Positive Psychology: Raising Happy, Kind Children Evolutionarily Adaptive

By , March 5, 2010 4:34 pm
Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Do Kinder People Have an Evolutionary Advantage?
“Positive psychology” research indicates that the kinder you are, the more likely you are to survive — and evolve. Quoted from March 4, 2010 article from AlterNet, by Yasmin Anwar:

In contrast to “every man for himself” interpretations of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, Dacher Keltner, a UC Berkeley psychologist and author of “Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life,” and his fellow social scientists are building the case that humans are successful as a species precisely because of our nurturing, altruistic and compassionate traits.

They call it “survival of the kindest.”

“Because of our very vulnerable offspring, the fundamental task for human survival and gene replication is to take care of others,” said Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. “Human beings have survived as a species because we have evolved the capacities to care for those in need and to cooperate. As Darwin long ago surmised, sympathy is our strongest instinct.”

…While much of the positive psychology being studied around the nation is focused on personal fulfillment and happiness, UC Berkeley researchers have narrowed their investigation into how it contributes to the greater societal good.

One outcome is the campus’s Greater Good Science Center, a West Coast magnet for research on gratitude, compassion, altruism, awe and positive parenting, whose benefactors include the Metanexus Institute, Tom and Ruth Ann Hornaday and the Quality of Life Foundation.

Christine Carter, executive director of the Greater Good Science Center, is creator of the “Science for Raising Happy Kids” Web site, whose goal, among other things, is to assist in and promote the rearing of “emotionally literate” children. Carter translates rigorous research into practical parenting advice. She says many parents are turning away from materialistic or competitive activities, and rethinking what will bring their families true happiness and well-being.

“I’ve found that parents who start consciously cultivating gratitude and generosity in their children quickly see how much happier and more resilient their children become,” said Carter, author of “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents” which will be in bookstores in February 2010. “What is often surprising to parents is how much happier they themselves also become.” Read whole article

See our own Creative Edge education model, teaching basic “emotional literacy” self-help skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening to increase creativity and empathy throughout life.

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

Resources: Free Articles, Training, Classes

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

HARD-WIRED FOR COLLABORATION: PHYSICAL TOUCH INCREASES PERFORMANCE

By , March 1, 2010 1:23 pm

In Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (Norton, 2009),  Dacher Keltner of UC/Berkeley discusses the relationship between physical touch and performance: a supportive touch on the shoulder can increase participation in classrooms, and new research by Michael Kraus and co-authors Cassy Huang and Keltner, soon to appear in the journal Emotion, shows that basketball teams where players touched each other, in a supportive way, performed better than those with less touch. Highest performing players were also those giving the highest number of supportive touches. As summarized in a recent article by Benedict Carey of  The New York Times, “Touchy-feely sports teams have edge, evidence suggests,”:

“A warm touch seems to set off the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps create a sensation of trust, and to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In the brain, prefrontal areas that help regulate emotion can relax, freeing them for another of their primary purposes: problem solving. In effect, the body interprets a supportive touch as ‘I’ll share the load.’

‘We think that humans build relationships precisely for this reason, to distribute problem solving across brains,’ says James A. Coan, a psychologist at the University of Virginia. ‘We are wired to literally share the processing load, and this is the signal we’re getting when we receive support through touch.’ ”

More evidence for the assumptions of Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s model for Creative Edge Organizations, where more “feminine” values of support, empathy, listening, colleagiality, and attention to relationships feed the bottom line, encouraging creative problem solving through collaboration.

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

Resources: Free Articles, Training, Classes

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way

Focusing and Architecture: Designing From The Inside Out

By , December 14, 2009 7:17 pm

In The Not So Big House and Creating The Not So Big House books, Sarah Susanka (amazon link) advocates leaving the vaulted-ceiling mansions that have become the hallmark of house design and returning to designing houses that are specifically tailored to the very personal and unique needs of the homeowner who will live in the architect-designed home. Quality replaces quantity; intimate detailing replaces square footage.

Recently, as my husband and I hired an architect and began the schematic design process for our future retirement home, I found myself in the midst of an “archetypal” battle. I see it as defined by the clash of “masculine” vs. “feminine,” “Thinking vs. Feeling” modes of being, based upon psychiatrist C.G. Jung’s descriptions and psychological tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter (see “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory”  for explanations and Creative Edge Focusing Personality Tests for links for some free versions of these tests).

My husband and I had agreed, after seeing the book New Minimalist Houses (this is Amazon link for great bargain price, $50 reduced to $15!), that Minimalist could describe the kind of house we wanted — lots of glass/concrete/steel, as little as possible between us and the surrounding nature of our 20-acre forest on a ridge. But, it turned out, this was about all we agreed on!

Mind you, both the architect and my husband are feminist, egalitarian, good listeners. And I am a Ph.D. scholar.Yet, there was something about this opportunity to design from a blank slate that engaged all of us in visions to which we desperately wanted to cling, making it almost impossible to “hear from” the opposing view .

The architect followed a method he is known for, going to the home site, hiking for hours, sitting for hours if needed, until he came up with an inspiration for the design of the house, knowing some about us but a lot about the site and location. He ended up discovering a totally different and much better site location for the house, in our twenty acres of forest, and offering creative and striking designs for a one- and two-story version of our house.

The architect’s proposed one-story design was much like The Air House in the Minimalist book — a long rectangle of glass, spread along the ridge, with views and light from North and South. My husband fell in love with it, as it let light enter every room from both north and south.

Okay, I thought, I can live with that, but I want the Guest Area/Project Room/Full Bath closer to the rest of the house, not across a breezeway, I said. I said the Garage and Shop can go across the breezeway. I knew that, at a distance, I would not use the space for Projects, and it would be empty, wasted square footage except when Guests came.

I also wanted the Full Bath to be shared with the two Studies at that end of the house, so that the three spaces, Guest/Project, Study, Study could function as bedrooms, if our future aging needs or future buyers needed such a constellation. I thought my husband would be happy with the striking southern views and light he could have from his shop. And he was okay with this compromise.

And here the epic struggle began. The architect would come back with his original design, saying “the house” needs the Guest/Project/Bath across the courtyard, or “there needs to be a living space across the courtyard to balance the design.” I would counter with “I” need them on this side of the courtyard, so they can function together as three bedrooms, if needed.

And yet his design would come back again, modified some but still with Project/Guest/Bath at a distance from the rest of the house (given geographical distance, we were communicating by email, not ideal!). Finally I said, “You keep trying to ISOLATE this space, and I am trying to CONNECT it.”

I also mentioned casually to my husband that I would like a Front Porch, where I could sit and watch nature go by, and where visitors could find a sheltered entry.

Reading Susanka, I also found some confirmation for my wish for some bay windows to serve as alcoves at the edges of the minimalist open floor plan. I was afraid that flat, rectangular expanses of glass wall would not “draw us in” to the view, would seem cold and distant.

And my husband, usually very mild-mannered,  freaked out: “No! No bumps! The house is to be sleek, sleek, not full of bumps and lumps.”

It seemed to me that each of them, husband and architect, were quite comfortable with accommodating the needs of the residents to the needs of the design, the conceptual needs of “the house.” They could look at a floor plan and fall in love with it.

I however, could not imagine living, feeling alive, in a house that was like a shell laid over and against my actual living, constraining me into a particular shape.

Through an epic struggle coming close to divorce and firing of the architect, we have come to an understanding, a compromise which I call “cozy minimalism,” incorporating Susanka’s sensitivity to the human longing for enclosed, sheltered “alcoves” at the edges of open floor plan spaces with the flying visions, open spaces, and angles of minimalism.

We are entering a period of design where the architect will mainly LISTEN as my husband and I articulate our intuitive sense of our own wants and needs, and then come up with creative, unique ideas and methods for incorporating, aned compromising, those needs.

Out of this new dialogue, already a possible “roof garden” and “sunroom/breakfast nook” alcove have arisen to soften The Air House into an individualized home, yet keep the soaring aspects of the architect’s inspiration.

For more on The Not So Big concept, designing from “the inside out,” from careful attention to the unique needs of the homeowner, see the Susanka books cited above.

For more on learning to Listen To Yourself through Intuitive Focusing and Listen to Another through Focused Listening, see the many resources and free downloads below.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

 

 

MICHAEL JACKSON: CREATIVITY AND BIPOLAR DISORDER

By , August 24, 2009 4:26 pm

In her book, Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and The Artistic Temperament , Kay Redfield Jamison researched the relationship between creativity and madness. Looking at Poet Laureats of England, and their family histories, she found that, yes, there was a statistically significant greater incidence of institutionalization for mental illness and suicide in these highly creative people and their ancestors.

Jamison concluded that manic-depressive disorder, unless treated with medication and/or psychotherapy, was a TERMINAL ILLNESS — e.g., highly likely to end in death from direct suicide or the slower suicide of alcoholism and other addictions.

In her next book, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, Jamison, a neuro-psychiatrist, presented herself as suffering from manic-depressive disorder (recently renamed as “bipolar disorder”) of an extreme form, including psychotic hallucinations. When depressed, she saw blood streaming down her windows; when manic, she bought all the snake bite kits in her city, fearing an overrun of snakes.

Jamison describes the difficulty in giving up the manic state, giving up the poetic, mysterious, depressive boyfriends, the heightened sense of aliveness. But she also describes the final pleasures of stable relationship and stable moods. She also sees psychotherapy as a viable option to long-term medication.

I did not know Michael Jackson. I cannot diagnose him. But I wonder when I see “super-human” people, many of them performers, crash and burn. Jamison says, “Manic-depressive disorder is a terminal illness.”

Manic-depressive, or bipolar, disorder comes on a continuum of severity, from the mild ups and downs of mood to more pronounced cycles of mood to the extremes of psychotic hallucination. It is not uncommon for great artists to wake up with a whole symphony written in their head, to stay awake for several days writing it all down, to be bursting with energy. This can be a manifestation of mania.

Does that mean the person is mentally ill, and not creative? Not at all. The creations stand as authentic. It is only the ravages of such creativity on the physical body, and the effect of its cyclical aftermath of depression upon the creator that is of concern.

I hope that, using Jamison’s wisdom and research and personal experience, we can help our “super-humans,” those with monstrous creativity, to receive help that might stabilize their lives and help them stop self-medicating with addiction and STAY ALIVE,  without putting out their mighty creative spark.

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) teaches self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing, which can be used for centering and unfolding one’s creativity by “listening” to the inner self, and Focused Listening, helping another to articulate their creative ideas and heal emotional stuckness and overwhelm.

Find free instructions and downloads as well as classes and Focusing-Oriented therapy below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads: 

 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

 

 

ADHD OR HANDS-ON LEARNING? “FOCUSED” TODDLER” BECOMES “ATTENTION-DEFICIT” STUDENT?

By , June 11, 2009 4:42 pm

This 18-month old toddler is intent about learning. He is hard at work, figuring out every task, every piece of equipment put before him. He practices and practices until he masters a task. He comes back week after week to try again. He watches intently, trying to figure out “the trick” of doing each thing.

This child is an active, “hands-on” learner. He learns by doing.

Try blowing bubbles with him. While another child might clap their hands and chase the shiny bubbles, this one must “do it himself,” even if, time and again, he puts the blower into his mouth and ends up with a soapy taste. One day the wind helps him out, blowing bubbles out as he swings the wand. He is so ecstatic he almost falls out of the chair, and he repeats this magic time and again, laughing with joy: “I can do it!”

Months ago, he brought pop beads to me, over and over again, watching intently: how did they come apart? How go back together? Now, he has mastered the pulling apart, but not the putting back together. He stares and stares as I perform this magic: how do you do it?

Same with stacking blocks, placing rings on pegs, opening and closing small doors and windows, getting puzzle pieces to fit. He will practice over and over until he can do it, then move on.

The first day of kindergarten, he might be practicing standing on his head while the other children sit in a circle and listen to a story. First day of first grade, he is over trying to figure out how the pencil sharpener works while the others sit in a circle and listen while the teacher sings songs.

By fourth grade, when “academics” (reading and writing) thoroughly replace hands-on learning through manipulation, he will possibly be diagnosed as ADHD, “attention-deficit disorder,” and given medication so that he CAN sit still like all the other children while the teacher teaches.

Who is the real learner here? The passive recipient of information or the active, “hands-on” learner? Why does our education system place so much more emphasis upon “passive” learning, the absorption and reporting back of information? How can we justify that academic skills/college education will demarcate who will succeed and who will fail in our American society? There is no “equal opportunity” here!

Some children, some people, will never be “academically” inclined, in terms of enjoying reading literature and poetry, dealing with abstract similes and metaphors more than working with their hands. No amount of “equal opportunity” to a college education will allow them equal access to the rewards of our society, if their learning style is cut out of the curriculum starting in fourth grade, insuring their failure. Yet why can we say that their learning style, their skill set, is any less worthy of the extra funding that we give those who can make it into “college?”

We say these hands-on learners are unmotivated, not trying hard enough, “unfocused,” unable to concentrate, while we force them to learn in OUR style, sitting still for reading and writing, day after day.

And, when they fail, we shunt them into low-paying jobs or, most shamefully, fill our armed forces with them, their best option for hands-on skill training, only including that they risk their lives for their “higher education.”

This is not equal opportunity!! It will never be resolved by more chances to go to college. That door, the academic door, is firmly shut to them, as long as interest in reading and writing is the skill needed for getting in.

What if they were allowed hands-on learning opportunities throughout their school years, equally to reading and writing. What if by grade 12 they left school with skills in electrical wiring, welding, cable laying, construction, wood working, plumbing, website design, fashion design, horticulture, emergency medicine, and all the other hands-on things they could learn in twelve years! And what if these skills led to equal-opportunity higher education and high paying jobs?

The Career Academy model, which includes hands-on learning of specific job skills in high school learning communities, steps in this direction. Beginning in elementary school, Howard Gardner’s model of Multiple Intelligences shows how to incorporate all learning styles into education.

There is a huge inequality if reading-and-writing, academic preference for learning style, becomes the hurdle that learners have as the only path to equal opportunity education.

See Creative Edge Education, Creative Edge Parenting, and Dr. McGuire’s paper, “Don’t Fight Them, Join Them: Community-Wide Intervention for ADHD, School Drop Out, and Juvenile Delinquency.” You’ll find links to Gardner and other multi-modality models for education.

Find a variety of Personality Tests at our Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey Temperament Sorter, both of which give information about different kinds of learning style leading to differing career skills and preferences.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads: 

 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

BARACK OBAMA ENNEAGRAM ONE: A MAN OF LAW

By , June 4, 2009 4:42 pm

The Enneagram is a well-regarded personality measure dividing people into nine distinct personality styles: One: Critic, Two: Helper, Three: Performer, Four: Individualist, Five: Observer, Six: Loyalist, Seven: Enthusiast, Eight: Challenger, Nine: Peacemaker.

While other Enneagram experts have identified Obama as an Enneagram Nine or Three , expert Clarence Thomson of Enneagram Central stands by his decision that Obama is an Enneagram One: A Man of Law.

Thomson describes the Nine Personality Styles, including Enneagram One: The Critic. Each description describes the undeveloped and developed aspects of each style:

“Ones search for what is wrong and how to fix it. When stuck, they are rigid, moralistic and angry. When free, they are supremely moral, compassionate and reliable. Their life is about goodness: its absence or presence.”

Here are excerpts from Thomson’s article in the Out of the Box Coaching Newsletter :

“President Obama, in my opinion, is a style One. Ones tend to be idealistic, guided by clear convictions of right and wrong, and work oriented. Every style has certain strengths and limitations. Style One is, in one way, unduly humble. Ones have a tendency to erase their personal feelings and unite, almost merge their personal agenda with the demands of an ideal or law or tradition or principle.

If you ask Ones what they think, you will get your answer consciously or unconsciously filtered through principles that are larger than themselves and may be inherited from a book or tradition.

It is probably not accidental that Obama would study constitutional law. He will make his decisions based not as much on personal convictions as on the wisdom of the law. He will be a lawyer all day long. He may have some charisma, but he will not be ‘chatty’ or intensely personal. He will have charisma, but not really panache.”

And later in the article:

“Obama’s idealism is not based on evidence. It is based on an inner conviction that right can and must prevail. This is a two-edged characteristic. On the one hand, it enabled him to work as a community organizer with defeat scribbled on every wall and etched in every defeated face. He kept going against the evidence. This could get him into trouble if he has a policy that is not working. He may believe it must work, even against the evidence.”

Learn all about the Enneagram Nine Styles at Thomson’s website and take an Enneagram questionnaire, and also visit his colleague Mary Bast’s Enneagram and Coaching website,  Break Out of the Box, for a wealth of descriptions helping you identify your personal style.

Find a variety of Personality Tests at our Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

FOCUSING AND CHILDREN: PRESERVING AND RECLAIMING TRANSPARENCY

By , May 30, 2009 4:12 pm

Toddlers, before learning words, can be so transparent, their whole body beaming out their emotions and needs.

First trips to the park, 16-months old, my steadily-walking toddler grandson simply sits down, in shock and awe, many times as he sees other people his size, all kinds of dogs, people stretched out on the grass. He simply cannot stand up and take in all this new information at the same time.

Almost choking on a piece of orange, as soon as recovered from the emotional upset, he “asks” (by pointing) for another piece of orange. He tastes it, chews it carefully, a quizzical look on his face. He simply MUST determine what went wrong, master this scary and unexpected experience.

First day in day care, he carries his jacket with him all day long, beaming out “I am reminding myself of home, I am holding on to home, I will be going home.”

Uneasy about leaving his home with Dad and Great-Grandparents to spend the day with me, he insists upon taking Great-Grandpa’s hats, and wearing them for hours.

As we develop more cognitively, our capacity to “symbolize” intervenes between our sheer emotional experiences and what we “choose” to express.

But, still, at age seven, I could read my son’s inner experience from outer symbols. Adopted at birth, having just received his first letter and photo of his birthmom, showing her with her “new” family, husband and child, he runs from the room angrily. I find him in his room a little later, where he has unravelled several hundred feet of fishing line from the spool, creating a huge tangle all around him (this image brings tears to me now, 15 years later). Using Roger’s Empathic Listening, I can reflect him to himself: “Seems like you are feeling all tangled up inside.”

As we get older and older, and through painful life experiences saying “Don’t show yourself here. Don’t cry. Don’t show fear. Don’t even show awe and joy,” we lose “touch” with ourselves, with that transparency, so that we cannot even name our own experience to ourselves, much less authentically express it to others.

Gendlin’s Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and McGuire’s Intuitive Focusing can help you refind and reclaim your inner experiencing, allowing you to find the clarity needed to move forward in life situations

Using Intuitive Focusing and Empathic, Reflective, Focused Listening with children can help them stay in tune with themselves and be able to express their inner experience, their emotions, wants, needs, creative ideas. See The Children’s Corner at The Focusing Institute.

Read a book review of Stapert and Verleifde’s Focusing With Children: The Art of Communication with Children At School and Home , UK: PCCS Books, 2008 and order the book from The Focusing Institute bookstore or from Amazon.

Also see Edwin M. McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance for stories of taking a Focusing attitude with children, and McMahon’s The Little Bird Who Found Herself, a colorful and simple story book for children (and adults) about “sitting with” instead of “running away from” feelings and other felt-sensing in the body.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

MIND/BODY HEALING: FOCUSING-ORIENTED BODY WORK

By , May 25, 2009 9:26 pm

Gendlin’s Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 2007; www.focusing.org ), and McGuire’s Intuitive Focusing, are premiere techniques for mind/body healing. Focusing happens exactly at the edge between conscious and unconscious, the “preconscious” that is immediately available as a “bodily felt sense.” McGuire’s calls it  “intuitive feel,” the “something-more-than-words,”  The Creative Edge, the source of creativity, innovation, and problem solving.

Michael Mayer has years of experience working at the interface between mind and body, and between conscious/unconscious/preconscious. He has worked extensively combining body-centered practices like Tai Chi and Qigong with Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy. Below he reviews his past work and announces his new book, Energy Psychology: Self Healing methods For Bodymind Health, which integrates energy therapies, meridian tapping methods like Emotional Freedom Techniques (www.emofree.com)  as well as Qigong and many others, with Focusing for mind/body self-healing. Quoted from Dr. Mayer on The Focusing Discussion e-list at www.focusing.org (subscribe in Category “Felt Community”, then e-lists): 

I was the Focusing training coordinator for the San Francisco East Bay area from around 1978 to 1988, and Focusing has been close to my heart and an important part of my professional  life for many years.

Over the years I have integrated Focusing with many other traditions: In the 1980’s I  combined Focusing with psychomythology with my “Mythic Journey Process” (Mayer, Focusing Folio 1982);  in the 1990’s I integrated Focusing with  Qigong and Chronic Pain (Mayer, “Qigong and Behavioral Medicine, An Integrated approach to Chronic Pain,” Qi Journal, 1986). Then I brought Focusing together with many facets of Qigong and other traditions of postural initiation (Mayer, Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, 2007). Now with my latest book I’m hoping to show the importance of Focusing to bring out the inner energetic dimensions of Energy Psychology.
I wanted to let the Focusing community know that I have a new book , Energy Psychology: Self Healing Methods for Bodymind Health (North Atlantic/Random House, 2009) that will be released tomorrow April 28th. Here’s an excerpt:
“In order to bring the healing abilities of a comprehensive energy psychology to the public, I believe that in addition to the well-known energy psychology methods such as EFT, the field of energy psychology (EP) would be well served by expanding its terrain to include Qigong and methods of energy cultivation from other traditions of meditation and postural initiation (Goodman, 1990), depth psychology, Gendlin’s Focusing, symbolic process traditions, Kabalistic methods, etc…

…The internal process of psychological change, as Gendlin (1978) rightly pointed out, has energy activation  (Qigong) as an inextricable part of it, as a patient’s energetic “felt shift” emerges along with a patient’s discovering new meaning. //bolding by Dr. McGuire//

Also symbolic process methods, such as my Mythic Journey Process (Mayer, 1994) and River of Life Process (Mayer 2007, 2009), create an internal energy (Jung, Vol. VIII) that helps a person find a meaningful life path, and helps patients to find a new life stance (Goodman, 1990, Mayer, 2004). As related to EP, this expands the field to include both internal and external methods of energetic change. ..My newest book, Energy Psychology: Self-Healing Practices for Bodymind Health is written to help accomplish these aims (Mayer, 2009)….”

If you are interested in getting a copy of Energy Psychology, on April 28th,  tomorrow, the book will be  available on Amazon.com(direct link to Mayer’s book), and all major books stores, or you can order Energy Psychology or any of my other books from my website www.bodymindhealing.com.
I’ll look forward to hearing more about what other Focusers are up to nowadays from this list, and feel free to email me drmichael@bodymindhealing.com.
Warm regards,
Michael Mayer

Claudia Conza also announces the Second International “Focusing in the body-oriented professions” residential workshop, Sept. 22-26, 2009, Maennedorf, Switzerland (also from the Focusing Discussion e-list):

 
Dear all, Guten Tag
 
Finally I am happy to announce our 2. International residential workshop “Meeting at the Edge”2009 in Switzerland
After the big success in Ischia, Italy in 2007 we are ready to introduce the next location for:
 
“MEETING AT THE EDGE”
Focusing in the body-oriented professions
A 4 day residential workshop
September 22 – 26, 2009
Boldern, conference center, Maennedorf, (Zurich) Switzerland.
 
The event will be in English with translation in to German and Italian. Please check our webpage: www.mae2009.org where with time we will ad more and more information, photos and answers to the FAQ.
Attached to print I am sending our flyer in pdf format to print our flyer.
 
I am looking forward to meeting you in September 2009 here in Switzerland to share and explore on our topic and to show you the lovely site with the view down to the lake of Zurich and our mountains.
 
Claudia
In the name of the organising board, Francesca, Nicoletta, Mathias, Larry, Steve, Jack

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

TRANSITION TOWNS: LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

By , May 15, 2009 6:57 pm

In the Transition Towns movement, www.transitiontowns.org,  political action is thoroughly integrated at the local level, building local sustainability and community as a basis for the “resiliency” needed to affect long-term, global change. But even more importantly, skill training for emotional and personal growth and conflict resolution is built right into hands-on, political action. 

Here is a short definition of  Transition Towns from a Facebook Event page announcing an Introductory Workshop and the 2009 Transition Towns Conference in the UK:
           “The Transition movement is a fast-growing, bottom-up response to peak oil and climate change. There are now thousands of communities around the world using this model, and it is being widely acknowledged as a positive, solutions focused approach, ‘more like a party than a protest march’.”
        
From the Transition Towns website, www.transitiontowns.org :

…A Transition Initiative is a community (lots of examples here) working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups in the community
  • building bridges to local government
  • connecting with other transition initiatives
  • forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • eventually launching a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.”

I like the actual example of a transition town which you can experience at Transition Town Westcliff. You’ll get a taste for all the fun and educational and hands-on gatherings, meetings, celebrations as a town works together for local sustainability affecting global change. “More like a party than a protest march,” indeed! I can’t wait to build or to join such a community.

I like the emphasis upon personal and emotional growth, mutual support, and conflict resolution skill training added into the more specific political goals of building local resilience as part of changing global problems of peak oil and climate change.

I have offered copies of my manual, Focusing in Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group, as one model of peer-based support which teaches core skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening,  that can be applied to  emotional, personal, interpersonal, and group-level growth and community building.

There is a handbook for starting a transition town, The Transition Town Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience,written by founder Rob Hopkins. You can order the book at the link.

Find out all about Transition Towns, and the 2009 Conference in London, UK, May 22-24, 2009 at www.transitiontowns.org . The conference itself sold out immediately, but you can still sign up for evening Introductory events and pre- and post-conference workshops.

The Creative Edge Focusing(TM) Approach To Community Building

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

GRASSROOTS GREENING: PLANTING GROWS COMMUNITY

By , May 7, 2009 12:13 pm

The “One Small Thing” method of Creative Edge Focusing (TM) helps organizations find that one small step people will take to become motivated and engaged. Building Community through Listening/Focusing Partnerships/Groups/Teams  is an easy outgrowth of these first collaborative efforts. Below is an example of the “one small thing” that turned a traffic lane into a green and walkable neighborhood.

“Grassroots Greening —  Two Bike Lanes, 3 Miles of Green Space, and a Hundred New Friends: How One Woman Transformed a Neighborhood” (Sunset magazine, May 2009, pp.46-49) tells how Gillian Gillett, who bought a home on a busy intersection and six-lane thoroughfare in San Francisco, created a neighborhood community by starting with “one small thing” — she collected 300 signatures on a traffic calming petition” needed by the city to consider safety improvements. “While the traffic slowed down (the speed limit was reduced from 40 to 25), her plan to make her neighborhood more people-friendly sped up.”

By Fall of 2004, Gillett had received a $75,000 grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for neighborhood revitalization. She got bike lanes added and traffic lanes reduced from six to four. She got a traffic light installed. Now she and others could cross the street to the nearby hospital! This “one small step” now allowed the area to become a walkable “neighborhood.”

Gillett and her husband found themselves now the core of a group of activists, including neighbors, schools, and merchants, all suddenly seeing themselves as part of this neighborhood. Gillett and her husband Jeff Goldberg started looking for the next step in building a community. Research and canvassing pointed in the same direction: planting trees, plants, greening a neighborhood builds a community.

They got permission to plant the highway median, the only greenspace available. At the same time, the mayor of San Francisco got on board, proclaiming that 5000 trees a year be planted in SF and appointing a “green czar” to help it happen.

The first planting, of two blocks of median, had 126 participants. The next, 400.  “We do the plantings as a block party with a band and food and participation of local merchants, “Gillett explains. “Before this project, traffic was so heavy that people didn’t really know their neighbors. It’s really contributing to the resiliency of the neighborhood.”

And another quote from the article: “This project connected me to the neighborhood,” Gillett says of her now seven-year quest to improve not only her own block but her entire community. “This was never about plants. It was about making a neighborhood I could walk in. Drivers in their cars think of this road as a way to get to the highway. We think of it as home.”

The article ends with a listing “Green in the hood” community-based greening projects around the West : Seattle’s www.groundswellnw.org , Portland’s www.cityrepair.org , LA’s www.laguerrillagardening.org  , national urban forestry support at www.treelink.org/nucfac , and Gillett’s organization, www.sanjosequerrero.com .

See the article, at www.sunset.com , for details.

You can share your own experiences of being the “first” in your neighborhood with greening at readerletters@sunset.com.

See Empowerment Organization at Creative Edge Focusing (TM) for more examples and “The One Small Thing” Focusing exercise.

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

Panorama Theme by Themocracy