Entries Tagged as 'Inspiration, Etc.'

on holding space

Posted on: Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Something I’ve been really thinking about lately is the idea and practice of holding space for others. I’ve been reading articles, talking with a few people about what it means and journaling to try to hash out how I can be better at practicing holding space. Some people’s actual job is to hold space – like counselors, yoga teachers, Hospice nurses, etc., but I can also hold space for others simply as a friend, wife, sister, and daughter. And so can you!

So what is ‘holding space’ exactly? What does that even mean? Coach Heather Plett describes it as “when we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.” 

This can be REALLY hard for me – as I’m a natural problem solver, encourager, and “fixer.” I love being able to quickly and effectively help people fix a situation and move on. I can think of countless times my little sisters have came to me with problems or issues and my natural instinct is to get a to-do list together, figure out how to solve the problem and tackle the issue head-on for them. And I always try to be their #1 cheerleader, giving affirmations like YOU CAN DO IT! You’re awesome! This situation is no big deal!. 

But – what if, rather than fixing it for them, overwhelming them with info/affirmations or monopolizing their emotions, I just held space for them? Again, to quote Heather Plett: “to truly support people in their own growth, transformation, grief, etc., we can’t do it by taking their power away (ie. trying to fix their problems), shaming them (ie. implying that they should know more than they do), or overwhelming them (ie. giving them more information than they’re ready for). We have to be prepared to step to the side so that they can make their own choices, offer them unconditional love and support, give gentle guidance when it’s needed, and make them feel safe even when they make mistakes.”

There are lots of situations where someone might need us to to hold space for them – death and moving and breakups and relationship issues and stressful work situations and disappointments and just every day, regular bad days. We don’t always need someone to problem solve or encourage us through these situations or days; sometimes, we just need someone to simply BE THERE. Holding space can be tricky when our inclination is to tangibly help or do something or create results because holding space implies a lack of doing, but just BEING. Your presence sometimes is enough and exactly what someone needs in that moment to facilitate their growth, transformation and healing. So that’s what I’m working on lately. 💗

This article that I’ve been re-reading over and over again shares some tips for helping you hold space for others, in case you want to learn more:

Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom. 

Give people only as much information as they can handle.

Don’t take their power away – people need the autonomy to make their own choices. When we take decision-making power out of people’s hands, we leave them feeling useless and incompetent.

Keep your own ego out of it.

Make them feel safe enough to fail.

Give guidance and help with humility and thoughtfulness. A wise space holder knows when to withhold guidance (ie. when it makes a person feel foolish and inadequate) and when to offer it gently (ie. when a person asks for it or is too lost to know what to ask for).

Create a container for complex emotions, fear, trauma, etc. When people feel that they are held in a deeper way than they are used to, they feel safe enough to allow complex emotions to surface that might normally remain hidden. It becomes the space where people feel safe enough to fall apart without fearing that this will leave them permanently broken or that they will be shamed by others in the room. Someone is always there to offer strength and courage.

Allow them to make different decisions and to have different experiences than you would.

As always, thanks for reading! What does ‘holding space’ mean to you? When have you held space for someone else or had someone hold space for you?

Image via herehere and here

6 book recommendations

Posted on: Thursday, February 2, 2017

I loooove reading and asked for a ton of books for Christmas/my birthday and wanted to share some new-to-me favorite books! a perk of each book listed is that they are all BEAUTIFUL so they can have a permanent place on the coffee table or nightstand. 😉). right now, I have a pile of pretty books on my nightstand, on our coffee table, on the console under the TV, and then a few pretty favorite cookbooks out in the kitchen. I also like having some favorite books out in the apartment so guests can flip through them and soak up their inspiration as well! here’s my new books and why I love each!

52 lists for happiness: weekly journaling inspiration for positivity, balance, and joy by moorea seal
my sweet friend renee gave me this book (pictured above) for my birthday 💗 and it’s so pretty. the purpose of the book is make journaling easier and more meaningful. the author has 52 prompts asking you to write lists – what you’re grateful for, what your daily routines are, etc. and then asks you to reflect on what you wrote and take action in some way. I’ve been trying to be more intentional about starting each morning by drinking coffee and journaling, even for a few minutes, and this book makes it easy to get in the habit of journaling.

forest feast gatherings: simple vegetarian menus for hosting friends and family by erin gleeson
OMG I might just be the  #1 forest feast fan. I read her first book religiously and so many of her recipes are my tried-and-true weekly favorites that I make over and over. her corn and cauliflower tacos with feta, Greek yogurt and hot sauce are one of my very favorite (EASY!) meals to make. her latest book focuses on food and drinks for gatherings, organized by each season and different themes. the cover and illustrations in the book are stunning (example below!) and my favorite thing is that all of her vegetarian recipes are SO easy and usually under five ingredients. [image via @theforestfeast]


molly on the range: recipes and stories from an unlikely life on a farm by molly yeh
this book is laugh out loud funny and I feel like I’ve become friends with the author, Molly, just by reading. she shares her life and food adventures from living in NYC to now living on a farm in North Dakota with her husband. I haven’t had a chance to try a recipe YET, but her recipes look delicious and she makes things that may seem daunting (read: homemade pizza dough) seem very simple. her book also has fun “infographics” like a mac and cheese flowchart, which is amazing and hilarious. 🧀

urban jungle: living & styling with plants by igor josifovic
if you’re a plant lover like I am, you NEED this book! it’s insanely inspiring and truly incredible. the book shows different homes (i.e. “urban jungles”) and shares more about plant care, some DIYs, and general plant inspiration. I’ve wanted a hanging plant (or like, 5) for awhile but this book reinforced that I NEED.

nutrition stripped: 100 whole-food recipes made deliciously simple by mckel hill
this book is quite popular on Instagram right now and for good reason – @nutritionstripped‘s recipes are incredible. they all make me want to eat healthier and live better. her turmeric milk is the bomb and I can’t wait to dive into her other recipes! i bought this book for my mother-in-law and then my sister hope bought a copy for me for Christmas!

in the company of women: inspiration and advice from over 100 makers, artists, and entrepreneurs by grace bonney
I’m purposely reading this book extra slowly so I can soak up all the goodness and inspiration. women are INCREDIBLE (duh) and this book highlights 100+ insanely amazing female entrepreneurs and artists. the photography is stunning and the interviews and stuffed with inspiring nuggets. expect quotes like “prepare yourself for the long haul, the rise and fall, and let neither define your self of self” (designer karen young) and “the world could always use more people who are interested in lifting up others, not just themselves” (model/activist christy turlington burns) and “be nice to people. stay humble. give back” (designer/artist/author/bohemian queen justina blakeney) and to be completely refreshed by these rockstar women.

present over perfect this holiday season

Posted on: Wednesday, December 7, 2016

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My mantra for this month and holiday season is present over perfect. If you know me at all, you know I’ve always connected with the lovely, powerful words from Shauna Niequist. She’s my favorite author and sort of like my patron saint – it seems like every time I read something she’s written, it just hits me. Yes, yes, yes. Needed those words and that reminder. Anyway, she often writes about this whole ‘present over perfect’ thing and the power of being being here, right now, over striving for perfection. Today, I wanted to share a few excerpts from some of her books about what present over perfect means and how we can apply it to our lives. For me, this is extra important over the holidays, because it’s definitely a time where it’s easy to get caught up in the buy more! do more! plan more! accomplish more! bake more! whatever else more! cycle.

We threw a little gathering last weekend and before and during, I kept reminding myself – present over perfect. It’s okay that the apartment isn’t perfectly cleaned or the food isn’t perfectly prepared or my outfit isn’t perfectly cute. What matters is being here, with my people, together. And that’s the mantra and mentality I want to take with me throughout the month and holiday season and beyond. Hope these words speak to you and remind you to live presently and intentionally. xo!

“Let’s be courageous in these days. Let’s choose love and rest and grace. Let’s use our minutes and hours to create memories with the people we love instead of dragging them on one more errand or slushing them while we accomplish one more seemingly necessary thing. Let’s honor the story – the silent night, the angels, the miracle child, the simple birth, which each choice that we make.

My prayer is that we’ll find ourselves drawn closer and closer to the heart of the story, the beautiful, beating heart of it all, that the chaos around us and within us with recede, and the most important things will be clear and lovely at every turn. I pray that we’ll understand the transforming power that lies in saying no, because it’s an act of faith, a tangible demonstration of the belief that you are so much more than what you do. I pray that we’ll live with intention, hope, and love in this wild season and in every season, and that the God who loves us will bring new life to our worn-out heart this year and every year, that we’ll live, truly and deeply in the present, instead of waiting, waiting, waiting for perfect.”

~Shauna Niequist, December 25th devotional from Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are

“Present is living with your feet firmly grounded in reality, pale and uncertain as it may seem. Present is choosing to believe that your own life is worth investing deeply in, instead of waiting for some rare miracle of fairy tale. Present means we understand that the here and now is sacred, sacramental, threaded through with divinity even in its plainness. Especially in its plainness.

Present over perfect living is real over image, connecting over comparing, meaning over mania, depth over artifice. Present over perfect living is the risky and revolutionary belief that the world God has created is beautiful and valuable on its own terms and that it doesn’t need to be zhuzzed up and fancy in order to be wonderful.”

~Shauna Niequist, from Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living

“My intention this season is present over perfect. I determined to add nothing to the to-do list. I abandoned well-intentioned but time-consuming projects. And in their place I’m making rest and space priorities, so that what I offer to my family is more that a brittle mask over a wound-up and depleted soul.

Either I can be here, fully here, my imperfect, messy, tired by wholly present self, or I can miss it – this moment, this conversation, this time around the table, whatever it is – because I’m trying, and failing, to be perfect, to keep the house perfect, make the meal perfect, ensure the gift is perfect. But this season, I’m not trying for perfect. I’m just trying to show up, every time, with honesty and attentiveness.

One thing’s for sure: if you decide to be courageous and sane, if you decide not to overspend or overcommit or over-schedule, the healthy people in your life with respect those choices. And the unhealthy people in your life will freak out, because you’re making a healthy choice they’re not currently free to make. Don’t let that for one second stop you.”

~Shauna Niequist, December 17th devotional from Savor: Living Abundantly Where You Are, As You Are

what i wish i’d known (by nora ephron)

Posted on: Tuesday, November 22, 2016

i recently re-read nora ephron’s honest and witty i feel bad about my neck book and loved the entire thing. part of the book made me truly laugh out loud and i highly recommend reading this book and all of her other gems! nora was also the screenwriter and producer for a bunch of romcoms, like when harry met sally and you’ve got mail (one of my ALL TIME faves). since reading some of her books, i’ve really resonated with her storytelling and mostly her words/life advice like this: “above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim” and “what are you going to do? everything, is my guess. it will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. it will be complicated, but rejoice in the complications. it will not be anything like what you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. and don’t be frightened: you can always change your mind.” TOTAL QUEEN.

okay anyway, one chapter at the end of this particular book was my very favorite, where she shares “what i wish i’d known.” i wanted to re-share some of my favorites with you today!


WHAT I WISH I’D KNOWN, BY NORA EPHRON
buy, don’t rent.

don’t buy a couch with anything that isn’t more or less beige.

you can’t be friends with people who call after 11pm.

you never know.

the plane is not going to crash.

write everything down.

keep a journal.

take more pictures.

you can order more than one dessert.

you can’t own too many black turtleneck sweaters.

back up your files.

over insure everything.

whenever someone says the words “our friendship is more important than this,” watch out, because it almost never is.

there’s no point in making piecrust from scratch.

the reason you’re waking up in the middle of the night is the second glass of wine.

overtip.

never let them know.

if only one third of your clothes are mistakes, you’re ahead of the game.

there are no secrets.

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