Carly (she/her). This is me on a typical day. I spend 95% of my time homebound.
Bedbound and experiencing a "crash" also known as post-exertional malaise (PEM).

About Being in the Bardo


Being in the Bardo explores what it means to live life in the between. 

What does bardo mean?

Bardo is a Tibetan word used to convey the concept of liminality. The two parts of the word--bar, meaning "interval," and do, meaning "two"--express the relationship between various states of being. A traditional expression of bardo in Tibetan Buddhism is as an intermediate, transitional, or liminal state between death and rebirth. 


More generally, the word bardo can refer to the gap or space we experience between any two states of being such as waking and sleeping, meditating and everyday autopilot, or even the brief pause between transitioning from one activity to another - say, reading this paragraph and taking a sip of your coffee.


Being in the Bardo: The Blog


In this blog, I explore the multitude of ways individuals, groups, and communities navigate the often ambiguous and uncertain liminal spaces of everyday life. These liminal spaces encompass a range of human experiences such as:

  • unemployment

  • death and dying

  • mourning

  • grief

  • childbirth

  • becoming a new parent

  • marriage/partner commitment 

  • separation/divorce

  • adolescence/emerging adulthood

  • sobriety

  • illness

  • racial subjugation 

  • disability

  • gender and sexual geographies

  • wealth inequity

  • gender violence

  • climate crisis

  • migration

  • refugee/undocumented immigration status

  • financial recession

  • global health epidemic

  • racial injustice

  • social unrest


In-the-between is where unseen and unexamined aspects of our lives emerge that benefit from close examination and care.

My Bardo Experience


My experience living in the between became most clear in the spring of 2017 when I became sick and was diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), a condition previously referred to as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). People will often refer to this illness in writing as ME/CFS. ME/CFS is a complex and debilitating neuro-immune illness for which there is an appalling lack of funds, research, knowledge, and treatment options.

Living with debilitating chronic illness has left me homebound and profoundly disabled. I have been forced to give up a career and life that I deeply loved. Additionally, I have been confronting my own internalized ableism and the ways in which my privilege, left unexamined, can harm me and the community around me.


Join Me in Exploring Life in the Bardo


Many, if not all of us will reside in the between at various points in our life. The beauty of paying attention to life in the bardo - a state of existence that is easily overlooked, ignored, and misunderstood - is actually a landscape that holds great wisdom, where learning transpires, and opportunities for growth and healing occur. 


As I learn to build another meaningful life - one that primarily dwells in the between - I invite you to join me to explore meaning-making for yourself and others in the bardo.



Hi! I'm George! Woof-woof!

Carly Goldberg, DSW, LCSW is a doctoral-trained social worker who has dedicated her over 25 year career to creating opportunities for individuals and communities to pursue personal transformation and social change.  


Most recently, Dr. Goldberg served as the Associate Director of Audacious Hospitality for the Union for Reform Judaism. Prior to her work at the URJ, she maintained a private psychotherapy practice in the Greater Philadelphia area specializing in women’s reproductive mental health, early adulthood transitions, LGBTQ+ gender and sexual identity, and complex trauma. Additionally, Dr. Goldberg served as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy and Practice.


Throughout her career Dr. Goldberg has specialized in working with some of society's most marginalized and vulnerable populations. Clinical areas of specialization have included end-of-life and palliative care; care of patients with cancer and their families and other major medical illness; HIV/AIDS research, advocacy, case management, and education; mental health and psychiatric care focusing on victims of abuse - domestic violence, human trafficking, victims of torture and war crimes - and survivors of trauma. Dr. Goldberg has also served in a multitude of capacities as an educator, non-profit professional, speaker, and activist, focusing on anti-oppression and social justice initiatives.


In addition to her social work studies, Dr. Goldberg studied Indo-Tibetan Buddhism at Columbia University under the mentorship of Professor Robert Thurman and Judaic Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary. Dr. Goldberg holds a masters degree in social work (MSW) from New York University and a doctorate in social work (DSW) from the University of Pennsylvania.


She lives in the Greater Philadelphia area with her husband, teenage son, and shih tzu, George.