The following is another exercise in the Creativity Exercises That Work! series. This one is offered by Litza Bixler:

THRESHOLDS is an exercise meant to help creative people acknowledge, embrace and utilize liminality.

WHAT is liminality?
The concept of liminality was developed by anthropologist Victor Turner as a means of describing the middle stage of a rite of passage. A liminal space is the space in between, a sort of limbo. The word comes from limen, meaning “threshold”.

Doorways, wells, windows, portals, wormholes, rabbit holes and caves are all physical thresholds. They are the links between worlds that the hero must pass through in order to arrive at a new symbolic life.

This exercise acknowledges that people often find themselves in between projects, ideas, careers, life stages etc. And in a culture that emphasizes productivity and forward momentum, it can be challenging to embrace these periods of transition. However, the ‘in between’ can be an open, fertile space to explore potential ideas and paths forward.

This exercise is an experiential, embodied process that can be done at home, in a coaching session, or in a workshop. It is divided into two parts.

PART ONE: It’s Okay To Be In Between
Now is the time to embrace blue-sky thinking and to revel in potential.

One: Choose a doorway, at home, or in a private space at work.

Two: Stand in the doorway and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. Take a moment to concentrate on your breathing and to embrace the sensation of being on the threshold.

You are not in one room or another. You could turn around and go back to the room you just left, or you could choose to step forward into a new room. Acknowledge the pressure to choose, to step forward or back, and let that go. Use this part of the exercise when you are in transition or when you have completed a project and you are unsure where to go next.

PART TWO: Stepping Over the Threshold

Now is the time to decide what you want to work on next. Where you want to go. And who you want to be.

At some point, the time of transition ends. Alice lands at the bottom of the rabbit hole. The husband carries the wife over the threshold. The mother gives birth. The woman completes menstruation. The teenager becomes an adult.

This part of the exercise uses the wisdom of the body to access your intuition about which idea, which project, or which life path is right for you at this time. Use it when you are ready to move out of liminality towards something new.

ONE: Begin the exercise as before. Find a doorway and stand on the threshold. Focus on your breathing.

TWO: Visualize a space in front of you. It could be an internal space, like a room, or an external space, like a garden. Really see the space. What does it look like? What does it feel like? Is it warm, cool, or breezy? What color is it? Are there objects or living things in it? What are they?

THREE: Now imagine that this space is on a rotating platform. Count backwards from ten, ideally aloud. When you come to zero, the platform will turn and deliver a new space.

Repeat the above visualization for this new space. Then count backwards from ten, and repeat. For the purpose of this exercise, focus on three spaces. Once you have a clear picture of each space, intuitively assign a project, or an idea or a new career path to each. Then visualize the three spaces again, and remember to count backwards from ten between each one.

FOUR: Now take a deep breath in and exhale. On the exhale, the platform turns. Repeat. On each breath, notice whether you feel a physical pull into the space in front of you and if that pull is strong enough to cause you to step forward, out of the threshold, and into the new space.

Feel free to walk yourself through this process, or print out these instructions and have another person guide you. The key is to utilize the physical experience of standing in an actual threshold (doorway).

VARIATIONS: You can also explore other types of thresholds as well. Windows for example, beaches (the point between earth and sea), the wood’s edge, a garden gate, archways, etc.

Litza Bixler is a creative polymath with a wealth of experience across a wide range of art forms, including film, fine art, choreography, and writing. She is a certified Kaizen-Muse Creativity Coach, with additional certificates in counseling and hypnotherapy. She also has a Masters in Dance Anthropology with additional training in a broad range of dance and somatic techniques.

Litza’s creative journey has been full of twists and turns, ups and downs, playfulness and laughter, interesting characters, and of course a few dark nights of the soul. She set up Compasso Coaching to help others discover their own true north and navigate their journey with compassion, creativity and courage.

Litza’s approach is rooted in personal myth making. Through deep listening and open questions, she encourages participants to reveal the stories they live by. Participants can then challenge, change, and rewrite the stories that no longer serve them.

Whether your intention is to build a successful creative business, to generate new creative habits, to boost your creative practice, or to bring more creativity into your parenting, your relationships or your daily life; Compasso Coaching can help you find your way.

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