Have you ever walked into a room and felt an expansion in your heart as you breathe in?
What about the opposite experience- have you ever walked into a room and felt a sweep of fear or contraction in your gut?
Is it possible to affect a room or space, so that anyone entering into it may instantly feel at ease? The simple answer to these questions is yes.
Upon entering a room, consciously set an intention to clear all negative energies within, towards and around the space; then sit still in meditation and breathe with this wish until there is a feeling of ease and a sense that all negative energies have been cleared.
You could consider to remove your shoes and leave them at the door. Anyone who practises yoga frequently gets into the habit of doing this at almost any doorway, sacred or not. It is said that shoes represent the ego, which is why it is an act of reverence to remove them before entering a space. It can also be helpful to cover the head with a shawl or a hat as a connection to spirit and a veil of protection representing humility.
Another beautiful ritual to enhance good energy, is to create an altar of meaningful objects, talismans, crystals, candles and fresh flowers. Anyone entering this room can contribute to decorating this altar, ideally with a personal object that they cherish and wish to have charged for the duration of their time in the space, with all the positive energy that will be flowing through. A way to welcome people towards an altar would be to invite the setting of intentions internally or out loud for whatever is to take place in the room or simply for whatever wish or prayer that a person may want to call into their lives or their futures. One by one, as people place their objects on the altar to both contribute and receive a sense of sacred space is created by all who enter it.
Smudging or the burning of sacred herbs such as sage, palo santo or incense is a sensual way of releasing negative ions into the air and creating an instantly uplifted mood. This ritual is practised in many cultures, religions and sacred spaces worldwide.
Holding space is not just about creating the right atmosphere, bubble or den of love, trust and safety- although that is definitely a powerful and effective intention.
There is a psychological aspect to this concept too. Coaches, counsellors, healers and teachers are all space holders first and foremost before offering their knowledge, expertise and gifts as lightworkers, caretakers or empowerment catalysts.
Learning to park the ego to one side is an integral first step in being able to allow the necessary space to be filled by the students, the clients, those who come to learn or who seek help and are in need.
The Karpman Drama triangle is an insightful diagram explaining what conflict can arise internally and externally if a person takes on a “Rescuer” “Let me help you because you are weak” role, a “Persecutor” “All knowing. I am right and you are wrong” role or a “Victim” “Help me because I cannot help myself” role .
Holding space is not about rescuing or playing out any of these roles, it is about standing in the eye of the tornado as an observer of thoughts words and emotions and all that is energetically swirling around us. It is about being fully present and heart centred in authenticity with transparent intentions and very clear boundaries. It is about seeing things as they really are, whatever may arise, whatever may be said or done. It is a path the demands a strong sense of discernment, of knowing when to speak up and when to hold back, when to smile and when to just simply nod your head, when to give advice and when to ask powerful questions. It is also about developing a sixth sense slowly over time for understanding the unspoken and the subtle. Some people are born with high levels of intuition and others develop it through the school of hard knocks aka “the wounded healers”. Our pain can be our greatest strength and from there we can learn how to best be of service to others.
Holding space can be a catalyst for deep healing and powerful transformations and the most beautiful thing about it, is that we all have the power within us to develop the skills and hold space for each other.
© Lightening Magazine 2016