You've probably heard this term before, but if you're wondering exactly what it means, I've gathered some wisdom from various healers, facilitators and coaches that resonate with me. We practice holding space for each other in our moon circle and we do it everyday when we interact with everyone from friends, family to work mates.
It is a beautiful thing to be truly witnessed and something I am working on within myself at the moment. I am practicing not only holding space for others, but holding space for myself and allowing myself to be seen by others.
When I feel like I am not going to be interrupted or spoken over, I relax into the moment, feel safe and allow myself to be vulnerable. When we feel safe enough to show our true self to others, that's when we connect on a deep level and the magic happens :)
Here's some tips if you are practicing holding space for others:
The main one for me is presence. Often in conversation when someone is talking we are thinking about what we can say next, making judgements through our ego or getting distracted thinking about the past or future. Try ACTIVE/MINDFUL listening which is being fully in the moment and listening to all they have to say without interrupting.
Don't listen to respond. Listen to understand.
Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom. We know ourselves better than anyone else, so let them be lead to the answer within themselves.
Keep your own ego out of it. Try not to make comments or tell stories that bring the focus back to you or compare what they are going through to something you have experienced unless it is TRULY helpful.
Let go of what WE think they SHOULD be doing, thinking or saying by putting our own judgements and criticisms aside and actually look at them with new eyes and truly see them for who they are, not who we want them to be.
Focus on what you can give to others – based on what you’ve ‘heard’ through practicing active listening. Sometimes, all they need is someone to listen and validate what they are feeling. Other times they might need you to show initiative or help in some way, a hug, a question that can lead THEM to an answer. If you're unsure, just ask them what they need from you in that moment.
With all of these tips - if you find any particularly challenging, ask yourself why it is difficult for you to do. Do some journaling to flesh it out. When we look and we find the juicy shadowy bits.. that's when things begin to shift. It can be scary as hell to look, but I promise when you're ready and you do, it's worth it.