Some random but related thoughts about thresholds:
Have you been feeling like you are on the threshold of something new that scares you a little?
Or, do you feel yourself drawn to step over a threshold into something unknown, and you worry about that?
Here is an interesting conclusion about worry that is often attributed to American writer Mark Twain. Studying his chronic fears, he found they fell into five fairly distinct classifications:
1. Worries about disasters which, as later events proved, never happened. About 40% of my anxieties.
2. Worries about decisions I had made in the past, decisions about which I could now of course do nothing. About 30% of my anxieties.
3. Worries about possible sickness and a possible nervous breakdown, neither of which materialized. About 12% of my worries.
4. Worries about my children and my friends, worries arising from the fact I forgot these people have an ordinary amount of common sense. About 10% of my worries.
5. Worries that have a real foundation. Possibly 8% of the total.
He concluded that if he eliminated the “What If?” worries, he would free up 92% of his mental and emotional space. Think of the inner spaciousness that you would have available for creativity!
Here is a totally different kind of threshold. This is something I often experience. It feels like a threshold of spirituality and creativity. I will notice that there are a lot of thoughts, insights, ideas, possibilities popping up in my awareness that want to be connected. They are widely divergent, but they could be related, and I haven’t quite gotten the intuition about how to connect the dots yet.
Suddenly one day the missing link occurs to me, and the dots all fall into a shape, and I find myself suddenly on the other side of a threshold. It is the logical next step, but usually I hadn’t seen it coming. Everything in my life changes then, and it is a little overwhelming! Ever had that happen?
Or… a friend told me that she was feeling like she was “behind.” There were so many things she wanted to do but she wasn’t doing them. She wanted to step over that threshold into getting things done, and she was afraid that she was holding herself back. But it sounded to me like she was working from an old internal story of doing what “should” be done. She was actually reporting feeling more relaxed in her life, slowing down, doing more of what she loved, holding on to fewer “have to-ought to’s.” Still, she was feeling a little guilty for not being more productive.
By the end of our conversation we had reframed this threshold from a barrier to a “continually moving emergence of creativity.” Like one of those walkways in the airport, it just keeps carrying you along, offering more possibilities for inter-connection, new shapes to explore. Its invitation is to steady your heart, keep moving (slow is OK), and make wise choices from that center. This sounds more fun to me than making myself cross a line in order to get things done, in order to keep up!
Thresholds can be a challenge in yet another way. If we are awake, they can challenge us to consider WHY we are taking that step forward. Are we doing this for ourselves? Or to get the attention or approval of someone else?
Alain de Botton, modern philosopher and creator of the “literary self-help genre”, says in his book The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work:
One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They’re sucked in from other people. And we also suck in messages from everything, from the television to advertising to marketing, etcetera. These are hugely powerful forces that define what we want and how we view ourselves.
What I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but that we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.
I have recently offered some teleclasses (more to come!) on various interpretations of the the concept of thresholds…crossing thresholds, standing on a threshold, tapping for how a threshold is appearing and how it feels, figuring out how you got here, finding the intuitive guidance hidden in the metaphor of “threshold,” tapping for the problems that come up.
I got several wonderful responses to the classes, among them one from EFT practitioner Andie Bright in the UK. What she wrote about her tapping experience is so good that I am reprinting it here:
I just wanted to share a few thoughts with you on your most recent teleclasses on ‘Thresholds’ – just my own experiences of them – I know you are always interested to hear feedback so here goes…
Firstly I love the idea of focusing on the threshold between two situations. Many self-help approaches encourage transformation and change but without acknowledging how it can be helpful to stand between the old and new…it definitely less threatening than ‘dive in or stay stuck’! (I also remember hearing Louise Hay talking about the importance of allowing vacillation between the old and new without judging yourself for ‘slipping backwards’ – a way of showing self-compassion I find particularly helpful in times of transition.)
Because my next step involves ‘coming out’ as an EFT practitioner, the future space for me was best represented by the metaphor of a stage (which was small and circular with hundreds of people watching from all directions). My current space was a kind of corridor of people (friends and family) leading up to the stage where a couple of wooden steps up to the stage represented my threshold)
The ‘corridor’ (not the best word really but I hope I can get across my meaning) was my comfort zone because the people lining it were supportive, as opposed to the ‘out there’ crowd who were waiting for me to emerge on the stage. But it was also very limiting to stay ‘down there’ in the corridor due to its narrow nature and lack of challenge.
My stage metaphor was powerful for me. As I sat on the steps (threshold) and tapped on my fears about being ‘out there in the world where people would laugh at me’ (a fear which started as a 10), I was able to see that staying where I was (in my comfort zone) would become more and more limiting and unbearable, despite being surrounded by ‘safe’ people.
When I tapped about being ‘out there’ on stage, the immediate vision I had was of the stage revolving and me speaking my message about how I could help people BUT with each turn of the stage, the people I had only just spoken to were laughing and whispering to each other as soon as they were out of my field of vision. It was literally a ‘Mexican wave of ridicule and derision’ and required a great deal of tapping on how hurtful it felt.
Several earlier life events involving public humiliation/two-faced behaviour popped up (and I was able to address them with EFT later on) BUT the amazing thing is that when I imagined stepping down from the stage, I had just as immediate a vision of a single audience member following me, approaching me and saying I’d really touched them; could they work with me?
The question ‘could I endure the ridicule of many if I could help one?’ was such a no-brainer for me (hell, yeah!) that the whole thing felt resolved. I looked down at my notes, where I’d written ‘They will laugh at me: SUDS 10’ and replied, out loud, ‘Yes maybe some will, but not all.’
The tapping statements that Andie created to work with were:
Even though there are people who will mock me when I take this step, I choose to know that what they think won’t destroy me.
Even though not everyone will ‘get’ the new me, I choose to know that some people will, and I can focus on them in order to honour my need for connection.
Even though some people choose to humiliate and ridicule others, I choose to know that they are most likely feeling ‘not good enough’ and need my compassion. I deeply and completely love and accept myself and them.
I choose to honour my resourcefulness, resilience and strength. (I always connect to the experience of homebirthing my second child without pain relief when I need to remind myself of these qualities, that are resource states)
Andie added:”The place that I got to felt calmer, not that I am now fearless about this next step but I am realistic and accepting that I can’t connect with everyone. I still feel very strongly that EFT is what I am meant to do in the world and that I am definitely one step closer to that stage!”
When YOU create a tapping session for yourself, or for someone else, around the concept of thresholds, try adding some of the following thoughts, that come from the Thresholds teleclasses that I teach:
More Threshold Tapping Possibilities
Even though I have been afraid to take this step, for all those reasons I had, this place is a creative moment, when all possibilities are up in the air and anything can happen.
Even though I thought it was a big step, too big, I understand that my smallest thought, feeling or act can still influence and shape the outcome.
Even though I was feeling blocked, I am willing to take a chance.
I am a transitioning person… a brave hearted and courageous soul… a creative person who wants to be happy… and find inner peace… and know skillfully how to listen, love and be loved… and be fully present to life in all its forms and aspects… so I can offer empathy to myself and others…and deeply live.
There is power in my smallest moments.
A single word or action can set vast changes into motion.
I can have faith in what can unfold.
I don’t even need to know what it will be.
I am curious to find out!
I can call on the spiritual forces of creativity, joy and beauty.
I can trust these forces, they are my spiritual birthright.
I am willing to take a chance.
I am willing to step out in any direction to get energy moving.
When there is movement, I will be able to see what I want.
When there is movement, I will be able to see what I need to do.
When the energy is moving I can influence the outcome.
I can make a choice about my authentic self and path without even clearly seeing my true self or path. I can feel it.
This threshold can represent the presence of abundance
and fertility in my life.
Here is a field to be plowed and seeds to be planted.
The field is rich in the promise of growth.
I have the gift of space and a place to grow.
This is my threshold.
It is my opportunity to find my own way.
It is my opportunity to offer my gift in my own way.
I can always begin again.
I can always begin again.
For even more tapping on thresholds: here is another article I wrote on this topic: Tapping for Thresholds
With my love and blessing to you, and to your creative projects!
Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. Steve Jobs, Wired MagazineLightbulb photo: Skypixel, Dreamstime.com