What is your safe space?
Welcome to our March Newsletter.
First of all, I would like to extend my thoughts towards all the people affected by the current war in Ukraine – I hope you and your networks are safe. Voxel Hub is here to explore all perspectives critically; however, in moments of the clear attack on our humanity, we stand for peace. We stand we Ukraine and with each and every individual affected by the events in the region – regardless of their physical, national or psychological belonging.
I am experiencing a lot of sadness and pain within and around me, so I would like to talk about psychological safety today. That is why today, I would like to offer you an opportunity to reflect on this topic. Why is this important? Because there are two forms of disconnect from the danger that I have experienced: one facilitating passive witnessing of othering, and one facilitating safety and even nurturing of those in need. I firmly believe that people in the position of privilege – one which so many of us realise at the moment – need to call out the violations of safety witnessed all around us. And we need to do so effectively.
The starting point to this process is defining safety. What is safety for you individually? What is a safe collective for you? What is a safe working place?
For me, it is relatively simple: a safe space for me is a place (or people) where I can be authentically myself. I do not have to fear any negative consequences for expressing myself, actualising myself and carrying all aspects of my identity. My diversity of belongings and ideas is not only accepted but also celebrated. I can be fully and openly my true self. And if I cross the boundaries or make a mistake, I am supported on learning to do better – softly and with kindness.
What defines a safe space and people? Kind, trusted leadership, informed and inclusive policies, leaders who protect and hold their power for nurturing others. Humble leaders who speak up in defence of that one person who is suffering. Leaders, managers and staff who act, who grow, who collaborate.
So this month, check-in with yourself and with people around you. How are you, really? What do you need to feel safe?
I wish you a grounded, soft and steady March!
My favourite topic this month
This month I am not going to share the links. Instead, I would like to offer an idea of creating your very own safe space. Please, be careful when doing this exercise in a state of emotional distress – as it can be triggering. It is always easier to practice this when we feel calmer and possibly with someone trusted around us.
You can start simply by closing your eyes and visualising it or by using various tools at hand: paper and pens, collage, digital mood board, Pinterest board, VR image in a game like Minecraft. You can draw, paint, digitally design, or simply sit back and visualise it.
Spend a moment grounding yourself. You can take a few deep breaths or do a five senses exercise (count five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can smell, two things you can feel, one thing you can taste).
Imagine the space where you feel safe. Space where you can be authentically yourself. Where your body relaxes and restores. Notice the landscape, the elements of it (hills, boundaries, positioning of yourself in the landscape). Notice what you need in that space to feel safe. What do you need to keep safe? Could you include it in the picture? Name those new elements. What do they represent? Think about your senses: do you need specific colours, sensations, music, weather, animals or people to support you here? Invite them to your safe space. Sit down there and enjoy the feeling of calmness and grounding.
Spend some time immersing yourself in this visualisation and notice how you are feeling? Can you transition back to your grounded reality, maintaining that sense of safety and peace? Maybe, when you feel sad, scared, alone, angry…you can come back to this place for a moment of tranquillity.
If you have any ideas on tools for creating a safe space, do let me know!
Here is a gentle reminder of how to foster psychological safety at work:
I hope the above resources are helpful.
Thank you for reading our Newsletter. Talk to us online, check out our blog and let us know what else you would like to see here in the upcoming months.
Stay safe. Stay well. Stay connected.