“Only you can change; when you change, the world changes, because you look at it with different eyes.” ~Osho
What does it mean to hold space? It’s actually when of the most important things we can do for a person and it doesn’t actually cost a thing, but it requires something very precious: your presence.
Holding space is about holding presence for a person and yourself. Really being here, living in the now. Being there for a person without your mind being in a million other places, past or future, rather allowing yourself the gift to live and appreciate this present moment.
Harder than holding space for another person is holding space for yourself. We’re taught to sacrifice our time for others and cram as much into it as we can, rather than appreciate the moments we have.
And what about actually listening? Really looking someone in the eyes allowing them to know that we are here for them without judgement or expectations. And not thinking about what we are going to respond back, but allowing our responses to come from the heart rather than the mind.
It’s not easy.
Being a yoga teacher has been one of my rewarding jobs, but also one of my most challenging, Every time I walk into a class or a session I must put my own beliefs and judgements aside of what healing should look like and I must simply be present with the bodies that show up in front of me. To learn the art of presence has taken years of training, hours of meditation and most importantly a desire to open my heart to myself and others.
I’ve learned that we are here to hold space for each other.
We’re here to go through hard times and struggles not on our own, but with each other. It takes vulnerability to put yourself out there and admit that you can’t do this alone.
Even as a yoga teacher, when at times it looks like I have everything together, sometimes I have to admit to myself that it’s better to let everything fall apart rather than spend all my time looking the part. I must be the change I wish to see in my own life and the world.
The more I learn to hold space for myself the more I feel guided to hold space for others. Holding space starts with learning to hold space for yourself. It means remembering you are human and you don’t have all the answers.
Life is a journey of discovering the answers, of opening yourself up to the unknown and allowing uncertainty, change and transition not to cripple you of fear and anxiety, but to celebrate this phase and chapter of your life that taught you what it needed to teach you to grow into the amazing human being you are.
Remember, you are a human being not a human doing. Holding space requires being and for many of us we’ve become good at “doing” a million things, but in the process we’ve forgotten what it means to be just be. We’ve forgotten who we are at our core.
Take away all the societal, cultural and family expectations and who are you really? Holding space allows you to re-discover this.
Holding space is about dignity. It empowers us to cultivate our own sense of identity and understand who we are on our own. It gives us permission to honor our inner truth.
When we hold space for ourselves we stand up for human being we are. We allow ourselves to know we are enough no matter what. Giving the gift of offering space is important on our journey of self-growth and transformation.
Holding space can be made a daily practice. You don’t have to completely change your life to hold space. For some, like myself, it’s my daily yoga practice. Allowing for daily reflection in which I can reconnect with my mind and body.
Just like how we take a shower to wash our body from the day, we also need to take the time reconnect with our body on an emotional level too. Holding space allows us to reconnect emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
You get to choose how holding your space looks like, so take time to explore what holding space for yourself looks like.
Ask yourself what makes you come alive….there is your space. Learn to hold it with all your heart and being.