“Have we ever had a #SpiritChat on the idea of ‘holding space’?”
The minute Lucille asked this question as we were close to wrapping up the hour of the #SpiritChat monthly video get-together, I knew that she had brought forth the topic for the weekly chat. My immediate answer was to say, “no, we haven’t ever discussed that as a topic — but, it is one of my favorite phrases and ideas to practice!”. In fact, I had benefitted from practicing it just the previous day.
A few weeks ago, I had received an invite to attend a meeting at 8:30am on Thursday morning. My first reaction was to respond that I wouldn’t be able to attend because of another scheduled meeting. However, when I read the agenda, it was to review the by-laws of the Parents’ Association of my daughter’s school. I thought, this is really important, and maybe the other meeting will get moved. So, I found myself responding with — “I am not sure, but please hold space for me as I am going to do my best to attend”.
Unbeknownst to me, the organizers must have done just that. Thursday morning came and I was running behind because my daughter woke up with a nasty cold. I hadn’t even showered or shaved yet, and it was time to leave, if I was going to make it in time. As I got ready to text the organizer that I wasn’t going to be able to make it, a thought passed across my heart. What if they are actually ‘holding space’ for me, just like I asked them to?
So, I put my phone away, brushed my teeth (yes, this was an IRL meeting, not a twitter chat :)), put some clothes on and drove the short distance through the sleet that was falling quickly and icing up the roads. Four smiling faces, including the broadest of smiles of a little baby girl that one of the Mom’s had brought with her, greeted me with the words – “we are so glad you are here”.
In that instant, I knew that they were not looking at my unshaven face or my uncoordinated clothes that I had thrown together. It reminded me of something my maternal grandmother used to say and practice — “ बेटा जी, जगह इंसान के लिए दिल में होनी चाहिए – फिर सभी अपने होते हैं, कोई मेहमान नहीं होता।” My dear one, when we learn to make space in the heart for others, then there are no guests — the whole world becomes our family.
So much truth wisdom in Grandma’s words, don’t you think? How often do we forsake the opportunity of ‘holding space’ or ‘creating space’ for others because of how we think we may be perceived by them? How often do we forsake ‘holding space’ for own selves because of how we think about ourself? And yet, if we take our eyes off of ourselves, we can then embrace the attitude of ‘holding space’. Our heart can open to the idea that ‘we need to take care of each other, be kind to each other’.
So, here we are. We have some decisions to make, some questions to ponder. What is it that prevents us from ‘holding space’ in our hearts for some, but not for ‘others’? Despite filling ourselves with so much, why do we occasionally feel ‘empty’? What is the spiritual benefit of holding space (and time) for each other and for our own selves?
Here are some possibilities. In ‘holding space’ in our heart, the whole world can become ‘us’, not ‘them’. When there is no separation of us and them, we are in fact creating true freedom, aren’t we? In this freedom, real exploration of the vastness of inner space can truly begin — we may yet discover that the infinite has been forever holding loving space for us.
P.S. Thank you, Lucille Fisher (@sageandsavvy) for this week’s grand question, and inspiration for our Sunday Feb 9 twitter chat in #SpiritChat at 9amET / 2pm GMT / 730pm India. I invite all of you to join us in this community that has been holding space for each other for many years. Namaste – @AjmaniK
Flowers, in various stages of flowering, held by Nature’s loving space…