach you can get to know and integrate your own shadowy outline, the unseen and unmet aspects of yourself, to see beyond to the broader and more inclusive world around us. 

My experience as a retreat leader has taught me to hold this space of liminality in a group environment which facilitates participants to regain a sense of spaciousness in life, a sense of connection. To be with folks in this place reinforces for me every time why it is my absolute favorite way to work towards healing because there is so much potential for a breakthrough.  As we create an environment of self and community care that allows for powerful insights to rise up from within giving the brave ones who traverse this realm greater clarity in their actions in daily life.  It has become obvious to me that any time we are experiencing overwhelm and burnout that on some level our needs aren’t being met. That can be a signal it’s time to step back from daily life for conscious retreat. 

While having several days away might be ideal, you can find retreat as part of your everyday routine. Even 5 minutes of retreat time can allow you to identify how you can realign your energy with your highest intentions and take inspired action in life. 

Last month during the community Sacred Circle I taught on the concept of liminality. I invite you to listen in to an explanation of liminal space and what it has meant in my life.  Then grab a journal and contemplate on the prompts below. 

Inquiry prompts to build a relationship with the liminal:  

  1. When was a time you experienced the liminal or a time of great transition and what did it feel like?


  1. How can you consciously embrace or receive liminality in your life? 


Practice focus: No matter if your retreat is 5 days or 5 minutes, dedicate a focused time to meeting your own needs regularly.  When life feels overwhelming it is a sign your needs aren’t met and it’s time for a retreat.  

If you’re looking to embrace the liminality in your life and get specific tools to navigate and even experience peace in times of transition explore my upcoming retreat experiences to deepen your own relationship with yourself and the liminal.  


Join me for an at-home retreat experience Sanctuary Home Retreat to learn ways to embrace liminality and integrate the natural ebb and flow of life into your daily rhythms. 


Get Started

Enter your email and you will be subscribed to learn about upcoming programs and how to get started working together.

You will immediately get directed to a free full length practice for creating inner space as my gift to you and a good way to experience my teaching style.