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Holding Space

Updated: Apr 8

Emotional safety is so important because your body and mind are inseparable. The body responds to an emotionally unsafe environment, or the fear of one, the same as it would to a physical threat of harm. The body releases stress hormones and activates the sympathetic nervous system, e.g., the fight-or-flight response. When feeling unsafe is an ongoing condition, the stress response is not turned off by the parasympathetic nervous system, which allows for rest and digestion, growth and repair. Chronic stress activation suppresses the body’s natural ability to heal itself in addition to the mental/emotional suffering of feeling fearful and being in a hypervigilant state.


By holding space, you can create a sense of safety for yourself and others. Holding space is an intentional, or conscious, act of presence. You create a safe emotional space with your intention, attention and energy. You listen actively with compassion and without judgment. You do not try to fix. You simply offer the space for yourself, or the other person, to be who they are in the moment; allowing yourself/them to be seen, heard and feel unconditionally loved and accepted. It’s as if you are saying silently with your being “I am here for you.” You may even wish to say that out loud.


To hold space for whatever arises in you, be the love that you are; the awake, loving presence of awareness that asks nothing and allows everything. Simply be with what is. Do not identify with thoughts, emotions, sensations and perceptions. Allow them the space to come, to stay and to leave. Do not push them away. Too often, we are violent with thoughts, emotions and perceptions. We try to control them. Relax that tendency to seek to control. When emotions are witnessed and held, a larger space can open up for the energy to be transformed.


“Open some space, and Spirit will certainly show up.”—Harrison Owen






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