Holding Space

Hello, Have you ever encountered another person who is dealing with something that you have no idea how to handle?  Has a friend ever unloaded something and you either felt defensive, confused or judged them about?  Do you know how to hold space for someone?

When you allow someone to feel all of their feelings, without comment or critique about the situation they are experiencing you are holding space.  When you help them come closer to how they feel with questions that are open and non-judgmental, you are holding space.  When you no longer push your ideas of what is needed for someone else, you are holding space.

So often we insert ourselves into a situation someone close to us is having.  We want to talk about how we would do something, or what we think they should do or how they should respond.  We may, while trying to be their friend, actually shut down their process of learning what it is they really want/need.  When you hold space you give them the room to learn what it is they really want/feel/need.  You provide the energy and security to delve into the places we sometimes don't know how to on our own.  When you hold space you are giving that person the permission to follow his/her inner voice.  It is truly being supportive.

I have had my share of interactions where I have held space well and others where I have not.  It is a work in progress.  I love the feeling when I have let go of myself in a situation that doesn't belong to me anyway.  Learning about someone isn't about comparing or getting them to hear your thoughts on them.  Learning is about allowing them to share, speak, feel whatever it is they would like to.

Practice holding space for someone, whether they are 2 years old or 82 years old.  See how it feels to take yourself out of the situation and open up the space for them to express what they feel.  Try to ask questions that are more reiterations of what they said instead of leading questions.  Ask for clarity even when you believe you understand.  Be there, be open, be love, and what where it goes.



It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's Aina

HiHo! Recently I had a dream that I was flying.  It was more like levitation than actual flying.  I lifted off of the ground after seeing other people do it.  It wasn't a dream that felt like I was asleep.  It was more like an experience and it felt amazing.  I was able to lift off once without much effort.  It was like a switch just flipped and I was able to push away from the earth.  The next time I tried it was harder.  I had begun to question my ability…

Isn't that funny?  I had already done it and yet I was afraid that it was a fluke and my doubt created the difficulty in realizing my ability to fly.  Have you ever  been in that situation before, questioning something you had already done?  I imagine so, otherwise we wouldn't have a saying called beginner's luck.  When we do something for the first time, there is no luck involved.  There is openness, lack of judgement, belief, possibility, and faith.  When we do it for the second time all of the previous ways of being are now strained a bit.  We begin to judge if we can repeat or actually do it if we failed the 1st time.  We aren't as open because we have a history and we are trying to do what we did instead of just doing it without pressure.  We lack faith because we have, in our past somewhere, failed to do something consistently.  Basically, we take away the things that make it possible and then decide that the only reason it happened was luck.  The first time is always the greatest because we create obstacles to repeating it.  It is no longer new and our curiosity turns to hope and expectation.  How can we hold onto the curiosity with each attempt?  How can we let go of the expectation so we can give rise to the exploration?

I believe that we have to work on how we think about EVERYTHING.  Paying close attention to the number of times we question, doubt, or simply refuse to entertain something as a possibility.  Being open isn't something that we automatically get back, there is effort involved.  When we were children, most of us were open to learning things without reservation.  We have had years and years of being told 'no' or 'you can't' or 'it won't work' by parents, friends, teachers, and the like. In turn we are where we are, with beginners luck as a truth and success as a 'hard to come by' experience.  We have a lot of unlearning to do before we are open to each moment being new again.  However, it is possible; it's possible quickly if you want it to be, and more importantly if you believe it to be.

So go on, believe that you can fly… you just might take off.



Curiosity & Wonder vs Certainty

Howdy! Just a reminder: Take your vitamins! Seriously. Get rest (talking to myself and you) and think happy thoughts! I am writing this at the same time I am nodding off a bit… super sleepy I am so I will make it brief, I think. One never knows these things for sure. Which brings me to what is on my mind: certainty… similar to security… it is rather impossible to grasp anything for certain. Even this moment is fleeting. See, it is gone already, replaced by another and another and another. So what can we know for certain and is it important to know anything for certain? As JFK once said, "The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is unchangeable or certain."

When we grasp the idea of certainty being a false idea we find ourselves either absolutely terrified (because we have believed certainty actually makes us secure so the paradigm shift is rather dramatic) or we find great comfort in letting go. Certainty gives us a sense of security. We feel like we can "know" something for sure then we won't get hurt or be wrong. We spend a lot of time trying to do the "right" thing and often find out that we have tried seemingly in vain. When we let go of the idea that things are static and one can know what things are for sure we begin to accept them as they are, in the moment. Ultimately we begin to realize that we actually see things as we are and they change when we do.

I am sure you have changed your mind about something you were certain about. Think of one thing that you were sure about that now you are not closed off to or you see differently. I would say that when I was in my late teens I was certain I wouldn't run a marathon. I remember thinking people were nuts just running around for the heck of it. What were they running from? I ran, but it was for Crew and I became good at it and would even sometimes do it for "fun" but a marathon??? Right. Flash forward 5 years after graduating from College and there I was a marathoner. I was a serious runner. Logging 7 miles each day 6x/week for years. See. One can just never know and it is almost never the point anyway. So instead of being certain why not try curiosity or wonder? Changing your language around something changes your mind and has the power to open your world to the wonders that live all around and inside of you.

I've never run an ultra marathon and I wonder if I ever will. :)

xo a