THE FERTILE VOID What’s Next? Wish I Knew!
Is there a stirring within that’s telling you that you’re not at home in yourself? Perhaps unsettling questions like, “Who am I? What’s next? What am I doing with the rest of my life? What do I want?” Maybe it’s leaving you feeling frustrated, aimless, confused and urgent with the added dread that you’re wasting time.
What is the Fertile Void?
You may be feeling pressured to respond to others and yourself to those fundamental questions, but right now you simply don’t have the answers and wish you did. All you know is that somehow you feel stuck. It’s not because you’re lazy, incompetent or unable to plan. It’s possibly that you are in the fertile void. It’s a Taoist concept that defines this as a time to slow down, release those things and people that no longer serve you as you prepare to birth something new while living in the unknown.
It was Ilana Rubenfield, a student of Fritz Perls who coined the term Fertile Void, a place of change.
We would all agree life is about change. For some, the menopause transition is a turbulent time of change, in mind, body and spirit. It’s a time to reinvent yourself whilst managing those haunting preoccupying feelings of incompetence and irrelevance as you emerge into your second adulthood, surrounded by what can feel like an aimless interlude in a space of unknowingness.
The fertile void and menopause
To accept change and transition well, begin to appreciate the fertile void as essential soul-medicine in birthing a new self? Being in this space is in fact a sacred time of preparation and growth, a time to reinvent the next stage of life. To reinvent you need to pull apart, re-examine, release what doesn’t work and amplify what does work. It feels chaotic but from there comes order. Perhaps something better than you ever dreamed.
Suzanne Braun Levine, in her book, “The Women’s Guide to Second Adulthood,” states, “The fertile void is where we make the transition from driven, overcommitted superwomen to someone whose priorities and passions are less rigidly managed and perhaps more deeply felt.”
Some may perceive the fertile void as a shapeless process that falsely urges them to do more, in order to fight the emptiness and the not-knowingness, sadly becoming short sighted its gifts, sabotaging their spirit as they urgently “quest” on.
Rubenfield warns, “It is tempting to push through this stage quickly, to deny the struggles, fears and doubts.” She goes on to say, “….. by experiencing it fully you will be able to continue on.” In our women’s circles and workshops we’ve come to the shared understanding that sometimes in life it’s by doing nothing that you are doing everything.
The term fertile void is full of paradox:
It is empty yet full
It feels meaningless yet its ripe with meaning
It makes you appear flat on the outside whilst churning on the inside
It feels hopeless yet it’s hopeful
Can you be kind to yourself and reframe the fertile void as an invitation to:
• Be in a sacred space where your spirit is re-energizing to reshape who you are
• Rest your to-do-list and just be
• Befriend your intuition
• Trust that emptiness and confusion makes way for clarity and meaning
Sisters, I wish you well in your time in the fertile void. It is a crucial step in the process of change. It is the soul-medicine that holds creative energy if you allow it. So soften your restless spirit and enter it with grace, knowing the mind cannot come with you, leaving space for your spirit to speak and guide you to what’s next in a whole new and exciting way.
If this resonates with you we would be honoured if you followed our blogs, liked our Facebook page, Conscious Menopause Australia and join our upcoming workshops to be part of a sisterhood where women get you.