INTUITIVE FOCUSING PRACTICE: RIGHT BRAIN, NON-LINEAR BODILY-FELT SENSE NOT THE SAME AS BONES OR MUSCLE

By , November 7, 2008 12:50 pm

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Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #2: “From The Bottom Up”
(from Complete Focusing Instructions)

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.

GETTING A FELT SENSE: FINDING THE “INTUITIVE FEEL,” THE CREATIVE EDGE

Here you are learning the difference between thinking up an answer in your head and Intuitive Focusing: waiting for a subtle “feel” of the whole thing, an “intuition,” to form in the center of your body, and then creating words or images that are just right to capture it. You are looking for the “intuitive feel,” the Creative Edge, the right-brain information that is more than you can put into words. Eugene Gendlin, creator of the self-help process called Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984) calls it “the felt sense” of the whole thing.

Gendlin also created this exercise. He came up with it to help people who were having a lot of trouble with the idea of a “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” inside of the body. Perhaps they didn’t even know what “inside your body” meant. Perhaps they could only pay attention to their concrete bones and muscles, not the more murky, blurry, “something-more-than words” that is the Creative Edge from which new ideas and solutions can come.

The “Felt Sense” is not the same as bones or muscle

In these exercises, you are learning to pay attention to your body “from the inside” in preparation for doing Gendlin’s Intuitive Focusing. But this “inside view,” the “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” of an issue or problem, is not the same as the sore muscles knotted in your back, or the pain in your tightened jaw muscles. While tightened muscles or sore bones might be the first “cue” that there is “something-more-than-words” going on in your body, the “intuitive feel” of “that whole tightness or pain” comes more fully as an “energy accumulation” or fuzzy, unclear, “sense of the whole thing.”

So, if I have a headache, for instance, first, I might put my attention into the painful area of my head, as we do in this exercise, feeling the toe “from the inside.” But, then, I would ask a more general Focusing question, like “What is this tightness in my head all about?” and then wait, for as long as a minute, for the “feel of that whole thing” to form in the center of my body, in an “energy space” in the inside of my heart/lung/chest area.

It is from this broader “intuitive feel of the whole thing” that new words, images, and, eventually, solutions will come as I use the Focusing process to go back and forth between the “intuitive feel” and words or images until I find symbols that “fit,” and experience an “Ahah!” of “That’s it!” as well as release from the headache.

DEVELOPING THE HABIT OF “FELT SENSING”

Getting A “Felt Sense” #2 : From The Bottom Up

One more time let’s try this
method for finding the “intuitive feel” of the inside of your body(Eugene Gendlin invented this). You are developing “the habit of felt-sensing,” an all-day long capacity to check with the “bodily-felt sense,” the “intuitive feel” of implicit information that is “more than words”:

Allow 5-10 minutes

—Close your eyes and get comfortable—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Follow your breathing for a few moments, just noticing the breath, going in—and out-
1 minute
—Now, turn your attention to your right big toe—Can you feel your toe?—10 seconds

—Now, turn your attention to your knee—and feel your knee from the inside—10 sec

—Now, pay attention to your body where it touches the chair or floor—Feel everywhere that your body makes contact with the supporting surface—30 seconds

—Now, the inside of your chest, where your heart, lungs, diaphragm are — this is where the felt sense, the “intuitive feel” comes–feel in there, inside—10 seconds

—Ask yourself, in there, “How am I today?” and wait and see what comes—If you wait for at least a minute, a “felt sense” will arise, a subtle “intuitive feel” of yourself, that is not in words—
1 minute
—Just be with the “intuitive feel” for a moment, feeling it and trying to find a short, feeling or “quality” word (like “scared,” “sad,” “tense,” “silly,” “joyful” “red,” “jumpy,” “elastic”) that captures the quality of the “intuitive feel”—Or you might find an image that is just right—or perhaps your body wants to move into a certain posture or gesture.
1 minute
—You can use this quality word or image or posture as a “handle” to hold on to an “intuitive feel” so that you can come back to it later for a Complete Focusing Turn —
10 sec
—When you are ready, come slowly back into the room

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Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

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