“Holding space” was a term I never really understood. I would always hear people say it in a wide variety of contexts and it was hard to put together a definition that resonated with me. It wasn’t until I was listening to someone say how their friend was amazing at holding space and listening without judgement that I had my ‘ah ha’ moment as to what this phrase means. It most likely means something different to anyone, which is why I am only able to write about what it means to me in this post.
Holding space for someone just means allow that person to be their authentic selves without judgement. It can mean deeply listening to someone in those moments without thinking or making it about yourself. It can also mean providing them unconditional love in which you accept every part of them, the light and the dark, and acknowledge that they are perfect as they are.
This definition became clear to me when I was on a hike (the place in the picture above) and I thought to myself, “well if that is what holding space is, nature holds space for me every day”. Nature provides a place of love, non judgement, allows me to be authentic… I never hear the trees judging me. It is a space where I know I can be myself.
I was told I naturally do this for other people. Before I knew what the phrase meant I thought this was something that everyone did all the time. It doesn’t make me special or anything. Some people are better listeners and some people are natural born speakers. I had to work for a long time being comfortable with public speaking and that is a wonderful gift to have! I am writing this because I am working to create more of a loving, non judgmental world. I feel amazing when I am on a hike because I feel as if there are no reasons for me to be anything but myself. I want to raise more awareness about holding space so it frees people to be their authentic selves.
with love, katie