“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You, yourself, as much as anybody in the universe, deserve your love and affection” – Buddha
Holding space is about learning to accept our authenticity, our story and our mistakes.Holding space for our self is to see ourselves with all our faults, without judgement and criticism. Usuallywe are impeccable at supporting our friends and families, but when it comes to supporting ourselves we are our worst enemies. We spend every minute of the day with ourselves. How much of it is good, supportive, and kind?
When my children were young they had their health issues and nothing I did help to elevate their suffering. Sometimes their cries pierced me deeply and I felt like giving up as I felt absolutely powerless. Though it was difficult, they taught me something vital and precious. I understood I could not take away their pain nor could I change what they are going through, all I could do was witness, be there for them. Yes I got frustrated, angry, and distraught that I couldn’t do more, but eventually I found a place of calm within myself. In learning to hold space for them I learned to hold space for myself. In fact, I couldn’t be present for them, without being present for myself. The pain they experienced triggered my own deep pain, and I had to allow myself to move through it if I was going to help them.
Holding space for self to me is opening myself to experience, to grow, to feel, to express. It is treating me with care, consideration, kindness, compassion and love, listening to the needs of the body and mind, feeling my emotions, and listening to the yearning of my soul. It is a conscious choice, a way of being with me and meeting my own needs. Holding space is like a great pilgrimage home to your own soul.
Holding space for ourselves gives us a place to check our direction and to adjust the course when the need arises. It brings space and awareness into our life .If you truly want to help others, then learning to hold space for yourself, to befriend and love yourself, is the only way forward. You can’t hold space for someone if you can’t be with your own pain and hold it for yourself. When you’re kind to yourself you are less reactive, more responsive, more available, empathetic, compassionate, kind, present, balanced and at peace.
9 Vital keys to holding space for yourself
1. Embrace your imperfection!
Your “imperfections” are what make you unique and can often be the gateway to your greatest gifts. Accept them.
2. Say no:
When you say ‘no’ to others, you very often say ‘yes’ to yourself. Honour yourself
3. Developing boundaries:
When you have good boundaries, are assertive and can say ‘no’ without feeling guilty, then obligatory relationships end. Maintaining boundaries actually strengthen bonds.
4. Communicate with yourself!
Making time to truly connect with your self supports your health and well-being.
5. Listen to your inner guidance:
Mediate. Take time to be still, to simply be, this connects you to your essence and your dreams. Experience the joy of spontaneous unfolding.
6. Reach out for support:
It’s okay to seek help. Be open!
7. Be authentic!
You know who you are. Have the courage to see all of you; your gifts and your less than perfect bits. When you see yourself with kindness and compassion, you have the power to change the aspects that you dislike.
8. Be a good parent to your inner child:
Allow you inner child to explore and experience life. Empower yourself to make the right choices and live life in your own way. Be an innovative parent to your inner child: loving yourself when you’re sick, encouraging when you fall, and always cheer yourself.
9. Develop supportive rituals:
Do at least one nurturing thing for yourself every day.
You are precious! Take good care of yourself!