And just as importantly, how do you increase your tolerance for sitting in that middle space?
No matter where you are stuck or overwhelmed, how does increasing your awareness about the importance of skillfully opening and closing, as well as moving fluidly through the middle space, support your optimal health?
I notice that some people are naturally drawn to "opening" - work projects, relationships, gardens, life goals. It can be exciting to open something new.
And some people excel at "closing" and completing. To close it up and tie it with a string makes room for something different, maybe something better.
The messiness in between is where it gets interesting for me and for my clients... and that is where the hard work often happens.
The opening may be something chosen - something as mundane as cleaning out a closet or as momentous as starting a new business. Or it may be something that is not chosen but that opens anyway - a serious diagnosis, a medical event, or a breach in a relationship.
The adrenaline rush of opening, whether chosen or not, can be intoxicating and energizing.
And the closing, too, often brings a promise of rest or space.
But the in between requires a different kind of energy - a more grounded, sustained energy to support complex decision making, shifting dynamics, hopes and disappointments, newly visible cracks in relationships, financial strains. Energy to sustain a skillful, responsive long-haul effort.
Many of us aren't even aware of the middle messiness and the work it takes to handle the messiness with skill until we jump or are thrown into the deep end of the pool of life.
After the opening, comes the messy middle and then the closing. After the closing comes another opening. It is a pattern that repeats for all of us.
When I remember that opening and closing are both important skills and that the messy middle is often where the most difficult work happens, it helps normalize my experience and that feels super healthy.
Make remembering to intentionally open, close and walk skillfully through the middle place, on a regular basis, a healthy habit.