I hear this term being thrown around a lot and its one of those ‘buzzwords’ that can be used without the full understanding of it being realised. Mostly we hear it when we talk about sisterhood or community or grief, transformation, trials and challenges in life and how we might hold space for those around us. And while all of that is fantastic, I love that this language is being normalised, if we don’t fully get what it means, then it can become a platitude and lose it’s impact. Just as we will most likely be ineffective in teaching someone to walk if we ourselves cannot walk, knowing how to hold space for ourselves must precede our ability to hold space for others.
There has been many teachings I have been given or found over the years from Native American shaman’s, friends and proverbs. One that I heard many moons ago spoke about our Sacred Hoop. This video explains it better than I can in the first 90secs! And then this amazing First Nations man demonstrates the skill of managing your hoop!
Caring for our own hoop is the same as ‘self care’ in an energetic sense. If we do not care for this space, then we cannot fully show up in our wholeness and total presence with others. Another analogy is the emergency oxygen masks in an airplane. Every flight you are reminded that in an emergency, to put your mask on first before you help others. Because if you can’t breathe, you can’t be much help to anyone else right?
Caring for our hoop means being aware of our needs energetically as well as physically. When these are met, we have a more whole sense of safety, clear boundaries, our values and principles in life, we can tap our strength and our love for our self without the fear or worry of the judgement of others. It’s one less layer of the onion to deal with.
The basis of holding space for ourselves is to allow ourself to be whatever we are without judgement, without comparison, without feeling the need to fix ourselves in order to be okay, allowing ourselves to see and embrace our shadows as we integrate their lessons and love them back into the light. We always have more shadows to love! We allow our internal panel of assholes to have a much needed vacation so that we can be who we are, as we are right then and feel at ease. In this space we can create a container in which we feel safe and brave enough to become more of our true self. Being aware of what we think about ourself is so important to understanding what we need energetically.
Tara Bliss said it perfectly in an article (which you can read here), in the context of holding space for others that “You acknowledge this person, fully. You allow them to process and journey and grow in their own way. You bare witness.”
Think of how you can do this for yourself each day. How can you be more aware of the push and pull within you. Can you improve your practices around connecting to your energetic core and building inner strength so that you emanate your energy from within rather than being fed energy from outside of yourself, through other people or external experiences.
Hold a space for your Self. The Self that is imperfectly perfect and entirely lovable.
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