Holding Space with Love and Compassion


Photo by Leah Schroeder

This morning, shortly after this November Super-moon was at her fullest, I woke with my heart being flooded with grief.  The grief that flowed up from my heart was both personal and that of the collective consciousness.  This grief called me to bring forth all the love and compassion I can carry for myself, for those close to me who are grieving and struggling, and for all of humanity and the earth.

The last while has been a time for me to go inward.  Space has been created for me to use this time to recharge and store up my batteries for the work that lies ahead.  It has been a time to look at the parts of myself that still need healing; the parts where I have been in judgement of myself or those around me; the parts where I have failed to stand strongly in my light to empower myself and in turn those I interact with; where I have failed to fully and deeply love myself, and allow that love to flow out to those around me who need it the most.  Today, I love all of those parts of myself.

I spent some time in the woods yesterday.  It was an opportunity for some nature therapy and time to refuel.  As I was walking beside a small lake, a doe emerged out of the woods, grazing in the tall grass beside the path.  She was oblivious to my presence there.  My eyes were drawn to a point further along the path, where a large buck appeared and moved toward me.  As the doe walked towards the edge of the water to drink and continue grazing, the buck came closer, standing between the doe and the path.  He took a solid stance, strong and confident.  We watched each other for a few moments, neither of us moving.  When the buck heard someone coming from the other direction, the two of them bolted into the woods.  After the person passed me, the buck appeared to me again.  We moved parallel to each other for a short time until he crossed my path and disappeared into the woods on the other side of me.

There was a gift and a message for me in this brief encounter.  As I reflect on this and the energy that has been building over the past few months, again both personally and collectively, I look further into what their appearance might mean for me.

The doe exemplified the divine feminine, representing love, nourishment, surrender, connection.  The buck represented the divine masculine, demonstrating authority, protection and strength.  Together, they moved in harmony with each other and their surroundings.  I feel drawn to bring into balance both aspects within myself and my relationships.

This morning, as I was feeling the grief emerging, I allowed myself to sit with those feelings briefly and then moved into a time of meditation and ceremony.  The energy of this full moon is bringing in a new strength and resolve with in me.  The grief is replaced with a powerful, deep love and compassion.

I am being called at this time to hold space.  A definition of this, presented to me a couple of weeks ago, is as follows:  “It means that 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. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control”.

As more light pours in and wells up inside us to bring our gifts out into the world, subconscious beliefs come to the surface to be healed.  Like a wound, sometimes it looks worse before it looks better.  Sometimes we repeat old patterns if we aren’t willing or ready to release those beliefs or karmic imprints and move through them.  This is happening both on individual and collective levels.  We are at a crossroads and have a choice as to how we move forward.

So in this moment I choose, filled with the love of the divine, completely surrounded and supported with the light of love, to act as a vessel, holding space both for those closest in my life and for all of humanity.  I send out prayers of love and compassion to the people in my life who are struggling.  I send out prayers of love to all those gathered at and supporting the people of Standing Rock, who are called there to protect the water and teach us to walk in harmony with the earth.  I send out prayers of love and gratitude to the water and to the earth.  I send out prayers and love to all parts of the world where there is conflict.  I send prayers and love to all those living in fear or pain.  I send out prayers and love to world leaders and the systems that have created imbalance in our world.  As the unraveling begins, I send out prayers and love to carry the whole as a new consciousness and way of walking on this earth emerges.  I dig deep within to draw upon all the strength and power of the sacred feminine, to fill myself up with as much love as my being is able to contain and pour out from me.

In meditation today, words of trust and patience were presented to me.  I surrender and trust that whatever happens from this point forward will be in the highest good for all.  I invite you to join me in holding space and sending out love and compassion.  The larger the vessel we create together, the stronger that love will ripple out to raise the vibration of the collective consciousness, to heal and shift humanity.


Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Leah Schroeder is a Reiki Master, Integrated Energy Therapy® Master-Instructor, and ThetaHealing® Practitioner, www.lifeforcehealingservices.ca .  “I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For most of my life this has been and currently is the place I call home. I spent 17 years working in Financial Services.  A strong sense that there is something more I am supposed to do in the world, a fascination with energy and a series of intuitive nudges have led me to begin practising Reiki,  ThetaHealing®, and IET®. I have a desire to learn, practice, and teach other healing modalities, empowering others to help shift the consciousness of humanity.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my thoughts and stories with you.”



What does it take?

It feels like so many would just like to know what it takes to heal what is going on with us, each individually and as humans collectively. From my view what it takes is decision, the cutting away of all else. Its a matter of whether we feel at cause or at effect in our lives. Do we wait to see what life dishes out or decide moving forward, what we choose. Not deciding in favor of what you’d like, is agreeing to what you’d rather not have happen.

Photo by Vicki Willoughby

Photo by Vicki Willoughby

When we decide we set our focus. It seems so much easier to understand from a viewpoint of our electronic tools that we can put our hands on and look at and understand the use of. When we decide on a goal, something we would like to manifest in our lives, its like putting your destination into Google maps or setting a GPS. The equipment sets the suggested path to that destination eliminating any concern of how to get there.

Since what we focus on grows, focusing on a destination draws it to us or us to it. With the decision of what we’d like to choose, what is important is to create the vision of what we desire, as if its happening. A friend was very angry with his ex because she was not allowing him contact with his 6 yr old son living in a different state. He fussed and fumed about it. I suggested he take all that outward energy and turn it inward to think of how it would feel when he heard his son’s voice saying, “Hi Daddy!” Hear the sounds, smell the smells, feel the expansion in your chest and the resulting sigh when he could release that space into the now.

He held that feeling for 48 hrs and then was talking to his son. Another friend lamented estrangement from her 4 daughters, I made the same suggestion, feel the emotion connected with “Hi Mom”, allow the space for it and just hold it. Within 48 hrs she had heard from two of them.

A friend’s daughter had a stroke as a very young mother, it was a congenital issue that required brain surgery. Her mother was so scared and frustrated and at her wits end. I told her to hold nothing but the vision of her daughter running and playing with her son this next summer. There was numbness and lack of movement on the left side after the surgery and you just never know until you know with those things what the result of recovery will be. Its been exactly two weeks since the brain surgery and she has been able to walk up stairs. There is new hope and much progress every day. We’re all very relieved by that and I believe that that vision will happen, as many hold it with her.

For myself. My highschool sweetheart, after many decades of us each living different lives in different places, are reuniting. He called me, we talked and I wasn’t sure what to really think about it but once I decided and held the feeling of what my heart most desired. It was about 48 hrs before things started to fall into place. He and I are both free to choose to be together and it feels like my life is starting over or maybe for the first time. In this moment I couldn’t be happier.

I don’t mean to say that anything you hold with love will show up in 48 hrs that has just been my experience so far with using this tool of manifestation. It has worked brilliantly so far!

This will not make me immune to life but in the moments that there are challenges, I will focus on continuing to hold love as my highest value and as I do I know that with decision and holding that vision I can move forward into a life that is of my creation from love, regardless of what shows up as landscape or detours on the journey.

Photo by Vicki Willoughby

Photo by Vicki Willoughby


Holding Space

A popular term that has come up as people become more aware is “holding space”. I didn’t really understand what that meant until I started to put it into practice. Now its one of my favorite tools to use in loving others. My first experience with it was with my next door neighbor, Ted.

Ted was a great guy (he’s still great, just not my neighbor any more). He works for the local Department of Public Works. If you’re driving through town and see a hole in the street with men standing around it and one guy in the hole, doing the actual work, he’s that guy. We’ve gotten to know each other over the last six years of being neighbors and he’s been wonderful to live next door to!

Last summer I saw a realtor’s sign outside his house, again! Ted had tried to sell his house but gave up because of the economy. I was secretly very happy about that. I didn’t want to lose him as a neighbor or friend, so when the sign went back up and I saw him over the back fence, I stopped him to ask what was going on.

Changes in assessment of his property, challenges in the economy and discovering he was a parent all made it next to impossible to make ends meet. He was discouraged with his employment, with his romantic life and his financial future so he was trying again to sell his house.

I wished there was a way I could help him. Encouragement seemed to be the only tool I had right then. I told him that I was holding space for the highest and best for him, for his employment, his love life, his finances and his parenthood.

Within a couple of months there was a car in his driveway I didn’t recognize, and there he was, kissing a young lady goodbye. “Yay”, I thought, “I bet he’s having a happy day!”

Another month later I saw him over the back fence as we were about to put a couple freshly grilled racks of ribs on the table. I invited him to join us. Wood fire grilled ribs, fresh picked sweet corn, home made cole slaw and good company, can’t say no to that, right!?

After dinner, everyone had gotten up from the table except he and I and he mentioned the young lady I’d seen. He told me her name and how well they were getting along. She is self sufficient and doesn’t “need” him to rescue or take care of her which was very attractive to him. Friends had thought they’d like each other and fixed them up and things were going along very well. He told me that ever since I had told him I was “holding space” for him, everything started to improve one step at a time. I was so thrilled for him and pleased that my expression had been of help to him.

After a couple of months and another chance meeting over the back fence he told me he had an appointment with the mayor to interview for a supervisory position in the DPW. I told him I was sure the position was already his and asked him to keep me posted. The day after the scheduled interview I took over a plate of cookies and asked if I was speaking to the new supervisor. With a big grin he said I was and said he would get a substantial pay raise. I was so happy for him but also because that meant he could afford to remain my neighbor.

Another month went by and we crossed paths in the front yard. Ted said he had wonderful news and devastating news. I asked for the devastating news first.

He would no longer be my neighbor after January. The wonderful news . . . his house sold! More wonderful news, he would be moving in with his lady love and starting a family together as she is pregnant. Even more wonderful news, just after the baby is expected he will get his 15 yr. raise for being with the DPW! Right on time with a new baby!

He reminded me that ever since I had “held space” for him that his life had consistently moved in the direction I said. Every time I have seen him since, he has been so happy, hopeful and more handsome with that smile on his face and light in his eyes!

He “wanted” a positive change, but putting “want” out to the universe just creates more of the same, you continue to “want”(desire without having). I wished for a positive change for him but my wish would not make changes in his life. By holding the space it created a place where all his wishes had already come true, even if it was just in my imagination. It became a very attractive space to move into, like an invitation to the highest and best.


Photo by Vicki Willoughby

When I wish to “hold space” for someone or something, I think of that space as existing under my right arm, in the space where someone would be if I had my arm around their shoulder. Into that space I put all the love that I have in my heart for that person with the intention that the space hold their highest and best, whatever that is for them. What that highest and best is, is between them and their higher self, it is not up to me. I just act in faith that whatever comes on their path will be there FOR them, not against them.

As you read this know that I am holding the space for your highest and best as well!

For what its worth.


Please do! Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

I was born and raised a Central New Yorker but lived 18 yrs. in Va Bch, VA. I am the mother of two young men, who are 29 and 9 yrs. of age. I have been doing Reflexology since I was 11 yrs old, I have been a teaching Reiki Master for 12 yrs and have been Dr. Mom for my family using therapeutic grade essential oils as our medicine for 7 yrs. Having come from a functional family but living many years in a megalopolis combined with many years of being a catalyst for healing, gives me a varied point of view. Perspective is one of my favorite playgrounds! If you’d like a consultation for Reiki or aromatherapy or soul integration/inner child play please feel free to contact me at vaw4beacon *at* yahoo.com, Blessings for your highest and best, Vicki Willoughby.