Holding Space for Yourself and Others

Holding Space for Yourself and Others

By: Jenny Schoenmann

This year has demanded a lot of us. We have been through a lot of changes and uncertainties. No wonder this past year has been challenging! It brought up all kinds of intense feelings and emotions, leaving many of us feeling overwhelmed.

To reclaim our ground and inner sanctuary, we can take advantage of the pull of the Solstice in our Northern Hemisphere. To draw our attention inward as well as taking the time to reflect. By Holding Space For Yourself, the process of inner healing, acceptance, and peace begins.

Holding Space is a Huge Gift

It is the gift of being present for yourself and for another person.

Holding Space is an ancient skill, practised in just about every culture. In our times, it’s not a skill we are taught, but we are finding our way back there. It allows us to connect to our soul’s wisdom, our inner knowledge, and intuition. To find the answers that are truly aligned with our inner landscape.

To live a life we love means to live a life that is in alignment and in harmony with our soul’s wisdom and desires. Holding Space is also essential in creating strong and nourishing relationships with ourselves as well as with the world around us. But too often, it is a skill we have disconnected ourselves from.

Holding Space for Yourself

It’s important to learn how to Hold Space for yourself so that you can hold space for others. Hold Space for feelings while you feel them, without the urgency of ego reactivity.

When you Hold Space for yourself, remember to:

Stay open and curious even in the most challenging moments as you hold space for whatever you are feeling. Be with what is, without needing to fix, solve, or neglect it. By doing so, you will cultivate the space to be fully present with the desires of your soul. To trust life’s intelligence as it runs through you. And to trust your inner knowledge. Your inner wisdom.

Holding Space for Others

Since we care about our loved ones and the people around us, we want to help them when they struggle. When we listen to their problems, we are quick to come up with all kinds of advice and solutions. Those are based on our own experiences, our own stories, and our own values. But they have nothing to do with the other person’s experiences, stories, and values.

Here is what actually happens when we ‘kindly’ offer our advice and suggest solutions: we take away their ability to solve things in their own way. We give the impression that the other person is not able to do it themselves. We unconsciously take away their own power - their soul’s wisdom.

Holding Space is not:

Giving unsolicited advice Trying to fix or solve the “issue”, the other person, or ourselves Interrupting, chit-chatting, or pretending you understand (we don’t) Ask yourself: How often do you give unsolicited advice?

The magic of Holding Space lies in no longer doing this.

This is the magic of Holding Space:

Listening and offering a space where everything can just be Being present with what is unfolding Being comfortable with conversational gaps and silences Being able to sit with unresolved tension is a core skill in holding space Sitting in your humanity and your trust Facing what happens within you when you hear someone else’s struggle or joy (such as your desire to jump in and fix things for them) As you hold space for others, you give them permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom.

By Holding Space for yourself, you give yourself permission to trust your own intuition and wisdom.

From here, true magic unfolds. This is how we find true answers that are in harmony with our needs, desires, and values.

Sometimes we need someone to simply be there. Not to fix anything, or to do anything special. But to let us feel our feelings while someone is lovingly holding the space for us.

Exercise: Reflect On This

The next time your partner, colleague, or child comes to you with a problem, just listen, don’t interrupt, and let there be silence at the end.

More often than not, things will clear up for them just from being given the space to talk, to be with their struggle completely, and fully feel it. Remain in silence. Don’t break it if you become uncomfortable with your own silence. Be proud of yourself and know that you have given the other person the most precious gift by doing so.

After a while, ask this magical question: “And with all of this, what would you like to have happened now?”

As you hold space for yourself, someone else, a whole group or community, it is especially important to understand that you are not trying to fix yours or their problems, issues, concerns, or feelings. You are providing a safe space, walking alongside another person without judging them so that healing can happen - in everyone’s own time and pace.

Holding space sounds simple, but as we love offering our help, our thoughts and our experiences can be challenging.

Can you let this other person just be? Can you let yourself just be when you hold the space for yourself? Where discomfort disappears, insights happen spontaneously, and they come to stay. To trust life’s intelligence as it runs through you. It’s right there for you. It’s waiting for you to give yourself the space to be with it.

© 2023 Delight Yoga