in: Mindful Moment

Mindful Moment #55 – Make Like a Tree

Take a deep breath
Holding Space
Did you ever have one of those friends who you could just be utterly yourself with? You knew there’d be no judgement, no competition, and no talking just to fill up every quiet moment with sound. Maybe you have the same sense of humor. Maybe you can appreciate each other for whatever skills or interests or personality traits you have. Maybe you became so close and in synch with each other that you knew what each other was thinking with just the exchange of a glance. You can finish each other’s sentences. Those are the truest of friends. Perhaps also the rarest.
I find that what I miss most about having one of those friends nearby (my bestie lives about 1,800 miles away) is how we could hold space for each other. That term “holding space” is something I’ve only heard commonly used in the past few years, but I have experienced it many, many times from different people in my life. If you aren’t sure exactly what it means, it is when someone is able to be present, accepting, open, and non-judgmental for another person as they may need it.
Physically being present allows a certain amount of closeness that fosters trust, and of course lets you offer a hug or bear witness to the emotions at hand. You know—literally “being there.” You can also project a non-physical “presence” with your energy and intention, bringing your awareness and compassion to the conversation. We’ve gotten pretty good at holding space for each other over the phone, but there’s a different level of feeling heard and seen when we can sit down next to each other. A call can still be just as helpful, though.
Extending acceptance to another person might sometimes be hard to do, depending on the situation, but it is more about willingness to listen without judgement in the moment. Different experiences might catch us off-guard when holding space for someone, but understanding that your role as a space-holder is centered in kindness and love is key to staying emotionally and/or spiritually present. It can be hard to hear someone else’s pain, fear, or difficult challenges without taking on some of their emotions, too. Holding space does not require you to take that on, though. Quite the contrary, you’ll need to be more like a sturdy tree to lean on than a hammock to get wrapped up in when it comes to holding space.
People perceive openness as a willingness to hear them. All you really need to do is listen. If you are anything like me, you might be tempted to share stories that seem similar to your own life to show how you understand and can commiserate with them. But resist that urge. You can have that conversation later. When you are holding space, keep it focused on the other person. This is also not the time to offer solutions unless you have been asked to do so.
For today’s meditation, we’re going to focus on being the tree, not the hammock.
Find a comfortable place to sit. Relax your shoulders, your jaw, your brows, and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths before you begin.
I want you to imagine a beautiful little seaside meadow. At the edge of this meadow, you can see the ocean down below and out to the horizon. The sun is shining, and the breeze is cool. Along the edge of the meadow is a tree.
What does the tree look like? Is it tall and straight like a coastal pine? Is its canopy more broad than tall, with branches forming a shady umbrella like a cypress? Is it smooth and swaying like a palm tree? Whatever tree you choose for yours, imagine yourself sitting with your back against that tree.
Now, imagine yourself becoming one with the tree. You can feel your roots reaching deeply into the earth, holding solidly and steadfastly there on the meadow’s edge. Your lap has become where the trunk meets the surface, softly padded with grass and moss. There is a perfect space for someone to sit. Your body reaches toward the sky, relishing the energy the sun gives. You can feel that energy coursing from your leaves to your roots and back again.
Imagine now a friend coming to sit between your roots to have a long chat and a good cry with the ocean. As you find yourself in this situation, you have your trunk to offer a sturdy place to lean against. Your branches can provide shade, but without arms, you can offer no hugs or hands to hold. You can only project your calm, stoic energy and be present. This person will be able to express their emotions with no interruptions. They’ll feel safe, supported, and protected with you. You will feel like a shelter in their personal storm.
Now, switch places with the tree and your friend. You feel safe and understood there. The tree feels welcoming and peaceful. What would you be able to process there with the ocean and the tree? If you have the time to process something you’ve been mulling, give it a try now. Lean into that tree and let it out.
When you are ready to finish this mediation, say thank you to the tree and the ocean before you go. If there is anything important you want to remember from this meditation, please write it down for future reference.
I hope you find yourself able and willing to hold space for someone when needed, and that you may find the same in return.
As always, friends,
Amy Barth-Morales


We’re feeling inspired by these incredible and thought provoking pieces:

  1. Scientists hail new battery with 4 times energy density of lithium-ionNew battery developed by researchers in US could provide “thousand mile” range for EVs and open up new possibilities for long-haul transport and electric planes.
  2. After 15 Year Journey, NASA Suddenly Redirecting Deep Space Mission to New TargetNASA has announced it’s intending to change the New Horizons mission’s primary target from studying Kuiper Belt objects to heliophysics. 
  3. Underwater Archaeologists Discover a 7,000-Year-Old Road in Croatia – ArkeonewsA team of underwater archaeologists from the University of Zadar has discovered the sunken ruins of a 7,000-year-old road that once linked an ancient artificial landmass to the Croatian island of Korčula.

That’s all for today, y’all – remember, taking time to focus on you is an act of love.

We hope you found this helpful – don’t hesitate to reply with any feedback on how we can improve future Mindful Moments! We can’t wait to hear from you.


See you next time! 


Made with  in the Rocky Mountains.

© 2023, MINDFUL, LLC All rights reserved.

560 S. 100 W. Suite 21

Provo, UT 84601


Join our Mindful Movement!


Sign up today, and we'll share bi-weekly Mindful Moments, full of helpful tips, tactics, and content to improve your life!


"Without a doubt, the most engaging written piece on mindfulness!"

- a Mindful Moment Subscriber


(We'll never sell or share your information, either.)

You have Successfully Subscribed!