Recently I’ve been on this kick about creating space. Create space in your body to deepen your twist, create space in your mind for the truth of the moment, create space in your heart for love and compassion. But what happens to that space we create? Is it just there for a moment and then *poof* disappears like so many seeds from a dandelion? And what happens when we create space for other people or create space for ourselves? What does that look like?
Creating space is the process of opening up to the possibilities. When we create space we are setting aside our own expectations and allowing reality to begin take shape around us. Holding space means to bring depth and structure to the space we have created. A blog post I read this week explained holding space in 3 steps:
1. Create a loving and non-judgement space
2. Practice the art of listening by letting go of your ego
3. Release all attachments to the outcome.
On Tuesday, I was blessed to witness this thing of holding space. I was at an acroyoga jam in Nunley Park working on star with my student Nate. Nate is brand new to acro but a phenomenal athlete who is very present in his body. Star is essentially going into a tripod headstand using your base’s feet and hands as the floor. It requires an immense amount of core strength, as well as an ability to relax and be fluid. The final form, FreeStar, happens when the flyer releases the base’s hands and is only balancing on the bases’s feet.
Nate totally trusted my ability to base him but he was struggling with trusting himself. He felt immensely vulnerable and unsure. In spite of that internal dialogue, Nate was willing to give it go. Once we got Nate into the general shape of the pose the magic began to unfold. Nate created a loving space for himself by allowing me to support him. He let go of his ego and began to listen to his body by bringing in his breath. The breath is a powerful indicator of how we are feeling in a given moment. The entire time, Nate and I are communicating, are you comfortable? do you feel safe?
Slowly, as Nate and I both released our attachment to the outcome of nailing this acro pose perfectly we were able to simply be within the space that was created. That space of beauty, trust, and joy was made deep and was held by the willingness to embrace whatever might come out of the moment. I watched as Nate closed his eyes, breathed in that moment, and gently eased his grip on my hands. He listened to his body and shifted his balance to the point that our hands were barely touching. The connection made in that hand to hand contact was more about the transfer of warmth and energy than it was about maintaining a firm foundation. Knowing that he was at his comfort’s edge, Nate gracefully dismounted from the pose and we shared a celebratory hug.
In those moments, flying in almost-freestar, Nate held space for himself and for me. Holding space for yourself means to give yourself the grace and love you extend to others. You allow yourself to feel how you feel and need what you need but you also let go of judgement. With that letting go comes a sense of peace. Holding space for others means to allow them to do and say and act however they choose without placing judgement on them or expecting them to be or do or say something different. The outcome does not render this moment invalid. It is in that surrender, that space holding, that we can find in ourselves a place of deep contentment regardless of the circumstances.