The day had been planned after a talk in March. Six ladies from a local Women’s Institute ventured to Grange Hotel for a Spa Day and to sample Weleda Facials. With lunch in the offing and a private lounge to rest in afterwards, the day was set.
It’s something I love doing, holding space, these days for many different events. From Spa Days, planned retreating from all the retweeting or last minute ‘get me out of here’ for individuals, the term ‘holding space’ has emerged. It was very prominent in a recent course I attended online for Weleda with Joey Walters, holding space for us to come together as a community of advisors, wanting to go deeper into the spiritual aspects of holding space for a brand within the corporate sector of health and wellbeing. Founded as a pharmaceutical company specialising in natural medicines in 1921, it’s now a world leader in the field of 100% certified natural products.
And that was the talk, Why Go Natural, one of a list of speaking events I’ve been offering and one which I have now given to a few local WI groups. It does come with a warning, and I’m always very kind to the audiences, recommending they go very easy with themselves after the talk and to be kind around any revelations they might have. The world of natural products has become very toxic and when you start looking deeper into the how and the why, it can be quite startling.
That’s why I love the practical demonstrations, the holding space for wellbeing events, so people get it from the inside out. I know I am living a privileged life when a client can fall asleep with me holding their head in my hands, trusting me not just to literally hold them, but to be authentic and professional and hold their stories in confidence.
So when I ventured back upstairs, on the off chance the ladies were still lunching to confirm the Weleda order they had placed, it was heartfelt gratitude to see them so rested that they were still there. It also by all accounts, gave space and time for renewed energy to have an impromptu planning sessions too. All in all, a grand day not just for guests, but for me too.
I’ve been holding space for a group for the past few years. We started in Lancaster as a Cygnus Cafe’s, based on the World Cafe idea, we never had enough people to break out into groups, we just used the time to chat about issues close to our hearts.
Thinking about this little group we have has been through some trials and tribulations during it’s time, testimony to how having faith can get your through dark times. As most people thought we were a book club it got easier to agree instead of explaining what we actually were in practice.
One of the things I seem to do naturally is to show up for things to happen but even I, with juggling a private practice alongside other work commitments, I realised we needed to make a change. We moved the meetings to Grange Hotel, where my clinic is based and across the road from the branch line train from Lancaster or Barrow, it made practical sense too. It has ample parking too.
After another few twists and turns, potential name change and switching to a new location, we still met on the 3rd Friday of the month, now as a Light Up Lives Kindness Cafe, our ethos is still the same.
We have now attracted a few more members, our largest meeting had 12, but mostly we gather in a smaller group. We hold space for each other, a true sense of community, a unity for a common theme and we are diverse. Our views, what we are passionate about and our faiths are all different. I think we cover most of the religious faiths and a few others being practiced and the most important is that of compassion for each other. Kindness in one of it’s greatest form.
So if you are in Grange over Sands on the 3rd Friday of the month, we gather for an early lunch then meet from 1 - 3pm in Victoria Hall, and you are most welcome
... the pain still remains. We talk a lot these days about resilience and at this year's Weleda Conference it will be our theme. Whether through physical or emotional episodes, it is in the quiet moment of reflection we realise how much it means.
At our recent Federation of Holistic Therapies meeting, where Helen Harvey gave us an illuminating talk about Trauma in the Body, a lot of us who support people with physical effects of trauma already know the connections to mental discomfort. Reflecting on my own losses, recognising golden moments of resilience, I value my own sense of wellbeing and how I choose to be kind to myself.
Thinking of a friend who around this time of year remembers her brother, gone too soon at an early age, and how over the years she has had to balance against reliving the trauma through the misguided well intentioned quotes of kindness from those who surely have not thought how deeply effected a loss can affect.
Even in a divorce, marriage vows of until death, a passing over a threshold to a life without, only afterwards do we see the real relevance of supporting each of us in a unique way. We cannot second guess how anyone of us will feel on the other side of the divide.