Monday, November 24, 2014

Creating Space for Self and Hospitality for Others

The colors of fall have most certainly changed to brown and the sun disappears earlier in the evening. Meanwhile, the smells of food have turned to warming cinnamon, brisk peppermint, and hearty stews.  In addition to the visible changes of the season, hospitality comes to mind when we begin to think of the holidays approaching. Welcoming guests, whether family or nearly complete strangers, involves preparation, commitment, and generosity.  These components may initially feel as though they are only about a home or a physical place, but preparation, commitment and generosity are also about the way we prepare ourselves to welcome a guest and to be more gracious and compassionate with ourselves.

In a recent article, “How to Create Safe Places” by Chalese Dunton, she writes: “I have come to realize no matter who we are, we all crave spaces where we can be known and loved in the most authentic ways. When we step out in courage to create those spaces for others, we find our own souls fed and our own lives changed.”  She is right, it does take courage to step out and create space for others. We can see this as a life of hospitality towards others and toward yourself.  To have courage to be hospitable and create spaces, it takes a certain amount of personal preparation.  Have I made time to relax and calm the inner chaos that can creep up with life’s responsibilities?  Have I set aside time to prioritize what is most important to me and my family in this season of our life? What have I done recently as a creative outlet?

In order to create spaces for the self and for others and connection with them, a level of commitment is necessary. New relationships and community take time and commitment to grow. A small note to a friend or an invitation for the neighbor kids to come out and play have been small but meaningful acts of intentional relationship building among the community. Time sitting and quietly breathing or finding inspirational quotes can be fulfilling and a healthy way to practice self compassion.

Finally, generosity from within myself creates a hospitable atmosphere for another person or yourself to be welcomed and not judged.  While staying safe and being true to yourself, you can remember to treat the other person as you would a new dear friend, and to treat yourself the same way.  You can strive to share your authentic self in order to connect beyond a superficial level.

It can be easy to become discouraged from time to time!  Trying something new takes courage and vulnerability.  If you want to work on making these shifts, you deserve support during these challenges. Talking to a trusted or therapist can help you reflect, support you and help you to aim at the goals you have set for yourself.  You may often be taken by surprise that life changes, for the better, when we work at creating these spaces of hospitality for others and for yourself.

For support in making changes and growing, feel free to contact us here at Another Look at Healing, LLC at 240-274-5680 or by emailing Our website is for more details.

Take Good Care,
Amy Hooper, LCSW-C, Director &
Abbie Mortimer, Executive Assistant