Holding Space

Good Morning Friends!

Today, I am thankful for the ability to “Hold Space”.  I used to think that positive, comfortable emotions such as being happy, joyful, at peace, content etc. were “good”; while negative, uncomfortable emotions such as being depressed, frustrated, overwhelmed, angry, mad, etc. were “bad”.  The truth is, emotions are not good or bad.  In fact, part of why we are here on Earth is to experience the entire gamut of emotions.  It is our emotions that signal to us that something is going on in our mind, body and spirit.  It is our allowing, understanding and feeling of each human emotion, no matter how intense, that allows us to respond vs. react.  Holding space for ourselves and others is how we are able to experience whatever comes up without reacting in ways that would be detrimental.  It is a powerful skill I am thankful for and one I am striving to master.

One of my favorite quotes is from Viktor Frankl, 

“Between stimulus and response there is a space and in that space lies the freedom to choose our response, and in that response lies our growth and freedom.”  

If we can slow it all down and expand this space between stimulus and response- if we can hold this space and allow the emotions to play out, to process through our body, the result is an enhanced ability to respond to the situation with intention and purpose.

A client of mine compared holding space to sitting back and eating popcorn while watching herself or a loved one go on a crazy roller coaster ride.  The waiting and witnessing of the wild ride, without judgment, allows the person to experience all the highs and lows of the ride safely.   When they are ready to get off the roller coaster, we are there and we have been the whole time.  We can offer support and lend a steadying hand.  

The goal is not to get rid of all our negative thoughts, feelings and life situations.  That is impossible.  There is opposition in all things and life will always be 50/50.  The goal is to respond to whatever comes up in ways that result in growth, freedom and progression.  Without the skill of holding space, there is buffering, reacting, fixing, victim posturing, people pleasing… often resulting in stagnation or sabotage.  Holding space is the key that allows us and those we love to process and experience all the emotions without reacting to them.  It is critical to living with a mind firmly aligned, a body purposefully loved and a spirit powerfully accessed.

I’m grateful for opportunities to practice holding space for myself and others.  I’m so thankful to know that when my kids or those I love are experiencing intense, difficult emotions, it doesn’t mean anything about me and I don’t need to fix it.  I can, however “hold space”.

I’m so thankful for this powerful skill.

What are you thankful for on this beautiful Thursday? 

Genuinely Yours,

Candice Noss


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