July 7, 2021
Q&A 040

🚶‍♀️ In-between

One of our readers pointed me towards Danielle Braun, discussing the topic of change. She observes that change is not a 2-point 'ist-soll' type of thing, but rather a transitional period that "is done when it's done". Just look at how tribes deal for example with youth coming of age. They are often sent on a ritual journey ending with an aptitude test, which only happens when a tribal leader thinks they are ready for it.

You learn and change in this 'in-between' period. It's often called the liminal phase; a transitional phase in which hurdles are taken, feels uncomfortable and you try to shorten as much as possible.

In the lecture, she refers to a talk by Rabbi Twerksi in which he uses the lobster as a model for how to deal with change. When a lobsters grows, its shell becomes too small and uncomfortable. She'll go under a rock, shed her shell, expose her soft body and grow a new shell while being very vulnerable.

"The stimulus for the lobster to be able to grow, is that it feels uncomfortable [...] if lobsters would have doctors [to provide a pill], they would never grow."

Clearly, we need doctors to fix things that are broken. However, feeling uncomfortable or experiencing a bit of stress may not be bad and indicate a time for growth or change. To understand and feel what is needed when you are in this phase, Danielle Braun argues you need 'liminal leaders'. One -the Chief- that ensures you complete your daily routines and one -the Shaman- that facilitates this in-between period and let it last as long as necessary.

These two roles could well be inside you already. You can also organise them around yourself. Who or what is your 'Chief' and 'Shaman'?