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Holding Space: The Gift of Presence

The magnificent journey that we take in life as a human being can be heartbreakingly painful and beautiful at the same time and a bittersweet reminder of the fleeting time that we have on this Earth. But it also reveals to us the sweetness and perfection of our Soul, especially if looked at through the lens of being present with unconditional love for ourselves or another. One of the greatest gifts that you can give someone who is in pain and suffering is to hold space for them. Holding space for someone means to create a sacred, safe and loving container which provides permission for the other person to be just as they are and allows them to explore whatever is going on in their lives at the time. Moments like these are very precious and tender and offers a valuable tool of deep listening and attuning to their needs in whichever form may arise. When we open our hearts, let go of judgement and control and offer support so that we are fully present and alive with them, it shows us how to honor and respect them deeply in their experience, without the need to give advice, find a solution or “fix” them as if they are broken. On the contrary, holding space for them in presence, awareness and unconditional love is nothing less than a reminder to them of their absolute wholeness and perfection and a revelation of what it means to be a “sometimes” messy, emotional, vulnerable, sensitive human being. It creates a heart to heart connection, a portal to channel in unseen forces of healing. As a space holder, you are acting as witness or observer for them which is a very important part to play because by the very act of observing someone or something, you change reality at the subatomic level. In essence, you are bearing witness to the truth of their being, which is vast beyond measure, and this allows them access to their Soul and Divine Perfection. I truly believe that this practice is a powerful ally and tool for opening and surrendering to Spirit. To hold space for another or yourself and by being present with awareness, your heart will open to the truth of life’s mysteries.

Taking this very long and arduous journey with my own mother has taught me numerous lessons about myself and my own place in the great web of life. As a lifelong solitary caretaker for my deaf mother, the last 10 years of her now Stage 4 Lung Disease, had drained me heavily and it wasn’t until I learned to relinquish control and surrender to the circumstances, that I was able to set myself free and gain a greater understanding of what it really means to love unconditionally, others and self. It means I can still love her but I don’t have to carry her. Instead, I can learn and practice holding space.

Photo by Gabriella Galvan

During a recent meditation in my daily morning practice, I communed with the Cosmic Mother, petitioning her for help in the caretaking of my mother which had become too heavy a cross to bear. In my meditation, I imagined my mother as an infant, swaddled in a shimmery, golden blanket, suckling innocently at my breast. I gently pulled her away and gazed lovingly into her soulful sea green eyes, remembering the pact that we made together in another world long ago. I whispered to her then, “It is time now, time for you to go back to the great mother, time for you to go home. I cannot carry you anymore because I have other work that I need to do now, but you will be safe, you will be loved and you will be home and we will always have our soul connection. Our work here together is done.” I delicately handed her over to the Cosmic Mother and asked her to please take care of her now because it was too much of a weight to bear and it is time for me now to fly freely and live my life fully. My infant mother nestled into the Mothers arm’s peacefully and it comforted me to know that she would be taken care of, and that I no longer “had to” carry any responsibility for her. I cried while I did this and a great sadness overcame me simply because I have played the role of mother to my own mother for a very long time. And as any parent can understand, especially a mother, it is painful to give up your child to another. I did this trustingly, sinking into the depths of The Mystery and the unknown forces that are working at these levels. The day after I did this my mother started having seizures that went on for 6 days and the doctors could not seem to understand why or the cause of them, even with MRI’s and EEG’s.

Since I am transitioning to different levels of being and awareness, my Mesa is also going through a similar process. I had taken all of my artes off, re-consecrated and added a new cloth, so I had not done any work there in quite a while. I was wiping the slate clean, so to speak. On the 6th day of the mysterious seizures I decided to open my mesa, even if I thought I was not ready, my heart guided me to do so because I knew that I needed full support. I opened space, sat with my mesa for a while and added my mother’s photo in the North, where Spirit resides. The next morning when I went to visit her the seizures had not occurred since the night before and she was awake and talking!

Photo by Gabriella Galvan

As the power of the mesa unfolds more and more before me, I stand in wonder, awe and curiosity of all of the powers, allies and unseen forces at work within this sacred container. This is a testament of how much my Mesa holds space for me and others as a strong support on every level. During my communion at my mesa, I received guidance to sit with The Mystery of All that Is. And I do. As The Mystery deepens, I do my best to remain calm and centered as I visit my mother in the hospital every day, holding space for her in her illness, allowing her to have her experience without trying to fix her and save her as I had done my whole life for her. As I move from life saver, to space holder I learn tremendously from surrendering to Spirit and also to her longing need to be seen and held with the eyes of unconditional love. Giving my mother over to the Cosmic Mother, spiritually, allows me to now be a loving and devoted daughter, instead of taking on the role of mother to her. Holding space for my mother also releases her from the role that she has played for so long. Each day that I see her, she struggles less and less in her suffering and relaxes more and more into the arms of The Beloved. What greater gift can I give her than that? Letting go of my mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but my connection to the Great Mystery reminds me of the importance of holding sacred space for myself and to practice daily nurturing and self-care. As I allow emotions of anger, sadness and grief to flow through me during this difficult time, it comforts me to know how sweetly, lovingly and powerfully my Mesa holds space for me and all whom I hold dear to my heart as I lay them upon it.

Photo by Gabriella Galvan

Dearest mother, I love you eternally. Thank you for being one of the greatest teachers in my life and teaching me what and how to Be. Our vow to one another is complete. When your turn comes, may the whispering winds of Spirit carry you home in all of your grace and glory. So mote it be.
Your loving, devoted daughter and very worthy initiate,

I would also like to share two songs that have helped me continue to “Give myself up and turn myself over” to Spirit again and again and have allowed me to sink into The Mystery of All That Is while feeling peaceful as I travel through these tumultuous times. Huge gratitude to these brilliant beings for the love that they gifted to my heart, and sweet, sweet medicine to my soul! You can find them on YouTube. May they bring you peace.

“K’anchay – Kawsay” by LoopFrog (aka Madhu of the Sami Brothers)
“The Keeper” by Simrit

About the Author

Gabriella Galvan is a ceremonialist, ritual artist, shamanic healer and Sanctioned Teacher of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. She walks the path of the Wounded Healer, with apprenticeships in a wide range of modalities and the esoteric arts. By communing deeply with Spirit, Pachamama and her guides, and by diving deeply and doing shadow work into her own psyche, she has brought tremendous healing to her own life. This has been a driving force and catalyst in her service work with others as a mediator between the Worlds. She facilitates and teaches others to empower themselves by showing them that they are already whole. Teaching, assisting and supporting others with a compassionate open heart has brought the greatest joy into her life. Gabriella currently lives in Brownsville, Texas. You can visit her website Sacred Soul Song Healing, her Facebook Page, FB Sacred Soul Song Healing and her Pachakuti Mesa Teachers page at Gabriella Galvan. She is available for sponsorship to your area to teach the PMT Five-part Apprenticeship Series. To learn more about this you can email her at divinesparkg@gmail.com or go to the PMT sponsorship page.

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