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“Weight” and our ability to hold space

As I’ve shared a few times over the last couple of months, I’ve been immersing myself in the study of Family Constellations – a powerful experience that helps people have more of what they want, by unbinding them from the unconscious familial allegiances that are creating suffering.

There are so many aspects of this work that I just love, but one that I have used every day is a practice of “adding weight”. To add weight is to bring a weighty feel to our presence – not heaviness, but depth and groundedness. It has nothing to do with physical weight; this is all about energetic weight.

The purpose is to bring a grounded feeling to the energetic field. We do this, because without the Constellation facilitator bringing “weight” to the field, things can go a little sideways and get a little chaotic. I’ve noticed that it works much the same in life.

We’ve all had experiences where someone in a leadership role wasn’t bringing “weight”…
– Someone giving a presentation while feeling shaky and ungrounded
– A parent who was feeling frazzled while they were caring for us
– Managers or teachers who felt so “light” in their energy or unsteady in their presence that they couldn’t gain the confidence of others

Depth requires trust and inspires trust. {tweet it}

When someone shows up with depth, bringing “weight” to their presence, it’s easier to feel safe with them.

When we feel safe, we feel trusting. When we feel trusting, we are more inclined to relax and allow that person to take the lead in that moment. And beyond, that, we can unhook from feeling like we need to do anything to “save” them or take control of the situation.

There are countless ways that adding weight is useful:
– It aids us in sharing our stories with others in a way that doesn’t unconsciously beg for pity, admiration, or rescuing
– It helps us be more clear and grounded in our communication
– It re-engages us with things we may have been avoiding
– It helps us relax and trust in the unfolding of life
– It supports us in noticing where we’re needed and how we’re being called to show up
– It welcomes others to feel safer in our presence, and inspires their trust in us and more importantly, in themselves

So how do we add weight?

We add weight by remembering the weight we’ve held.

Think about the space you’ve held for others…

At the top of the list is being a parent. Other things that add weight are experience working in hospice, holding emotional space over long-terms for groups of people, working with groups of small children, being a nurse, holding someone through their dying process, and so on.

As our trainer pointed out, most of the underpaid professions are the ones that add the most “weight” to a person’s presence.

I’ve not had most of these weight-adding experiences, except for holding long-term space for groups, which has grown me more than just about anything. Motherhood has added to this in a profound way. To feel so very responsible for this human being’s day-to-day wellbeing, to be his primary source of sustenance, to notice and work at all the ways I disconnect…it has and will undoubtedly continue to deepen me and my ability to hold space.

Perhaps you’ve had many of these experiences or none of them, but we all have things we can recall that will help add weight. Perhaps you’ve run a business for many years through ups and downs, or supported someone in navigating a trying time in their life?

The next time you are stepping onto a stage, stepping into a meeting, starting a difficult conversation, arriving at a dinner party, holding space for someone in a tough spot, or starting something you’ve been putting off, take a deep breath and remember the things that add weight to your character. Then…

Trust your capacity to show up with depth. {tweet it}

Trusting ourselves to show up with depth feels like taking life’s hand and trusting that even if it’s really tough, we’ll be okay. At the same time, it helps us hold a clear and strong intention, and align our actions with that intention.

In short, it helps us hold the space for a return to love.

What has added the most “weight” in your life, to your ability to bring deep presence and hold space? Let me know in the comments below!

2 Comments

  1. This piece helped bring a lot into focus for me. Now I am more conscious of the weight I am both giving and seeking from others in my day-to-day life. Especially in a culture that prizes “high vibrations” or lightness, this is such an important discernment and energetic move! It reframes something I’ve wrestled with since childhood by inviting me to transmute what could tend towards sorrow into a gravity that awakens and inspires. Thank you for illuminating a path here!

  2. What a great way to think about going into an experience in a grounded, thoughtful manner. I think we often associate weight with responsibility and burdens, but this is more centered on trust and capacity, which are very different things.

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