|Tribe. Original Mandala. 2011.|
There are times in my quietest of moments that I realize there is nothing more potently healing than the power of Holding Space - for our selves and all of our emotions, for one another, for our creative desires and expressions, for our very world. The simple offering of non-action and Presence. The gift of our time and intentional energy - perhaps, the only thing we can truly call our own to offer.
Not trying to fix things, change things, or force things to happen now or quicker than they are. Not trying to feel anything but what you feel, and not beating yourself up if what you feel is not exactly what you want to be feeling. Just listening, acknowledging, and offering attention. Just leaving your overactive mind at the door (with all of its expectations, analysis and judgments) and seeing with your heart and your soul where you are at, what someone else's story is and how they are working through it in their own perfectly imperfect way, or how this world and all of humanity truly possess inside themselves the ability to live in balance and reverence with the flow of life.
Just Holding Space. For what is and what can be with the positive essence we all carry deep in ourselves. It is a practice full of great awe and nourishment - for both the person or entity you are witnessing and for yourself.
I truly believe that when we are able to do this, we are witnessing and allowing the belly of change to work its deepest miracles and healing. I, personally, have felt this at the feet of my clients as they tell me of their greatest trials and proudest moments in their lives. I have felt this at the deathbeds of my patients. As a child, I knew this in my mother's quiet accepting hugs when I hurt. I have felt this with certain close friends in my life, and in the arms of my husband. I have witnessed the self-changing power of this in my own process of allowing art to flow from me. I have known this deeply in the safe warm energetic circles of women.
I feel strongly that this stillness and nurturing is needed more in our world. I sense innately that it has to do with finding balance of masculine and feminine energies in our selves and our world. I also hold to the belief that this balance will require a shift on the part of many, many individuals and how they approach their place in the world.
There are so many women - myself included - that hold back, push down, put aside, put off until 'later', make sacrifices, play nice, second guess, shut off and otherwise bury or withhold their deepest selves from not only the people in their lives, but from themselves, from each other and from the world at large. Beautiful, vibrant, radically creative women that are a part of this shift whether they realize it or not. Strong women sitting on their edge, yearning a connection they can't quite name, knowing there is a fuller way to be with this life, but just not knowing how or where to start.
If this sounds like you, I say, join me in considering this idea of Holding Space for your Self, for others, and for our world. It is not easy, but it is not hard, and you are born with the ability to offer this gift. You already know how to do this and you were granted permission just by experiencing your own birth into this life - it is an effort of deep knowing in your very soul. It takes no training, no skill, no degree, no set steps, no special talent, no script, no ancient ritual, no transcendence or enlightenment, and not even years of experience to master it... it just takes You, choosing to be Present now, whatever You and now might look like.
So start with You. Get quiet and sit in the presence of something that makes you feel alive and connected to life, and just Listen. Maybe its your baby, your pet, a tree, a lake, a memory, a song, a plant... whatever it is, invite it in. Be with where you are. Trust your self. You will feel the stirring. And that's all the beginning you need, sweet ones - and you are not alone. There is a whole world of us women, of people, waking up to the calling and beginning to listen to their deepest truths. So don't hold back.
I'll leave you with these words, food for thought, by Baraka Elihu...
"Right at that poignant moment before real change happens, that potent birthing place, women often tremble at the sheer force of their own authority and hold back. I hold space for women to practice getting comfortable with this edge and expanding its boundaries. We can reweave the outmoded stories of our culture and replace them with a new paradigm of cooperative and flowing healing, more open to diversity and more refined with compassion. We can make contact with our most exquisite personal insights and intuitions and shed the baggage of the past. We can surrender to our process and trust that a greater peace in the world will emerge naturally, from the very belly of our personal, quiet revolutions.