By Kathryn Bisland


If this was really a thing, really a place that existed and demanded respect and honouring, then it was my duty to slow down, tell my critical and judgemental thoughts to shut the eff up, and just be.

I am worthy of my desires.

This is my new mantra as I move forward with my life into 2021.

You see since March 2020 I have been experiencing many transitional moments due to living life in a global pandemic. And of these many moments, there is this one I feel compelled to share with you as it massively changed my perspective.

Nancy Levin, bestselling author and integrative coach, recently said in a podcast the following words that profoundly affected me:

“Honour the space between no longer and not yet.”

After she said this, I stopped in my tracks (or paused washing the dishes because that was what I was doing at the time).

I, like many of us in 2020, was in the middle of a huge transition. I had recently closed my business of 12 years due to the pandemic and I was currently on a journey of self-discovery and healing, both emotionally and spiritually.

Her words stopped me in my tracks because I had never heard anyone acknowledge that time in our lives that occurs between when something ends and as we struggle to move forward in creating our new beginning.

Here I was smack dab in the middle of this after closing my business of 12 years due to the pandemic. I was full of pain, regret, and hopeful trepidation sprinkled with the need to “make it happen NOW” to stop looking (or more accurately, feeling) like a failure.

I had never heard of anyone honouring this space between what was no longer and not yet. I felt a lightness enter my heart as these words suddenly gave me permission to just be, to just sit in a space that I now had a reference point for.

I thought to myself, “This place that I am in is a real thing, it’s okay to be here!”

Nancy Levin suddenly gave me permission to be exactly where I was and, thus, she gave me permission to break free from the pressure I was putting on myself to do something, anything, to prove that closing my business of the last 12 years (and the career I had been pursuing my entire life) didn’t mean I had failed and wasted my time.

As I sat there, awestruck, things started to make sense in a way that they hadn’t before. Let me put this into perspective for you.

I spent my childhood and teen years in the dance studio, training in jazz, tap and ballet with the dream of becoming a dancer. I started assisting at 13 and became a teacher at 16. As other childhood activities fell away, dance was something that I couldn’t let go of because it was everything to me—I even majored in dance at university. It was my life. When I graduated, the next logical step, after teaching for others, was to open my own dance studio, which I did. The one thing I didn’t do, however, was to ask myself if this was what I really wanted. I did it because I had always done it and because it was the next “right” step.

I was also really good at it, so I never noticed anything too amiss.

When the pandemic hit and my studio had to close due to the financial devastation, I was terrified.  It wasn’t just about closing a business. It was about losing my identity. I was Kathryn the dancer, Kathryn who owns a dance studio, Kathryn the dance teacher. Now that the studio was closed, I didn’t know who I was anymore, and I felt immobilized because with the business closing, my identity had been stripped from me.

So, to compensate for my “failure” I started pushing forward trying to make something happen. It became my goal to figure out how could I do something in dance that was different from owing a studio but keep me involved. Many ideas emerged but they all left me with a tightness in my throat and a pit deep in my stomach. I felt panicked because I just couldn’t seem to get energized and move on any of the ideas I was coming up with, in fact, they were making me feel exhausted and depressed.

Then a new question entered in my mind:

“If you’re not going to do dance, then what do you want to do?”

I realized that I had never asked myself that question. Ever.

That floored me. I was 41 years old and had never asked myself that question.

I didn’t know the answer right away, in fact I kind of freaked out and my mind went blank every time the thought came up.

It was shortly after that that I was listening to the podcast while washing the dishes and heard Nancy Levin’s words.

Suddenly I had clarity. I wasn’t just wasting time being confused and uncertain. I was in a place that actually existed. A place between what was no longer and what had not yet happened and that blew my mind.

I had been trying to race through this place until I got to my next big thing career-wise and as a result everything that I did made me feel panicked and behind and not good enough because I wasn’t “there” yet—even though I didn’t even know what “there” looked like.

If this was really a thing, really a place that existed and demanded respect and honouring, then it was my duty to slow down, tell my critical and judgemental thoughts to shut the eff up, and just be.

This realization lifted a huge weight off my shoulders. It loosened the tightness in my throat and made me feel grounded.

So I stared respecting where I was. Instead of looking at each moment with a voice in my head yelling “what are you doing?! Do more! This isn’t good enough, get there faster!”, I had a new voice saying, “you are doing great, this is all part of the process, you are respecting the space between what is no longer and not yet.” Time seemed to slow down a bit and I felt like I could breathe.

I also noticed that new thoughts began to pop up in my mind about what my future could look like that I hadn’t considered before. One thought came up clearly of myself from around age 9 of “maybe I would like to be a writer.” I had forgotten that moment up until now and, as I recalled it, I felt a lot of love in my heart and the exciting flutter of possibility.

Of my many thoughts this one really resonated with me.  As I considered what life would look like where I was “Kathryn, the writer”, I began to re-evaluate the things that had happened recently.

Perhaps my business closing and forcing me to re-examine my life purpose wasn’t such a bad thing after all.  Perhaps I had been trapped on the treadmill of “doing what was right” instead of doing what I really wanted to with my life. Could this be possible?

I began to realize that to be given this opportunity to sit in the bittersweet experience between no longer and not yet was a gift. Especially after the pain and devastation of letting go of my business and the identity I had assumed from my career after all these years. I had finally taken the time to stop trying to reach my next big achievement out of the fear of looking like a huge failure and just be okay with where I was right in that moment of my evolution.

It also made me feel much more certain that there was a bright future waiting for me. If this period of my life had a name, had space to exist, then that meant I was two thirds of the way through it. I had said goodbye to the business, which was no longer, and I was currently honouring the space between it and my new path. I had taken care of two out of three, so in my mind that meant part three was the next logical place to go.

I feel humbled and appreciative to be in this moment, writing this article that you are currently reading. You see, this moment is the direct result of me taking Nancy Levin’s brilliant advice and “honouring the space between no longer and not yet.” By doing that, I created space to allow myself to listen to what my heart was trying to tell me. I awakened to the fact that what happened was necessary for my transformation to occur. Instead of running from it, I stood in it and that took the fear away and brought me clarity on what to do next.

Without hearing Nancy Levin’s words, I’m not sure if I would have fully understood the scary position I found myself in after closing my business. That time deserved to be acknowledged and respected for me to move forward. Instead of rushing around and being distracted, her words made me stop and appreciate where I was on my journey. By doing so, I gave myself the space I needed to heal and then move forward with purpose and clarity.

We’re in a time of incredible transition right now: from the pandemic that brought many of us to our knees in 2020 to the hope and promise of the new year before us. My hope is that instead of rushing to achieve the next big goal, we slow down a bit and just be. Let’s agree to no longer miss the beauty and sometimes bittersweet experience that are the moments in between, just because it can be uncomfortable. By acknowledging those “in between” moments, we empower ourselves. We gain the perspective needed to propel us to our next level by taking the time to become aware of our true desires. That’s what happened to me and it’s my wish for you in 2021. I am worthy of my desires and so are you.

About the author, Kathryn Bisland

Kathryn Bisland is the proud mama of both a gorgeous little girl under 2 and a newly developed spiritual perspective that has brought her more joy and emotional freedom than she ever thought possible.  Being a mama awoke her to the realization that the present moment is all that exists and to fight it leads down a slippery slope of stress and anxiety.  After surrendering and releasing the need to make things happen by giving it up to the Universe, she was blown away by how productive and connected she actually became. This led to incredible shifts in her life, both professionally and personally.  It is now her goal to help people find the life they were meant to live, lives that are full of joy in the little moments, so they can get off the stress/fear/guilt/worry treadmill loop and flourish.  

Find Kathryn on Instagram here.