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The Greatest Myth About Creating Safe Spaces

Updated: Oct 23, 2023

There’s a common myth that if we do x, y, and z then we can make people feel safe.

The truth is feeling safe is a feeling. And feelings are experienced consciously through the subjective perceptions of emotions.

Since birth, we have learned to draw upon our senses. We take in energy and our minds connect to memories, thoughts and past experiences. If this connection is pleasant than feelings of safety can be experienced. However, it these connections are unpleasant then the nervous system will respond accordingly. Sometimes this response is subtle and sometimes it can be overwhelming.

As yoga practitioners, we hold space for approaches that can enhance feelings of safety, however in truth a person finds comfort through what they uniquely validate as 'safe.'

All of us have unique experiences and hold space for our own unique perceptions because we all absorb and process our environment differently.

What one person finds calming another person may not.

For example, let's focus on the scent of lavender. Lavender is scientifically proven to offer sensations of calm. However, scientific research is based upon studying a selected controlled group and such findings, although valuable, don't necessarily speak for the collective. Some people will love the scent of lavender and will find that it offers them sensations of calm. And others will find the scent unpleasant creating sensations of tension and discomfort.

Each person is different.

The mind is complex and holds many layers of information that surrenders in waves.

Some waves are subtle while other waves can feel overwhelming.

The memories we store, the emotions we feel and the sensations we experience offers our unique processing power of what constitutes as our "safe space."

And although some helpful tips can be shared, in the end safe spaces don't come with a check list. Instead it comes with many layers of information that our mind and body has stored since birth.


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