Ran into one of my (fabulous) blog readers at Starbucks yesterday. She shared with me that ever since she read a post of mine about 'Holding Space', she's been obsessed with wanting to know what the heck it is. So she asked, "What is Holding Space?" I replied, "It's like a suspension. As you wait, you consciously recognize that something natural and profound can (and will) emerge from another human being. It's your way of involving yourself through noninvolvement. In other words, you are welcoming possibility. You're holding space."
She looked puzzled and said, "I still don't understand."
I replied, "Ok. Think of it this way. It's the difference between helping someone you care about by just being present. You know. Listening and validating. What you're not doing is judging or giving advice. In essence, you're holding space so they can share with you what's troubling them, and your objective is to simply help them feel validated. Does that make sense?"
"Feeling validated? I get that," she smiled. "How are you, Sandra, at holding space?"
"Horrible." I replied. "It's so difficult for me. I think it's part of my DNA to push. Push people forward. But, that doesn't help them. It's about being pro-active not re-active."