What does it mean to hold space?
Holding space can mean different things to everyone and for me it just means that I am present with someone, I am attentively listening and I’m a safe space, a safe container for someone to express themselves. I hold a space that is non-judgmental, I don’t interrupt and I don’t give my advice or relate to the other person’s story.
I mainly ask questions, allow space for them to answer and wait another moment before I ask a question.
I just learned from a course I am taking that asking questions is awesome but be aware of how many questions you are asking and if the question you are asking is to get an answer or to get “somewhere”. Basically ask questions to understand AND it’s also okay if there are moments of silence.
Usually when there is an “awkward” silence, someone fills in the space with words or questions. I’m really cool with silence and using that time to breathe, reflect, process and gather my next question or words and vice versa for the other person.
When someone is really feeling their emotions, I just sit back and let it happen. If someone is crying, I don’t try to say, “I’m sorry” or I give them space to feel and if they may want a hug or shoulder to cry on, I make sure to ask if that’s what they want or need at the moment. When people are in their emotions and feelings, I honor it, I allow space for it to unfold. I used to feel uncomfortable and want to interrupt it by touching them, saying I’m sorry, trying to relate to their story and not listening to what they are actually saying. I truly believe people want to be heard, loved and supported whether they are in pain, crying, angry, happy, laughing, etc. Heck sometimes holding space could just be physically holding someone.
The space I hold is always evolving and changing and I learn more of how to hold space the more I practice it with people. And I am also open to receiving feedback on how I can hold space differently with even more compassion and love.
I also love when people hold space for me and I get to share. I enjoy being asked questions that make me think a little deeper and go within. When I am asked a question, I always take a moment to feel and think about what is being asked before I respond too quickly. It allows me to really find the answer that is within.
I also want to share that I don’t always hold this space for people. Other times the space I hold is being honest and just being me. For example, there are moments when people may be talking to me after I have been doing something and I totally didn’t really hear that they said, I either flow with it or I am honest and tell them, “I wasn’t present, can you please repeat what you just said?”
If I feel comfortable with people, there are moments I do interrupt or moments when I share my experiences, thoughts and views when they may have not asked for it but I also tune into the energy. I’m aware if someone may want more of a safer space and I can tell when it’s time to just flow and enjoy the moment.
I feel it’s important that we all get some moments of truly being heard and being asked some thought provoking questions and that people get a chance to express without fear of being judged. And that people also get to ask questions and to listen and to even be silent for a few moments, observe other people gathering their answers and hearing them.
ANYWAY, I love holding space when it feels good to me and I have the energy to provide that for people. It’s fun and amazing to observe people share, everyone is different but it’s really cool and unique how each person responds and how their body language changes or they may feel more comfortable to be open and vulnerable when that space is provided.
Lots of love and kisses to you all.