Holding Space

Have you ever felt the need to be able to just say what was on your mind, on your heart? You know that moment when you want to just verbally let go? Except you didn’t? You might have opened your mouth to start to let it all go ..... and then you catch a look or get a feeling from the person or persons you’re with and change your mind.

Can you think of a time when you were carrying out a task or making a decision about something and someone kept trying to tell you they thought their way or their idea was better even when you never asked?   How did that make you feel?

To hold space for another human being, to sit with another in their own unique reality and experience -  is truly a gift not only for the other person but for us as well.

What does it mean to hold space for another?

It means to listen without judgement, without the need to fix or give advice. Sometimes we just need to have the freedom to verbally express ourselves to another without fear.  Holding space for others is to support them in their own choices, to not take their power away and make them feel safe even when they make mistakes. It is respecting another’s decisions even though you may not agree.

We already have the answers within us and so when someone can walk along side us and give us room to verbalize, to breathe, to learn, it encourages us to grow and gives us the confidence to look deeper within and to live from our heart.

Living from our hearts allows us to show up as the souls we really are; it allows us to be authentic.

Doesn’t it sound lovely?  Like breathing ...easy right? Fresh air in, bad air out...

Except....

This is a very tough thing to do, often times our egos get in the way and sometimes just takes over. I recently travelled to England with my Momma and she was dragging her little carry-on bag on the floor across the airport. I could see she was struggling and I offered to carry her bag, but she declined. I asked again, “Momma can I please carry your bag for you? It’s not a bother, I can do it.” What I saw was a problem that I could fix, everyone around us could see she was having a rough time, she needed my intervention and I could be the hero and save the day.

Except my Momma didn’t want a hero, she just wanted to take care of her own stuff, she just wanted to know that she had this. She wanted and needed me to just hold space for her and to allow her to make the decision for herself. When I stepped back and looked at it with different eyes, I could see that it was about more than just helping her with her bag, for her, it was about me taking her power away. When I stopped trying to fix her and left my superhero ego at the gate, she stopped being stressed. Voila!... holding space.

I believe that by walking alongside another we give ourselves the gift of connection, that we are creating connection on an emotional level.

By being entirely present for someone else it allows for both parties to heal, grow and transform.

So imagine being able to do all this just for yourself?  

In my own reality I find it much easier to hold space for others than I do for myself. In my experience we as a human race are generally much tougher as judge and jury where our own life stuff is concerned.

It can be crazy making to try and sit and hold space for ourselves. Believe me, I know.  Sitting and allowing yourself to think and feel without judging the shit out of yourself is one of the hardest things to do on the planet.

So what exactly does it mean to hold space for yourself?

Well truthfully it’s almost one in the same as doing it for others.

By being able to do it for others you can indeed do it for yourself.

When you’re being hard on yourself about things going on in your life, in your mind, think about how you would treat someone else who might verbalize these things to you.  Then take a step back and remember that you are also worthy of your own compassion, consideration, kindness, and love.  Don’t misunderstand me, these words are easy to say but can be harder to swallow than apple cider vinegar.

The thing is like many things in life, practice makes .....

Well nothings perfect so let’s say it makes things perfectly imperfect.

Hence with practice, listening to the needs of your heart, your mind, and your body becomes a way of living everyday and these practices can reduce stress and anxiety.

You see the key to holding space for yourself is to be able to see the things you consider your faults, mistakes, wrong doings without judging or harsh criticism.

To own that these things are part of you, and know its ok so that you can move forward in a manner that you wish to show up for yourself in the world.

We can’t change the things that we have done, but we can most certainly change things moving forward.  But that my friends is a blog for another time.  

I leave you with this thought...

No matter whether it is a friend whose choices you don’t agree with, an aging parent who is frustrated, or someone who is grieving, we are all our own people with our own thoughts, ideas and opinions and holding space for one another in this world allows for all our differences to create possibilities for amazing life experiences.

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Laters...

Coach Heather