On Waiting

“Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?”
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

The liminal state.  This is where the magic happens - where true transformation can occur when we have the patience to wait. 

When we are in a liminal state, we are at a threshold, an “in-between” place where we’re no longer in the old way, and we’re not yet anchored in the new way.  In fact, we don’t even know what the “new way” is! 

Liminal states are rich with possibility, but to harvest the wisdom from this place we must cultivate the capacity to be with not knowing.  

This can be challenging in our goal-oriented culture.  For many of us it is quite uncomfortable to not know, to not have a clear direction, to sit and wait and not act. But waiting is essential.  It provides the gestation period for what is to be born next in our work and life.

Over the years, I’ve begun to cultivate a new relationship with my experience of not knowing. I’ve been approaching my liminal states with curiosity - and love - for the questions that are arising. As I cultivate my capacity to wait, to sit and be with the questions, I notice a deeper trust in my life and what is unfolding. It feels like peace. And freedom.

Are there places in your life or work where the water feels muddy? What would it be like to wait, to let the “mud settle”? What might you see when the water of your mind is clear?

Nancy Larocca Hedley