I like the sound of the term "holding space", but what does it mean?
Pet lovers may understand this analogy better than those who are not quite so infatuated with the furry, feathery, slithery creatures...
Have you ever sat down with a pet and vented about your day? The animal sits still. It allows you to pet it. It seems to have excellent listening skills and it doesn't respond back with criticisms or solutions.
It allows you to let go and be what you need to be in that moment. It holds space for you.
When you hold space for someone else (a friend, a loved one, a stranger) you allow another human energy to have his/her own experience as they need to have it. You sit from a place of compassion and availability. There cannot be judgment when we hold space; there can only be "be"-ing. Your heart opens in whatever capacity is needed. It might mean listening and simply nodding. It might mean watching...sitting...pausing.
"Often the hardest thing about holding space is that it can feel like you are doing nothing."
Holding space is a generous non-ego moment of gifting your energy to someone else.
Quietly sitting beside me
you steadily breathe
inhale after exhale
no sharp intakes of judgment
or wistful releases of pity,
Your heart openly reaches for mine
to whatever spills
out of my mouth,
my own experience.
I am free yet lovingly confined
by your presence
to be mad, sad, upset,
disappointed, happy, ecstatic, angry,
light, dark, sparkly
you offer me this
holding my space.