Living in the Gap - 5 Ways to Make the Most of In-Between the Big Moments
I was talking to a client the other day and she mentioned she had pulled the “No-Thingness” card from her Osho Zen tarot deck. This is one of my favorite cards and it talks about the void of potential that exists out “there” in the universe. Osho Zen defines it as being “in the gap” and that’s exactly how my client was feeling about her current reality.
I’ve been facing a similar reality for the past year and living in the gap can be extremely unsettling. Quoting Osho Zen again, he aptly says it can feel “… disorienting and even scary. Nothing to hold on to, no sense of direction, not even a hint of what choices and possibilities might lie ahead.”
What do you do if you find yourself in a similar situation when you find yourself in between the BIG moments? You are here now but it’s not where you want to be – you’ve set things in motion but you’re not where you want to be. Or, you don’t know what to do next to create the next BIG moment that tells you that you’re heading in the right direction?
What Does Living in the Gap Mean?
If I was to describe what it means to be living in the gap I would say it’s the space where nothing seems to be happening. It could be the transitionary stage of change where things slow down as the final puzzle pieces are put together before the ultimate outcome.
The gap could feel like this:
You know where you’re going and your goal is all but achieved and yet, certain things aren’t falling into place as you planned.
Nothing can be done until it’s the right moment.
You’re left twiddling your thumbs trying not to get impatient at the slowness of it all!
The gap can come about when you achieve a big goal and suddenly find yourself wondering what to do next. This space can be temporary while you put together a new goal to ensure you moving forward. Or, it could be one BIG gaping hole you’re left staring into after spending so much time and energy reaching your ultimate dream only to be asking yourself, “Now what?”
Why Is It So Hard to Be in the Gap?
If you enjoy achieving goals you’re going to find the gap a difficult space to be in! Being in the gap is about noticing your current reality as it is and embracing it even when you’re not where you want to be. The crazy thing is that whatever your last achievement was it brought you to this space and it’s telling you to live it fully until your next accomplishment.
Living in the gap can do the following:
Leave you feeling confused, disappointed, impatient, or resentful as you wonder why your life has suddenly come to a standstill.
Make you want to race to the next accomplishment without appreciating all the moments in between.
Leave you wondering what’s missing despite achieving a goal
You’re looking at a blank canvas and thinking, “Is this it?” That’s a painful place to be and while planning ahead can prevent this from happening, it’s vital to experience the waiting game sometimes. Otherwise, you’ll look back one day and ask yourself, “What happened there?” especially if you’re still not where you want to be!
Scared of the big black hole aka the no-thingness or being in the gap? Read Barbara Ann Kipfer's book, "1,001 Ways to Live in the Moment" and discover enlightening ways to enjoy the in-between moments of life.
5 Ways to Enjoy Living In-Between the BIG Moments
If you haven’t planned ahead with new goals or you’re not sure what direction to take, living in the gap can make you feel like you’re at a crossroads.
Achieving your goal hasn’t quite given you want you expected and you start to doubt your purpose in life. You question your path and wonder if you’ve somehow taken the wrong road.
Living in the gap can do that to you as you start to evaluate your current life and begin to think you’re at a dead end. Your future doesn’t look so bright or exciting anymore – in fact, it looks like nothing! That’s why it’s scary – all this empty space is making you stress about how to proceed.
But, there are ways to make the most of where you are NOW so that living in between the BIG moments can be enjoyed.
1. Factor in the Gaps
Having goals, visions, and dreams is what keeps you moving forward and reaching for the stars but in all the planning did you include the gaps? In between accomplishments there are always going to be gaps and that’s called life. That’s the space where you’re meant to be living out the results of your goals so why doesn’t it feel fulfilling?
Often we focus on the destination and forget about the journey. Your goals and the experiences in between are what make your life worth living. Your accomplishments should help you to live your life purpose but acknowledging the moments in between and living them is vital for overall fulfillment.
My ultimate goal was to be a successful life coach. I’ve achieved that goal but it needs constant action to keep it alive and thriving. It also means enjoying the space when I’m not coaching or working with clients. I can’t be coaching 24/7 and visualizing how I was going to enjoy the gaps was equally important.
2. Go With the Flow
I’m used to making change happen on my terms but the past year has been teaching me a tough lesson. For once I’m being forced to go with the flow and wait for the right moment. It’s not easy to trust that life will support me even when I’m waiting in the gap for things to happen!
Before, when I forced things to happen well before they were meant to, the results weren’t always satisfactory. Most times the outcomes would be achieved but oftentimes the end result wouldn’t be what I had expected.
I’m learning that the universe has its own divine plan for me and if I let it BE once I’ve taken the necessary steps, things will fall into place as they should and would.
Going with the flow doesn’t mean doing nothing (even if you’re in a space of no-thingness!) but it means moving like water. Water that hasn’t been blocked flows with ease, without resistance, and it trusts where it’s going.
Movement is important but forcing it while you’re in the gap will often take you in the wrong direction. Go with the flow and trust you’re heading where you’re meant to be going.
3. Accept the Ordinariness of Life
Living in between the BIG moments can seem dull if you’re used to always accomplishing things. But, do you want to end up on your deathbed regretting not living life instead of racing through it? I love the word “ordinariness” and it has become one of my personal core values.
However, I have to consciously be aware of the simple, ordinary things in life that holds so much beauty and that’s one of the gifts of living in the gap. The BIG moments aren’t vying for your attention as you settle down into the space of stillness and face the mundanity of life.
Accepting the ordinariness of my life as I wait for the transition to another big change on our horizon I get to enjoy:
Baking and cooking meals
Doing my early morning rituals
Ending my day with yoga and meditation
Reading crime thrillers to my heart content
Watching Netflix movies
Watching the sunsets
Sitting in the sun while enjoying my coffee
Appreciating the beauty of our garden
Taking life, from moment to moment means I can take it easy and enjoy the simple things that happen every day. The more I value the “ordinary” moments the more I strive for simplicity. I believe I know what my next goal is going to be!
4. Define Your Purpose
Defining your purpose in life will help you to navigate those gaps that keep cropping up. Aligning your goals to your purpose means you’re always heading in the right direction so you never have to doubt your path when it feels like nothing is happening.
It makes it easier to accept living in the gap and to do the things that align with your purpose even when you’re in between big moments.
Knowing your overarching purpose in life means you can give yourself permission to let your hair down every now and then. In fact, it becomes compulsory because your purpose IS your life’s journey and includes both the ordinariness and extraordinariness of life.
When you define your purpose, everything you do, big and small, matters.
5. Just BE and Be Grateful
When you’re authentic and living a life that’s true for you, you understand that being in the gap is part of the transition from one stage to another. The gap is a life experience in itself that must be lived to its fullest just as much as taking action steps to achieve your next goal. When you can just BE you’re fully aware of all that is and you embrace it for what it is.
Being grateful allows you to live in the moment and appreciate what you have right NOW even if you’re feeling life has slowed down to a standstill. Gratitude keeps you authentic as you acknowledge all that is going well even when you’re in between accomplishments or waiting for the next goal to unfold.
Living in the gap can be agonizing and I get your struggle! However, from my own experience, I’ve learned the hard way – fighting the gap is more painful than accepting it’s part of life’s many experiences.
Morgan Harper Nichols says it so well – “Living in the moment is learning how to live between the big moments. It is learning how to make the most of the in-betweens and having the audacity to make those moments just as exciting.” Go on, make the in-betweens as adventurous as the actual goals, and have fun while you’re at it!
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