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Category: spirituality

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: FROM MUD POTS TO GEISERS AND TECHTONIC SHIFTS PHOTOS YELLOWSTONE CLICK!

By , March 21, 2009 2:34 pm

Stagnant and sterile: Stuck!

The psyche, like Yellowstone Park, is a seething cauldron, brewing and steaming, shrouded in mist, ever ready to throw up a bubble or a blast of something new, and capable of deep change, techtonic shifts.

Intuitive Focusing, based upon Eugene Gendlin’s six-step Focusing Process (Focusing   www.focusing.org ) is a simple, predictable self-help method for “sitting with” the mist, the bubbling, the cauldron, and finding words and images which bring the depths into consciousness.  Undercurrents  can become “techtonic shifts,” Instant “Ahah!”s of creativity, emotional problem solving, innovation, spirituality.

The PRISMS/S Problem Solving Process begins with the pregnant Pause and uses Intuitive Focusing to find words and images which lead to paradigm shifts.

The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid of applications allows use of Intuitive Focusing at home and at work,  alone, in partnerships, in groups/teams, for interpersonal conflict resolution, for Creative Edge Meetings, and Creative Edge Organizations.

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 .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed 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

Share

“WHY CRY?” PART 5: BOOKS AND ARTICLES ON TEARS, CRYING, BEING TOUCHED AND BEING MOVED, INNER CHILD HEALING, ACTIVE GRIEVING, TRANSFORMATION

By , March 4, 2009 6:41 pm

Articles by Dr. Kathy McGuire: Being Touched and Being Moved, The Alchemy of Grieving, Focusing Inner Child Work, Finding The Meaning of Tears
 
Crying and vision, crying and opening the heart, crying and connecting (this is such a profound experience when it happens — as a Listener, I tear up in empathy with a Focuser, who may also be touching on tears, and, in my experience, the walls, the envelopes of flesh separating us simply melt away, and we meet in Buber’s I-Thou space — the two of us and The Something More, The Sacred entering in).
 
In my own journey to understand the place of crying, being touched and being moved, particularly, I have found
 
(a) an early book by William Frey called Crying, which, when first published, was a media event. He collected tears in test tubes from people watching a tear-jerker movie, and compared them, their chemical analysis, with “non-emotional” tears, collected questionnaire data on frequency of crying (women five times as often as men!), etc.
 
(b) The book by Anglican hermit Maggie Ross, The Fountain and The Furnace, cited above.
 
(c) Pema Chodrin’s (Buddhist nun) work on the “way of compassion” as a complement to, for instance, Tolle’s “way of enlightenment.” While much of Eastern philosophy seems to emphasize “detachment,” “objectivity,” Chodrin talks about going DOWN into the morass of human pain and living through it and into it, with other humans, with compassion.
 
(d) William Gaylin, Feelings: Our Vital Signs (Harper & Row Perennial, 1979), where he has chapters that are a phenomenology of many different feelings. He has a chapter on “being touched” as a human to human happening, and one on “being moved” as between a human and The Something Greater.
 
Here are links to some of my articles (all found on my website, www.cefocusing.com , Category Free Resources, then Articles):
 
“On Tears and Focusing,”  a mini-research where Focusers spoke about their experience with tears (I have tons of great quotes!). SHORT BUT SWEET
 
“Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears”,   with lots of quotes about how Focuser value their tears. 
 
“Finding The Meaning of Tears,” a book chapter, with more great quotes about how Focusers use their tears and giving actual Focusing exercises for following the path of tears.
 
“Affect in Focusing and Experiential Therapy”, containing quotes from dialogue between Gene Gendlin and myself about the value and role of what I call “cathartic unfolding” vs. “sheer, repeating emotions.” THEORETICAL WITH EXAMPLES
 
“Medical Change Events Through Experiential Focusing,” including the complete transcript of the 12- minute session (also on my DVD Listening/Focusing Demonstrations) where a woman goes from depression/migraine to felt shift, including joyful releasing teariness, and also including my “Five-Minute Grieving” procedure for helping professionals, immediate application for all physicians and helping professionals.
 
“Active Grieving Part One,”  a perspective on grieving as an alchemical, tranformative process
 
“Active Grieving Part Two,”  an actual protocol for active grieving of a loss.
 
“Focusing Inner Child Work With Abused Clients”, which is not about tears directly but about the extreme attitude of awareness toward subtle nuances of word or body gesture which can indicate repressed memories of emotional/sexual/physical abuse in childhood and the extreme attitude of gentleness needed to allow clients to “be with” and work through, “carry forward,” these painful experiences.
 
It was enlightening to me to see how much of my work has this emphasis upon a kind of “going deeper” and “connection” that is associated with even a slight SHEEN OF TEARS in the eyes (sobbing not necessary but welcome!)
 
GREAT BOOK: WHY GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
 
By Stephen Post and Jill Neimark, Why Good Things Happen To Good People: The Exciting New Research That Proves The Link Between Doing Good And Living A Longer, Healthier, Happier Life, Broadway Books, 2007. Read about the Ways of Celebration, Generativity, Forgiveness, Courage, Humor, Respect, Compassion, Loyalty, Creativity , and
 
Chapter 11: The Way of Listening: Offer Deep Presence
 
See more at the author’s organization site,
Unlimited Love Institute. 

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

Share

“WHY CRY?” PART 4: CRYING FOR A VISION, OPENING OUR EYES TO TRUTH

By , February 28, 2009 7:59 pm

The Opening of Vision: “Crying For A Vision” by David Michael Levin
 
A key quote from Levin:
 
“Crying, of course, is involuntary.  But the experience of crying, with which we are all familiar, can be taken up by the self, taken to heart, and turned, through the gift of our thought, into a PRACTICE of the self.  The practice is concerned with the cultivation of our capacity for care —  Crying becomes a critical social practice of the self when the vision it brings forth makes a difference in the world, gathering other people into the wisdom of its attunement.”

Crying as a PRACTICE, a discipline like yoga or meditation or Focusing, a social practice for CULTIVATION OF OUR CAPACITY FOR CARE!!!

Dave Young, Focusing Teacher in Colorado,  brought attention to the work of David Michael Levin, a Focuser and philosopher-colleague of Eugene Gendlin, creator of Focusing, particularly Levin’s book, The Opening of Vision, Chapter 2, “Crying for a Vision.” Here are Dave’s comments interspersed with quotes from Levin. I include the entirety, since most will not have the Levin book at hand (original discussion happened on The Focusing Discussion e-list, joined at www.focusing.org , under Felt Community).

Dave says:
 
[Kathy]You challenge us brilliantly & beautifully, with your question:  “So, just wanting people to look and then ask themselves, “What is this about humans being ‘touched and moved’ to tears, and how does it relate to guiding oneself and others during Focusing?”
 
I’m presenting some quotes, with a bit of my own commentary, from the best philosophical writing on crying that I know, this from one of Gene’s closest philosophical colleagues, himself a Focuser, David Michael Levin.  It’s found in his marvelous book, The Opening of Vision, Chapter 2, “Crying for a Vision”.

  “This work on vision began, not with a vision, but with an experience of crying.  Crying for the earth, the earth itself, whose devastation I see all around me.  Crying over the plundering of the land.  Crying from the depths of my ancestral body for the victims of the Holocaust.  Crying for the Indians massacred in my country — “
 
Let me urge our discussion of crying, as Focusers, begin here:  with specific experiences of our crying, not merely of our sense of crying in general.  And let it include our own crying & our own struggles with crying.
 
Levin makes a startling claim, based on his Focusing-oriented experiences:
  “With crying, I begin to see, briefly, and with pain. Only with the crying, only then, does vision begin.” 
 
Perhaps carefully, caringly examining our own specific experiences of crying we can bring Levin’s claim within us.
 
Levin:
  “Our eyes are not only articulate organs of sight; they are also the emotionally expressive organs of crying.  The site where vision takes place is sometimes a site where a very different kind of process takes place.  We will now give some thought to the character of this process. What is crying?  Is it merely an accidental or contingent fact that the eyes are capable of crying as well as seeing?  Or is crying in the most intimate, most closely touching relationship to seeing?  Is crying essential for vision?”
 
Understand that Levin is a Focuser.  Therefore, as he will point out later, vision is never divorced from the body, and in particular, vision is never divorced from what he calls the body’s “moodedness” or as he says, “our capacity for care, ‘Sorge’, feeling:  our care-taking capacity, that is, as visionary beings.”  More strongly, he says, “Crying is visionary feeling, and feeling is inherently closer to a sense of wholeness than the disembodied intellect.”
 
This, then, is what Levin means when he says that crying & “vision” are linked, when through his question he implies that crying is “essential for vision”.
 
Levin:
 
“Only human beings cry.  Animals are beings endowed with sight; but only we are capable of crying.  What does this show about us?  What does this show TO us?  Is it this capacity for crying, then, which ennobles our vision, makes it human?  And is it not the ABSENCE of this capacity which marks off the inhuman?  By the ‘inhuman’ I mean the monstrous and the inwardly dead:  the Nazi commandant, for example, and his victim, the Jew, locked into a dance of death, neither one, curiously, able to shed a tear:  for different reasons, their eyes are dry, empty, hollow.”
 
Very strong, what Levin is challenging us to examine.  And yet, on a deeply felt-sensed level, we know this.  I would hold that, in any discussion of crying, the state or rather the stopped-processing of not-crying must also be closely examined, experientially, in ourselves and in others.  What, societally, that stops us from crying is, of course, what we most need to cry about.  And as this need is a stopped-processing, that means the need always remains within us, waiting, crying to come forth.
 
Levin:
 
“What does this capacity [for crying] make visible?  What is its truth?  What is the truth it sees?  What does it know as a ‘speech’ of our nature?  How does it guide our vision?”
 
Certainly, these are questions which we, as Focusing/Listening guides need to address.
 
Levin:
  “Crying is not something we ‘do’.  Crying is the speech of powerlessness, helplessness —  As a response to what history has made visible, crying calls for vision, for thought, for understanding; we need to SEE what IT make VISIBLE.”
 
Levin points what, to me, is a key in crying:  that crying isn’t a self-chosen act.  Though we do, of course, choose to embody-open ourselves up to seeing what calls for crying.  Yet crying, genuine crying always comes as a kind of cleansing & joining gift.  But more on this later, when I have time to better think it through, based on my own personal experiences.
 
Continuing & developing this thought, Levin states,

“Crying, of course, is involuntary.  But the experience of crying, with which we are all familiar, can be taken up by the self, taken to heart, and turned, through the gift of our thought, into a PRACTICE of the self.  The practice is concerned with the cultivation of our capacity for care —  Crying becomes a critical social practice of the self when the vision it brings forth makes a difference in the world, gathering other people into the wisdom of its attunement.”
 
This will take an unbundling I cannot do now.  But know:  crying does make a difference.  Kathy, it’s not only pointing to meaning, but to a special type of meaning.  And this meaning is a connecting, an act that reaches out and makes a difference in the world.  This I know from my own crying for abused & neglected clients who have been alienated from their capacity to cry for themselves and, worse, have become alienated from the truth that they are worth crying over.  And that is only one example.  But this points to a powerful truth which, when we guide those who have greatly suffered, we should not shirk from.  Always, of course, we see how our crying affects, not only is affected by, in our intense “interacting first”.  But we must never rule away our crying out-of-hand.
 
Additionally, when I allow myself to cry for my clients, not only does this crying — not all crying, not the crying of pre-empting or communicating this is too much, but the crying of being deeply touched which can be held  & presented  — not only does this crying usually bring for depths & healing from within my clients or rather from within our interacting.  I myself, by our genuineness, by my congruence, am far less likely to be drained & burned out.  This healing capacity of crying should also be noted in our discussion.
 
Levin gives us a starting point to understand the types of “moods” in crying, paralleling yours, Kathy:
 
“We could think of our eyes as capable of three kinds of mood:  (i) the ontical moodedness of everyday seeing, which can differentiate and articulate what it beholds only in a more or less dualistic, objectifying, re-presentational manner; (ii) the transitional moodedness of a seeing which cries for vision, immersed in painful seeing, immersed in the processes of its subjectivity; and (iii) the moodedness of a more joyful, more fulfilled seeing, clear and bright and articulate, and capable of being deeply touched and moved, even at a distance, by what it is given to see.”
 
As a taste of where this leads, permit me one more Levin quote: 
 
“Crying is the rooting of vision in the ground of our [universal, shared & interacting] needs:  [our] need for openness, [our] need for contact, [our] need for wholeness.” Dave

And Franc Chamberlain, Certified Focusing Professional in Ireland,  also dives into Levin’s work, with more on Vision and Crying:
 
“Hello, I haven’t been following closely, so apologies if I’m repeating — I’ve recently been dipping back into some of the Levin books, such as The Opening of Vision — and there’s also a questioning about tears in the early part of The Philosopher’s Gaze, in the section entitled ‘Blindness, Violence, Compassion’ (which seems to link the two threads of tears and (non) violence).
 
After discussing briefly T.S. Eliot’s ‘I see the eyes but not the tears/this is my affliction’ he goes on to say:
 
“What must we say about philosophers? When have philosophers seen the tears? When have they given thought to what, without words, tears are saying? Is the history of philosophy a history of blindness, a discourse disfigured by traces of this terrible, unavowable affliction? Is there something inherent in the philosophical gaze that compels this affliction to remain unavowable? (The Philosopher’s Gaze, 1999 p.4)
 
So, is there something in the philosophical gaze that both arrests crying whilst at the same time prevents us from knowing that crying is arrested? So, could we discuss ‘crying’ in a philosophical sense, and even discuss the arrest of crying, without even knowing that our own crying is a stopped process? Because western philosophy often splits itself off from ‘experiencing’ even when speaking about ‘experience’
 
Franc

Dave and Franc and Levin all pointing to the experience that crying is essential to our caring, having compassion, “seeing” the truth of this world, and acting on its behalf. “Being touched and being moved” as essentially human, and essential-to-humanness.

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

Share

“WHY CRY?” PART 3: TEARS OF WONDER/JOY DESCRIBED

By , February 26, 2009 3:36 pm

Tears often come at times of great joy, love of nature, music, spiritual experiences, weddings, births. A number of researchers have asked people to describe their positive experience of tears and crying. See “Why Cry?” Part One: Are Women Better At Crying Than Men?” and “Why Cry?” Part Two: Videos of Thinkers vs. Feelers on the MBTI
 
“Tears of Wonder/Joy” by William Braud 

In this wonderful qualitative research article,  William Braud  is doing a “phenomenological description” of the experience he calls “tears of wonder-joy,” with many concrete examples. He asked people to exactly describe this experience.

In a section called “Felt Experience,” (I wonder if the author is a Focuser!), Braud describes that participants reported positive affect and “feelings of joy, peace, awe, love, compassion, empathy and acceptance. There are feelings of unity, union, oneness, closeness, connection and immersion.” Read Braud’s article for a complete description of these powerful, positive experiences.
 
Braud goes on to define “wonder-tears” as an innate biological “empathy indicator,”  an indicator of entering the numinous (holy, sacred) and a  “signal” toward what is meaningful for each individual, a “sign post” on the path.
 
Now, imagine adding Intuitive Focusing to go deeper, to articulate these deeper meanings, as I teach in my article, “Finding The Meaning Of Tears.” The Focuser can articulate the landscape of their own soul, their “unique blueprint” in the Rogerian sense, using tears of being touched and moved as a kind of moral “compass,” keeping the keel of one’s soul-ship on one’s unique path, leading to action steps toward “carrying forward” on this path of meaning.
 
Here is the link to the entire article,
“Experiencing Tears of Wonder-Joy: Seeing With The Heart’s Eye” by William Braud . 

Tears ARE Transformation, Felt-Shifting Happening
 
I have found another wonderful phenomenological study of tears, this one, “Nine Psycho-Spiritual Characteristics of Spontaneous and Involuntary Weeping” by Rosemarie Anderson, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA. Anderson confirms my own experience that a certain kind of tears IS transformation happening, is our body’s sign that something is changing, shifting at the deepest level, an “integration,” not simply a by-product of the deepest felt-shifting but part and parcel of it. She states that tears may be the border between mind/body/spirit, an essential part, perhaps even a causative factor in transformation.
 
See my paper
“Affect in Focusing and Experiential Therapy” , which makes the same argument in terms of tears of “cathartic unfolding.” 
 
Anderson cites the dissertation of one of her students, Dufrechou, J. (2001). Coming home to nature through the body: An intuitive inquiry into experiences of grief, weeping, and other deep emotions in response to nature. Unpublished doctoral dissertation proposal,  Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA. I have not found a copy, but I would love to read it.
 
The Fountain and The Furnace: The Way of Tears and Fire by Maggie Ross
 
AND Rosemarie Anderson cites the book on The Way of Tears that I have been seeking since a friend loaned it to me over twenty years ago:

Ross, Maggie. (1987a) The Fountain and the Furnace: The Way of Tears and Fire. NY: Paulist Press.  And a related article: Ross, M. (1987b) Tears and fire: Recovering a neglected tradition. Sobornost, 9(1), 14-23
Now to find the book! You can get it used from $22 up through
Amazon.

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)

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“WHY CRY?” PART TWO: VIDEOS OF MBTI “THINKER” VS. “FEELER”

By , February 23, 2009 4:11 pm

In “Why Cry?” Part One, “Are Women Better At Crying Than Men?”, I pointed to a gender difference, but I also found a better descriptor in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator distinction between Thinkers and Feelers, allowing for a goodly percentage of male Feelers and women Thinkers who do not fit the gender mold on this distinction.

Here, I will compare two videos, one of Eugene Gendlin describing Focusing as a Thinker on the MBTI, a second of Kelly Corrigan describing Women’s Strength and Connection as a Feeler on the MBTI, becoming “touched” and “moved” to tears during her presentation.

Gene Gendlin on YouTube
 
First, let’s take a look at Gene Gendlin, creator of Focusing,  in person on YouTube, through the wonderful efforts of Simon d’Ortega and Nada Lou. You will see Gendlin, now in his 80s, in his gentleness, his intelligence, his great wisdom, and his wonderful humor. However, you will not see him “being touched” or “being moved” to tears (I have, however, seen Gendlin with tears. So I include these videos just as a contrast in these moments)
 
Short but sweet, less than two minutes:
“That Place That Knows”
 
Longer: 
 
“Theory, TAE, and Democracy 

 
Thinking At The Edge Part One: Mary Hendricks-Gendlin Introduction
 
For more, go to
www.youtube.com and Search Eugene Gendlin.
 
Being Touched: Kelly Corrigan on Transcending: Words on Women and Strength
 
I got this message by email from my “Women Relatives” group:
 
“I wonder if you’ve seen this ~ it’s perfect and so are all of you ~
friends, sisters, moms.” And the following link:
 
 
Transcending: Words on Women and Strength 
 
If you can’t open this, go to www.youtube.com  and search for Kelly Corrigan and watch Transcending: Words on Women and Strength. You will see Corrigan “being touched” and “being moved” to tears as she speaks, and you may well find yourself having a corresponding emotional response. My women friends and relatives communicate between each other in this way as a matter of course, sending each other “touching” emails, as well as humorous ones. Corrigan and the women experiencing their tears with her are also being “bonded together” by their shared empathetic response. Feelings are inherently relational and draw people into contact.
 
Okay, in case you thing this topic of tears is “too heavy,” here are two more humorous YouTubes to check out, totally for fun and having nothing to do with Focusing:
 
“The Mom Song,” this is hysterical. Sung to William Tell Overture, about 3 minutes.   
 
“The Mean Kitty Song”
 
Tears As Harbingers Of Deep Meaning
 
I have collected countless paragraphs from works of fiction which mention the “coming of tears” as harbingers of deep meaning — profound love, relief, connection, millions of things. We all know that people cry at births and weddings, beautiful, moving music, sunsets, moments of compassion seen between people, etc. Even grieving, if looked at without prejudice, contains many warm, joyful memories and re-connections with the beloved. Etc., etc. 
 
What matters to me in terms of Focusing is that, noticing even the tiniest sheen of tears in the eyes, or sometimes just the softening of the skin around the eyes, or the quivering of a cheek muscle, or a slight wiping gesture toward the eyes — if the person or the Listener/therapist notices these “openings,” and suggests spending some Focusing time with “Whatever brings the tears,” huge wealth of personal, profound, meaning/carrying forward usually arises, as well as life-giving moments of I-Thou connection between the participants (even a whole group of “witnesses”) that is Sacred/soul-building.

In “Why Cry?” Part Three, I will explore phenomenological research on the kind of crying called “Tears of Wonder/Joy,” a positive experience of awe and transcendence.

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

 

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TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCES THROUGH VIDEO AND MUSIC: WINGED MIGRATION AND MISSA SOLEMNIS

By , January 19, 2009 12:10 am

Just watched again Jacques Perrin’s wonderful DVD, Winged Migration. Beautiful live photography of many different flocks of birds migrating from Africa to the Arctic and back again, the realities of their confrontations with industrialized civilization, and magnificent musical score as transcendent background.  The migrations represent “the hope and promise of return,” the cycle of life.

Also just downloaded the MP3 version of   Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, the Otto Klemperer version from the 1970′s, Digital Remaster 2001, Elisabeth Soderstrom, soprano from Amazon. Amazingly clear and “present” music and singing, creating a transcendent experience. Downloading to ITunes or Windows Media Player is least expensive way to get this classic from EMI, about $9.95.

I’ve also ordered the Leonard Bernstein version, Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam,  on CD. $11.98

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

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!!! Today’s blog is part of the year-long e-course offered through the Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter.

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

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INTUITIVE FOCUSING: “FELT SENSE’ OF A SITUATION DISCLOSES LIFE MEANING AND DIRECTION

By , January 12, 2009 3:14 pm
 
SITUATION DISCLOSES LIFE DIRECTION: FELT SENSE OF A POSITIVE SITUATION
 
It’s so easy to see using Intuitive Focusing to unravel the “felt residue” of a situation only when the feelings are negative, unsettling, confusing. However, Focusing can be used just as fruitfully to make words for, to articulate positive experiences.
Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

If we live in a Focusing/Felt-Sensing way, we will be able to use our “intuitive feel” of situations that touch us or matter to us to uncover, to unfold our most important life meanings and directions. Here is an experience I had and how, taking time later to “sense into” and make words for “the whole intuitive feel” left by the situation guided and enriched me.
 
Context of the day: I went to a Women-In-Networking (WIN) holiday luncheon. This is a gathering of small business owners and other “Women in Business.” I had fallen just before needing to leave and severely bruised several boney parts. I iced them a little, but had to rush off — I am turning 62 on Dec. 24, and this enters into “feeling more fragile.”
 
At the meeting, the Emcee, one of few men involved in the organization, told a story about how his single-mother mom had worked and sacrificed to make a home, a living, a life for her children. Throughout the entire telling, he kept completely choking up, being almost unable to speak, tearing up, but he continued on. Noone freaked out. Many people teared up along with him. Occasionally he would make a joke or articulate a point. It did not seem to phase him at all. His main point: (and this made him cry/choke up a lot!) That we here at WIN were supporting each other in a way that his mother did not have support, and how precious and important that was.
 
Then a woman minister spoke about her ministry, about “women who live dangerously,” meaning “women who are willing to ‘lose’ their life in order to ‘find’ it” (I tear up a little here right now). She told stories of her own widowhood at age 45, about women in third world countries struggling to raise, not only their own, but children orphaned by AIDS. She told stories of how women seem to have a special talent for rising to the occasion in the midst of adversity, being able to pick up the pieces and go on, helping themselves and others. Again, many people were wiping their eyes and sniffling.
 
And I am sitting there thinking/feeling: this is what I am working on.
 
And, later, at home, I took time to relax into my body by paying attention to my body, then asked myself in a Focusing way, “What was it about that meeting that is so ‘crux’ to me?” and waited for “the feel of it all” to form in the center of my body. And these are the words that came as I went back-and-forth between words and “the intuitive feel” until the words were “just right”:
 
This calling of mine about integrating masculine and feminine, work and home, about the way in which “tears of being touched and moved” are our body’s “signposts that we are on the path to profound meaning—and I wondered how I could remind these people of this teary and heartfelt experience they all went through, happily, in a holiday mood, when I proposed (which I was getting clarity on doing as a next step) that we add real Listening/Focusing Support Groups (for creative thinking, problem solving, and emotional clarity — that these two things are not separate but go hand in hand) to the networking meetings that we have and to creating Creative Edge Organizations.
 
And, in there, is the crux of my work (at least in this area — that leaves parenting support groups, relationship support groups, etc., etc.) — but this thing right here is the crux about bringing work and home, masculine and feminine, thinking and feeling together in a business setting—
 
Moral of The Story: Living In a Self-Reflective Way Enriches Meaning
 
So here we see that simply paying attention to what is happening in our “bodily felt sense” or “intuitive feel” while we live our life situations, and taking a few moments to give Focusing attention to make words for “the feel of it all” enriches our life with meaning. Not just for difficulties and problem solving, but in terms of positive, profound indications that we are on the “right track” in terms of life directions.

Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #4: “Finding the Felt Senses of A Situation”
 
(from Complete Focusing Instructions, free download link at top of this blog) Week Four of four weeks of practice
 
Remember, especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!! And it is exactly in the PAUSE that the Creative Edge comes.

 4.  The “Felt Sense,” The “Intuitive Feel” of a Situation-Allow 15 to 20 minutes
 
In this exercise, you are going through a first round of Intuitive Focusing, looking for The Creative Edge, the something-new-that-is-more-than-words about an actual situation during the week that felt unfinished.

Although you may have gone around and around in your head, trying to find a solution, to figure out what happened that was strange, now you will set aside that left-brain problem solving and consult your “right-brain wisdom, the bodily “intuitive feel” of “that whole thing.” First, we use a Relaxation exercise as a way of clearing some space inside for Focusing:
 
Let’s start with The Counting Meditation for initial Relaxation:
 
—First, stretch—and relax, stretch—and relax, stretch—and relax—-30 sec.
 
—Now, begin noticing your breathing, just noticing the breath going in—and out—in—and out—30 sec.
 
—Now, on each exhale, count starting with “1″ and continuing, on each exhale, until you reach “9″—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9
2 minutes
—If you lose track, just start counting over again with “1″. When you get to “9,” start over and count to “9″ one more time—
                                                                2 minutes
—Spend a few minutes coming to a peaceful place inside, noticing your breathing—
2 minutes
—Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation from the past week which feels unfinished, left behind an uncomfortable or confusing feeling or even a positve feeling—
2 minutes
—Set aside all your ready-made words or images, and try to get a fresh “intuitive feel” for how you felt in that situation, paying attention to the center of your body, around the heart/chest area—
1 minute
—Try to find some words or an image to describe the “intuitive feel” of it, The Creative Edge before words—
1 minute
—Keep checking until the words or image are just right.
1 minute
—Ask yourself, “What’s that about for me?” and wait for a felt sense, an “intuitive feel” that is more than words, to form—
1 minute
—Find some words or an image to capture that “intuitive sense”. You are letting your body’s Wisdom tell you about the situation, instead of answering with everything you already know.
1 minute
—When you are ready, come slowly back into the room.
 
If you wanted to continue with another round of Focusing, you would simply ask again, “And why is this important to me?”, wait to see what comes as an “intuitive feel,” look for words or an image that are “just right,” checking and resonating until something shifts inside. You can find full Focusing Instructions in Complete Focusing Instructions, p.12-17, download from the link at the top of this blog.

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

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!!! Today’s blog is part of the year-long e-course offered through the Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter.

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

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FOCUSING AND SPIRITUALITY: EXPERIENCING THE SACRED

By , July 2, 2008 3:53 pm

INTEREST AREA: Experiencing the Sacred

Immanent Spirituality: The Experience of God in The World

Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be used purposefully to “attend to,” “sit with,” “articulate” the “intuitive feel” of spiritual experiences. But more importantly, the practice of Listening/Focusing opens our eyes to seeing the Sacred around us by encouraging attention to those moments when the Sacred enters our lives.

It’s called Immanent Spirituality, God as experienced in the world, moments when the Sacred underpinning of the world “breaks through” and becomes visible, palpable, feel-able. Experiential spirituality is separate from any particular sect or creed. You can incorporate it into any religion and into every day living without organized religion.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat call it Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (Scribner, 1996), and their book jacket reads:

“These remarkable readings tutor us in the art of lingering with our experiences and seeing the world with fresh eyes — Life’s meaning and the presence of Spirit are found in the shape of a child’s foot, in an encounter with a wild animal, in the memories evoked by a rocking chair, in the process of doing a hobby, or in the messages on a computer screen.”

Spirituality Is More than Religion

Elfie Hinterkopf, in her book Integrating Spirituality into Counseling: Using the Experiential Focusing Method (available in The Store at www.focusing.org ), makes the following distinction:

“It is important to distinguish spirituality from religiousness — in this book religiousness will be used to mean adherence to the beliefs and practices of an organized church or religious institution (Shafranske and Malony, 1990). Spirituality will be used to refer to a unique, personally meaningful experience (Shafranske and Gorsuch, 1984). Although spirituality may be positively related to specific forms of religiousness, spirituality is not necessarily reliant upon any given form or appearance of religion.”

And:

“The spiritual experience is one of bodily felt release, more life energy, feeling more fully present, a sense of feeling larger and being able to reach out to more parts of oneself, to more people, and to more of life (Campbell and McMahon, 1985).”

Bio-Spirituality

Jesuit Fathers Pete Campbell and Ed McMahon have made a life’s work out of looking at the specifically spiritual aspect which can be present in any use of Focusing. They call their approach Biospirituality (Bio-Spirituality: Focusing As A Way To Grow ,Loyola Press,1985, 1997, www.biospiritual.org  )

In any Focusing process, the Focuser will often experience a Felt Shift, an opening of tension release into forward movement and new energy. Pete and Ed tell us to pay more attention to the “bodily-feel” surrounding these felt shifts in experiencing. They show us that, if we attend fully to the feelings surrounding the felt shift, we will find feelings of gratitude, of awe, of being “graced” by the presence of the Almighty.

They elaborate upon Gendlin’s sixth step of Focusing, called Receiving: thanking and acknowledging your Body’s Wisdom for the new steps of healing that have emerged. They have taken the further step of noticing the presence of grace and awe and thanking the Greater Source from which felt shifts, spiritual and emotional growth, emerge.

Being Touched and Being Moved

Using Gendlin’s Focusing process, we will refer to “bodily-felt experiencing,” “bodily-felt spirituality.” Whether experienced through nature or inspiring music or religious rituals in church or through watching the kindness of one person toward another, these spiritual experiences will be “felt.” The existence of Something Greater or Something More will be fully and unquestionably known, experientially, rather than being only an intellectual theory.

I call it “being touched and being moved” (PDF article) and find it often marked by at least a sheen of tears in the eyes, along with an expansive feeling of one’s own boundaries and limits dissolving for at least a moment of merging into a feeling of Oneness – with nature, with another person or other people, with music, or with the religious ritual in church.

As with personal growth and creativity, spiritual experiences can also be reached more predictably through the conscious use of the Intuitive Focusing process. If you “accidently” find yourself in the midst of a transformative, spiritual moment, you can enrich and enlarge that opening by consciously turning attention toward the “feel of it all” and making words and images for the power and meaning of it.

These words and images can stay with you after that magical moment ends and can be a road back to that spiritual experience, again by consciously turning one’s attention to them in a Focusing way.

See Focusing and Spirituality: The Still, Small Voice for several ways to use Focusing to invite and to explore spiritual experiences.

Agape: Experiencing God in The Other

For me, intense spiritual experiences of the love known as Agape also happen regularly through the experience of exchanging Listening/Focusing turns in a Focusing Partnership or a Listening/Focusing Community (see Creative Edge Pyramid for explanations of these and other applications).

Through the use of Focused Listening, I am able to set aside my own stereotypes and prejudices and really enter into the world of the other person. In these moments of empathy, when the Focuser touches upon her deepest values and most profound truths, as the Listener, I am often moved and touched by the absolute uniqueness, yet universal humanness, of the Other.

In these moments, often with a sheen of tears in our eyes, it seems that the boundaries separating one person from the other drop, and we stand together in a shared, sacred space. I believe this is what is meant by experiencing The Christ Within The Other or Universal Oneness or Martin Buber’s “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” experience. For me, there is no more sacred experience.

Click here to go to Interest Area: Experiencing The Sacred and scroll down to find The Ten First Steps You Can Take To Bring Listening/Focusing into your spiritual experience and community.

Tell me what you think at cefocusing@gmail.com or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-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

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

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FOCUSING AND SPIRITUALITY 4: AGAPE —THE SPIRITUAL LOVE OF THE OTHER

By , June 2, 2008 10:30 pm

Experiencing God in The Other

For me, intense spiritual experiences of the love known as Agape happen regularly through the experience of exchanging Listening/Focusing turns in a Focusing Partnership or a Listening/Focusing Community. Through the use of Focused Listening, I am able to set aside my own stereotypes and prejudices and really enter into the world of the other person. In these moments of empathy, when the Focuser touches upon her deepest values and most profound truths, as the Listener, I am often moved and touched by the absolute uniqueness, yet universal humanness, of the Other.

In these moments, often with a sheen of tears in our eyes, it seems that the boundaries separating one person from the other drop, and we stand together in a shared, sacred space. I believe this is what is meant by experiencing The Christ Within The Other or Universal Oneness or Martin Buber’s “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” experience. For me, there is no more sacred experience.

Here is how I recently described this experience of Agape during Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange:

“I like Listening/Focusing better than Focusing Alone because, when people share Listening/Focusing turns, they actually build up Love between each other, the Love of “the unique otherness” of the other which is Agape, which is “seeing Christ in the other person,” which is Buber’s “I /Thou vs. I / It experience.” I am way more interested in promoting a method that creates Love in the world than I am in any individual’s personal growth.

And so I like to spread Listening/Focusing partnership, but even more important, Listening/Focusing groups, and, most importantly, Listening/Focusing Communities. In a Community, there is Listening/Focusing for conflict resolution and for Win/Win decision making, two more HUGE VAST ways to create love rather than conflict, prejudice,stereotyping.

The experience of Love being created? I am Listening to another. That person touches down, often, into a place of tears, a place of deepest, most profound meaning for them. I am also moved to tears of empathy. In that moment, it is “as if” the boundary between the other person and myself dissolves or broadens or merges — I am still there, and they, but there is also this Togetherness — and, in it this feeling of Love — my heart swelling, sometimes tears in my eyes, and a sense that Something Sacred has entered into the room. Something beyond the two of us, and something with qualities of Awe and Grace and the kind of Love that God or a Universal positive force — well, something like that!!!

And, this Love lasts. I am now bonded to this person. In a Focusing Community, out of this Love, people take each other to doctor’s appointment, sit with each other through chemo therapy, help each other move furniture, celebrate each other’s Birthdays, show up at a meeting just to hear each person Check In, each person say their News and Goods from the week. I do think that this mutual “touching into tears” may actually be a crucial, almost physiological/spiritual part of this “melting and merging.”

It is possible that the quality of sharing in my Focusing Communities is different or deeper than in other Focusing Groups because of the emphasis I place on teaching Focusers and Listeners alike to move toward, move into, welcome, the places that start with a shimmer of tears in the eyes, and, if the Focuser stops and “senses in” right there, at the “place of tears,” hugely deep meanings unfold.

It is that, building community (not just partnership) in a world of isolation and mistrust and hate, that I love above all else, and it is Listening, more than Focusing Alone, that allows this to happen, really, really predictably. Creating Love predictably! What could be better! You can take any group of people, no matter how polarized and hating, and, if they will do Listening/Focusing turns with each other, seeing each other’s mutual Uniqueness-yet-Commonality, they will find themselves loving each other, having deep compassion for each other, and being willing to take action steps to help each other (at least, this is my belief! Carl Rogers has done more of these actual world-peace making gatherings than I. Mine have been local Focusing Communities — but six of these over 30 years, all creating love and bonding, each lasting 5-10 years).”

See articles in PDF:

Focusing and Spirituality: The Still, Small Voice Within
Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value Of Tears
Finding The Meaning Of Tears

Click here to see the whole Experiencing The Sacred Interest Area and scroll down to find Ten Ways to Bring Focusing into Spiritual Communities

EXERCISE: FOCUSING UPON A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE OF AGAPE
(You can read these to yourself now, download them for repeated use, read them into a tape recorder for playback; leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

If you need a different kind of Focusing Exercise for where you are today, please click here to access the e-newsletter archives at Constant Contact and choose any Focusing Instruction that fits for you.

As last week, you will choose an experience to spend Intuitive Focusing time on that had spiritual meaning for you, a moment when you might have said that you were experiencing God or The Sacred or Something Profound – often, this can be something that touched you or moved you, perhaps bringing a sheen of tears to your eyes. It might be a piece of music, a prayer or passage from the Bible, a poem, a sunset, the smile of a child, the touch of a friend.

Perhaps this week you could bring to mind an experience of Agape that you have had: A time when you felt a special closeness to another person which had a spiritual feel to it

By spending time with “the intuitive feel of it all,” you are going to make more words and meanings for what is Sacred, to you. Please find a comfortable chair in a quiet place, and give yourself at least 30 minutes for Intuitive Focusing:

Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —
(One minute)
Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —
(One minute — )
Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —
(One minute — )
Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —
(One minute — )
Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —
(One minute — )
Now, bring to mind an event or piece of music or art or religious symbol that felt Sacred, or had a spiritual significance for you. If it fits for you, look for a time when you experienced the special closeness of Agape with another person (pause) — Take your time to find a powerful, meaningful symbol or event —
(One minute or more — )
Think about it or get a mental image of it — take your time to choose something that matters to you —
(One minute — )
Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about this experience, and, as you carry a mental image of the event or symbol in your mind, just wait and see what comes in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area, in response (pause) — not words, but the intuitive feel of that whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that intuitive feel — Go carefully back and forth between any words and the intuitive feel of the whole thing until you find words or an image that are just right for it —
(One minute — )
Now, gently ask yourself, “What was so important for me about that?” or, “What about that touched me or filled me with awe?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, the place where you feel things —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that felt experiencing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “And what was so Sacred to me about that, what do I mean by ‘Sacred’?” and, again, wait quietly, for at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, without words, just the “feel” of “the whole thing” about “Sacred.”
(One minute or more — )
And find some words or an image to capture that “whole thing,” The Sacred —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “Does that capture what I mean by ‘spiritual’?”, and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for an answer to come in the center of your body, your wordless intuition, The Creative Edge —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image for that, and check, “Is that it?” —
(One minute — )
If the answer is “Yes,” a release of bodily tension, a sense of “rightness,” then turn your attention to noticing any “spiritual” experiences that are present around the edges of this experience, right now — feelings of Sacredness, of floating in Oneness, of Awe or Gratitude, of being moved or touched with tears — stay with these immediate spiritual feelings as long as you like —
(One minute or more — )
Try to find an image or other symbol or gesture that might serve as a “handle” for this particular spiritual feeling, something that would remind you of how to find your way to this place again, at any time during the day when you want to revisit the Experience of the Sacred —
(One minute or more)
And, when you are finished, come back into the room.
If the answer is “No,” your body remains tense, then, set aside everything you have already thought and tried and ask your body, The Creative Edge, again: “What is Spirituality for me, and where might I find it?”, and, again, wait, as long as a minute or more, to see what comes in the center of your chest, an intuitive “feel” for the whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for whatever has come —
(One minute or more — )
Keep at this as long as you are comfortable, asking an open-ended question, waiting for an intuitive sense of “the whole thing” to emerge, looking for words or an image or even a gesture or action step that fits the intuitive feel “exactly.”
(One minute or more — )
But, if no clear “felt” experiencing of Spirituality arises, just remind yourself that, by spending Focusing time sitting with The Creative Edge, you have added energy and started a new living-forward, and, especially if you continue to hold “the feel of it all” on the back-burner of your mind, later something new will likely pop up —
(One minute)
Appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that taking time is the important thing – new experiences can then arise later.
(One minute or more — )

Remember, Intuitive Focusing is often learned more easily in the company of a Focused Listener. Go to Creative Edge Focusing TM at www.cefocusing.com  to find many resources, from self-help groups to Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

Tell me what you think at cefocusing@gmail.com or comment on this blog below ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

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

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 

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FOCUSING AND SPIRITUALITY 3: BIOSPIRITUALITY — THE BODY AS A DOORWAY TO SPIRIT

By , May 23, 2008 4:22 pm

Biospirituality

Jesuit Fathers Pete Campbell and Ed McMahon (Bio-Spirituality: Focusing As A Way To Grow, 1985) have made a life’s work out of looking at the specifically spiritual aspect which can be present in any use of Intuitive Focusing. They see entering the bodily “felt sense” through Focusing as a way of entering into The Body of Christ from the Christian perspective and also into the common ground of all spiritual experience. They call their approach Bio-spirituality (www.biospiritual.org  ).

In any Focusing process, the Focuser will often experience a Felt Shift or Paradigm Shift, an opening of tension release into forward movement and new energy. Fathers Pete and Ed tell us to pay more attention to the “bodily-feel” surrounding these felt shifts in experiencing. They show us that, if we attend fully to the feelings surrounding the felt shift, we will find experiences of gratitude, of awe, of being “graced” by the presence of the Almighty.

While they started with Christianity, the Fathers now see Focusing as an access path to the Experience of the Sacred which underlies all religions. They elaborate upon Gendlin’s sixth step of Focusing, called Receiving: thanking and acknowledging your Body’s Wisdom for the new steps of healing that have emerged through Focusing and taking the further step of noticing the presence of grace and awe and thanking the Greater Source from which felt shifts, and spiritual and emotional growth, emerge.

Exercise: Focusing on Spirituality: Experiencing The Sacred

(You can read these to yourself now, download them for repeated use, read them into a tape recorder for playback; leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

As last week, you will choose an experience to spend Intuitive Focusing time on something that had spiritual meaning for you, a moment when you might have said that you were experiencing God or The Sacred or Something Profound – often, this can be something that touched you or moved you, perhaps bringing a sheen of tears to your eyes. It might be a piece of music, a prayer or passage from the Bible, a poem, a sunset, the smile of a child, the touch of a friend.

According to the BioSpirituality work, you might pay special attention to any feelings or experiences that come “around” any experiences of Felt Shifting or Paradigm Shift. Do you notice any feelings of Awe or Gifting, the presence of Grace or Something More?

By spending time with “the intuitive feel of it all,” you are going to make more words and meanings for what is Sacred, to you. Please find a comfortable chair in a quiet place, and give yourself at least 30 minutes for Intuitive Focusing:

Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —
(One minute)
Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —
(One minute — )
Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —
(One minute — )
Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —
(One minute — )
Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —
(One minute — )
Now, bring to mind an event or piece of music or art or religious symbol that felt Sacred, or had a spiritual significance for you (pause) — Take your time to find a powerful, meaningful symbol or event —
(One minute or more — )
Think about it or get a mental image of it — take your time to choose something that matters to you —
(One minute — )
Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about this experience, and, as you carry a mental image of the event or symbol in your mind, just wait and see what comes in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area, in response (pause) — not words, but the intuitive feel of that whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that intuitive feel — Go carefully back and forth between any words and the intuitive feel of the whole thing until you find words or an image that are just right for it —
(One minute — )
Now, gently ask yourself, “What was so important for me about that?” or, “What about that touched me or filled me with awe?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, the place where you feel things —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that felt experiencing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “And what was so Sacred to me about that, what do I mean by ‘Sacred’?” and, again, wait quietly, for at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, without words, just the “feel” of “the whole thing” about “Sacred.”
(One minute or more — )
And find some words or an image to capture that “whole thing,” The Sacred —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “Does that capture what I mean by ‘spiritual’?”, and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for an answer to come in the center of your body, your wordless intuition, The Creative Edge —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image for that, and check, “Is that it?” —
(One minute — )
If the answer is “Yes,” a release of bodily tension, a sense of “rightness,” then turn your attention to noticing any “spiritual” experiences that are present around the edges of this experience, right now — feelings of Sacredness, of floating in Oneness, of Awe or Gratitude, of being moved or touched with tears — stay with these immediate spiritual feelings as long as you like —
(One minute or more — )
Try to find an image or other symbol or gesture that might serve as a “handle” for this particular spiritual feeling, something that would remind you of how to find your way to this place again, at any time during the day when you want to revisit the Experience of the Sacred —
(One minute or more)
And, when you are finished, come back into the room.
If the answer is “No,” your body remains tense, then, set aside everything you have already thought and tried and ask your body, The Creative Edge, again: “What is Spirituality for me, and where might I find it?”, and, again, wait, as long as a minute or more, to see what comes in the center of your chest, an intuitive “feel” for the whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for whatever has come —
(One minute or more — )
Keep at this as long as you are comfortable, asking an open-ended question, waiting for an intuitive sense of “the whole thing” to emerge, looking for words or an image or even a gesture or action step that fits the intuitive feel “exactly.”
(One minute or more — )
But, if no clear “felt” experiencing of Spirituality arises, just remind yourself that, by spending Focusing time sitting with The Creative Edge, you have added energy and started a new living-forward, and, especially if you continue to hold “the feel of it all” on the back-burner of your mind, later something new will likely pop up —
(One minute)
Appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that taking time is the important thing – new experiences can then arise later.
(One minute or more — )

Remember, Intuitive Focusing is often learned more easily in the company of a Focused Listener.  See links below for resources.

Tell me what you think at cefocusing@gmail.com or comment on this blog ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

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

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 

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