We live our lives in spaces; personal space, community space, work space, digital space. All of these spaces have the potential to nourish or impede us in our growth and development. When we talk about space, we don’t just mean an area people physically interact within. We are talking about an environment that is co-created by the values, assumptions, intentions and behaviours of those who engage there.
During the launch of Kinharvie's mission and vision, we invited 100 people to consider what makes a space life-giving for them. It was communicated that the key ingredients of a life-giving space include:
Like a conversation that inspires a newfound energy, a life-giving space encourages and enables you to be true to your best self. In a life-giving space, you will be stimulated by a sense of possibility and feel empowered to face the challenges and opportunities that have meaning for you. Conversely, a toxic space is characterised by behaviours and perspectives that are detrimental to wellbeing and growth. Day-to-day experience of toxic spaces can wear us down, lead us to lose hope and negatively impact our life and relationships.
For years, our clients and staff have made comment about the unique energy, spirit or essence ‘in the air’ at Kinharvie. We’ve shared many conversations about this and have seen many people (including ourselves!) struggle to articulate this phenomenon. We now know this ‘energy’, ‘spirit’ or ‘essence’ was that incredible experience of a life-giving space being co-created; a space that provides the stimulation and safety for someone to stretch with dignity beyond their comfort zone in order to uncover and release even more of their unique potential.
This is echoed by a number of Kinharvie's clients who recently shared their reflections on the life-giving spaces that have been co-created in their engagements with Kinharvie:
‘In a pressured environment, things can get quite prickly and uncomfortable. The conversation facilitated by Kinharvie has given me the space and the parameters to re-connect with some of my core principles for leadership. It has also reminded me to be both kinder to others and, importantly, kinder to myself.’ –
‘The sessions were life-giving spaces as they created a space free of judgement in which I could explore different issues that were of importance to me personally. By enabling me to bring different issues to each session to work through, I was given agency in my own personal development and support to work on it in a caring and compassionate way.’ – Kinharvie Youth Coaching Client
'These conversations provided me with a fresh perspective on issues and gave me the ability to discuss and explore possible solutions with someone neutral who creates a space that allowed me to open up without fear or judgement or recrimination.’ –
'If I were to pick one particular aspect that really stood out, it was the emphasis on taking the optimistic stance in our interactions with each other. The optimistic stance is all about how you frame the motivations and interests of those around you. However much their interactions might jar, or confuse, or irritate, or enliven your own situation – the optimistic stance helps you to see those interactions in a positive, compassionate way… It also helps you to be positive and compassionate with yourself... It is helping me and my colleagues to heal.’ – Kinharvie Training Participant
We appreciate that the term ‘Life-Giving Space’ is not a familiar one. And yet, we have found it to be the truest articulation of the spaces we are privileged to experience and engage with in our work.
Sadly, many people face significant barriers to unlocking and experiencing life-giving spaces in their communities. These barriers are often systemic and rooted in generations of inequality. Thankfully there are some incredible individuals, organisations and charities working to alleviate these barriers. We are in awe of their efforts and have been grateful for every opportunity to support their endeavours through our facilitation, training and coaching.
Over the coming years, Kinharvie hopes to contribute even more to society. With particular focus given to supporting young people and community engagement, we hope to co-create a variety of initiatives that can provide a platform for more and more people to unlock and nurture the life-giving spaces that have meaning for them. Spaces where their potential can be recognised and realised.
Designed & built by Mucky Puddle