Holding a Safe Space April 10, 2009

One of the most precious gifts we can give another person is the gift of our attention.

Sometimes when you talk to anther person, it’s obvious when they are nodding, thinking of the next thing they want to say and are waiting for you to take a breath to say it. Holding a loving, safe space for someone to share is the opposite of that.

Seeing the Loving Essence is seeing ourselves and the other person through the eyes of Loving. This is a recognition that there is no need to solve someone else’s problems, or “fix” them by giving advice. For right now, you don’t have to be a human doing, but a Human Being. Just being with another person, being fully present, is a sacred, life changing experience.

Active vs. Passive listening. Passive listening is mechanical and requires little energy; if you are awake, you can hear sounds. Active listening requires focus to separate the noise outside the window from what’s being said in the room. It is listening with the intention of understanding the content of what’s being said.

Heart Centered Listening takes this concept a step further and separates the content of what’s being said from the underlying meaning. Only 10% of what we say is content information, the string of words or transcript. The other 90% is body language, tone of voice, eye contact, breathing rate, pupil dilation, perspiration, and rapid or slow speech. We pick up on these non-verbal clues all the time. If someone yells “I’m not upset!!!” we instinctively know there is something going on beyond the literal meaning of those words.

How to Hold a Safe Space

1. Center your Self within yourself. Bring forward your Divine Spark or Authentic Self.

2. See the Loving Essence. Always be aware you are listening to another Divine Being, respectfully honoring their experience.

3. Heart Centered Listening. By respectfully listening from a centered, non-judgmental place, discern the difference between what is said and what is meant.

4. Allow the person the dignity of their own process. Always remember the person before you has all the inner resources to effectively deal with their situation.

Holding a safe space for yourself and others becomes easier with practice but goes beyond learning a skill or technique. It is a way of being, a space you hold inside yourself. This space is possible in every conversation, every encounter and is the essence of all healing.

“One true Self speaks to another, using the language of the heart, and in that bond a person is healed.”

Deepak Chopra


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