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What Is "Liminal" Wellness?

October 19, 2019

 

Whenever I tell anyone the name of this blog, I usually need to repeat it multiple times and then write it down. Liminal isn't necessarily an everyday throw around type of word. You will rarely hear someone use liminal to describe casual affairs like the weather or the new pair of socks they got for Christmas. Thus when wellness is thrown into the mix, ears perk up in a blend of what I imagine to be intrigue and confusion. My hope is that this post will deliver some clarity around what exactly Liminal Wellness is.

 

So, what exactly does it mean to be liminal?

 

There are two ways to define the word liminal:

1. Relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.

2. Occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.

 

Wellness is best described as the following:

 

"Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life.  It is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. A good or satisfactory condition of existence; a state characterized by health, happiness, and prosperity; welfare."

 

 

Liminal Wellness is about finding a wellness that works for you, a wellness that crosses boundaries. Wellness was never designed to put you in a box. You can be a yogi who lifts weights, someone who eats mostly plant based but has wild caught salmon when your body asks for it, an athlete who does inner child work and so on.

 

The necessity of this space derives from the fact that we humans love things to be neat and condensed into a single box, to be this way or that way. Dualities conflict this inner longing for a world that is objective and predictable. However, some of the most beautiful experiences we can have are messy, undefinable and threshold crossing. Childbirth? It can be grueling and chaotic, but it's also incredibly enlightening. A 15 mile hike? Also extremely difficult and dusty and uncomfortable, but it comes with breathtaking views and a flow of rapturous endorphins.

 

The point is that in our desire to check one box or another, we constrict ourselves from expanding into all that life has to offer. When it comes to wellness, everyone comes with their own unique cocktail of preferences and circumstances that makes a one-size fits all approach laughable. Some people love to rise at 5 am and cycle like a maniac before the sun rises, others enjoy a more gentle approach to exercise. Likewise we are all at different phases in our lives. Self-care can be harder to fit in for some of us more than others. Perhaps your version of self-care looks like putting on meditation music in the car and going for a walk on your lunch break.

 

Many of you stumbling upon this space may be just starting out on your wellness journey, taking the initial steps towards a healthier, happier existence. Or perhaps you're well-established in your wellness journey. You have already laid down the path for the healthy habits and routines that make you feel your best. There's also some of you that fall somewhere in between. You have been at this for a while, but maybe you dip your toes in and out of your self care practice--occasionally going all in and then backing off when life gets busy. There's a place for everyone here, regardless of where you are in your wellness journey. This space is about trying on a form of wellness that fits you, rather than trying to squeeze yourself into a compact box version of wellness.

 

 

 

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