Tight Skin

Sometimes I’m shrouded in insecurity.

Some parts of life can be so uncomfortable.

I have this commitment to having clarity and authenticity in my life.

Sometimes that means that I have to say the hard thing or ask the hard question.

Sometimes that means that I have to stand up for myself, which does not come naturally to me.

I hate how my body feels when I’m doing the hard thing. My stomach gets queasy, my throat gets tight, and my heart beats uncomfortably fast.

I feel sad and scared.

I feel ashamed and unloved.

When I’m in this space, nothing seems right. My writing isn’t good enough. I’m on the wrong path. My friends don’t really love me.

I become filled with anxiety and doubt, fear and discomfort.

Just writing about it helps me feel better.

Just noticing it and granting it being makes it feel less real.

I think that part of why I love people so much is because I too just want to be loved.

We all do, really.

In love and liminality,

Annie Rose

White Girl

At the beginning of February I was in Nairobi, Kenya for a course called, Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership: An Ontological/Phenomenological Model. The course took place over seven days. Close to 100 people from 14 countries participated. It was really awesome.

At one point in the course, the leader asked us to consider our “life sentences.” Our life sentences comprise the boxes inside of which we live, breathe, and relate to the world. In a nutshell, mine is, “I’M NOT SAFE.” Because of my life sentence, I see much of life through a filter of safe or unsafe. My jail cell, as you might imagine, is not exactly expansive.

As we looked at our life sentences, we looked at moments in life when we decided we would never be enough of something. We specifically looked at decisions we made as children. I wrote:

I’ll never be as pretty as that girl (omitting names here).

I’ll never be as cool as those kids.

I’ll never be as rich as the kids from Circle Drive.

I’ll never be as liked as everyone else.

I’ll never be white.

That last one threw me for a loop. I’ll never be white? As if to confirm it for myself, I looked down at the skin on my arm. It was white. I’m white. But there it was—I’ll never be white.

I wrote some more. I’ll never be rich, goody-two-shoed, safe, perfect, or fake.

Wow. So that’s what I thought “white” was? And I decided when I was 10 that I would never be that?

What followed was a series of life-changing insights.

I went to an elementary school with students from a working-class neighborhood (where my dad lived), a wealthy neighborhood (where white kids lived), and Stapleton and Park Hill (where black kids lived). From my little kid perspective, none of the white kids had divorced parents, all of them were rich, and most of them didn’t really like me. I found over time I had more in common with black kids than I did with white kids. In fact, I kind of hated white kids.

That feeling grew as I went to middle and high school. I found myself connecting with more and more black friends and feeling very out of place with white people. Nothing about the experiences they were having seemed to match the experiences I was having, and I was clear I was not one of them.

Yet I was also clear that I wasn’t black. Sure, I had black friends, black mentors, and spent much of my time submersed in black culture, but I knew I wasn’t black. Simple comments like, “You’re cool for a white girl” made that crystal clear.

The result was that I never felt at home. I had no real sense of belonging, and I wandered through elementary, middle, and high school feeling very alone, depressed, and scared. To compensate for my experience (something we always do in response to our life sentences), I became independent, tough, and introspective. I longed to make it on my own, avoid rejection, and discover who I was. My methods of compensation led me down many paths in my life—some of beauty and some of pain.

I shared this insight with my friends in the course and, on the last day, with everyone in the course. As I shared, I realized that not being white had served me well. It had lead me to understand white privilege and social injustice. It had sent me to school to study international affairs and political science. It had sent me to Africa, Spain, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Peru, and Portugal. It had taken me to hip-hop and African dance classes. It had stirred in me my passion for human rights. It had allowed me to fall in love with people of various races and backgrounds. It had influenced me to embrace and be proud of my Lebanese and Greek ancestry. I had led me to be at home in virtually every country I visited. It gave me so much.

It also made me blindly racist. For as long as I can remember, in my mind, people of color could do no wrong. White people, meanwhile, were almost always wrong. They were the capitalists, the wrong-doers, the colonists. They were the ignorant, the rude, the brutal. They were the shallow, the wealthy, the opportunists. In my mind, they could do no right. People of color, meanwhile, were always innocent victims. Pretty disgusting, right?

Until I distinguished it in Kenya, all of this simmered just below the surface of my consciousness. I never would have guessed that I made the decision to never be white. I have lots of white friends, I love my white family members, and I even sometimes embrace that I’m half English! (Funny, right?)

But I could never fully be with white people. Furthermore, I could never fully be with people of color. I could only really be with my 10-year-old assessment of what it meant to be any particular race. Even with my hard-earned capacity to love and honor people, I couldn’t fully be with the real person right in front of me, in the moment.

And one of the impacts on me, as I also shared with the people in the course, was that I could never find my home. I could never feel that I belonged.

After I shared my insight with the course, one of my soul sisters approached me and said, “Annie Rose, you belong to the human race. The human being is your home.”

And indeed, that’s true.

It amazes me that we always have room for growth. I have an enormous capacity to be present with people and to be authentically loving. I’m distinctly aware of my prejudices and incredibly willing to take responsibility for them. I’ve spent a lot of years looking at myself and distinguishing my disempowering contexts and stories. I’m incredibly self-aware. (I’ve compensated for my life sentence, after all, by searching for who I am.)

Yet here I am, recognizing and peeling away yet another layer.

The liminal space is open for infinite adventure and exploration.

Beautiful, isn’t it?

In love and liminality,

Annie Rose

(Here are some of my friends from the course. We spent 7 days digging into life with each other!)

12728763_10153885652717645_7489695534125861079_n Zolani and Meshack 12741900_10153885654977645_4828907502725469207_n Olive and Olayide Group Ashley, Samuel, and Damaris

Kristine Kristine

12744033_10153885665087645_5969175767100576129_n Rachael


You Can Close Your Eyes


Ten years ago I designed and helped construct a 1500 square foot mosaic. The project included a sidewalk, fireplace, chimney, and welcome sign at a new housing development. I was entrusted with this project by Metropolitan Homes.

When they hired me, I had no idea what I was doing.

I literally had NO idea. I was an artist, yes, but at that point I had only painted. I had never done a single thing with a tile, and I had no idea how to design something so big.

The company bought me some cheap tiles, a bag of thin-set mortar, and a tool. I still don’t even know what that tool is called. They set aside an under-construction garage for me and gave me a slab of wood on which to practice.

I got a bucket, poured in 50 pounds of thin-set powder (whatever that was), and added some water. Clearly not enough. The tool barely mixed it, and I was left with lumpy, dry-ish goo. No matter to me—I didn’t know what it was supposed to look like, so I assumed it was fine.

9 hours, 3 sobbing phone calls to my father, and a sunset later, I sat in the garage, looking at the ugliest, sloppiest, most poorly-designed piece of art I had ever crafted (quite frankly, it was probably amongst the ugliest thing anyone has ever created). Knowing I had 1500 square feet in front of me, starting like, tomorrow, I was deeply discouraged.

But I got started. It turned out that no one on site or at the company had ever done anything like this, so I was officially the most knowledgeable person on the job.

So much happened in the duration of that project that I imagine I earned a PhD in Mosaic Arts. (I could seriously write a small book about what not to do when installing a mosaic. I could also write a book about what to do.)

Each and every moment of each and every day, I was in the unknown. Being there meant that I faced constant failure and breakthrough. From dawn until dusk, 7 days a week, for five weeks straight (which began only after we had spent months failing in and refining our approach), I inhaled and exhaled dust and disorientation.

But in those moments, I experienced extreme beauty and satisfaction.

I’ll never forget the feeling of arriving on site when it was still dark, me and my bucket, under the moon. I’ll never forget the three men from Poland, hired to help me lay each of the thousands of pieces, teaching me, laughing with me, and celebrating with me. I’ll never forget the secret memorial I built into the mosaic for the man who had died before he could move into his home. That sidewalk, in part, belongs to him.

I’ll never forget the day that my dear friend’s mom died. I left the construction site for a while to say goodbye to her and to support him and his family. I’ll never forget returning that night, after everyone had gone home, and lovingly laying each tile in her name. That sidewalk, in part, belongs to her, for now, and for always.

I’ll never forget the day that I threw out my back, got metal in my eye, and had to replace one single tile 16,000 times because it never seemed to want to stick. I’ll never forget the times when Sam, a resident in the complex, brought me tea and sandwiches. I’ll never forget the conversations I had with strangers and construction workers about my work, the art, and their lives. I’ll never forget the dream that I had that told me exactly what to do in the last 10 feet of space with the odd tiles that didn’t seem to go together. I’ll never forget the words that I put into the sidewalk that can only be seen from above. I’ll never forget the tiny Polish flag we placed at the beginning of the sidewalk.

I’ll never forget the sights, the smells, the feelings.

I’ll never forget that the owner of Metropolitan Homes believed in me and gave me a chance. He was crazy, really. He invested tens of thousands of dollars into an artist who had no idea what she was doing. I’ll never, ever, forget that.

I’ll never forget that one day when we were done. The tiles were set. The grout was dry. The sidewalk was washed and clean. The landscaping grew in, people moved in, and the sidewalk was open for feet.

Beauty resides in the liminal space—in doing what we don’t know how to do and being willing to stay with the process.

I cried so often during that project. It was so incredibly hard. I had no idea how it would turn out or if it would turn out. But people were depending on me, and I was working with three tilers who had also put their hearts in the project. I had to keep going, and I had to be resilient.

In the middle of the project, I went to a James Taylor concert. He sang the song, “You Can Close Your Eyes.” Here are the lyrics:

Well the sun is surely sinking down
But the moon is slowly rising
And this old world must still be spinning ’round
And I still love you

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it’s all right
I don’t know no love songs
And I can’t sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song
When I’m gone

Well it won’t be long before another day
We’re gonna have a good time
And no one’s gonna take that time away
You can stay as long as you like

So close your eyes
You can close your eyes, it’s all right
I don’t know no love songs
And I can’t sing the blues anymore
But I can sing this song
And you can sing this song
When I’m gone

I realized, as I listened to his words, that I was safe and that I was creating something larger than myself and certainly larger than anything I was thinking or feeling.

It is safe for all of us to close our eyes. It is safe for all of us to be in the unknown. The world will still move. You will still be loved. Your song will still be sung. You are a part of a process, and a process is a part of you.

Together, we can embrace and enjoy the ride. (And boy, we do know, it is a ride).

In love and liminality,

Annie Rose

1930895_28913322644_2502_n 1930895_28913362644_5423_n 1930895_28913377644_6470_n 1930895_28913442644_1479_n Mosaic

The space in between

Listen to some music and see if you can hear the space between the notes.

That space is the liminal space, and it’s the one in which the music exists.

Consider that one note does not constitute music.

It’s one tone. One sound. One piece. One component. Something that lands and ends.

It is a sound, for sure. And it is musical, no doubt. But I’m not positive it’s music. (And I do reserve the right to change my mind.)

Music happens, I believe, when a string of notes and the spaces in between connect and allow the listener to engage in a process of satisfaction and anticipation. As one moment shifts to the next, the listener is left in a sometimes split-second space of hunger and yearning. Then the next note lands, satisfies the listener (or doesn’t, in the case of bad music), and immediately sends him off into the next space in between.

Music that takes care of its notes and spaces is the music that literally moves us.

When we dance to music, we land on the notes, and we move in the space in between. Or we land on the space in between, and we move in the notes. No matter what, we move from here to there, constantly landing and transitioning, landing and transitioning.

Great dancers—or at least the ones I love to watch—seldom mark differentiation between the note and the space in between or, when they do, they do so intentionally. They use their bodies to string together in physical form the notes and not notes.

Have you ever been to an aerobics class? An aerobics class is distinctly not dance, right? There’s no mistake that it looks distinct from something you’d see at a club or in a performance arts center. Aerobics comprises a series of movements strung together with little regard for the space between notes. It is not about moving in the unknown—it is about landing in the known.

Dance, conversely, is about landing in the known and exploring the unknown. Great dance teachers invite their students into the known and unknown—the note and the space in between.

Try this experiment: watch either of the videos below with the music muted. Simply observe the dance. Can you distinguish the note from the space in between based on their movements? Can you see the dancers embracing both? How does it change for you when you observe them with sound?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk2IwDl3BI0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Et31LySAxf0

Liminal space is the space in between. It can feel scary and unknown, but it’s actually the place where music is made. You, in all your liminality, are a music-maker.

With love and liminality,

Annie Rose

P.S. Good love-making exists in the space in between too. Re-read this and replace music with making love and see what you think!


I can be such a jerk.

On Tuesday I honked my horn at a couple in a van who was, by my estimation, taking way too long to park. There were at least 20 open spots and nothing in their way. So annoying.

They turned into a spot, and I saw that they were an elderly couple with at least 160 years between them.

The guilt. The shame.

I pulled up beside them, rolled down my window, and apologized for honking and being a jerk.

They nodded and smiled, and I realized that they didn’t speak English.

So I mimed an apology for my actions until they seemed to understand my point.

We ran into each other in every aisle of Trader Joes, and each time we did, we smiled, laughed, and waved at each other.

When we stand in a place of knowing and righteousness, we take ourselves out of the liminal space. I knew how long it should take a person to pull into a parking spot. I also knew I had a right to move as quickly as I wanted and needed to, especially since there was no reason for them to move so slowly. I also seemed to know that some people are justified in moving slow while others are not.

When we stand in the liminal space, we cease to know. When we cease to know, we eliminate opportunities for righteousness. We stop basing our actions on norms, rules, obligations, and expectations, and we start to take actions consistent with what’s actually happening in the moment.

Choosing to stand in the liminal space is like choosing to focus on one’s breath. Gone is the fixation of the mind on its thoughts and habits and there is the simplicity of the inhale and exhale.

I thought about this incident in the Trader Joes parking lot while I was out for a walk. Ironically, I got annoyed with yet another driver. This time, I was planning to turn left to cross the street as soon as his car passed. He crept slowly down the street, making it impossible to cross. Exasperated and annoyed, I stopped, turned around, and made it clear that I was trying to cross. The man smiled, waved, and turned right into his driveway. The whole time, he was waiting for me to cross his driveway so that he could turn without hitting me.

Seriously, I can be such a jerk.

But I call myself that lovingly because I know, on some level, that I’m not a jerk, I’m human. We all make judgements and take actions based on our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and we often do so according to what we think we know about people, events, and circumstances. It’s human nature. We all do it.

But we can choose to embrace the liminal and let go of what’s familiar and easy. We can move a moment beyond our immediate thoughts and reactions and act from a space of presence and clarity.

We can move, if we choose to, moment by moment and breath by breath through life.

In love and liminality,

Annie Rose


Last Sunday morning I went for a surf. The ocean was warbling and full, and it bobbed me and my board up and down, up and down.

As I sat in the ocean, I considered how to describe my experience. I fake-typed instructions to my readers, telling them to imagine a full waterbed and the way it would move if two people laid across it, making passionate, wild love.

The image was clear and vibrant in my head, and I wondered, how many people have actually seen a waterbed?

However limited the description, it seemed to fit.

As I moved up and down at the command of the ocean’s breath, I cried. I cried over the loss of my friend, and I cried as I mourned the conclusion of my recent trip to Kenya. Both were great trips, and I am sad that they’re over. I’m also ecstatic that they happened.

It’s one of the great contradictions of life, isn’t it? We’re often happy and sad at once. We’re “had.”

After I cried, I sat still, just me and the heaving mother, my husband 50-feet away, engaged in his own oceanic love affair. Sea, you see, is his first wife.

He looked over at me, the sun in his eyes, and me a simple silhouette. He waved. I waved back, my feet dangling from my board.

I turned to catch a wave. I paddled, I pushed, I popped up. My feet landed, but the ocean launched me into the air, its warble laughing in my face. The ocean lovingly sighed.

Warbles happen when the tide is such that waves push into shore even as the shore pushes waves to sea. The result is an awkward dance between to and fro, in and out, up and down. Warbles, I like to imagine, are the ocean’s way of reminding us that life is unpredictable.

Surfing is the most unpredictable sport in which I’ve engaged. The ocean always moves. It is never the same. The board, surely concrete, moves as the ocean moves. I, as concrete as physical form allows, attempt consistency: I paddle, I arch my back, I pop up, and I squat with precision and intention. I dig in my feet, and I push. But my mind is never the same, and my body often has ideas of its own. My interaction with the ocean, it seems, is always a reflection of my internal state.

Surfing puts me in a liminal space. Each paddle out is new. Each wave is distinct. Each pummeling has its own flavor. I never know what will happen. Even if I sit, certain of my next moves, the interaction between the ocean, my board, and my body are entirely unpredictable. Beautifully so, I’d say.

Thank you ocean. Thank you.

In love and liminality,

Annie Rose


In Her Arms

Africa. My love.

You, my dear, are sweeter than words can describe.

But I really feel I must try.

Knowing, of course, that I may never do you justice.

I can feel your arms, wrapped tightly around me, pulling me close.

I can feel your breath on my neck.

Your heart beating against my chest.

Your tastes, your smells, and your sounds gently caressing my body.

I can feel the beat of your pulse, so in sync with mine,

that it’s difficult to know where you end, and I begin.

There was that night that we danced.

And I fell in love with you.


There was that night that we laid in the dark,

your eyes piercing mine.

My heart interlaced with yours.

Your hands holding mine. Tightly. Passionately.

With love.

A million heavy pasts slipped away when I fell in love with you.

Thankfully. Deeply.

My soul was newly revealed.

My heart was newly held.

My being was newly loved.

I cannot imagine a world without you, Africa.

You are the heart, the soul, the beauty of the world.


I’m so in love with you.

A Long Walk Home

Late last spring I walked 520 miles across Spain.

I carried with me 14 pounds of gear including 2 liters of water. I listened to music, ate food, talked to strangers, and walked.

Some days were incredibly hard, especially in the beginning. My feet hurt. Tiny fractures sent searing pain throughout my feet and into my ankles. At one point, I tearfully looked into options for quitting and dreamt of relaxing in Barcelona instead.

But I chose to stay and to finish my journey.

Soon after I made that decision, the sever discomfort went away. I rubbed my feet nightly and walked them, barefoot, through sandy beaches and mud-cushioned grass. The earth embraced my feet and massaged them, encouraging me forward.

I walked for 30 days and spent each night in a new hostel, or alberque.

One night, in an attempt to drown out the snoring of my fellow pilgrims, I listened to chanting music through my earbuds. The timber of the songs matched the timber of the snoring, and I was soon in a snore-free zone, invited into ancient secrets for hours on end as I slept. I continued that tradition for the next 28 days as I made my way from place to place.

I also meditated. Sometimes I used nothing but my breath, and other times I followed the words of teacher and psychologist, Tara Brach. Sometimes I sat still and meditated; other times I walked, ate, or engaged with another in an intentional space of awareness and stillness.

The voices and textures of these chants and meditations became the few consistencies in my journey. Every single day presented a new adventure, yet I always returned to the subtle home of being.

At one point during a walking meditation, I looked at the bark on a tree and became aware that everything seemed really strange. Everything seemed surreal. The flowers, sounds, and rain, in particular, seemed resolute, crisp, and poignant. People seemed like characters, floating in and out of my dreams, and events seemed like winks from the universe.

Soon after, I came across a piece of paper on a wall. It read, “a man knows not who he is until he has found himself in a strange place where nobody knows his name.” That was me. I was in a strange place, and nobody (quite literally that day) knew my name. I was a stranger to myself and my surroundings.

It was as though my feet had walked me to where peyote and mushrooms once had. My universe, both visually and spiritually, was wide open, mystical, and distinctly unfamiliar. Yet it somehow felt like home.

Upon my return to the United States, I told my dear friend Janine about that space. She nodded in understanding. “It’s the liminal space,” she said.

She referred me to Dr. Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook’s book, Pilgrimage: the Sacred Art. Journey to the Center of the Heart. In it, Dr. Kujawa-Holbrook writes that there are three stages in a pilgrimage: separation, transition, and incorporation. In the middle stage, the pilgrim has separated from life as she knows it and begun the “reflective practice of making meaning from…new experiences.” She has entered the liminal space and “no longer connects with [her] previous ways of being but has not yet incorporated a new way of being into [her] identity.”

I realized that for the majority of the 30 days that I had walked El Camino de Santiago, I had been in the liminal space. In fact, I still was. I had left what was familiar and not yet landed in or incorporated into my identity something new.

Today, nearly nine months after my journey, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect upon that space and to work in the stage of incorporation. I’ve noticed that much of my life occurs in the liminal space, and that the liminal space is indeed all around us, all of the time. It is there for the embracing.

I’ve also discovered that the liminal space can be a space of power, peace, and transformation.

I’ve created this blog as a place to explore the liminal space, and I invite you to join me!

Join me, won’t you?

With love and liminality,

Annie Rose Stathes

IMG_7374 IMG_6512 IMG_6682

Streaming Life through Filters


I’m curious about filters this morning.

For the last week, I’ve been deeply at peace, happy, and, for the most part, empowered. I’ve tapped into some treasured creativity, curiosity, and love and moved through my days in service to my most authentic self, my loved ones, and my communities. My filter for life has been brilliant, crisp, and clear.

Then, last night, I learned that my friend and mentor, Kathryn Cheever, passed away. To put it more bluntly, she died. She’s gone. No longer with us. Never to be seen in human body again.

This morning I woke up at 4am. Even before the light of the sun could grace my room, I knew the world was grey.

My heart is heavy.

My dreams last night were laced with painful emotion.

The news is filled with nothing but bad.

And Facebook, yesterday filled with great posts from amazing friends, is today a site for meaningless bullshit.

I know that I can choose to be happy about Kathryn’s life and to mourn her death without letting it turn my perspective of the world dark.

I know it’s ok to mourn and that it’s healthy.

I know Kathryn would want me to be happy.

I know so many now-dead people that I am crystal clear about all of the rules, norms, expectations, and graces.

I know, I know, I know.

And yet my eyes and my heart see the world today through shades of grey.

My heart is heavy, and I hurt.

Rest in deep peace, dear Kathryn.

Thank you for helping me through that one impossibly hard time.

Thank you for reading my thesis so many times despite the six others on your plate.

Thank you for seeing me for who I truly am.

Thank you for standing for my success.

Thank you for living your life in service to others.

You are missed. I already miss you.

Today I shall play with the liminal space by removing my filters—the ones of grey and of color—to see the world as it is. I know that part of that practice means allowing the filters to slide into place when they do, but to notice them as filters and not as truth.

As Landmark Education would say, today I will live my life as lived, in the moment, out of my head and out here in the world.

With love and liminality,

Annie Rose

Living a Liminal Life is Not for Suckers

When I was little, I used to rearrange my room on a regular basis. I never replaced old furniture or décor with new stuff—I simply put the head of my bed against a new wall, my dresser alongside a different door, my pictures and posters in new places.

I distinctly remember going to sleep feeling incredibly uncomfortable each time I did so. I felt creeped-out and weird, my brain thrown off by getting into bed from a new direction, heading toward my desk from a different angle, and looking for posters in places they no longer were.

Then, after a few days, comfort would replace discomfort, and my “new” room would become my old room. My brain would relax, and my entire being would relax into a space of normalcy. Each of those times I reorganized my room, I pushed myself into a liminal space, even if only for a few days.

The Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines “liminal” as something that is “of or relating to a sensory threshold” or “barely perceptible”. Anthropologists define “liminality” as the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rituals, when participants no longer hold their pre-ritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the ritual is complete.

In all of our lives, we find ourselves in liminal spaces, whether we know it or not. We graduate from college and start working full time. We end one relationship and become single or start a new one. Someone we know dies. We fail at something at which we knew we’d succeed. We learn of a new word, idea, or theory and we see ourselves, others, and our world in new ways. We develop a new inner or emotional capacity, and we see our circumstances through new filters. We lose our filters. We make a new friend and develop new ideas of what it means to be connected. We get married. We get divorced. We make and deliver a baby. We become a husband, a wife, a sister, a mother, a father, a failure, or a success. We fall in love. We no longer know who we are. We become something we weren’t before, but we’re still not who we’re going to be.

Life constantly throws us into the liminal space. Sometimes we stay there for minutes; other times for hours, days, weeks, months, or even years. The amount of time we spend there is often out of our control or is, many times, indicative of our willingness and capacity to stay in the unknown.

Last year, I walked El Camino de Santiago, a pilgrimage across Spain. I walked 520 miles in 30 days. I started my journey by leaving my husband, friends, family, job, city, and material possessions behind (with the exception of the fourteen pounds of clothes and gear I carried on my back). I flew to Madrid, took a bus to north-eastern Spain, and started to walk.

What followed was a constant entering and exiting of the liminal space. Flight to Madrid by myself? Unfamiliar. Flight to another country? Familiar. Bus by myself to a new-to-me part of Spain? Unfamiliar. Bus in a foreign country? Familiar. Alberque (hostal) in new city? Totally unfamiliar. Alberque in Spain on El Camino? Familiar. (I walked another route of El Camino ten years earlier.)

Yet despite some familiar experiences, the entire journey took place in the liminal space to varying degrees of intensity. It blew my mind and rocked my familiar world.

Living in the liminal space, let’s be clear, is not for suckers. It’s for the daring. It’s for people who live life fully, not because doing so is the trend, but because, when they look at it, there are no other options.

Living a liminal life is for the transformers; the movers and shakers; the revolutionaries; the adventurous. It’s for the experiencers. The lovers. The people who engage in the washing machine of life, intentionally or not, and keep on living despite of, and in service to, constant challenge, heartbreak, transition, and confusion.

Living in the liminal space is for people who grow, expand, explore, and look at the world with curious eyes. It’s for people who live life, witnessing and engaging in life’s action and maneuvering, as best they can, through road blocks, barriers, and detours.

I happen to believe that living a liminal life is for everyone. Said another way, I believe it’s something that everyone just does. If you’ve ever gone to an unfamiliar place, changed your relationship status, moved to a new house, changed jobs, changed schools, changed friends, tried something new, traveled to another city, country, or state, read a book that changed your life, had an experience—good or bad—that changed your life, or otherwise found yourself in a state of change, transition, or newness, you’ve lived—no matter how long—in a liminal space.

The liminal space is responsible, in our selves, our families, our communities, and our world—for change. For transformation! For evolution! For revolution! It knocks down structures and rearranges life. It’s for you. For me. For all of us.

This blog is about adventures in liminal living. I hope you’ll join me in an exploration!

With love and liminality,

Annie Rose Stathes