With last week being World Mental Health Day, I thought about a lot of people I personally know who are fighting a war in their minds and I thought of myself during a difficult time as well.. Family members who are facing a crisis with a simple house move or friends suffering from anxiety daily... I am sure you reading this knows at least one person suffering from depression, anxiety, post natal depression, stress, eating disorders, suicide or burnout. I couldn't help but be overtaken by immense compassion for them and decided to write this for you from something I read a while back..
Remember the time when that stranger in the grocery store told you they were buying nutritional shakes for their mom because she couldn't eat solid food anymore? Or when the person behind you in the airport security line revealed they were on the way to see their dying friend? And you stood there holding their tearful gaze, your heart wide open while they poured out their pain. Without judging them or trying to fix their problems. Holding space can be that ordinary. And when they move on they're carrying a gift from you that they then can offer to others.
You walk along with them without judgment, sharing their journey to an unknown destination. Yet you're completely willing to end up wherever they need to go. You give your heart, let go of control, and offer unconditional support.
Holding space for another person is incredibly profound. When you hold space for someone, you bring your entire presence to them. You walk along with them without judgment, sharing their journey to an unknown destination. Yet you're completely willing to end up wherever they need to go. You give your heart, let go of control, and offer unconditional support.
Holding space requires us to step fully into Being when everything inside of us tell us we should be Doing. Space holding doesn’t mean taking responsibility for the internal world of another. It’s never our job to fix another persons feelings, or to expect someone else can fix ours. Holding space isn’t saying all the right things… it isn’t doing much of anything really. Holding space is the art of “being with” someone’s pain and allowing them to have their experience without making it about ourselves. Holding space is the quiet, powerful force of present loving connection. Holding space is an “I Love you and I’m not going anywhere” while you process this emotion. Holding space is patience and eye-contact when someone is scared or overwhelmed by their own feelings. Presence without judgement, a hug, non-reactivity, learning not to take things personally or trying to save someone from their feelings are all profound acts of space holding. Our pain and our grief deserve equal seats at the table as our sparkle and our joy. Blocks only occur when we try turning off the tap. And as we learn to let our feelings in, we learn to let them go just as freely. Living by a "good vibes or goodbye” philosophy is dangerously shallow. In a culture where we shame negative feelings and pedestal the light, we risk isolating ourselves from others when we really need love and support. Relationships are deepened through vulnerability and the courage to let another in when you’re hurting. Closeness comes from seeing someone in their darkest moments and reminding them they’re loved exactly as they are.
What Happens When You Master Holding Space
Though we're all born with the ability to hold space, the more you practice the more mastery you'll develop and the greater your power will be.
You'll discover how to be utterly present with someone yet also when to dance aside so they can trust their own wisdom.
You'll empower them to make their own choices because people are often more competent than they give themselves credit for. Yet paradoxically we all need to make mistaken choices so that we learn from them, grow our courage, and deepen our confidence.
And you'll be able to check your ego at the door so you can withhold judgment from someone as they bounce off the walls, roar with pain, or crumble under pressure.
Let the Spaciousness Begin
You were born with the power to create and hold space for transformation and healing.
And no matter how tough your life's been or how long you've dwelled in darkness, you can reconnect with your power.
But if you doubt yourself, simply sit quietly and picture being completely present with someone you care about. Offer your imperfect self. Trust that your intent will make up for any so-called mistakes in your technique.
Are you ready to offer the gift of spaciousness?
In this weeks Newsletter
5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Honey Cookies, Roast Beetroot Falafels & Easy Lemon Butter Fish