UPLIFT LOGO
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
21411

What it Really Means to Hold Space for a Woman

By Kathryn Hogan on Thursday July 7th, 2016

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
 
21325

Four important ways you can learn to be truly present

‘Be authentic.’ ‘Hold space.’ ‘Be present.’ These phrases may sound vague, but they’re what the women you love really need. And here’s how you can give it.

“I just need you to hold space for me.”

This phrase may strike fear into even the most stoic male heart.

“You can’t hold space!” you may cry. “It’s space!”

But if you want to be with an emotionally intelligent, spiritually inclined, mindful woman, chances are you’ll be hearing this type of phrase. It’s becoming more and more mainstream, and whether or not you consider it New Agey, this phrase describes an active state of being that is extremely powerful in a relationship.

It is an active state of being that is extremely powerful in a relationship.It is an active state of being that is extremely powerful in a relationship.

It may seem like an absurd, haphazard combination of words that doesn’t actually describe anything. It’s actually describing one of the mysteries of life, something that cannot be described. It’s speaking about a more complex—and complete—understanding of human experience. When a woman says something like this to you, she’s inviting you to live in the moment in a full, focused, joyful way, with her. She’s asking for your help, your support. She’s asking you to pay full attention to her, witnessing her experience, without judging her experience as good or bad.

When a woman says this, she is actually asking you to be with her, and to pay attention to her, fully. This is incredibly important and I can’t stress it enough. My upcoming book has a whole chapter about how powerful it is to be truly present with the women you care about. And as Jordan Gray says, another way to say ‘presence’ is ‘paying attention.’

She is actually asking you to be with her, and to pay attention to her, fully.She is actually asking you to be with her, and to pay attention to her, fully.

They say our bodies are 80% water—but we’re really 99% space!

To hold space for another person, you have to first do it for yourself. They say our bodies are 80% water—but we’re really 99% space! So breathe deeply, opening up your body further. Hold space within yourself first, which means allowing yourself to simply be. Whatever arises, don’t judge it as good or bad. Witness it, allow it, accept it.

Holding space for another is to hold space for them, within yourself. This isn’t just foo-foo energy talk: it’s building a connection with this other person, based in part on subconscious physical cues. It’s holding the person you’re with in your awareness, just as he or she is; to witness their emotions with empathy, whatever they are.

Anyone can hold space for anyone else. However, I feel that there’s an added dimension available when a man does this for a woman; namely, he is able to be present in his masculine power, and thus allow her to relax into a more feminine state. My experience is that holding masculine for myself can be very exhausting, and being with a man who is willing to step into the masculine fully so that I can ‘drop my guard’ is a huge relief.

Holding space is a way to make your masculine power available for the women around you, for the good of all. We need your presence, your masculinity, and your power. When women realize that this is what you’re doing (and yes, you’re allowed to tell them!) they will relax. Unwind, release tension, melt. They might cry, they might simply smile, they might snuggle up. However they express it, what they will really do is show you a part of themselves that few people ever get to see. It’s beautiful, and it feels great for both of you.

Here’s a primer on how you can integrate holding space into your daily life, to improve your relationships with women, other men, and yourself.

They will show you a part of themselves that few people ever get to see.They will show you a part of themselves that few people ever get to see.

Pay Attention to Your Experience

You don’t have to be a yogic master to experience the benefits of mindfulness in your life—and your relationships with women. You don’t even have to meditate! All you have to do is be aware of what is actually happening right now, within you and all around you, while trying not to judge it as good or bad.

That’s it.

It’s the simplest thing in the world. And the hardest.

Being mindful of the people around you means witnessing their experiences, their emotions, their words…without becoming reactive. Mindfulness is an inner space of stillness, of being, which manifests outwardly as focused attention.

Being mindful of the people around you means witnessing their experiences, their emotions, their words…without becoming reactive. Witnessing their experiences, their emotions, their words…without becoming reactive.

Pay Special Attention to the Women Around You

You have an incredible power when it comes to women. The power to hold masculine space, so that they can relax into their feminine selves. A very simplistic description of the sacred masculine is that of a container. The feminine is the fluid within, able to flow because she doesn’t have to contain herself. If you’re craving feminine presence—softness, receptivity, playfulness, authentic adorable womaniness of an indescribable quality—holding space for the women around you is how to get it. This doesn’t just benefit you: it is a huge relief to be able to just be feminine. It’s a huge relief for anyone of either gender to know that they are being truly seen, and that they are not judged. Holding space makes life easier for the people around you.

The next time you’re in a fight and don’t know how to move forward, or find yourself getting frustrated, feeling that you aren’t helping, it’s time to take a deep breath, and hold space for this woman.

This can be especially powerful when the woman you’re with is feeling sensitive, upset, hurting, or needs your emotional support and listening. The next time you’re in a fight and don’t know how to move forward, or find yourself getting frustrated, feeling that you aren’t helping, it’s time to take a deep breath, and hold space for this woman.

Turn your focus towards her fully. Really notice this woman, the details of her appearance, her posture, and how she has chosen to present herself; what she is doing, how she’s doing it, the things she’s saying and the things she is leaving unsaid; anything and everything. If a reaction starts to arise in you, accept it within yourself, and try to provide a non-reaction externally. You don’t have to give any compliments in order to hold space. You don’t have to provide advice to be providing your masculine presence.

You don’t have to say anything at all.

Really notice this woman, the details of her appearance, her posture, and how she has chosen to present herselfReally notice this woman and how she has chosen to present herself.

Body Language

This is really about holding space within yourself. Be aware of how you feel, place the nexus of yourself, your consciousness, fully in your body. This has the effect of holding space for the other person, within yourself. Doing that creates a connection between you, an exchange of energy, with subconscious cues. The same way yawns are contagious, if you tense up in response to another person’s emotional charge (to protect yourself from it, which is understandable and we all do it!) the other person will do the exact same thing: tense up. But if you realize that you are tensing up, and instead breathe deeply and release the tension, perhaps by being aware and breathing into it, you are giving that gift of relaxation and space to the other person.

It’s therefore important to use your body to show that you are really there, really present. If you’re not sure how to do that, try turning your body towards her, squaring your shoulders so that she lines up with the middle of your chest, and turning your head to face her fully. Watch her eyes. This may seem obvious or insignificant, but it is profoundly meaningful, and often we change our body language without realizing it, accidentally sending cues to our partner that we don’t want to send. Being aware of your body language is powerful. Practice being aware and trying to open.

 Being aware of your body language is powerful. Practice being aware and trying to open. Being aware of your body language is powerful. Image from evershayari.in.

Holding Space Means Support in Healing.

Everyone has trauma.

The only way through trauma is to feel it. If a person doesn’t feel their pain, their anger, their fear—if they instead repress it—it grows and festers, like a sliver that doesn’t get pulled out. But feelings like pain, anger and fear are, well, painful! And scary! And upsetting! Feeling them isn’t fun. It takes a great amount of courage and strength to do so.

Holding space means lending your courage, your strength. It means creating a safe environment for someone you care about to exorcise the hurt within them.

Holding space means lending your courage, your strength. It means creating a safe environment for someone you care for to exorcise the hurt within them. Allowing that person to cry, to scream, to shudder; witnessing their authentic experience and reacting with love and acceptance to the extent that you are able, is a powerful way of supporting them in this most important spiritual and emotional work.

Don’t worry—it isn’t always going to be tears and screaming! In fact, the more you practice holding space, the more you integrate it into your daily life, the more relaxation and fun and silliness will follow you, from everyone around you. As you learn to do this with women, the results will be especially profound and lovely.

It means creating a safe environment for someone you care for to exorcise the hurt within them.It means creating a safe environment for someone you care about.

When a man is holding space for me, I light up. I let down my guard. I feel more energetic, more free, less worried.

When a man turns the power of his attention to a woman, and holds space in this way, magic happens. When you truly see her, hear her, know her, you can become aware of her beauty and power. Because of your awareness, she’s able to relax into the moment, be more feminine, be more herself.

Love is a verb, like eat, or sleep. You don’t just do it once. Being present with a woman is itself an act of profound love. So practice it, and watch as magic happens around you!

Feature Image: Excerpt from a painting by Santiago Carbonell

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Words By Kathryn Hogan

Originally posted on Kathryn Hogan

 

Related

What it Really Means to Hold Space for Someone

The Neurobiology of Love and Relationships

12 Life Lessons from a Man Who’s Seen 12000 Deaths

Featured

Which Meditation Style Suits You?

What is the Opposite of Fear?

Why We’re a Culture of Addicts

Popular

Subscribe to UPLIFT

UPLIFT is dedicated to telling the new story of inspired co-creation.

Get free updates and news about UPLIFT events and films.

channels

Yoga
Wellness
Consciousness
Science
Earth
Peace
Water
Inspiration

UPLIFT

the yoga channel

http://uplift.yoga

follow UPLIFT on   

references

comments

  • Wow, what a great gift this article is.
    You’ve put into words things i’ve felt and witness and didn’t know how to describe.
    Thanks for that.

  • Tine Knol Bruins

    Love in présence & action. Beautiful article . Thanks for sharing !

  • Glenn Bromiley

    yeah, well this isn’t a man problem or a woman problem… let’s get that clear. this is a communication problem. you are beginning to see the consequences of the techno invasion on the population. the lack of self awareness is because of distractions(of all kinds, consequential or intentional) which have led to the inability of children to interact and learn body language skills as well as the ability to express themselves clearly with verbal and body language… texts do not have emotion.
    also, this is not just a child problem it is a parenting problem. family values went out with the trickle down economics that never trickled down. parents are working longer and there aren’t many families with one parent supporting the financial needs. all kinds of important influences are lost forever when families are broken up. except you don’t have time to stop and evaluate because you’re always trying to provide… your government and the economy is not designed to be sympathetic to the family structure so parents are fighting a losing battle.
    now, this is only one of the obvious reasons for this particular problem… it has many layers. so who’s to blame? how do we stop it? personal responsibility.
    the reason it has so many layers is because we do not want to accept responsibility for the situation and therefore scapegoat the other person. man or woman.
    so, how do we accept responsibility for things we didn’t cause..? firstly, realize that you are the only one in control of how you feel about anything. second, you only have two choices when confronted with a problem between you and something out of your control… and that is change the situation or change how you feel about it.
    where do you start? up to you… it’s ALL up to you.

    • Jessica

      There was no description of a problem at all. There was only a very polite description of a skill for people who want to learn it.

    • Laura

      I believe it is always parenting problems or rather unresolved conflict brought down to the next generation. We as adults, man or woman must love themselves enough to be vulnerable and real and not feel forced to be this or that because we were once told that is the only way. We are the change makers but thats a choice. We start at the beginning of knowing who we are and what our values are and we don’t give in to pressure from old paradigm thought. We learn to feel and teach how we feel by behavior
      and patterns. Of so much to share. wwww.doorwaytoanaudaciouslife.com

  • trisul

    Such a beautiful article, and so true, there isn’t a word one could add.

  • Greynomad Travelling

    I couldnt hold my masculine space it was under constant threat from my woman.. Im sure she had more than her share of testosterone…. She wanted to control it all and screamed and swore, ranted and raved to secure her position at the top of the pole.. With nowhere left to go I became depressed and subservient.. It has taken years to regain my own space and I did that by leaving…

    • Jagina

      I agree well written sounds like a similar experience that I went through

    • Jessica

      Maybe you’ll figure it out before your next relationship.

  • Sabreliner

    well expressed Greynomad, been there and done that one too…lasting scars…

  • Boomija Arvind

    can anyone hold space for me?

  • Boomija Arvind

    Its getting connected with the other person, and space circle is something subtle and improves the relationship in nonjudgemental way.

UPLIFT Logo

UPLIFT media channel is dedicated to telling the new story of inspired co-creation. Working together, we can create a better world for all.