The Messy Middle

When I think about trust I think about the moments when there is an unknown on the horizon. For me those times usually come in the “in-between” moments of life.

I call that middle space the Messy Middle and for me it usually comes in the form of a creative slump. It is often triggered by the endings of things.  I find myself in the Messy Middle space as I write this; it is the end of summer, the end of a year long course I’ve been taking, the end of breastfeeding my daughter, and the end of my 38th year of life.

I’m sure you can remember being in a transitional phase in your life when you had to call on a deep sense of faith or trust that things would work out in the end.

When I work with my clients, whether during pregnancy or a fertility journey, there is almost always a moment when we address the need for them to trust in themselves and in their bodies.  It makes sense that in the midst of an unknowable answer we must be able to trust that what will come next (a baby or a pregnancy) is something that we will be able to handle.  But this is not always easy to do.

When I’m in this space I find it helpful to simply acknowledge that I’m in a place of transition, that I don’t know all the answers at this exact moment and that I can be OK with that.

What helps is turning to things that I know I can count on.  The predictable things in life, doing the dishes, folding the laundry, organizing a closet, or having a conversation with a good friend.  When we see that life can be both dependable and, at the same time, unpredictable we allow ourselves to find rest in the day-to-day steady flow of life.

While the usual advice of “be nice to yourself” makes sense, its also helpful to use these mundane tasks as a way to help us find trust in ourselves and trust in the process of life.  It can help us get out of our heads and the “over-thinking” space.

Here are some other suggestions that can help us to find the faith and trust we need when we find ourselves bogged down in the Messy Middle.

Learn something and let the rest go:

Read a book, listen to a podcast or attend a lecture about something you are interested in learning about.  Education is life affirming and can also be a great stress reducer.

Do something Creative:

Preparing to have a baby and being pregnant are some of the most optimal times to activate our intuition and creative juices. Below are a few of my favorite exercises to get the creative juices flowing, and to deepen the connection between yourself and your baby, or baby to be.

  1. Morning Pages:  a stream of consciousness practice developed by Julia Cameron from her book “The Artist Way” to help you tap into your creative and intuitive self.
  2. Artist Date:  A date alone (or with baby in belly) where you allow serendipity to take you on an adventure.
  3. Write out your vision of the future:  Get as detailed as possible. Having a clear vision and intention of what you want your birth or pregnancy to look like helps keep the positive energy up and aligned with your vision.
  4. Take an art class:  Moving more into your right brain as you prepare for pregnancy or during your pregnancy is one of the best antidotes to helping to calm your nerves and relieve stress about the future.

Create a list: of things you can depend upon, things to do when you feel a little anxious or nervous about the future.