Recently a client of mine commented that what she appreciated most was having me "Hold Space" for her. What a wonderful statement! On the walk after our session, that statement really settled into my heart. It felt so true, so real, and such an honest, simple statement. It has been my honor and privilege to provide that "safe place to land" as Dr. Phil would say, to many people over my career, and to have had several very special people (including therapists) that held such a space for me.
When I returned home I searched online for a definition, and the first response stated: "Simply put holding space means showing up for someone, being fully present and without judgment as you sit with that person through their difficult times. You listen fully. You allow yourself to feel their pain and negative emotions so that they don't have to do it alone."
Of course, there were additional descriptions and pointers on ways to hone those skills with the major focus on developing empathy skills. To be clear, empathy is quite different from sympathy, since sympathy is really an expression of feeling sorry for a person's lose, in whatever form it takes. Empathy is truly listening to a person's situation and, most importantly, listening to the feelings behind the story, or situation, they are confronting.
All too often our human experiences elicit judgments, and most of those are based on our own personal experiences (stories). And while the stories in our head may seem to match the one we are hearing from our friend, it is our personal perspective that "flavors" how we interpret painful experience. This, of course, can lead to completely different "interpretations," for each of us.
In essence, "Holding Space," requires we see the person in front of us from their sacred view of what life is all about. This explains why we often have misunderstandings. Each person has their own sacred view of life, and it may be a polar opposite from ours.
To truly respect and honor that person who has come to you with a concern, you truly have to "Know thyself." That means see yourself as a unique individual with a set of values by which you choose to live and realize those values may be completely different for the person in front of you. If we, the listener, truly practice empathy, we will have the opportunity to learn from those who entrust us with their deepest emotions. We may find a deeper understanding of ourselves, our family, friends, and, in fact, the world if we simply quiet our Head mind that wants to evaluate, judge and deliver a verdict, and truly use the "ears" of our Heart. That is how we heal ourselves while "Holding Space" for another person and offer a "safe place to land" for another soul to cleanse the pain they feel. That is how the world will change, one cleansing at a time will heal the mistrust that currently prevails. This is our path to a balanced and fulfilled life. Listen! I'll bet your heart is talking to you right this moment!
From my Heart to yours, Vicky
Saturday, October 14, will be a powerful day as a Solar Eclipse will offer a time of major transformation when we are given the opportunity to become aware of the truths within ourselves that are normally hidden in the dark. All eclipses can help nudge us onto the right path, especially if we've wandered. This is followed by a New Moon! How powerful is that? The New moon offers us time to Rebirth and Renew our lives by reflecting on: Where you are, What you want to let go of, and What you are ready to bring forth. As we are deep into Autumn, the time is now to notice the abundance in your life and sift the "Wheat from the Chaff."
The Wisdom Circle will be held Thursday, October 19, from 6:30 - 8 p.m. Kara Gilbert graciously offered to share a sacred ceremony that she holds near and dear to her heart, "Connecting through song, heart and womb." She describes this gift as "an interactive, creative expression that weaves through and connects all of us." We will gather around a small fire as Kara shares one of her passions and with the coolness of the fall air, we will harvest the sweetness of such a heart-felt ceremony.
Interestingly, The Clan Mother for October is "Weaves the Web," who teaches us how to "Work the Truth" and use our creativity to give birth to our dreams. What a beautiful evening it will be!
Women are asked to wear a skirt or sarong to honor the women who came before us. Men are welcome to bring their open heart and add their creative energies to assist with the balance of a evening of deep weavings.
A gifting bowl is present to offer a "thank you" to the presenter, and for the beauty of the Gathering.
In conclusion, as you read through this blog, have you noticed the harmonious ways in which Nature offers us such assistance and teachings to help us move through our life with grace, ease and balance. As we Walk our Sacred Path, if we pay attention and notice our abundant blessings the trail will to a happy Heart!
Vicky Kelm Williams
I find people absolutely fascinating!