Google map showing part of the million-plus acres of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Navigating the Swamp

I’m struggling to write about how to navigate the swamp, because it’s such an intensely personal experience, much more so than YMMV.  What it feels like, how long it lasts, the questions that pester like mosquitos—all of it comes from within, not from without. If you know where you are and know where you want …

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A drawing of a circle with a dot in the middle with four squiggly arrows coming out of it, aligned to each of the four directions of the compas

The Whole Self

The Swamp works on the whole self—spiritual, physical, mental, emotional. Have you ever been in a canoe, and forgotten you were in a canoe, and stood to the side of the canoe, and fallen out of the canoe? The Swamp teaches awareness. And balance. I drew this diagram a long time ago, when I read …

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Close up of a small, spent plant standing in swamp water

The Swamp

The Swamp calls the shots. The Swamp works on its own time, not ours, and in its own way, not ours. How long we spend in The Swamp is usually determined by how willing we are to honor The Swamp. We can’t rush through The Swamp—whether we’re talking the one out back of Mud Lake …

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Image of Bridges' Transition Model, showing Endings, Neutral Zone, New Beginnings, with overlap between the three phases

Renaming The Neutral Zone

William Bridges’ model and his book label the phase between Endings and New Beginnings, ‘The Neutral Zone.’ ‘The Neutral Zone’ is such a clean and clinical term, midway between positive and negative. I think Bridges wimped out by giving such an innocuous label to such an amorphous time, but maybe he had to. Maybe it …

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