Holding space for yourself means giving yourself space to be who and how you want to be.
It can be as small as giving yourself 10 minutes of quiet before rushing off and doing everything that everyone else expects of you.
Or it can be as big as not letting let the world come in and tell you who to be and what to do - which means you give yourself the space to create your life the way YOU want it to be.
Or it can be anything in between.
Learning how to hold space for yourself is one of those foundational things you need to be doing in order to be able to live your best life.
There are two different parts of this: creating space and holding space. You've got to be doing both for this to work.
You create space by doing things that mark out the boundary of the space you are giving yourself.
You hold space by doing what it takes to guard that boundary.
As a small example: In 2016 I stopped doing my free live coaching videos on Tuesday mornings.
This was a way of CREATING more space for myself to work on the Year of Dreams 2017.
I announced it, and did one last one. After that I did have people ask if I could do it just one more time, because they missed the last one.
And that's where I chose to HOLD the space by saying NO.
It's really not enough to create the space, holding the space is where the real work comes into play.
This is where people tend to fail with holding space and having boundaries: You expect other people to hold them for you.
HOLDING the boundary is YOUR job.
HOLDING the space is YOUR job.
You can't just make the decision, state what you are doing, and be done. You need to be ACTIVELY HOLDING space.
Think about the ways that you'd like to create and hold space for yourself.
And then design a boundary that preserves the space you are creating for yourself.
But also think about the other people who will be disappointed by this or ask you to do what they want you to do.
And think about how they are likely to react.
And be ready to respond in a way that HOLDS your boundary.
Integrity will help you hold space for yourself.
I made no promises about the free live coaching videos going on forever.
I did give notice that they were stopping and did one last video.
I know that I ended those videos with as much grace and integrity as I could.
This is what makes it easier for me to hold space for myself and for what I want next.
By handling the situations with honesty and as much grace and respect for all involved as I can, I fill my part of the boundary with honesty, grace and respect.
I can't control how others will react but I can do my best to set things up to be as gentle as possible through how I treat people.
Of course - sometimes people do react poorly and then it's up to me to hold my own boundaries there.
Sometimes you have to talk to people about changing your agreements in order to create the space for yourself that you need. Again, approaching these conversations with compassion and respect brings as much grace as possible to these negotiations (though they're not always going to be easy).
Creating and holding space for yourself is delicate work.
It's really about creating and maintaining boundaries.
But "normal" boundary work is about dealing with unacceptable behaviour and creating boundaries around it.
This is NEXT LEVEL boundary work. This is how you use boundaries to create the space you need to become who you want to be.
It's holding space for your healing and growth.
Of course, people who haven't given themselves permission to really pursue their dreams are not likely to be super supportive of you setting boundaries with them so you can pursue yours.
But are you going to let that stop you? No.
Here are 25 ways to hold space for yourself and your dreams:
- Remind yourself that you matter and your dreams matter, like all the time - put notes about this in your daytimer.
- Be super intentional about your time management.
- Explore what it would mean to be loyal to your joy.
- Be more committed to your dreams - do the things that scare you. (GET SUPPORT to do this if need be - I can help you here)
- Say no to things that don't help you move towards where you want to be. Start with small things and work your way up to the big things.
- Think very carefully about whether or not something truly serves you before you say yes it.
- Turn down the volume on social media.
- Turn up the volume on your own intuition. (hint: it speaks more loudly when you listen and follow through on it's guidance)
- Put yourself first. If you're not used to doing it, then start in really small ways and work your way up.
- Learn to leave others to their consequences of their actions without trying to rescue them. This is uncomfortable at first but ultimately liberating for all parties.
- Keep your eyes on your own work. Comparison will not get you to where you want to be.
- But be genuinely happy for other people's successes.
- Face your fears. Avoiding uncomfortable feelings means they are controlling you.
- Go to therapy or a woman's circle or join a community of kindred spirit Dreamers or something like this for support.
- Plan a weekly journal-coffee date with yourself and your dreams.
- Say no some more.
- Unsubscribe from anything that isn't helping.
- Write love letters to your dream.
- Get rid of your TV.
- Examine your beliefs about what you think is possible for you. Find ways to stretch your possibilities.
- Know how you want to feel and how to help yourself feel that way (it's easier than it sounds).
- Don't answer the phone.
- Spend more time outside.
- Spend less money. Really! A lot of our spending is actually driven by un-helpful unconscious patterns so when we slow down it can help us see our patterns better.
And a bonus: sign up for my free courses:
You have a LOT of magic in you.
And I’ve got a lot of tools, tips and practices to help you use it more effectively as FUEL for your CREATIVE DREAMS.
Sign up here for access to ALL of my free classes* to heal, grow and play your way into your wildest dreams:
Do you see a pattern here? Holding space for yourself is about being wildly committed to living your truest life.
Learning to hold space for yourself and your dreams changes everything.
You have the power to create and maintain these kinds of helpful and nourishing boundaries I'm talking about - you just have to learn how to harness and use it.
I mean this is what creative dreaming is all about.
Last week I got to have a Skype date with Hali Karla as a part of her Holistic Creative Circle series, which you can watch below.
I’m teaching in Hali’s Spectrum 2016 Holistic Creative journal (and more!) workshop this year (it starts on May 2),.
Spectrum 2016 is an online multi-media workshop & community, with weekly inspiration and exclusive classes for your creative practice & holistic awareness, including mixed-media art lessons, writing prompts and holistic-centered perspectives & activities from 45 contributors (including me).
I am really happy to be a part of this. ?Hali and I have a really beautiful kindred connection – you can see it in the video. ?It’s such a gift to connect with like-minded (and hearted!) people and create together!
My class in Spectrum 2016 is called Heartbeat.
Heartbeat is?one of my favourite/most used Creative Soul Alchemy techniques that I use in my creative practice. ?I lead you through how to use it and talk about ways to play around with it and adjust it so it fits your practice.
Then I made a special Heartbeat guided journal and coloring book for it.
But the real magic of Spectrum is that you get lessons from 45 different teachers, so you’re exposed to 45 different styles of working holistically with creative practice – where the focus in on the inner/healing aspect and not on what the art looks like. ?There is a lot of magic to be found in approaching creativity in this way.
You use money every?day.
Money is real life. ?Grounded. Physical. Solid.
I mean, like real life it’s in a constant state of flux and can transform in any instant. ?But still you don’t get much real-er than cash. ?It has?universally-recognized value.
Just like if you’re walking through the park and you see a bench and you know that the bench is real, if you’ve got money in your pocket you know it’s real.
Which is?not always the case with?dreams, creativity and spirituality, which?tend to be more ethereal.
But having our dreams, creativity and spirituality be more real and grounded IS the dream.
Having a?spiritual practice that’s so solid it can hold you when things get hard.
Cultivating your creative gifts to the point where they can support you.
Turning?the dream into reality.
This is the point.
And money is one of the portals.
Money as a portal.
You have money in your life before the dream and you’ll have money in your life after the dream.
It may come from different sources. ?It may be flowed in different directions. ?But it’s still the same money.
So working with money now helps open it up and turn it into a portal that your dreams can come through.
Specifically – working with money as a part of your creative spiritual?practice.
You probably already know how you can combine your creative practice and your spiritual practice and how cool this can be.??(If you’re not sure what this means, I teach a simple creative spiritual practice for making dreams real in my free class Give Your Dream Wings)
Well imagine now bringing the magic of money into the mix.
Money takes all this stuff we dream about and makes it REAL.
So money tends to be scary because it’s so powerful.
If you had all the money you needed to make your dream real – then where would you hide?
Hiding inside of “I don’t have enough money” can feel like safety. ?Like it’s a giant relief that you won’t have to stretch and grow and be vulnerable and take risks to make your dream happen.
Because it’s so powerful we tend to make up all sorts of stories about it.
- Figuring out how to have the money you need to do what you really want is just too hard (as though living with less is somehow easy?).
- Wanting money means you sold out (as though there is something wrong with wanting to provide for yourself and your family).
- Spiritual people don’t care about money (as though meditation will feed, clothe and shelter you).
- Real artists don’t care about money (as though art supplies don’t cost money)
- Happiness is more important that money (as though?you have to choose!)
These stories are bullshit but we do tend to live our lives by them.
Bringing the soul of money into your creative spiritual practice helps you see the bullshit more clearly, and then clear it away.
It doesn’t mean you become “money hungry” or anything like that, it means you see money as the powerful tool for creating your life that it is, and treat it accordingly.
It means seeing yourself as powerful enough to use this tool with creativity and soul and meaning.
Because yes, a lot of our money systems in this world are broken.
That doesn’t mean you can’t rise above them and use money in ways that nurture all the things that matter to you.
And I promise that doing this is closer than you think.
As a creative person – you can learn how to bring your creativity into how you manage your inner relationship with money.
And that will change everything.
As you may have guessed, this is NOT your average money class – Creative With Money is a deep-dive healing session combined with a creative playdate.
To quote Creative With Money participant Angel Sullivan:
?HOLY MOLY, woman! ?Creative With Money ?is *so* full of brilliant I?m still seeing stars and glitter, hours later!
I signed up for because I have had this ?thing? with money for as long as I can remember? and frankly I?m over it and ready to work with it!
I did get what I wanted from it. I had some really spectacular experiences with the work? ?My relationship with money has begun to evolve, on a really deep level (which is the only way there can be any lasting change), and has led me to being able to actually have?a relationship with money rather than just constant fear around anything money related. That fear and tension is not a fun way to live, especially as it relates to something that has such an impact on life as we?re currently living it!
Thank you for all of this!!
I’m so excited to share this one with you.
Spring is here and I’m riding my bike everywhere.
(Photo from early March – we don’t have snow anymore)
These Molotow refillable paint pens in my journal.
Making dream altars and burning candles + incense at them every day. Calming, grounding?and magical.
Feeling more creatively free ever since spending a week at Chris Zydel‘s amazing intuitive painting studio.
Being more structured in how I approach my weekly planning and goal setting and S T R E T C H I N G myself with my dreams. ?I’ve been doing this since January 1 and though it’s only been 3 months it feels like a long time. ?I’m feeling stretched and uncomfortable sometimes but also loving how committed I am to my own dreams right now.
My bedroom. ?I got new sheets in shades of turquoise and it still makes me swoon.
Hanging out with this guy. Being in a relationship is another thing that is really STRETCHING me right now, in a really good way.
Working on the Year of Dreams Epic Playbook: Guided Journal + Coloring Book for Healing, Transformation and Making Your Dreams real. ?Three months in still pinching myself that this is my JOB. (This is available inside the Creative Dream Circle)
Also:?Kiehl’s ultra moisturizer is keeping my skin from freaking out during the change of seasons like it usually does, picnic, beach + camping season is just around the corner and I just booked a trip to Mexico for the end of the year.
I was feeling a little overwhelmed, then I wrote this post of things I love for Andrea Sher‘s Brave Blogging class (and I got to meet Andrea while I was in California – that’s another thing I love, being able to connect with creatives from around the world) and now I feel calm and inspired.
Gratitude is magic.
We have an holy-hella amazing group of people gathered.
We are so excited to share this with you.
This is going to be hugely transformational, healing and magical.
(Probably in exactly the ways you least expect, which is what?tends to happen in these things)
And do it soon so that you’ll get all the details and have everything you need?to start with us tomorrow morning at 11:00am (Pacific).
Even if you can’t be there live and want to work with the?recordings, it’s best to get into the group now while everyone’s all excited to get going – that energy is contagious.
Registration will close after we’re done tomorrow.
We might be offering the recording for sale later on but we’re not quite sure about that part yet. ??So if you’re interested – now is the time!
Can’t wait to explore this with you,
There are a LOT of reasons to NOT pursue?your creative dreams.
- You might be a procrastinator.
When it?s time to work on your creative dreams suddenly the dishes need washing and you?re struck with the urge to scroll through your Facebook feed again.
- You might just be too busy.
You carefully carve out time to work on your creative dreams but find that time quickly gets filled up with more important things to do and you just can?t get to your creative dream.
- You might be waiting for the right time.
After the kids start school. When your work is less crazy. When you have more money.
- You might be telling yourself that you?re too lazy?
Maybe you have all the time you need you?re just not sitting down and getting to work and you don?t really have a reason.
But actually what you’re doing is being in resistance.
You’re either in the flow or you’re resisting the flow. ?There really isn’t any other place to be.
We pretend that there are other places to be because?we don’t want to admit that we’re resisting our own good.
This is human nature.
The problem is that when we believe our own bullshit about why we’re not starting – it keeps us from not starting.
It LEGITIMIZES not starting.
It LEGITIMIZES putting your dreams on the shelf.
It LEGITIMIZES living smaller than you want to live.
It NORMALIZES living disconnected from your authenticity, your joy and your magic.
That’s no good.
You’re a creative genius and you’re made of magic so why wouldn’t you live like it?
Now I have all the sympathy in the world for how hard it is to start.
But that doesn’t mean?I’m letting you off the hook.
This is?too important.
In April I’m running my Creative With Money course.
This has been a really popular course. ?I’ve offered it live online several times.
So putting it together should be a breeze, right?
But when I read over the course description (which is a few years old now) it didn’t feel right. ?So I decided?to re-write it.
And then I got stuck.
So, here I am meeting with my resistance. This may get weird.
Resistance shows up as heavy sludge. Dark black.?Kind of gritty.?Threatening to totally take over.
Ummmm, totally take over what, exactly?
Oh, this little world opens up. ?It’s full of inspiration and light and being deeply present.
Resistance wants to just pave over this world.
It’s not safe there.
You might go too far.
Too far where/how?
Too far: ?
- Too weird.
- Or you’re too into your own thing that no one understands you.
- That world isn’t real you shouldn’t go too far into it
So what world is real?
This one. ?The heavy dark gritty stuff.
Well that doesn’t really make sense to me. ?I mean look around.
[resistance is silent]
I think you’re trying to make up some fantastical story to throw me off track.
Yeah, I think I am. ?You know what? I didn’t even realise I was doing that. ?Interesting.
Interesting. ?So what is it that you want?
Oh I want you to be safe and happy.
So something feels un-safe and un-happy about putting on this course?
No, something feels un-safe and un-happy about giving it your all. ?I want to stop you from re-writing the description and putting effort into promoting it.
So I can do the course as long as I don’t try to fill the course?
Are you seeing the lack of logic there?
Yes. Part of teaching is helping?your potential students get ready to say yes.
Yes. And also put the course out there as honestly as possible so if it’s a wrong fit for someone they won’t be tempted to join anyway.
I think you always go too far with the honesty part. I mean have some composure!
I get that honesty and vulnerability are scary.
But you’ve made the choice to be that way.
Yes and I’m not changing that. So how do I help you feel safe anyway? ?How do we get to work here? I really want to re-write this course description today and it’s feeling impossible right now.
[resistance is silent]
[I wait a while, nothing happens]
OK I’m going to pour love all over you.
Resistance turns into a kitten, throws itself on it’s back, belly exposed, to soak up all the love.
I breath deep and feel something inside me soften.
OK let’s get to work then.
[And I did! I wrote the course description for Creative With Money. You can read it here.]
Want to learn more about how this stuff?works?
This was a fairly simple conversation because I have been working with my resistance for years.
Sometimes you need more than a little chat – you may need the full Resistance Rx to help you move through creative blocks in a fun and fabulous way.
You’re not too busy.
You don’t need to wait for _____.
You are good enough, exactly as you are right now.
You are ready.
I used to live?inside these stories:
You’re not ready.
You have to wait for things to change.
It would take a miracle to get to where you want to be.
They felt?so true for me that they made up the foundation for the life I was living at the time.
I remember taking a class called Spiritual Economics. ?(This was the textbook for that class – I really loved it)
My teacher asked me what it was I wanted. ?I knew exactly what I wanted and I lit up while telling him about my dream life in crisp detail.
Creative play. Art-making. Self-reflection. Quiet. Adventure. Abundance. Travel. Meaning. Purpose. Offering my gifts unabashedly.
“… but it’s impossible right now.”
Was how I finished my story.
He raised an eyebrow at me.
Something about the way he asked that question make me wonder if maybe I was wrong.
But that made me feel defensive. ?So I responded with all of the reasons why, yes, it’s not possible right now.
You can’t just make money by being creative and inspiring?and happy.
I mean how could my?dream possibly support me?
It’s not like I hadn’t tried. ?I had lots of dreams and ideas and ambition. ?I tried and tried and tried and tried and failed and failed?and failed and failed. ?And at that point in my life my poor heart was too tired and broken to keep trying.
I needed to live inside of those stories.
They felt safe.
Because otherwise I’d be left with nothing but the truth: that my dreams needed me to be braver.
My dreams needed me to question the beliefs that had me stuck.
My dreams needed me to?find a way around these stucks, and back to my truth.
My dreams needed me to grow.
And, ultimately, my dreams needed me to see that change was up to no one and no thing else but ME.
Looking back, what really strikes me about that time in my life is how TRUE those beliefs felt.
They felt so true that I could live inside them. ?Solid.
But?now I know those beliefs as lies. ?I don’t live by them anymore.
And it’s not the world that changed – it’s me that changed.
Yes it is possible for me to do the things my heart calls me to do. ?Period. ?This is the truth I live inside now.
If I can’t see a way it means I need to create it.
If I get stuck it means I need to look more closely at myself.
All the power is here – in me, my heart, my dreams.
Resistance wants us to forget this.
And that’s why it’s so important to face it head on. ?Otherwise you get stuck in the lies.
You’re not ready.
You’re not good enough.
We’re going to explore all of this, and so much more, at Resistance Rx:?Magic Mojo For Mucho Creative Momentum.
While you’re inside the lies it feels so confusing to figure out how to get out of them.
But it’s actually fairly simple.
When you take to?some time and really notice what’s going on you see that truth has an unmistakable quality to it. A light.
That light will lead you to amazing places.
It’s happening on August 23.
Following even the tiniest little sliver of joy can open up a fabulous new possibility.
Deep nourishment. Wild transformation.
Go find it.