Posts tagged: anxiety

PRE-FOCUSING PRACTICE: RELAXATION EXERCISE — COUNTING MEDITATION

By , December 8, 2008 10:51 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

From Creative Edge Focusing: This month’s Relaxation Exercise : COUNTING MEDITATION

Week One —“Ahhhhh….pause with me for ten minutes….and just relax!!! I will send a relaxation exercise each week as a reminder to pause…

Relaxation, Guided Imagery, and meditation exercises are all ways of going inside to “clear a space” for a longer Intuitive Focusing problem solving session. So, in Pre-Focusing Practice, you are learning these first steps of Intuitive Focusing. But all these relaxation exercises can be used alone as well, to give you a healthy break from stress any time.

Some people find it easy to drop all their stress and enter into an interior Focusing space. But, many people need easy first steps of practice for “going quietly inside.” And even experienced Focusers get caught up in stress and business and welcome a reminder to take a moment to….pause…..(sigh!)…pay attention to their breathing…….(ahhhhhh!)……and…relax.
The quiet time between instructions is an important time for just breathing—and relaxing.

You can lie on the floor or, for most exercises, sit in a chair. If you fall asleep, it’s okay! Means you need more rest! But you may also want to practice sitting up to avoid sleeping.

Especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses and enjoy relaxing in the imagery. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!!

Any of the Relaxation Exercises can be used at the beginning of a longer Focusing session, as a way of “clearing a space” inside, so notice which are your favorites you could call upon.

COUNTING MEDITATION

Our first Relaxation exercise #1 was Noticing. Then, in exercise #2 we did Guided Imagery At The Beach, then exercise #3, Guided Imagery in The Forest. Now, with Exercise #4 (p. 6 in the Free Download Complete Focusing Instructions, link at top of page), we go back to a meditation more like Noticing:

Counting Meditation-Allow 10-15 minutes

Here is a simple form of meditation, a way of quieting your mind from its continuous racing—You will learn to discipline yourself to pay attention to counting and breathing, setting aside any thoughts that distract you.

This is not as simple as it sounds! Time and again, you will find that you have forgotten about counting and breathing and allowed your mind to return to its habitual ways of worrying. But the learning is in the trying. If you drift away, simply notice this and return to counting and breathing.

—Lie down or sit down and make yourself comfortable—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—10 seconds

—Begin by simply notice your breathing—do not try to force it—just notice the breath going in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—10 seconds

—Now, you are going to count from one to seven along with your breathing. Count each time you exhale. So, inhale, then, as you exhale, count “1” to yourself—inhale, and, as you exhale, count “2”—inhale, and, as you exhale, count “3”—and so on, until you reach “7”.
30 seconds
—When you reach “7,” just start over again, with inhale, then count “1” on the exhale— and continue up to “7.”
30 seconds
—You will find again and again that you have lost track of your counting and drifted off into random thoughts. Don’t punish yourself or get upset with yourself. Just notice and return to watching your breathing, and counting.
1 minute
— Continue repeating as long as you wish, noticing when your thoughts stray and just bringing yourself gently back to counting, from “1” to “7”, over and again—
5-10 minutes
—And, when you are, ready, slowly come back into the room.

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-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, 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: “CLEARING A SPACE” TO PREPARE FOR INTUITIVE FOCUSING

By , December 1, 2008 4:07 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing E-Course

The purpose: Help you incorporate Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing into your everyday life, at home and at work. Each month we practice one Instant “Ahah!”, one Pre-Focusing: Getting A Felt Sense exercise, and one Complete Focusing exercise (see Free Downloads above). You can subscribe to this thrice-weekly e-course here.

Intuitive Focusing is a process of going quietly inside and paying attention to the “felt sense,” the right-brain “intuitive feel” that is “more-than-words,” then carefully finding words/images for this Creative Edge until there is an “Ahah!” experience inside. However, it can be hard to find the “intuitive feel” when your body is clogged up, confused, overwhelmed, shut down by a crowd of issues and concerns. “Clearing A Space” is a first-step exercise for simply naming each issue and setting it “outside” of oneself — Ahhhh! Immediate tension release just from naming!  Then, later, you can choose to bring one issue back inside for Intuitive Focusing Problem Solving. Below you will find the “Clearing A Space” exercise for Instant Serenity.

Newcomers, you can catch up on this cycle with Clearing A Space Week One and Clearing A Space, Illness, and “I’m okay!” Week Two. “Clearing A Space” can stand on its own, allowing “Instant Serenity,” or can be used as the first step in a longer Intuitive Focusing Turn.

Kathy’s Experience With Clearing Before Focusing Turn
(reported to Creative Edge e-support group)

“I was having a Focusing Partnership turn, and, knowing I was carrying a jumble of issues, I started by “clearing a space,” as I often do at the beginning of a Focusing turn. I was already thinking about five or six things, not knowing which or if any really needed my Focusing attention.

So I started, telling my Listener, that “my plate is full, and I want to sort that out, just naming each thing.” So, I sat quietly for a moment, noticing inside, and the first issue came up:

“Anxiety about my sex, food, and focusing blog. Is it too forward? Too exposing?” So I sat with that anxiety for a moment, noticing where it was physically, then said, “Okay, I want to pick up that plate and set it out on the table before me.” Big sigh. I experienced it then and experience it again as I describe this. Ahhhhh!

Paying attention quietly again, the next issue came up:

“Anxiety about a work group, can it survive all this chaos or will it be too much.” And I sensed into the physical location of that anxiety. Then, again, I said, “Now, I want to lift that full plate and set it outside.” Ahhhhh!

And so it went through three more major issues, each “an anxiety.”

Then, I said, “Oh, I guess the background feeling running through everything is ‘anxiety.’ Maybe I need to pay attention to that. And I did so, and spent some Focusing time, receiving Focused Listening from my Listener, as I explored the overall ‘anxiety,’ hoping it would shift some.

And that is how “clearing a space” led me into a longer, deeper Focusing turn.”
 

Newcomers, Print and Practice!!!!!

This is your Getting A Felt Sense exercise for this four weeks. Print it out, keep it handy, and try it whenever you have time…I will also send a “reminder” copy by email every week…YOU CAN TRY IT IMMEDIATELY WHEN THE EMAIL COMES! a MOMENT TO RELAX AND CHECK INSIDE!

 Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #3: “Clearing A Space”
(from Complete Focusing Instructions)
Week Three of four weeks of practice

Intuitive Focusing is a back-and-forth between words/images and the larger “intuitive feel,” the “bodily-felt sense” of an issue. In Clearing A Space, you are just noticing all the different issues that you are carrying, getting the “felt sense” of each, then setting that “whole thing” outside of yourself. Ahhhh! Big sigh of tension release as you do this. At the end of the “inventory,” you’ll find yourself saying, “Well, except for all that, I am perfectly okay.” You can spend minutes just being in this place of “okay,” which reduces stress but also can have a spiritual dimension of “being connected to Something More.”

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.
Allow 20 minutes
—Lie down or sit in a way that’s comfortable for you—if you tend to fall asleep, you might vary your posture to reduce those cues—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Spend a few moments just noticing your breathing—noticing your breath going in—and out—
1 minute
—Now, ask yourself, “What’s between me and feeling perfectly all right?” and wait and see what issue rises to consciousness: ” Well, there is that whole thing about—‘money’—or ‘my relationship’ or ‘my son’ or ‘that work issue’—”
1 minute
—Spend a moment with this issue, noticing how you carry it in your body—10 seconds

—Is there a tension in your neck?—Or butterflies in your stomach?—Or a clenched jaw? —Or furrows in your forehead?——See if you can find a physical manifestation of this issue as a tension in your body—10 seconds

—Now, ask your self, “What is the “intuitive feel” of this thing?”—Look in the center of your body, inside the chest/heart area, for that right-brain “intuitive feel” that is more than words—not the tension itself, but the “felt sense” of “the whole thing 30 seconds

—Don’t try to go into the issue or try to solve the problem, just notice the “intuitive feel” of the whole thing—30 seconds

—Find some words or an image for the feeling or the “quality” of that whole thing—like “scared, “knotted,” “confusing,” “stretching,” “frustrated”—30 seconds

—Now, imagine that there is a counter or a table out in front of you and imagine that you are wrapping that “whole thing,” – the issue, the physical tension, and the intuitive feel-all of it, up like a parcel and setting it outside of yourself for a moment —you may experience a “sigh” of relief as you imagine lifting it and setting it outside——ahhhhhhh!!—10 seconds

—See if you can set “that whole thing” outside for a while—You can come back and solve it later—Right now, just see if your body can be free of it for a moment—30 seconds

—Now, ask again, “What else is in the way of feeling perfectly okay?” and see what issue arises next—30 seconds

—Again, just name it—10 seconds

—Notice if there is a physical location for the tension of it—10 seconds

—Get the “intuitive feel” of the “whole thing, before words, in the center of your body—30 seconds

—Find a word or an image that captures the quality of that whole thing—30 seconds

—And imagine wrapping “that whole thing” up and setting it out on the counter for a while—30 seconds—

—Continue in this way until all the issues have been named and set outside-
3-5 minutes

—Now, check to see if there is any background feeling still inside—a basic feeling tone that is always present—30 seconds

—If you find such a thing, again, notice it, find a word or image that captures the quality of it, and try to wrap it up and set it outside for a while—
1 minute
—Now, you might want to take an inventory of all the positive things in your life at this point, in the same way, naming each— getting the feel of it— finding some words or an image—and then wrapping it up and setting it on the table
3 minutes
—Now, just enjoy the experience of the “cleared space” in your body—
1 minute
—Sometimes, people experience a state of spiritual Oneness at this point—If that happens to you, just savor it—
1 minute
—You might want to create some words or an image for this good feeling state, so that you can come back here whenever you want—
1 minute
—If you were going to continue with Focusing at this point, you would choose one issue, bring it back into the center of your body, and ask “What’s this all about?” and proceed in a Focusing way

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, 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: RELAXATION GUIDED IMAGERY THE FOREST

By , November 29, 2008 3:19 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Relaxation Guided Imagery Exercises are a first step in “clearing a space inside” for the problem solving process called Intuitive FocusingThey can also stand on their on as a predictable method for putting down the burden of stress for some moments of true relaxation.

Kathy’s Experience: Real Raindrops Lead To Relaxation

“I went out on my deck this evening, in the dark. Steady rain pouring, pattering on the leaves. I decided to do The Forest guided imagery, sitting there in my real forest, with my real deer.

Listening to the rain pattering was so peaceful. Whenever I found my thoughts had drifted into worries, angers of the day, I brought my attention back to just listening to the raindrops, imagining the forest.

The image came of me lying in the grass, rain pattering upon me, me dissolving into the landscape, into the rain. How peaceful.

Theoretically, every moment of this peace in the midst of stress is life-giving, the “relaxation response” a reprieve for the body from carrying toxic stress.

From Creative Edge Focusing: This month’s Relaxation Exercise :

Week Three —“Ahhhhh….pause with me for ten minutes….and just relax!!! I will send this exercise each week as a reminder to pause…

Some people find it easy to drop all their stress and enter into an interior Focusing space. But, many people need easy first steps of practice for “going quietly inside.” And even experienced Focusers get caught up in stress and business and welcome a reminder to take a moment to….pause…..(sigh!)…pay attention to their breathing…….(ahhhhhh!)……and…relax…

The quiet time between instructions is an important time for just breathing—and relaxing.

You can lie on the floor or, for most exercises, sit in a chair. If you fall asleep, it’s okay! Means you need more rest! But you may also want to practice sitting up to avoid sleeping.

Especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses and enjoy relaxing in the imagery. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!!

Any of the Relaxation Exercises can be used at the beginning of a longer Focusing session, as a way of “clearing a space” inside, so notice which are your favorites you could call upon.

Guided Imagery: The Forest-Allow 10-15 minutes

These four weeks, we are doing our Relaxation Exercise in the guided imagery of The Forest. A change from The Beach, we will sink into the soft pine needles, listen to the bubbling brook and the scurrying animals. Find the complete exercise here

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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, 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

THANKSGIVING GOBBLER SONG: SILLY YOUTUBE SONG TO SHARE!

By , November 27, 2008 2:35 pm

Free Downloads on Personal Growth Through Focusing and Listening:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

And, here out of pure silliness, is the perfect Thanksgiving virus song, The Gobble Song, to share with all your family and friends this holiday. Join the over 500,000 people already singing it! You will not be able to get it out of your head.

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=-jW1vWgogLQ

 Now, if you want to get serious, see today’s blog on Thanksgiving, 12-Step and Recovery Focusing

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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, 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 PERSONAL GROWTH AND 12-STEP RECOVERY: A THANKSGIVING POEM

By , November 27, 2008 11:52 am

Immediate Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Below find a link to a beautiful poem, with artwork, of Thanksgiving for the self-knowledge that comes when we use Intuitive Focusing , and the PRISMS/S Focusing Process,   for the kind of gentle Personal Growth that comes from self-reflection, the light of the moon.

http://www.innerwisdoms.com/id16.html

Find more poems, artwork, and the Recovery Focusing model for getting through the holidays with 12-Step Sobriety and self-awareness at  
~~~~~*~~~~~
Suzanne L. Noël, CFT
Insight & Recovery Focusing
http://www.innerwisdoms.com

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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, 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 DREAM WORK: NIGHTMARES ARE HELPFUL, BALANCING

By , November 27, 2008 11:40 am

Immediate Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Using Gendlin’s “bias control,” looking at dream images from opposite-to-usual-ego way (Eugene Gendlin, Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams, available in bookstore at www.focusing.org ), we can see that nightmares, so frightening to the Ego, our usual way of looking at things, are actually a loud and clear message from “the rest of us,” the intuitive, implicit body-knowledge meant to try to offer some balancing information.
 
Here is a nightmare I had recently, and its “message”:
 
“My husband, with his boots on, is working in a small ditch. I step in to help him, then realize there is water in the ditch. It is filled with algae. I become completely terrified as I fall down and start struggling, sure I am going to drown, and hating being in this murky, germ-filled, algae-filled water. I am screaming and screaming desperately, “Get me out of here! Get me out of here!” and wake up in heart-stopping anxiety and terror. A true nightmare for my usual-way-of-looking. Nothing worse than falling into that murky pool.”
 
But let’s look from another perspective, for instance, the perspective of my husband in the dream. First of all, he has his boots on to keep his feet dry. He is prepared for standing in water. Also, seeing me struggling and terrified, he is perfectly aware that the water is way too shallow for me to drown in. And the algae — well, it is just a kind of life, not poisonous in any way!
 
I look at the dream images through one way I have of understanding a difference between my husband and myself, in waking life. In our shared life-situation, as we try to help our son struggle through divorce/custody/job issues, I am overwhelmed with anxiety, sleepless, seeking every possible catastrophic outcome, every danger to be avoided. He sleeps well, functions well in his day job, “compartmentalizes,” as he calls it.

On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI — see Personality Tests ), he is ISTJ, me INFJ. We share Introversion and Judging (being organized). But he is Sensing Thinking (ST), I iNtuitive Feeling (NF). And it is this sixth sense, this Intuition, that, while having a positive side, also leads me to imagine every future possibility, positive and negative.
 
My husband, in his five-Senses way, lives comfortably in the “real-world,” the common, everyday world. He is not frightened about all of its implications. He is not worried about its germs, its algae. He is not afraid of drowning in its shallow ditches. It is me who is terrified of it.
 
And, so, the nightmare tries to send my consciousness an alternate message: “This reality, these daily life events,  is only a shallow ditch. It is only algae, not poison. You will not drown in it.”
 
And, in my waking anxiety, I can keep bringing this dream image back to help me find balance.
 

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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, 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: “CLEARING A SPACE” FOR STRESS REDUCTION, CHRONIC ILLNESS, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, OVERWHELM

By , November 27, 2008 12:11 am

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

CLEARING A SPACE” = FREEDOM FROM ILLNESS, OVERWHELM

 “Clearing A Space” is a first step in the Intuitive Focusing Problem Solving Process . But it can also be used as a free-standing exercise for stress reduction and “instant serenity.”

A number of different research studies have shown that using the formal “Clearing A Space” exercise you are learning this month (newcomers, find the introduction to this exercise in last week’s “Felt Sensing”: Clearing A Space = Instant Serenity) has positive effects for women with breast cancer.

In general, “Clearing A Space” allows a person with a chronic illness or chronic stressful situation to put that whole burden down for a while and experience “I am not my illness. I am not my problems. Separate from all of that, I can experience ME as totally okay.” Often people also experience a deep spiritual connection with the positive energy of the Universe, a Higher Power, connection to other people.

Kathy’s Experience (reported to Creative Edge Practice e-support group)

Okay, it’s days later, but I opened my Clearing A Space e-reminder and took some minutes to do it, since I do believe in taking time to practice, but, more importantly, to let my body “take a breather” from carrying stress.

So. I am instructed:

— to ask “What is in the way between me and feeling totally OK?”,

— to take the first issue that arises,

— see if I can find a way I carry it in my body (perhaps a physically-located tension),

— notice that, and try to get the larger “feel of the whole thing,” the felt sense (more likely found in the center of the body, the chest/lung/heart area), and

— to find a “quality” or “emotion” word to describe it.

— Then, I get to try to wrap the whole thing up, like a parcel and —

— ahhhhhh! Set it on a table out in front of me, out of “my body.”

Truly, whenever I describe that “lifting out,” even if I am just teaching about it, I get a huge “Ahhhhh!” of relief as I make some space inside.

But, for me, first I got “fatigue,” which became “so tired I could be nauseous and throw up.” So, I tried to set that outside. Ahhhh!
Not completely gone, but some more “clear space” inside.

Next, came “anxious,” “rushing,” “rushing,” “rushing.” So, again, after spending a little time with the “feel of that whole thing,” I wrapped it up and set it outside — Ahhhhhhh! (that relief happens again as I describe this).

Next came “paralyzed,” a familiar tension in my right jaw. This can be a “sink hole” for me, a too-familiar old place that just feels worse if I “fall” into it, so I was careful to stay just at the edge — some words about “just give up.” I cautiously wrapped that up and tried to set it outside. It wouldn’t budge. So, like a mother prying a child out of a car seat, I picked it up and said “Come on. You are getting out of here!” I set it on the table, but it was like an infant or toddler who just screamed, like it couldn’t stand being alone out there. So, I noticed that. But, still, I felt some relief, having set it outside. Ahhhhhhh!

So, given all of that, all those “problems” sitting out there, I began to feel the miracle of “Clearing A Space” — it is really true that, suddenly, inside it begins to feel more like “Well, except for all of that, I am really okay.” I begin to feel all that “okayness” inside, that peacefulness that is ME, not all my problems. Yes. That almost brings tears.

So, that is the magic of Clearing A Space.

 Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #3: “Clearing A Space”
(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.

Clearing A Space is for those times when your body is so clogged up with issues that it’s hard to get a felt sense, an “intuitive feel,” for any one of them. Instead, you may feel overwhelmed, depressed, numb.

Clearing A Space involves identifying each issue that you are carrying in a physical way and setting it outside of yourself, if only for a moment, so that your body can breath more freely. Later, you can take one issue back inside and work on it in an Intuitive Focusing way. But Clearing A Space can give your body a break even before the problems can be solved.

Clearing A Space can be especially effective when people must carry a chronic illness, an irresolvable problem, or an ongoing stress every day. It provides a way to get some moments of stress reduction and refurbishment, some moments when the burden can be set down and the body/mind can breath freely (Neil Friedman developed some of the imagery below)

Clearing A Space- Allow 20 minutes

—Lie down or sit in a way that’s comfortable for you—if you tend to fall asleep, you might vary your posture to reduce those cues—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Spend a few moments just noticing your breathing—noticing your breath going in—and out—
1 minute
—Now, ask yourself, “What’s between me and feeling perfectly all right?” and wait and see what issue rises to consciousness: ” Well, there is that whole thing about—‘money’—or ‘my relationship’ or ‘my son’ or ‘that work issue’—”
1 minute
—Spend a moment with this issue, noticing how you carry it in your body—10 seconds

—Is there a tension in your neck?—Or butterflies in your stomach?—Or a clenched jaw? —Or furrows in your forehead?——See if you can find a physical manifestation of this issue as a tension in your body—10 seconds

—Now, ask your self, “What is the “intuitive feel” of this thing?”—Look in the center of your body, inside the chest/heart area, for that right-brain “intuitive feel” that is more than words—not the tension itself, but the “felt sense” of “the whole thing 30 seconds

—Don’t try to go into the issue or try to solve the problem, just notice the “intuitive feel” of the whole thing—30 seconds

—Find some words or an image for the feeling or the “quality” of that whole thing—like “scared, “knotted,” “confusing,” “stretching,” “frustrated”—30 seconds

—Now, imagine that there is a counter or a table out in front of you and imagine that you are wrapping that “whole thing,” – the issue, the physical tension, and the intuitive feel-all of it, up like a parcel and setting it outside of yourself for a moment —you may experience a “sigh” of relief as you imagine lifting it and setting it outside——ahhhhhhh!!—10 seconds

—See if you can set “that whole thing” outside for a while—You can come back and solve it later—Right now, just see if your body can be free of it for a moment—30 seconds

—Now, ask again, “What else is in the way of feeling perfectly okay?” and see what issue arises next—30 seconds

—Again, just name it—10 seconds

—Notice if there is a physical location for the tension of it—10 seconds

—Get the “intuitive feel” of the “whole thing, before words, in the center of your body—30 seconds

—Find a word or an image that captures the quality of that whole thing—30 seconds

—And imagine wrapping “that whole thing” up and setting it out on the counter for a while—30 seconds—

—Continue in this way until all the issues have been named and set outside-
3-5 minutes

—Now, check to see if there is any background feeling still inside—a basic feeling tone that is always present—30 seconds

—If you find such a thing, again, notice it, find a word or image that captures the quality of it, and try to wrap it up and set it outside for a while—
1 minute
—Now, you might want to take an inventory of all the positive things in your life at this point, in the same way, naming each— getting the feel of it— finding some words or an image—and then wrapping it up and setting it on the table
3 minutes
—Now, just enjoy the experience of the “cleared space” in your body—
1 minute
—Sometimes, people experience a state of spiritual Oneness at this point—If that happens to you, just savor it—
1 minute
—You might want to create some words or an image for this good feeling state, so that you can come back here whenever you want—
1 minute
—If you were going to continue with Focusing at this point, you would choose one issue, bring it back into the center of your body, and ask “What’s this all about?” and proceed in a Focusing way
Repeat For Newcomers (Old timers, nothing new below):

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. 

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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, 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

RELAXATION: GUIDED IMAGERY “THE FOREST”— Are You Practicing The Exercises?

By , November 23, 2008 3:02 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

I am teaching Pre-Focusing practices of Relaxation, Meditation, and Guided Imagery as a way of “Clearing A Space Inside” of your body where you can then do a longer Intuitive Focusing Problem Solving session if you choose. But these exercises also stand on their own as a way to give your body/mind a life-giving few moments free from stress.

Kathy’s Experience of Falling Off “The Relaxation Wagon”

Well, you know (I know) that you have “fallen off the Relaxation exercises wagon” when, late Friday afternoon, your webdesigner says, “Now, may I suggest that you just relax!”

And, so I did. I lay down on the floor, stretched—and relaxed—three times, and took myself into a guided fantasy of being in The Forest.

It was harder than being at the beach—the Forest is more of a childhood memory. But, as I travelled, more and more memories, wishes, dreams came to mind and seemed to enrich just being there.

I took my shoes off, wandered through the dappled sunshine/shade to the side of the babbling brook. There, I found a beautiful moss-covered rock (nothing is richer than the green of water-side moss), and sat on it, dipping my bare feet into the water. I really looked at the brook rushing over the stones (reminded me of the cover of the Focusing (Bantam, 1981, by Gendlin) paperback. I noticed a turtle, and a frog, and then, oh so delighted, almost leaping off the rock to cup my hands around, I found a tadpole in the water.—

This reminded me of many childhood experiences of finding something so glorious and living in nature and transported me back to that playful, always-ready-to-be-delighted-and-surprised childhood state. And that —was very relaxing.

I saw a squirrel shy and chittering about its new-found acorn; a chipmunk more brave and chittering and scurrying; a fox slyly drifting behind the trees; an owl perched above waiting for night-flight—very relaxing.

And I came back into the room, finally, this week, having taken a few moments just to spend time inside and to relax.

From Creative Edge Focusing: This month’s Relaxation Exercise :

Week Two —“Ahhhhh….pause with me for ten minutes….and just relax!!! I will send this exercise each week as a reminder to pause…

Some people find it easy to drop all their stress and enter into an interior Focusing space. But, many people need easy first steps of practice for “going quietly inside.” And even experienced Focusers get caught up in stress and business and welcome a reminder to take a moment to….pause…..(sigh!)…pay attention to their breathing…….(ahhhhhh!)……and…relax…
The quiet time between instructions is an important time for just breathing—and relaxing.

You can lie on the floor or, for most exercises, sit in a chair. If you fall asleep, it’s okay! Means you need more rest! But you may also want to practice sitting up to avoid sleeping.

Especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses and enjoy relaxing in the imagery. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!!

Any of the Relaxation Exercises can be used at the beginning of a longer Focusing session, as a way of “clearing a space” inside, so notice which are your favorites you could call upon.

Guided Imagery: The Forest-Allow 10-15 minutes

These four weeks, we are doing our Relaxation Exercise in the guided imagery of The Forest. A change from The Beach, we will sink into the soft pine needles, listen to the bubbling brook and the scurrying animals. Find the exercise here in an earlier blog.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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, 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

PASSIVE LISTENING TURNS: Quakers, 12-Steps, Sacred Circles

By , November 22, 2008 4:17 pm

Free Downloads right here:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Instant “Ahah!”s #3: Passive Listening Turns: Stop Argument.
Does Passive Listening Work? —
Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director Week Two

Does Passive Listening Work?

Did you have a chance to try Passive Listening turns this week? If so, what was your experience? Please email me.
If you just joined this e-course, see last week’s Instant “Ahah!” #3: Passive Listening Turns Save the World? for an introduction and example of this exercise.

Do you think that everyone could learn this simple protocol starting as children, in school? Do you think it would work, e.g., that, not allowed to interrupt each other, people would “hear” something different that would soften their opposing positions?

Reminds me of the Gestalt Two-Chair procedure where, even for intrapsychic conflict resolution, one has uninterrupted turns for each side, expecting a “softening.”

And, of course, the Quakers have used a no-interruption sharing circle for decision making and conflict resolution for decades.

And, purportedly, at least some Native American tribes used a similar Sacred Circle for conflict resolution and decision making, going around and around the circle for days if needed.

And almost every women’s group I have joined uses this Sharing Circle as a meeting format, each person having an uninterrupted turn.

And, of course, all 12-step meetings have this “no-cross talk” structure.

Why? Because without interruption:

(a) the speaker can refer to the fresh Creative Edge, the bodily-felt sense and create new, fresh words and images out of this “intuitive feel” of the whole situation

(b) the listener can really “hear” what the other is saying, instead of concentrating on grabbing a turn to have their say.

Remember, you want to review Instant “Ahah!” #3 Passive Listening Turns with your significant others when there is no argument, and find a timer, a place, and a neutral signal, like “popcorn,” that everyone will recognize means “sit down, start the timer, and take turns.”

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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, 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

PRE-FOCUSING PRACTICE: RELAXATION #3 — GUIDED IMAGERY: THE FOREST

By , November 19, 2008 11:38 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual 

From Creative Edge Focusing: This month’s Relaxation Exercise : Week One —“Ahhhhh….pause with me for ten minutes….and just relax!!! I will send this exercise each week as a reminder to pause…

Being able to set aside the jumbled thoughts of the day and create a “clear space” inside is a first step in preparation for Intuitive Focusing.

Some people find it easy to drop all their stress and enter into an interior Focusing space. But, many people need easy first steps of practice for “going quietly inside.” And even experienced Focusers get caught up in stress and business and welcome a reminder to take a moment to….pause…..(sigh!)…pay attention to their breathing…….(ahhhhhh!)……and…relax…

Later in the week you will receive and practice a formal “clearing a space” exercise. But here is another basic relaxation exercise to encourage you to take those few moments to step out of stress and begin paying attention to your bodily-felt sense of your living.

The quiet time between instructions is an important time for just breathing—and relaxing.

You can lie on the floor or, for most exercises, sit in a chair. If you fall asleep, it’s okay! Means you need more rest! But you may also want to practice sitting up to avoid sleeping.

Especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses and enjoy relaxing in the imagery. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!!

Any of the Relaxation Exercises can be used at the beginning of a longer Focusing session, as a way of “clearing a space” inside, so notice which are your favorites you could call upon.

Guided Imagery: The Forest-Allow 10-15 minutes

These next four weeks, we will do our Relaxation Exercise in the guided imagery of The Forest. A change from The Beach, we will sink into the soft pine needles, listen to the bubbling brook and the scurrying animals.

—Lie down or sit down and get comfortable—Loosen any clothing that is too tight—10 seconds

—Stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—10 seconds

—Notice your breathing without trying to change it—just noticing the breath, going in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—
1 minute
—Now, imagine yourself in a cool, dark, forest—10 seconds

—Walk along a path by a bubbling spring—noticing the ferns and wildflowers—the shy, small forest animals—10 seconds.

—Come upon a clearing with a soft cushion of silent pine needles—10 seconds

—Lie down and listen to the wind whistling through the pine trees—10 seconds

—Hear the spring bubbling beside you—10 seconds

—Feel the soft cushion of pine needles beneath you—10 seconds

— Listen to the breeze blowing the branches—back and forth—back and forth—10 seconds

—The spring bubbling—10 seconds

— The breeze blowing the branches—10 seconds

—Hear the birds calling in the trees—10 seconds

—Birds calling back and forth—10 seconds

—Hear the rustle of small animals around you—curious rabbits—and mice—10 seconds

—Stay here as long as you like—
3-5 minutes
—And, when you are ready, stretch, and massage any tension in your face, neck, shoulders, or feet, if you like—
1 minute

Print and Practice!!!!! Visit The Forest

Here is your relaxation exercise for this month. Print it out, keep it handy, and take those few moments to relax every day, if you can, or as often as possible. Or, you can just open this weekly reminder and walk through the exercise online. Relaxing is one way to “clear a space” inside for a longer-term Focusing Problem Solving session.

You will also find this in the Complete Focusing Instructions download at Creative Edge Focusing, p.5: Pre-Focusing Practice A. Relaxation Suggestions #3: The Forest. You get it by joining our e-support group for further support in practicing Listening and Focusing.  Or, you can download Complete Focusing Instructions from the link at the top of this blog.

And, if you order our Self-Help Package, also in the sidebar icons of our website, you can listen on audio CD Intuitive Focusing: Disk one, Track 4, with Dr, McGuire’s peaceful voice to keep you company — and help you stay on track!! 

Tell me what you think at [email protected] 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, 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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