for yourself and others.
Holding space became a popular expression. But what does it mean really to hold space?
What kind of space we are holding and how exactly?
Holding space means creating a safe container where you can ground, anchor and be supported while going through great amount of intensity and discomfort.
A safe place is loving, nurturing, non-judgemental and connected. It is place where you can relax and surrender even when you feel you are in the “eye of the storm”.
It is a place where you can ground and anchor even if everything around you changes rapidly.
Learning to hold space
It takes some practice to be able to hold this space for yourself.
We are not thought how to create and hold this safe place.
On top of that we mostly inherit and learn dysfunctional patterns and behaviors. As a result when people are under great stress and discomfort they often try to suppress their experience, numb out and pretend that they are all right, even when everything is falling apart. Or they get overwhelmed, panic and react, projecting their feelings and experience onto others.
Does this sound familiar?
Therefore we have to learn how to connect to and hold this safe place for ourselves and others. Because most people are not prepared this way, the best you can do at the beginning is to ask for help. To have an experienced guide hold space for you. I had amazing guides for many years and even though now I am comfortable to hold space for myself I still reach out for extra support because it always feels good.
What does holding space look like?
When you are held in a safe space you can surrender to discomfort while staying anchored in your center, knowing that you are experiencing the discomfort but you are not that. You are bigger than the discomfort and you can hold space for that and allow that to be there, to be experienced, felt and to pass through you and release. Everything passes, changes, transforms. Nothing ever stays the same.
Can you be OK with that?
If you hold space for others it means to allow them to have their experience without intervention, while making sure that everybody is safe. Asking them what do they need right now, what can you do to support them? At the same time staying grounded in your center and connected with your inner guidance to know when/if you need to step in to provide guidance to bring them back to their center and balance.
As I said it is a learning experience and a very practical one. To develop the necessary confidence to hold this space you need to go through many experiences while you learn to navigate these uncomfortable states without getting lost and overwhelmed.
Support is always available
You can do it alone but you don’t have to. The fastest way to learn is through practice with the assistance of others who are already experienced. This way you save yourself a lot of trial and error, lost time and unnecessary suffering.
The benefits of holding space
1. Feeling calm, centered and grounded
For me it was absolutely worth the effort to learn this skill and use it in my life.
Before my life was a constant mental-emotional roller coaster and in my down moments I got really lost. Being lost and confused while overwhelmed is a serious fear factor I can tell you that. And even though I still get into some heavy places and that is natural, but I don’t feel lost or completely overwhelmed by fear like I used to before.
Now I feel confident and relaxed while navigating these states.
2. Healthy emotional expression
When you have safe places where you can be open, authentic and vulnerable, suppressed e motions won’t build up inside of you. When you deny your expression and suppress your experience, this unexpressed energy will build up inside you and manifest as disease, unhappiness and disempowerment.
To be able to process difficult emotions is vital for mental, emotional but also for physical health and well being.
3. Creating deep, authentic, loving relationships
Your first relationship is with yourself. Learning to hold space for yourself will empower you so much because you will have that safe place always within you, always available.
When you hold space for others they allow you to be a witness in their vulnerable state because they trust you with confidence. These experiences create deep bonding and reveal a lot about how people really are. When others hold space for you, you learn to accept and love yourself through the lens of another.
All of us have the ability to create and hold this space. It just takes some remembering and practice.
What does holding space means to you?
Remember, you are the healer and love is the medicine.
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