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Embracing The Void

November 25, 2010

[Breathtaking photo by Michael Rolph, via flickr.]

In Loss Love Life, Nicola Warwick discusses the benefits of loss. She and I are of one mind when it comes to this: loss opens the door to possibility.

The type of loss is irrelevant. Loss of a relationship, loved one, job or idea. Doesn’t matter. Loss creates a void and from that gaping hole springs creation.

In the introduction, she talks very eloquently of The Void. It can be your mourning period. A time of hibernation.  Of  Waiting. It feels eternal and seems as if nothing is happening. It feels completely devoid of progress or forward-momentum.

Let me tell you: I am fluent in the void. I usually call it hibernation. In fact, I’m in the void right now. You see, it’s a natural part of the creative process. It marks endings and signals beginnings.

When I’m about to start a new project, I crave downtime. I’ve come to understand that my mind needs peace, rest, nothingness to reconfigure and retool. Subconsciously and imperceptibly, there’s a shift taking place.

The void allows me to empty myself of last season, or my last project. It’s permission to let go. To finish.

But, letting go is difficult. The first impulse is always to fill the void. With anything. With everything. Emptiness is overwhelming. Extremely uncomfortable. Who wants to sit in that?

Yet, I’ve learned that I must. I must embrace the void. Accept it. Love it.  Because Nicola and I both believe that the true purpose of the void is to create space. Space for healing. Space for new possibilities. Space for creativity.

On the surface, it seems like nothing is happening. But, I know the reverse to be true. While I wait, my mind is actively engaged. Sifting. Sorting. Attempting to draw parallels between disparate ideas. Mining for inspiration.

So, I choose to sit in the void because I trust that I’ll come out on the other side with new ideas. Fertile and clever and innovative ideas.

As Creatives, we have many different names for the void, but we all experience it. I’d argue that we all have to learn to harness it if we want to be the best at what we do.

I’d love to know: Have you learned to sit in the void? Do you have a way of embracing it?


Loss Love Life is a compilation of writings about the power of loss, transition and change with contributions from Thursday’s Child, Julie Daley, Patti Digh, Margaret Fuller, Danielle LaPorte, Michael Nobbs, Carolyn Rubenstein, Andrea Schroeder, Kate Swoboda, Julie Jordan Scott, Dyana Valentine, Eydie Watts and Nicola Warwick. Also, it’s completely free. So, go download and enjoy.


2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 25, 2010 2:22 pm

    What a wonderful post! The void is a tricky place to be but an important part of the process. And it’s cyclical. As you say, the void often occurs between endings and new beginnings.

    Thank you for downloading Loss Love Life and for being inspired by it. I’m thrilled to read your post.


  1. A Follow-Up To Embracing The Void « An American Girl In Cambodia

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