Many years ago, when I first heard the term ‘holding space’ I was taken aback. “What do you mean you’re going to hold space for me? I can hold my own space, thank you very much!” I always considered myself to be a self-sufficient, energetically fit, do-it-myself mystic, but there is a beauty and a vulnerability in allowing another person along for the ride….No Man is an Island and all that! Many guides, gurus, reiki masters, astrologers, therapists and light workers later, the benefits of having a grounded and balanced person witness my evolvement without interference are too many to count. When I am given the space to have my own experience, without your input, opinion or care-taking, I have the room to move through whatever I am going through in an authentic and vulnerable way and at my own pace...with you by my side. When healing happens in partnership, it connects us in a quantum way and carries a depth and weight that results in lasting change.
Certain people are naturals for holding space for others and do it without ever realizing it! You know those people: the massage therapist everyone pours their hearts out to, the nurse your mother feels safe with in the doctor’s office, the stranger you sit next to on the plane whom you feel you’ve known a lifetime! The challenges for these empathetic individuals who are gifted at holding space, is that they are also highly susceptible to taking on other people’s energy.
Whether you work in a profession where holding space is part of the job description or you find yourself taking on the position as part of your personality and path, here are some tips for holding space for another person that will keep both parties spiritually fit.
Before any salutations escape your lips, say hello soul-to-soul to whomever you are interacting with or holding space for. Whether it’s someone unfamiliar who you will never see again, a client, friend, or an adversary, let your soul acknowledge their soul. In this way we acknowledge and respect equanimity; no matter our sex, race, or socioeconomic status we are equals; two spirits having a human experience in a world that is not always fair or kind.
Grounding is the key ingredient in bringing integrity to any practice, and holding space is a practice. The more you do it, the stronger your container becomes and the more TRUST you radiate out. Remove your shoes and sit quietly with your bare feet on the ground. Close your eyes and feel the connection you have with the earth; imagine the chakras at the bottom of your feet opening up fully (chakras rotate clockwise above the equator, and counter-clockwise below the equator). Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth with a sigh of release. Imagine the weight of YOU - the spirit - sinking down, down, down to the center of the earth. As you breathe in and out, settle into Gaia’s heartbeat.
Grounding is easy to do it on-the-fly while standing: pull earth’s energy up through your feet, up your legs to your pelvis, then down and out your coccyx, back to the center of the earth.
Remember the feeling you get when you think of someone you love deeply? Or the way your heart expands when you hear that one particular song that raises your vibration? (for me it’s Rest by Michael Kiwanuka….or Could You Be Loved by Bob Marley) Energy follows thought. Conjuring up feelings of love and compassion and running this energy throughout your physical and etheric body will dissolve any negativity you might be holding onto. Opening your heart will allow you to approach your session or tete-a-tete as the loving presence that you are, truly.
Ask the person you are holding space for if you have their permission to do so. This is paramount in a professional arena and separates the real deal-i-os from the fly-by-night healers. If it’s just a casual encounter, it’s a tad overkill to ask permission and incredibly unnatural, still…take care not to go rogue and read someone, offer advice or identify with any drama they share with you.
Practice non-judgment throughout your encounter with the person you are holding space for. This is much easier to do when you stay present with yourself in real time in your own body. If you find yourself drifting off, bring your attention back to the moment and back to the breath. If you find yourself judging their experience, bring yourself back again. If you think you know something about how this person should be living their life…..flip the scenario and look for what they can teach you about yourself. There is no room for judgment to creep in when we are running energy of LOVE and COMPASSION and staying focused on the NOW.
Allow whatever is going to happen to happen without interfering in it. It can be uncomfortable to sit with another person’s tears, anger or feelings of grief and sadness without touching them, handing them a Kleenex or trying to make them feel better by offering words of condolence. However, as soon as we interrupt them with our fixn’ ways, we have just put the breaks on their process and merged our energy with theirs. Healthy energetic boundaries are what make a stellar space holder. When we ALLOW we are letting someone have their own experience and trusting that the universe will lead them down the path that is perfect for them. We are recognizing that we are not the All Powerful Oz – who really wasn’t that powerful after all! Holding space is simply being a witness to another’s growth and unfolding while staying in your own lane.
I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you…..this is Ho’oponopono. Repeating this ancient mantra is a good way to stay within your own energetic field and allow another to stay in theirs. Ho’oponopono is the Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness. When we have a personal reaction to something someone else does or says, we create disharmony – this is an error that begs for correcting - and the way to restore harmony is to repeat the mantra: I am sorry (I had this judgment of you), Please forgive me (grace me with your forgiveness because I am not perfect), Thank you (soul-to-soul), I love you (soul-to-soul).
When you are finished holding space remember to separate energetically from the person you have been holding space for. This is as simple as imagining the two of you at opposite ends of a football field, meadow, mountain range, etc. Note 5 things that are different about the two of you: I have black hair, John is bald. I drive a Subaru, John rides a bike. I am left-handed, John is right-handed. I am wearing jewelry, John wears none. I have long nails, John’s nails are short. Then put John in a beautiful bubble of light and send him off to Tahiti!
Holding space for another person while they grow and unfold is a supreme act of kindness, and having this space held for you is an act of grace. It connects us in a way that transcends the physical world of the senses. Both parties will benefit from the protection of pure intentions, a heart filled with love and forgiveness, and healthy energetic boundaries, while we make our way through life’s seeming ups and downs.
IntoMeSea will be opening in winter 2020 and will offer three Floatation Meditation suites, 2 specialty soaking experiences, light and salt therapy and a studio featuring meditation, breath work and yoga, plus spiritual wellness events. In the meantime stay connected with us through our blog the Sea.Drop.Chronicles. IntoMeSea is looking forward to meeting our community in real time!