“Holding the space for another person is incredibly profound.”
Lynn Hauka (Huffington Post Website)
Learning to hold the space for another person requires as much training and discipline as becoming a major athlete. In fact, it's not terribly different except that it doesn't require bench pressing hundreds of pounds. What it does require is presence.
Athletic training typically begins with an early morning routine—running several miles is common. And then, hours in the gym, developing individual sets of muscles. It requires keen attention to diet, getting enough of the right calories to support the exercise and build muscle instead of fat. One must become body-conscious; must be fully present in their body, because the result of being distracted is often injury. After that, hours of field training. Specific skill-building, depending on which sport you play. Learning the plays, learning the moves, and how to do your job on the team. Day after day, week after week, a commitment to excellence is required.
Learning to hold the space for another is quite similar. It necessitates knowing oneself very well; what are the tripwires that may tip you into self-consciousness. What are your particular buttons that, when pushed, will activate your own defenses and prevent you from being present? What is required for you to be quiet inside, to not be distracted your own concerns? Practice at staying out of one's own head is necessary. Holding the space for someone requires you to be present, body and mind, with that person.
When you can be there, hold the space, free of distraction, and look someone in the eye with your complete consciousness, healing happens—for them and for you. It is the meeting of two souls; it is the powerful experience that someone else understands, witnesses, and will not run away. It may be the most potent medicine we humans have at our disposal.
In the Spirit,