How to be happy in the in-between

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Ever felt like you're in between two stages of your life?

You know there are new things up ahead but they're not quite there yet.

And here you are, kinda stuck between your past experiences and your
future experiences.

In my book, I have a whole chapter called The Bridge.  In the context of the book, I talk about a bunch of lovely ways to bridge your heritage with your adopted cultures.

A bridge is also a great image for this feeling in-between. 

Picture for a moment that your current reality is a bridge.

You get to choose the design of your bridge. 

Mine always seems to appear as a simple, pretty wooden bridge over a narrow river, for some reason.  And there are trees with pretty flowers hanging from them, like in a photo taken from the perfect perspective.

For me, the left of the bridge is my past me.  The right is my future me and future experiences.  The bridge itself is where I stand now, in the delicious present.

Although, it doesn’t always feel so delicious.

At the moment, that bridge is transition, because that’s what my current life is. I’m transitioning from a wonderful previous life into a wonderful future life.  I can see it and feel it and almost taste it with increasing clarity.  And I feel myself being drawn closer.  At the same time as being here now, on this transitional bridge.

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The transition period itself can sometimes feel uncomfortable.

It's not always filled with clarity and excitement; those are special moments that filter in from time to time, light a beam of light. And when they do, ooooh, they are so compelling and fun!  You feel lifted into such joy and excitement and focus; it feels like the real you.

The other moments, the ones where you’re not feeling clear, are a mix of questioning yourself and your ability to create what you see, sometimes boredom when you’re not sure what your next move should be and you’re losing passion for your current activities, frustration at knowing what you want and not being there yet, feeling in limbo waiting for the next phase of your life to begin.  Wanting to make it happen.  But the effort that you make when you’re feeling like that, the actions that you take, can feel a little forced; they don’t feel freeing and exhilarating.  

Have you ever felt that?

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You absolutely know that there’s something new and exciting and really fulfilling just waiting there for you to line up with it.  It’s teasing you, as if it’s waving from the other side of the bridge, saying “It’s here, I’m over here, come on over, it’s fabulous.  We’re waiting for you.”  And you can see it, sometimes with true clarity, and it fills you with bubbles of excitement and lifts you into feeling like you’re there.  For a moment.  Or even a day! 

It’s so great to have entire days filled with inspiration and creating and movement and progress that feels magnificent.  Those are the inspired actions that seem to attract the best of you and let good things in.  Those moments make being on the bridge a joy.

And then, like gradually waking from a wonderful dream, you slip out again.  And the atmosphere of the bridge feels heavier.

But those special moments and days were real.  That fabulous feeling was real.  The work you created during those moments was real.  That was your current reality, for as long as it lasted.

So what can you do to feel ok in-between the moments of clarity?

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Sometimes the in-between moments can have a sneaky habit of stretching out for longer than you’d want them to.  And it feels less-than-good.  And you really love feeling good, right?!

And that, my friends, is the trick.

To allow yourself to feel good while you’re on that bridge, in between the past you and the future you who’s waving at you with all those great experiences that you envisage on the other side.

The trick is to enjoy being exactly where you are.  And noticing how pretty the bridge actually is while you’re there.

It's a place of possibility and evolution and choice.  But more than that, it’s a place of life.  It’s your life being lived in this very moment.  

So be easy on yourself for being where you are.  

I'm practicing this, too.  

Relax onto your current bridge.  It's all ok.  It's better than ok.  It's good.  It's part of the journey, and ultimately, that's what it's all about.  It's not about suddenly being where we want to be, and having all the new experiences, it's about enjoying our current experience while simultaneously revelling in the anticipation of what’s up ahead.

So, in those moments when you feel yourself being sucked into less-than-good feelings, be sweet to yourself.  Be loving and kind and understanding, and do all that you can to distract yourself from any thoughts that bring you down, so that you can restabilise your energy and begin to feel calm and sure and happy again.  Happy in that moment, being exactly where you are, alive and living right now.

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Do you know the things that bring you back to yourself?  It's different for everyone and will be personal to you.   

For me, it's reading a fabulous novel - I get drawn into the story and it totally refreshes me.  Twenty minutes of enjoying a novel will completely revitalise me. Or going for a bike ride.  Or recently, gardening!  That's new for me, I’ve never been into gardening at all!  But now, transforming our worn-out, nothing yard space and overgrown plants into a magical space that entices us to hang out there brings me back to myself. 

And writing.  Sometimes if I start writing before the inspiration comes, the act of writing actually triggers the inspiration.  In fact, I’ve noticed that happening quite often, so I’m going make writing uplifting passages one of my go-to activities for feeling good again.

Oh, and watching a fun movie; that always gives me a lift.  

And hanging out with my adult sons and talking about all sorts of random subjects.  And being silly together.

And snuggling with my husband, heading out for an ice cream together.  Playing with our super affectionate, incredibly gorgeous year-old puppies.

These are some things that I know will get me back to me.  What are yours?

I find that once I’m in a good-feeling place, those enticing ideas and the momentum to create them in that moment come flooding in.  Or not.  And that’s ok, because now that I’m feeling good, I’m simply enjoying the feeling.

That’s the magic, you see? 

And then, in those delicious, unexpected moments where you feel a beam of clarity, follow the inspiration.  Revel in that wonderful feeling of knowing exactly what you want to do right now.  And do it. Whatever it is.  It may seem banal and unrelated to anything exciting.  Like replacing the silicon edging around the shower (that’s one that’s waiting for me).  

The thing is, that doing those things that you randomly feel drawn to do may surprise you in the way it leads to something else that in the end makes you feel good.

These are the ways we move towards . . . 

Towards more clarity and ideas and joy.  And those moments draw us further across the bridge to where the expansion of our desires lays.  You just want to enjoy being where you are now, warts and all (if you haven’t heard that expression, it means including features or qualities that are not appealing or attractive).

And when you’re wobbling in-between, actually speak understanding and soothing words to yourself. 

For eg, you might say to yourself, "Of course you're feeling like this.  It's all part of the journey.  You're ok, lovely.  You've felt clarity before and it felt soooo good. There's more clarity lined up for you.  It's all ok.  You're doing just fine here on this bridge.  Here, have a flower." (tee hee, that just came to me then.  A flower.  Nice though, right?) "Why, thank you,” you can say to yourself.  “How sweet." Cute, huh?  It's making me smile just writing it. 

We truly just want to be completely ok with ourselves for what we're experiencing right now. 

The act of choosing to be ok helps us to recalibrate and be at ease. 

And that's the way forward.

judith x

Discover how to . . .

** How to tap into the magical feeling of home whenever you need some comfort  **  Build personal bridges between your heritage and your adopted culture ** Why it's so powerful to create your own unique identity **  Live, love and blossom in your adopted country with confidence **

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