Expansion is not without its scrapes and bruises. And change is a necessary part of the growth process. My job titles vary depending on who I’m talking to and what hat I happen to be wearing on any given day. In addition to being a facilitator of peoples’ healing processes, I am also a facilitator of space. A big part of my work in the world is holding space for people. My studio space is a physical manifestation of that work. It’s a space where people are encouraged to explore themselves– where everyone’s truest self, client and practitioner alike, is invited and welcome.
Several months ago, my dear friend and colleague, Tracy Broyles, moved out of Body Mechanics and into another work space. Tracy worked out of my studio for more than six years, moving with me from my tiny “starter” studio space to the current one. As healers, the containers we create go far beyond physical structures– although those are important too. As a healer I create an energetic safety net for my clients the moment we enter into the healing relationship. The moment a session begins– there is a qualitative shift, and an absolute understanding that the space that we exist in together is one of complete safety and support. I endeavor to create the same safety net for the practitioners who work out of my space.
I watched Tracy’s process as a healer unfold alongside my own. I watched her “teach Pilates” under that auspice, and then held space as she shed that title and began to explore and create her own healing practice. I also held space as she struggled in the working container that held her. She clearly felt connected to Body Mechanics and held by the container i had created to some degree– but there were small battles that occurred for both of us having her exist there. The lights were too bright and she worried about noise and privacy with her clients. Her process was messy and chaotic– sometimes I felt like a parent moving through the space after her, cleaning up messes. She and I occupy space differently– and with as much freedom as my studio offered her– it was still my studio.
I remember the first conversation we had where we acknowledged that there was a space of her own wanting to be created. She felt trepidation in that acknowledgement because she didn’t want it to reflect upon her feelings about me or Body Mechanics. I similarly wanted to make sure she knew that there was a place for her in the studio for as long as she needed it. It was our very first baby step towards the beginning of an entirely new level of expansion.
It was a few months later when she told me she had found a new space to share, and I immediately felt a massive sense of relief– for her as well as myself. She was getting too large and unwieldy for me to hold space for in the way that I knew how to do it. And I was unable to change my patterns with her– and unaware even that my patterns needed changing. We two massive, behemoth beings needed some distance between us so that we could both begin to really take up all of the space that we deserved to be inhabiting.
Despite the relief I felt at her news, when it came time for her to leave, the sense of loss I felt was massive. She and I met and did a ceremony to clear her energy out of the studio, which was perfect and sweet. At its conclusion she left the studio and I walked into my treatment room, lay down on my table and sobbed. I sobbed as an acknowledgement of the huge transition that both of us were being asked to move through. I sobbed because my friend and healing companion was no longer going to occupy the same presence in my life and my physical space. And I felt as she closed the front door behind her, a massive amount of space opened up for me that I hadn’t even realized wasn’t previously there. Crying was really the only reaction I could have to the confluence of all of those things.
Two weeks later we met at our respective spaces and traded sessions. I’ve given many sessions to Tracy, and none have been as clear or powerful as the one we experienced when she was no longer a practitioner at Body Mechanics. Similarly, I’ve received work from her many times, and the session we had in her new space blew them all out of the water.
Sometimes we fail to acknowledge the importance of our containers. We fail to realize what a huge role the space that surrounds us plays in our lives. We don’t always acknowledge what a space is for us, or how it functions as support, or how we function to support it. But as soon as we change our patterns with our containers, an entirely new level of presence is available to us.
What I realized about my container after Tracy left was that I hadn’t been allowing it to support me. I was stuck in a pattern of giving without receiving the support that surrounded me. It took Tracy leaving for me to recognize the pattern I had created of holding space without allowing it to hold me. The space I have created is nurturing and grounding. Its roots have grown deep and wide. The soil beneath it is fertile– and so many amazing practitioners have contributed to those massive, supportive roots. I deserve that support as much as everyone else.
With Tracy’s departure I realized that Body Mechanics had grown into something far beyond the seed that I planted eight years ago. I realized that the space I created was ready to support and nurture me in the same way it nurtures others. Growth can be terrifying. It calls into question so many aspects of ourselves that we think of as fixed, unmovable parts. When we begin to acknowledge that change is not only possible, but liberating, the world begins to open up to us in entirely new ways.
I still miss seeing my friend regularly. I miss the ease that exists in a relationship when you share a working environment. I miss the commonality of the space that was ours. But what both of us have gained is far beyond those things. Tracy found the freedom that she was desperately searching for in her space– which directly translates to the incredible healing work she is doing in the world. And I found a new home within my own space– one that always existed for me, I just needed to give myself permission to discover it.