On holding space …

Listening. This is where we left off. Listening to who and to what? I was open. I did not know. And given it has taken me 5 months to be back in the space where I can write. My heart space. It appears I was more disconnected from myself than even I knew. Not only myself really but the world in general. My energy was scattered. I was throwing it all over the place, and nowhere. I can’t write from that place. This isn’t something I am writing for you to feel sad about, nor am I sad in writing this. The opposite. Recognising we are disconnected shows we are feeling. And feeling, well that is always an invitation. These are the whispers from our soul …

The feelings are the first clues. Frustrated, sad, nervous, anxious, scared, unsafe, lonely – when and why? Some people refer to these invitations as triggers. I too have used this word. But a trigger left unexamined, will always be that. A trigger. And in all honesty it gets tiring to be continually triggered. A trigger examined, this is growth, the good kind. We get to change a script, or make a new choice. This is where the rainbow kisses the sea, beautiful freedom. Of course, we will never be free of feeling all the feelings, nor should we try to be. Life is feeling feels, we need them. How do we become activists (shit givers) without getting angry or sad first? But there is also bliss, joy, contentment, satisfaction and love. How sweet it seems to imagine there is a place where we can feel these feelings, all of them. And to be in the space where they can be felt together, together in peace, together in meaning.

Recently I’ve spent quite a bit of time acknowledging my ‘triggers’. Some of them I’ve felt before, others are completely new. In all of my life I have never felt so bewildered by all the ‘triggers’, ok maybe as a teen that was a bewildering time for me. I thought perhaps I could hide from them. Close in from the world and resort to behaviours that meant I could feel them less. This of course hasn’t worked. Self sabotage never does. There isn’t a block of chocolate big enough to erase homesickness, a glass of wine big enough to ease feelings of once again hearing the viciousness of small town gossip and rumours, the loneliness of compromising yourself in what isn’t your tribe, a long hike that pushes you hard but not enough to rid yourself of your darkness – it all just waits for you to finish having your nice escapes.

And yet, closing in is also exactly what I needed. Leaving a job to acknowledge this time where I felt burnt out by the society I live in. Some time to be out of the paths I frequently cross, the stinging nettle I kept bouncing against and some space from the power of this new weapon of warfare against authenticity; the bullshit that is the internet in our pocket, the software that is programmed to derail us though brainwashing, disconnection and a blame culture. Perhaps this makes me sound angry, I’m not. I’m rather happy to have been able to write this. It means I am less bewildered and able to verbalise what has been choking me. It also means I am here again for you, holding this space.

Recently, I’ve become aware of exactly what it is to hold space. I learnt this because some beautiful people held space for me. Friends who listened, friends who accepted that I don’t always have the energy right now to commit. I have a therapist who allows me the time to go where I need, and senses when I can dig in – this verbalising of what is buried is not easy for me. A therapist who helps me to unravel the clues, the clues I then take into my world to find the logs for the fire I am building. My fire. It is a nice visual on this cold day – to be building yourself a fire. Log by log. A warm, bright, welcoming, powerful fire.

I participated in a heart chakra workshop last week. The safety I felt in the presence of these women is not something I have experienced in this transition to living here. Perhaps, it is because rather than moving into an exisiting community this move we moved into one that is transient. Perhaps this brings a type of uncertain energy. Certainly, since arriving my optimism and natural sense of enchantment has been tested. A scary encounter with a narcissist when we arrived here with our hearts so full of wonder, and pockets filled with hope and excitement after travelling for months. Months that turned into years of the not so nice masculine energy arriving each day into our home as our house was renovated. And the pandemic with its implications of living with yourself, your partner, with children, abroad and far away from home.

Maybe in coping with all of the above I was unable to be in anyone’s space with grace. When you are in flight, fight, freeze or fawn perhaps the only way to feel safe is to build yourself a fortress. But what happens when you are ready to be you again? Is it a case of dropping the drawbridge and stepping back out into the world? It hasn’t been for me. A bewildered state is a tricky place to operate from in the world. Being in your mess and at the same time trying to be in peace. Is it even possible to be both? I know it is now. With a welcoming doormat out for the triggers and the stinging nettle I can realise what is not for me and what is me. What I need to embrace, to let go and what is in process.

As Erica shared her story of grief and led us through a chakra cleansing and yoga practice, I didn’t feel alone in my bewilderment. Other women in the workshop were able to share themselves with the camera on and in storytelling. I wasn’t, not in that moment. But I needed to be there, I have never felt so safe and so held. There was no judgement and there was no fortress, there was simply honesty and love for each other and for ourselves. I guess this is true vulnerability. Again, a word that is used so often but so hard to really experience in its truest form. I will begin a 7-month chakra healing course with Erica next week. Feel free to join in if this calls you, it is an invitation for self-love. Yet another word that we hear a lot but is not always easy to experience. You can take one class to see if this is a log for your fire.

Cycles are aligned with my purpose. Living through them, feeling them, ending them and starting with new beginnings. This is according to my human design profile. At first I was slightly peeved about this. I am tired. Tired of beginnings and tired of endings. But life is cycles. I realise the longer I sit in force against this current cycle of my life – the harder it is, the more I will miss. So I am choosing to flow with it. To flow with the feelings, to hold some space for me to deal with the grief of what feels like loss. Yes, I have come to realise since the workshop that I am in grief. I think I knew this during the pandemic but I didn’t know how to be in it. To dedicate the space to process it. To hold a healing space for myself.

Since the workshop, each morning I sit in an online guided and silent meditation. This is my space. This space that creates more space. It is flow. This morning we were left with a question … what brings you joy, what lights up your soul? As I walked Tilly after my meditation in the deliciously crisp, winter air I heard the birds. I looked up to see them chattering in the bare trees. The pigeon to the blackbird. After our walk I returned to the tree with my camera. Taking photos brings me joy, listening to the birds brings me joy. Writing brings me joy. Chattering away about life, being human brings me joy. Feeling myself as part of the natural world brings me joy. This space here with you brings me joy. I hope to come back more often and share with you some of the stories and clues that have given me the tools to find my way home. xx

5 thoughts on “On holding space …”

  1. Please keep coming back to this space Fran..this is the best yet. Well it certainly met me where I am at! You’ve captured and recorded the elusive, slippery, thoughts so very beautifully.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    Janet xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Janet! Well that’s really something – the best yet. We must be on a similar frequency. Perhaps there’s a little more risk or maturity in my writing. Or less impulsiveness. I’m not sure – but I feel the shift. I think I will be back, it was a sweet piece to write. Namaste dear friend. xx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.