June 13, 2020

This is what “Holding Space” for Someone Actually Looks Like (& How to Do It Effectively).


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This may touch your heart, too: Brené Brown on Empathy: How we’re Showing Up in all the Wrong ways for those we Love.

“Holding space” has become an often overused buzzword/phrase within the spiritual community.

I hear it mentioned (and seemingly or unknowingly misused) quite a bit during “conscious” conversations. And in an effort to provide clarity and understanding, I was inspired to write the following…

What does it mean, truly, to hold space for another?

To me, holding space is a loving, conscious, and compassionate act of being openhearted, fully present, and sympathetic to the needs of another. It means creating a safe container for active listening, while witnessing and validating another’s emotional state and allowing and accepting whatever journey or process they’re on to naturally unfold, while simultaneously showing up with tenderness, affectionate understanding, unconditional support, complete non-judgment, an honoring of any differences, and a total release of any kind of control.

It is kindly and selflessly lending both your ears and your heart to another in order to truly hear them and welcome the sharing of their truth without the need to give insight, offer advice, “fix” the situation, impact the outcome, or receive anything in return.

When one feels that they are being gently and lovingly held in a deep and profound manner by another, they then feel safe and secure enough to enable complex emotions, fear, and trauma to rise to the surface—without the interference of your own—to be seen (rather than remain hidden) and then released.

Holding space does not mean that you neglect or bypass your own emotions or that you willingly take on the emotional state of the person whom you are holding space for. But you will not be able to appropriately or effectively hold space if you are overly emotional yourself, you do not trust the one you are holding space for, you make any part of the experience about you, or if you haven’t willfully done the challenging work of peering deep into and illuminating your own shadow.

An unsafe space will not allow one to truly and fully show their authentic self, as it blocks trust and encourages people to hide. If you do not have the capacity to properly hold space for another, the relationship will be void of genuine vulnerability and lack the fundamental connection that is essential in order to really grow and consequently thrive.

However, the fact of the matter is that your true self was actually incarnated with the authentic power to create and hold space for dynamic healing and transformation.

Are you showing up with unconditional love and offering the holding of space for others in your life?

How so?


You’ll appreciate these too:

Pema Chodron: a Buddhist teaching on Loneliness, Rejection & a Broken Heart.

This Viral Video of a Dad Holding Space for his Toddler’s Meltdown is Everything.


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