It’s hard to make changes in Midlife. Often people make quick changes which are not thought out or ‘jump’ into something new, just to help with the anxiety experienced of ‘not knowing’ what is best. Alongside the concept of the liminal space I love the concept of ‘The Fertile Void’ ( a notion taken from Gestalt psychology) and my clients find it really helpful too (eventually!).
An inevitable consequence of a midlife crisis or a life transition is a sense of being lost, not really knowing how you want to be or what to do for the best. Within that ‘lost’ space is the fertile void which harnesses the idea that in order for something to flourish and evolve, an empty space needs to be created. It encourages us to stop and reflect on our lives, the good, the bad and the ugly, and wait a while before we continue on our way.
The empty space part is often the most challenging part for my clients to embrace. Many of my clients are successful entrepreneurial types who are good at ‘doing’. Getting them to stop and self reflect is often their biggest challenge (and mine!). The fertile void is a concept once understood can really be engaged with as it encourages us to stop ‘doing’ and pause and wait for genuine interest and vitality to emerge from within.
Stepping into the void can be frightening because when we enter it we don’t have all the answers, we don’t know where we are going to end up. Our direction is unclear. If you can manage the anxiety of not knowing when the void will begin to fill up and allow your true energy to rise without it having to be forced, your vitality and passion for life will re-emerge. Chances are that this will mean a change of direction for you and a time of adjustment, positivity and real growth.