What does it mean to hold space for someone?
It is a very important practice but most people don’t even know what it means.
It is a place of holding and witnessing without trying to change anything.
It is a place of being with someone as they express their emotions that need to move through.
First let’s talk about what it is not.
It is where you aren’t trying to convince them of anything.
You aren’t trying to talk them out of their feelings or experience.
You aren’t offering advice or how you would do it or when it happened to you.
You aren’t saying things like ‘don’t cry,’ ‘don’t be angry,’ ‘try to see the bright side.’
You are just being present with another to hold the space for their emotions and voice to be held and seen.
This is a very uncomfortable place for many to be.
They want to fix and make it better.
But what every person wants is to be seen and heard, exactly as they are, without fixing.
As a sensitive person, my sadness, my overwhelm, my fear, even my joy, came out in the form of tears.
Since I was a little girl, I have always cried, and often.
I still do.
Tears are the natural way the body releases emotion and self regulates back to homeostasis.
My whole life, from the masculine energy, I was told, “Don’t cry.”
Masculine energy wants to fix. It is their nature to want to make things better.
But, what it created in my subconscious mind was the belief that I couldn’t express myself because it was too uncomfortable for everyone else.
It caused me to question my feelings, if they were valid and ok to experience.
It had me ignore my internal self-regulating expression of crying and doubt the wisdom of my body.
It has taken a lot of conscious work to release this programming.
I have now re-learned how to hold space for myself first.
Now, when someone cries in front of me, whether it is in my personal or professional life, I just HOLD SPACE.
I know this is what they need.
It is a skill that can be learned and a practice you can integrate into your life.
It is a practice where you can first learn how to hold space for yourself and then offer it to other people.
In today’s Energy Healing Toolkit, I offer you suggestions on how to hold space first for you and then for another. You can also use this as a springboard discussion for others in your life to hold space for you.
Energy Healing Toolkit
How to Hold Space
1. Be present: Presence is the greatest gift you can experience or give another. Really be there with yourself or others when they are expressing their feelings. If you feel triggered or want to go into fix mode, take a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth to anchor you into your body to be present first with you. Allow it to be OK to experience what is happening within yourself. Just notice for a moment so that YOU feel seen and heard by you. Now you can turn your full attention back to them. Now you are ready to be present with another.
2. Open body language: Soften your body by uncrossing your arms and legs. Open up your heart chakra to feel what is going on. When you move into the body and out of your mind, you are able to be empathetic without trying to fix or solve or change anything that is happening. This can be really uncomfortable at first and takes a willingness to try.
3. Release judgment: Your ego is going to want to create a story about it. The story can be about them. You might make the story about you. Realize that every experience is valid and we are all doing the best we can. Allow yourself to acknowledge what is happening and then bring your attention fully back to them.
4. Create a safe container: Be supportive, gentle and compassionate. You can ask questions like, “How can I support you?” “What would you like in this moment from me?” Then, you can decide if this is something you are able to give and be honest if you can’t. You can also sit with their request and get back to them with what feels right for you.
5. Empower them: Ultimately, you want to empower the person to trust themselves, their intuition and their choices, just like you are doing for yourself. We are all learning the lessons of our soul and empowerment is a lesson for many.
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