I had wanted to be a mother from the time I could pick up a doll and hug her. My favorite childhood game was playing house. Being a mother was a lifelong dream and I was thrilled, at age 32, to welcome my little daughter into my life and then almost three years later my first son.
But, parenting was much more difficult than I had imagined.
The ability to cope with depression and anxiety by shutting myself away from everything and everyone vanished. You can't leave infants and toddlers to fend for themselves for hours and days.
I tried so hard to be a sweet, patient, loving mom, but my internal monsters would not let me and it made me and my children miserable.
I had no idea how to get my children to "behave". I was exhausted and starting to realize that there was a medical term for the symptoms I felt called fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and depression. Even then you would never have guessed I was unhappy and in pain if you met me.
If you secretly suffer, I hope reading this helps you know that someone understands.
Often, I understood what to do--that is, I knew what behavior I wanted to have-- but usually I had to will myself to behave patiently while feeling like I would explode.
How I felt on the inside did not match my outside behavior.
I felt shame and guilt and weak when I could not keep my anger and anxiety bottled inside. As a parent, I would wildly swing from too permissive to too strict.
It was after the birth of my third child who began to have obvious health issues that
I began to learn how to get at the roots inside of me.
Eventually my internal landscape began to mirror what I had worked so hard to make my outside look like.
Bit by bit I felt more peace, calm and the ability to deeply rest.
What people say about the Holding Space Practice
“The Holding Space model has been a paradigm-shifting tool for my life. It helps me step aside from my anxieties and natural tendencies towards judgement of self and other, and instead empowers me to embrace what is.
It re-centers me, and reminds me to connect from my heart to myself and others.
The Holding Space Practice gives me permission to feel my feelings, without shaming or rejecting parts of my emotional life, but rather seeing all emotions as valid, that deserve their own space. Emotions can be helpful information, even if they are not pleasant.
The Holding Space Practice draws upon the best principles of the mindfulness wisdom traditions and provides tools that are easily understandable and applied in everyday life.”
--Kansas City, Missouri
One, out of the many, things I LOVE about the Holding Space Practice is how practical it is. It has numerous practical exercises within the teachings that will allow you to take several steps toward being able to hold space.
I will warn you, the exercises are not for the faint of heart, and you must check your ego at the door.
If completed, the exercises are life changing, I speak from personal experience.
Who would I recommend this book for?
Seriously…everyone. There is not one single human being on this earth that could not benefit from this book.
Wow! After reading Carol’s Book, “The Holding Space Practice”, I am moved and inspired.
She has simply and clearly exposed all the human struggles that keep us hostage to limiting self-perceptions. More importantly, she has made accessible a gentle path towards healing and restoration.
We all could benefit greatly from doing this work of opening to ourselves as well as Holding Space for those whom we love.
I look forward to integrating her wisdom into my own experience of healing and growth.”
Psy. D, Psycologist, Executive Coach, and Story Expert
The holding space model is one of those things that once you hear it, it's as if you've known it all along, like it's been a part of you, something that you can't unlearn, you become it.
Holding space for myself and allowing others the space to hold themselves has been freeing. So many stigmas and frustrations have disappeared due to this personal practice. I can see others and accept them as they are without wanting them to change for me.
Holding space has had a particular impact on my parenting practice. When I allow myself to take care of me and apply the principles learned within these pages I am a much more calm and accepting parent, friend and spouse."
The HSP book is one that you’ll want to read more than once. It is short but compact...(like a protein bar….. it has lots of nutrition and goodness in a small package.)
I have read many “self help” type books including books on psychology, spirituality, Buddhism, meditation etc. I recognize many of the ideas from these other books in “The Holding Space Practice”.
The thing that really is unique and great about this book is that she outlines an action plan to actually do something concrete to help achieve your goals. It isn’t just an easy read to uplift you (although it did inspire me a lot).
It is a book of exercises that you will want to do the rest of your life.
I understand now why it is called the “practice”. I only regret that I didn’t have HSP many years ago.
--Lee's Summit, Missouri
When I began learning the Holding Space Practice I was in a very dark place in my life. The tools that I learned helped me overcome struggles and challenges and led me back into the light. I have left them close to my bed to go through them again and again.”
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