MANY ARE GOING THROUGH CHALLENGES. DO YOU WANT TO BE A GOOD SPACE HOLDER? When you want to support someone through a crisis or transition, you can “hold space” for them. What does this mean? It means that you willingly walk alongside with someone on their journey without judgement, without making them feel inadequate, without trying to fix them, “guide” them or impact the outcome. You simply open your heart, walk alongside them, and let go of control.
It is human nature to want to fix, give advice, judge, help, or even take on their burden or pain, but to truly support someone in their growth and transformation, you can’t take the experience away from them. As a space holder you commit to being there for them, all while allowing them to find their own power by making their own choices. You offer unconditional love and support, and help them feel safe, even when they are confused or falter.
Space holding is something we all need. No matter how strong you are as a leader, supporter or caregiver, you need to know that there is someone in your life that you can be vulnerable with without fear of being judged. I hold space for others daily, and I’m blessed with a few special people in my life who consistently hold space for me. It’s impossible to be a strong space holder for others unless we have people that will hold space for us.
If you want to hold space for someone, here are some points to follow:
1. It’s not about you. Keep your ego, opinions, and judgements out of it.
2. Let them make the decisions. Don’t take their power away.
3. Encourage them to trust their own wisdom and intuition.
4. Don’t give them more information than they can handle at the moment.
5. Allow for complex emotions to emerge without feeling you need to solve them. Just listen. Nothing more.
6. Make them feel safe even when they make mistakes.
7. Respect their choices by allowing them to have a different experience than you might want them to have.
Finally, holding space for another does not mean that you drain your personal energy reserves and life force. As a space holder you must consistently maintain your energy boundaries, while gently supporting others in rejuvenating theirs. I’ve come to understand that “holding space” is a practice that evolves from intention – and you get better as you do it. This is something that all of us can do for each other during these times of challenge.