Holding space for yourself is the most important part of holding space.
The Universe has given each of us a gift. That gift is to forget who we are so we can explore the endless possibilities and ways to rediscover that we are part of a Universe that is absolute and infinite Love.
Now, needless to say (and speaking for myself!) most of us don't feel anywhere near the embodiment of infinite Love. That belongs to “God” or whatever other term or image that resonates with you. We feel flawed, imperfect and most of us can make lists of what we feel guilty about and how we really made a mess of things. The truth of the matter is that we are all individuals that came into this lifetime to have experiences. We came into this lifetime purposely forgetting our true nature in order to relearn and EXPAND the Universe and a part of that relearning is for all of us to experience what we AREN’T so we can compare that to what we are.
Our entire lifetime is dedicated to this journey. When we see ourselves and everything and everyone around us we are looking through the filter of how we feel about ourselves. If we have a happy childhood and good self-esteem the world is beautiful. We give other people the benefit of the doubt. We more easily glimpse their true nature
as beings of Source, understand the same goes for ourselves and so exude good energy. We love to be around these people because they make us feel good!
If we have a troubled past or present we will see ourselves and others as flawed and untrustworthy. Everything we see will be uncertain. Even in good times we are expecting others to be hiding an agenda and are always waiting for the other shoe to drop on everything good that happens around us. The energy around these people is lower and often we feel agitated or drained around them. So what does holding space for yourself mean?
Holding space for yourself means to let go of having to be "perfect". It means setting boundaries and letting people know that you are taking time for yourself. It means you are not always available to help at the drop of a hat (that includes family!). It means giving yourself permission for regular self-care. It means giving yourself permission to ask for help when you need it. And, most importantly, it means allowing yourself to be yourself without apology because you are a beautiful, unique and worthy individual and an integral part of the Universe.
It is often easier to hold space for others. We are prone to give others the benefit of the doubt or even been raised with the idea that we are expected to put others first even when we feel tired and overwhelmed. This is not to say that it isn't appropriate to take care of others. But...there is a time and a place to help others and a time and a place for you to take care of yourself, to rejuvenate, so that eventually you will find that there's actually more of yourself to give. And not only more of yourself but more of your AUTHENTIC self!
Some of the things you can do to hold space for yourself:
Find what makes YOU happy: What are your passions? What dreams do you have? Do you like to create art, bake, paint, dance or write? Do you like to take walks, meditate, go to the theater, enjoy a good movie or perhaps long discussions with people who bring out the best in you? Do you enjoy solitude and silence in order to regroup and regenerate? Whatever it is that makes you happy and helps you connect with your Higher Self make sure that you set aside the time to do it on a regular basis.
Find your community: As you hold space for yourself more and more you will need to find a community of people who will support you. Change is not easy and you may find that people will start to drop away as you move forward. This is a natural part of life. Feel free to grieve this loss if you need to. Loss is part of life but it's also essential to change because it is a way of making room for something new to come in. Embrace the changes alongside a community that loves you as your new True Self!
Set boundaries: It is okay to say no! You don't need to jump to every single demand or request everyone makes of you. That includes family and friends! Take a moment to decide if taking care of someone or helping out is something you can do, something you have time to do, something that is absolutely necessary. Make sure that by "helping" someone out you are not taking away the opportunity for them to learn to be helping themselves in some way. Only you can decide but sometimes sitting back to observe and see the bigger picture will help you to decide what really is the appropriate thing to do. Again...it is okay to say no and mean it!
Spending time in quiet meditation: Try to make time to meditate in some form on a daily basis if you can. Now this can be an hour a day but, if that is overwhelming, make it 5 minutes. Sit quietly, center yourself and breath. This will help you to get back to yourself and you will find, in time, that staying focused and centered will help you with all of the above...and more that you weren't expecting. The Universe is full of surprises when you are open to them.
As you continue to hold space, this could take one sitting or a lifetime, you start to come into your own. The realization sets in that you are not so flawed as you imagined. That this is a figment of your imagination and that your perception of yourself is a reflection of a story you have created as you've lived your life. A reflection of what others have told you about yourself and what you've come to believe.
So hold space. Breath. Take inventory of yourself without judgement. Let go of what no longer serves you as you create more space for what does while you reenvision your life and your story. Learning to hold space for YOU, the You that really is a part of the Universal Infinite Love.