What does it mean “to hold space” for someone? Why has this figure of speech entered our lexicon?
Holding space is when we can consciously make room for another person to have an experience or an outcome that they want. We are attuned to them, we see them and we hear them. In other words we are very present for that person in the way that they need or want.
I vividly remember a scene at a wedding I attended ten years ago. The scene I’m experiencing again is watching my husband Malik, play at the fountain with our three year old niece. The sun is shining and being reflected in the water, the sound of my niece’s laughter is in my ears, believe it or not a butterfly appears to play with them. I’m very aware of how Malik has created a special bubble of love and joy around them. He is very gently holding space for my niece to play and experience full 100 % unconditional love and acceptance. Almost everyone turns to look at them, in silent reverence. It’s like “they” are in their own world and “we” on the outside can only watch. Everyone is quiet and wants to join in, but somehow we don’t want to break the spell that holds them in this magical world.
Of course the spell does break when an errant aunt, (who doesn’t hold the same intention), tries to get in on the action. Her vibration is about getting attention rather than giving it and everyone turns away almost simultaneously to continue to eat, or do whatever they were doing beforehand.
I believe the power of a consciously held presence is elevating and profoundly healing. I think we’ve all experienced a state like this but often we can’t hold it for very long. Once experienced though, we can return to it in our memory and allow it to elevate us once more.
Recently in a “presencing” session I was a part of, one of us achieved a state that changed the experience of all five of us who were in attendance. Our small closed group has been meeting weekly, for over a year and this particular session will be etched in our memory and our bodies. One of us followed a body sensation, that led to a thought, that led to belief/pattern/ emotional charge. It also led to a traumatized child part of the psyche being able to be seen and held with love and compassion. This is standard practice for the group but what happened next was unprecedented. And really there are no words for it, a movement of energy with the corresponding release was palpable, the energy shifted to a higher frequency in real time and everyone felt it. Whatever the others were thinking become silent and a feeling of peace washed over us. This was not a sleepy peace but a feeling of a deep, grounded connection to a power that was beyond us. It was all the more remarkable because it was a shared experience on Zoom. Each of us had a palpable shift in consciousness, the mind quieted, the body relaxed, the vibe felt noticeably higher. It was like we were lifted up and beyond our own small self, into the best part of us without trying. We were simply supremely present and in our bodies, feeling and listening attentively. One of us had transformed and in the held space and in the witnessing all of us had partaken of the moment in our own way. We had a profound personal shift because one person led the way and had moved a mountain of pain into vapor and set herself free.
I guess what I’m saying is that we affect each other, our vibrational field which is made up of our thoughts and of our unprocessed “stuff” makes an invisible bubble around us. This field affects what we experience and how we experience life. It also affects people who are around us.
We know that every thought, every action and emotion vibrate at a specific kilohertz frequency. This is written about in the well researched book, Power vs Force, by Dr David Hawkins. He maps the entire spectrum of human consciousness, from the lower levels of fear, anger, guilt and shame through to acceptance and courage and beyond to the expanded awareness that comes with love, peace, ecstasy and enlightenment.
I believe we can permanently change our vibration, it has to do with how much emotional capacity we can cultivate, and how much love we can hold, for ourselves and for others. I think one way of changing our vibration is through trauma release work.
What is fascinating to me, especially in these times is the nature of our interconnectedness. Not just what we do, but what we think, what emotions we most frequently vibrate at and how loving we can be to each other have a profound effect on all of us as a collective. Our presence and the quality of it matters, it matters a lot.
Holding Space for More Self Compassion and Love in the World.