How to do Limbo

by | Nov 29, 2021 | Resilience When Life is Hard | 0 comments


One of my best friends from high school is alone at home recuperating from Covid. His wife, who has severe MS, is in a recovery center trying to get better with thinly-stretched medical care. (They were both vaccinated.)

Another friend’s son is waiting to see where and when he gets deployed with his Army unit. The whole family is waiting along with him.

A young friend has job applications in all over his town but would really like to find the acting work he’s trained for if/when theaters open widely again.

I’m waiting for the results of some bone biopsies I had last week.

We are all in LIMBO. Being in limbo stinks; time drags and it’s easy to fear the worst.

So, I thought, let’s look for some inspiration from The Limbo, the dance invented in Trinidad in the 1800s. It was initially part of mourning ceremonies for the recently departed but became a hit sensation in the 1950s and ‘60s, when Chubby Checker released the chart-topping “Limbo Rock.”

Here are some lessons we can learn from doing the limbo, and apply to being in limbo:

Do it with friends. You could do it on your own, like Guinness World Record-setting Limbo Queen Shemika Campbell, who can limbo under a car, but it’s much more fun with a group of supportive, cheering buddies

Start easy and work your way up. Don’t go hard-core when you’re in limbo; take it easy on yourself.

Stay balanced. Shemika uses her amazing muscle tone to stay balanced; we can try doing things that take our mind off what we’re waiting for (at least for a while) by being focused on what’s good here and now.

Play good music. Seriously, play some limbo music or something else upbeat. It can’t hurt and might cheer you WAY up.

If you fall, get right back up again. Laughing at your failure is the way to play when you’re limbo dancing; see if you can take this light approach to anything that’s happening in your life while you’re feeling stuck in the in-between.

You’ll get better with practice. Chances are, you’ll be in limbo again. See if you learned anything from previous trips through this uncomfortable space, like “It eventually passes” or “I actually handled that pretty well.”

Have fun. This might be hard, but see if you can muster up the energy and courage to do something you enjoy and that takes your mind off your worries. Like perhaps a little dancing?

One thing that’s inspiring me this week

Anita Moorjani has a fascinating story about visiting “the other side” while in a 32-hour coma at the end of her battle with Stage IV lymphoma. While there, she was told she could stay—an appealing option, given the wrecked state of her body—or return, where she had a story to share that could help other people. She chose the latter and has been inspiring others with her story ever since she woke up and her cancer disappeared within weeks.

Recently she has created a series of videos on YouTube called View from the Other Side that I find fascinating, both from my hopeful point of view of life after death and because her story resonates with my own near-death experience at age ten. If this stirs your curiosity, take a look.


Do you need kind, compassionate support to bounce back from a negative experience? If so, then get in touch with me now, and let’s make the most of your precious time, energy and love. 


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Kristen Carter

Kristen Carter, Certified coach, author, and breast cancer survivor. More

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