On The Verge

Mar 06, 2024

Lately, I’ve been feeling on the verge. I love this word and its various connotations. It’s a border, a boundary, an edge – like being on the edge of what’s next. Being here feels like pushing boundaries and embracing the unknown.

It's about venturing beyond the confines of familiar territory and into the edges of other ecosystems, be they physical, social, or intellectual. This metaphorical verge represents the threshold between the known and the unknown, where innovation thrives and growth flourishes.

The verge is like an ecotone – the transitional area between two ecosystems. Like the zone between a field and a forest or a forest and a prairie. This is where new growth emerges - something that wasn't dominant in either system.

Living on the verge involves embracing diversity and complexity. Just as ecosystems are comprised of a multitude of interconnected organisms and elements, so too is the fabric of human society. By intermingling with different communities and cultures, we gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of the world around us and cultivate empathy and compassion for others. Nature, the wise teacher that she is, shows us how to mix and mingle for stronger and more resilient ecosystems.

The verge also serves as a corridor for pollination, fostering a diverse and thriving system. Engaging with the edges of different ecosystems, opportunities for learning and personal development are unlocked. Cross-pollinate with different ideas and perspectives. See what new lifeforms start to sprout in your life.

Being on the verge fosters creativity and innovation. Venture beyond the familiar and immerse into new environments to get exposed to novel ideas and perspectives that can spark innovation and drive progress. By embracing the edge of innovation, it challenges the status quo and pushes the boundaries of what’s possible.

When travelling in South Africa many years ago, I recall being warned off many areas including the Transkei Coast, the place where Nelson Mandala grew up. People said, “Don’t go there!” And if we did go there against this advice they added, “Don’t go to this one town!”

Well, we did go to that town. It was a town like any other town. Some people were happy, some sad. I bet some were prone to violence, just like the people in my town. They had grocery stores and bars, intersections with cars, just like any town. But this town had empty shelves in the stores and old, rough-looking cars. Maybe because people had been warned away and there wasn’t as much commerce there as there could be.

It was an epiphany for me to realize that what people say about a place has little to do with my experience of it. But we had to trust our gut and take a chance to go there. It enriched my life by doing so and I hope being there dropped a few seeds too.

It's counter-culture to get out of your comfort zone, move to the edges of your environment, drive a new route, try a new restaurant, go to another part of town even though you may get a message that it isn’t safe from your habitual mind or well-meaning people in your neighborhood.

We’re being scared away from places and experiences that will enrich us and be enriched by us being there. When we bring our resources of time and attention to these thresholds, we’re seeding what wants to emerge from the verge.

Living on the verge is stretching outside of my comfort zone – the familiar ecosystem that’s overgrown with negative repetitive thoughts and outdated patterns. The work for me is to balance the adventure of being on the verge with the anxiousness and overwhelm that may come with it. What is that like for you?

Journal prompts:

  • Where in my life am I ready to step out onto the verge?
  • Where in my life do I feel not yet ready?
  • Is there a tiny action I can take today to feel more ready to be on the verge?


Highly sensitive person (HSP) is a personality trait that 20% of the world's population has. Do you? Take this quiz to find out.

Take The Quiz

Stay connected

Join my newsletter list to receive weekly tips, inspiration, and a fresh perspective on having a micro business that suits your highly sensitive nature.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.