Holding Space

The concept of holding space is growing in popularity, with most people I come across have some understanding of it. 

Holding space means being present, bearing witness, practising radical listening, and validating someone else’s state without agenda and with awareness. You have probably had the powerful experience of being held in a gentle and supportive way. Perhaps it was as natural as a conversation with a friend or as formal as ritual or therapy.

Either way, when we hold space, we create a container that feels safe and welcoming, allowing us to turn inward and access our complex emotions, stories and experiences, which may usually lay dormant, suppressed, or hidden in the surface-level narrative. 

Holding space is a new dimension of witnessing and listening. It requires us to be without agenda, or desire to fix, change, rescue, control or direct any outcome. It asks us to open our hearts and offer unconditional support and trust, free of judgment, and to hear what is said and, just as importantly, what is not said. 

The holder gives the speaker breathing room to experience the moment passing through them, and they respect the speaker’s reality as their truth regardless of how different it is from their reality. They understand that we each have unique experiences, conditionings and nature that hold the innate wisdom to heal our turbulences, shine light in the darkness and bring peace and clarity to mind and the heart.  

To be held in this way is a blessed experience. People shine and feel empowered and valued. They have more trust to open up and release. Yet, at times I wonder if it is a dying art; how often do you have a conversation without being interrupted or receiving advice you did not ask for? It’s like we are being taught to fast-track conversation to keep up with the speed of life. In this situation, it is hard to be present and quiet an ego that thinks it has all the answers.

We cannot hold space when our ego and shadows rule, or we need to do the necessary inner work, preparing us to be in non-judgment compassionate awareness.

But when we are ready, we can hold another’s inner narrative, which allows their accumulated experiences to unfold and take up space, activating their intuition and instinctual healing forces. 

When we feel safe, held, and loved unconditionally, we can fully own our experiences and authentically express our complex and confusing emotions and thoughts. This is where our true power lies. This is the moment of claiming our experiences and loving who we are just as we are, warts and all. 

Holding space is beneficial to all. 

Love, Light and Joy.