Monday, September 27, 2010

Holding Space

I went to an amazing workshop/seminar over the weekend. Seriously, mind-blowing amazing. A speaker came to the seminar, and spoke about the healing that he's gotten through meditation. Really amazing story he's got, and part of it, something that he said really has me thinking.

One of the things he was talking about is the idea that happiness isn't an emotion, it's a place within ourselves. Ditto for sadness, regret, belief and just about any other emotion you can name. Feelings are fleeting, yet we can teach ourselves to live in the places we want to be.

The man speaking this weekend shared his story, part of which entailed being unable to walk (paralyzed from the waist down), yet told by a PT to get up off the ground where he was lying. He couldn't feel or operate his legs, the doctors told him he'd be wheelchair bound most likely permanently, and yet this one PT was yelling at him to get up off the ground. He said that the two most loving words he ever heard were "GET UP!"

As a healer, I spend a lot of time educating people about what health is and what healing is. Listening to this man's story, I started to understand something new - that one of things they are is a place - there is a place where health and healing occur. It's not a physical place - it's not your doctor's office, or your bed, or your church. It's more "woo" than that - more metaphysical.

In our speaker's story, the PT was the only one that believed in the existence of this place. She was the only one who was able to not only believe in the possibility of him walking again, she held that place for him to believe it to. She held it so strongly and powerfully, that eventually he believed it as well. I had an image of someone standing in a forest clearing, holding out a hand of hope to someone lost in the forest, so blinded by the trees that the clearing was invisible to him.

The power of this idea, the combined hope and responsibility it offers is staggering to me as a healer. I love the hope, the idea that if I can believe it strongly and surely enough, I can hold that out to others. But oh, the responsibility - the weight of it is huge. If I don't hold that space strongly enough for someone, what isn't happening as a result. And how do I get to the point where I can, with deep conviction, believe something for someone else.