Posts tagged: depression

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

FOCUSING AND LISTENING: CHANGING PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS THROUGH EMPATHY AND INNER ATTENTION TO THE BODY’S MESSAGE

By , January 11, 2009 2:50 pm
Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

MEDICAL CHANGE EVENT: FROM MIGRAINE TO TEARS OF MEANING
 
While
Instant “Ahah!” # 4, Five-Minute Grieving,  specifically addresses what to do if a patient, friend, or co-worker begins to cry, the excerpt below shows how using Intuitive Focusing to “sit with” the “intuitive feel” of a physical symptom. Intuitive Focusing can allow that symptom to open into an “Ahah!” of deeper meanings, with a sheen of tears in the eye often the body’s signpost of a place to stop and go deeper into “the feel of the whole thing.”
 
The excerpt is a tiny portion of a Focusing Partnership session. The Focuser is experienced in using Intuitive Focusing. The Listener is experienced in Focused Listening, Dr. McGuire’s  version of Carl Rogers ‘ Empathic or Active Listening.

Early on, as the Focuser talks about waking with the beginnings of a migraine headache and related issues, the Listener notices a faint “shimmer of tears.” She suggests that the Focuser stop and “sense into” the place of tears. By the end of the session, the Focuser has moved through deep sobbing about the heavy burden of depression she has carried “for soooo long” and experiences the liveliness of a “felt shift,” “being lighter, wanting to dance!” She states that the migraine has abated.
 
The Focusing Partnership session begins with Focuser and Listener in chairs facing each other. The Focuser, because of her comfort with the Intuitive Focusing process from past practice, chose to keep her eyes closed throughout the session, attending to her inner experiencing. The Listener, Dr. McGuire, begins:
 
Listener: “So, just feel comfortable closing your eyes and going inside, coming in tune with whatever is there—Let me know if you need some help or when you’re ready to begin speaking—
 
Focuser: (10 second pause)—“—This morning when I awakened, I  had a headache on the left side of my head, and I thought, ‘Oh, it’s  migraine coming on’— so I’m just sensing into what that was  about, um, like, my body was really full of toxins, like I just wanted to kind of shake the toxins out.”
 
Listener: “So, even on waking, you noticed there was the beginning of a headache on the left side of your head, and you spent some time with it, just sensing into it, and the feeling was of toxins in your body, and you just wanted to shake them out, shake them out.”
 
Focuser: (30 second pause) ——- “And I notice that my throat is stopped up this morning, and that’s something I’ve been working on, we’ve been working on together—something deep emotional there in my throat, getting kind of choked up.”  
 
[The Focuser is doing the first step of Intuitive Focusing, “clearing a space,” noticing and naming the various issues she is carrying so she can choose one to work on]
 
Listener: “Yea, so you’re aware of that now, too, your throat getting choked up, and that’s something we’ve worked on before, and it’s connected to deep emotional things—and it seemed like I even saw a shimmer of tears as you described that—maybe just be with that, sit with that ‘choked up.'”
 
[The Listener notices the beginnings of tears and gives an Intuitive Focusing Instruction, suggesting that the Focuser stop talking and pay attention to the “felt sense.”] 
 
Focuser: (tears visible under closed eyelids, face reddening, voice thickening) “What bothers me about it is I keep trying to clear my throat, and it doesn’t clear. I keep trying to clear it, and it prevents me from speaking the way I want to speak, and it’s annoying to people, I think.”
 
Listener: “Uhhuh.”
 
Focuser: “It somehow prevents me from projecting my voice—” 
 
Listener: “Umhm.”
 
Focuser: “I keep trying to get it out, and it just stays there, it’s uh—”
 
Listener: “Umhm—so what bothers you is you keep trying to clear it out, and it won’t go, and you also think it makes it difficult for other people. You want to project your voice and get it out, and that’s hard for the other people, too, you can’t really speak.”
 
Focuser: “That really prevents communication.”
 
You can read the entire excerpt, with commentary, and see the “felt shift” for yourself in Medical Change Events Through Experiential Focusing. You can view the entire 12-minute session in the DVD Listening/Focusing Demonstrations, also part of The Self-Help Package.
 
 Download “Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears for many examples of how tears and Focusing interrelate and “Finding The Meaning In Tears” for exercises for using Focusing to find the meaning in your tears. Both articles are packed with real-life examples of how tears “touch us” and “move us” in positive ways.

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: OVERCOMING ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, OVERWHELM, AND NUMBNESS CAUSED BY AN OVERLOAD OF NEGATIVE SITUATIONS

By , January 10, 2009 3:19 pm
Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

SITUATION PILE UPS AND NEGATIVE SPIRALS
 
Intuitive Focusing is a meditation-like practice which allows you to sort through your thoughts and emotional reactions by paying attention to the way in which your “physical body” and your larger “intuitive, gut feel” hold information needed for problem solving.

I can use Intuitive Focusing for “sensing into” the “intuitive feel” left by situations to clear my inner space, sort through meanings, and come up with action steps many times a week. However,  there are two other inner events related to outer situations and interactions that are harder to unravel. I call them “situation pile ups” and “negative spirals.”
 
SITUATION PILE UPS
 
Sometimes I find myself feeling overwhelmed, or maybe numb, like concrete, or stiffened from stress and anxiety. When I find time to gently “sit with” the “feel of it all,” I can start to unravel what may have been a “situation pile up.” The final feeling state is the result of several situations or incidences during the week where the “felt residue” went unnoticed and unattended to. Hence, the “pile up” into complete overwhelm or numbness.
 
Please download the “Complete Focusing Instructions” from the link above so you have access to the exercises I refer to below.

Perhaps starting with a Relaxation Exercise like #1. Noticing (p. 3) or #4. Counting Meditation (p.6), I might then move to Felt Sensing # 3, Clearing a Space (p. 10 in Complete Focusing Instructions).

Clearing A Space

 As I ask myself, “What is between me and feeling totally okay?”, I can sit silently, eyes closed,  with each issue or situation or interaction that arises, notice the “bodily-felt sense” of “that whole thing,” take a moment to find a “handle” word for it, then set it outside of me (ahhhhh!). Eventually, I will find a cleared space inside and be able to say, “Except for all of that, I am totally okay.” I will realize that a series of unresolved situations or interactions have “piled up.” I can now choose to take them one at a time and use Instant Ahah #1, Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You, to go more deeply into problem resolution.
 
NEGATIVE SPIRALS
 
Similarly, I might find myself falling into negative statements and beliefs about myself, saying “I am so stupid,” “Nobody wants me,” “There is something terribly wrong with me,” “I never do anything right,” etc. There seems to be a negative spiral, going deeper and deeper into despair and negative thinking.
 
Again, such a negative spiral can be the end result of a number of situations or interactions that left an unresolved “residue.” In this case, they may all have coalesced around a theme, like “I am worthless.” And again, the solution is to stop and commit some quiet time to Intuitive Focusing.

Start with a Relaxation Exercise, then perhaps Clearing A Space followed by a longer Focusing session (see above for links to these exercises). Simply by sitting with the negative feelings, giving them an empathic hearing, and asking open-ended questions like “What is this all about?”, you can begin to trace the negative feelings back to actual situations and interactions. Now, knowing what really happened, you can begin to look for solutions and action steps.
 
Especially with overwhelming negative spirals, you will want to use some specific techniques for dealing with the inner Critic and for finding a way to give a negative feeling a voice without falling into it. Ann Weiser Cornell, with her Inner Relationship Focusing methods, has specialized in helping Focusers to “disidentify” from all the various “parts” or “voices” or “aspects” inside, giving each an empathic hearing. You can learn some of these methods in upcoming Level 1 and 2 tele-classes with Ruth Hirsch, an Inner Relationship teacher and Creative Edge Associate.

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: BEING TOUCHED AND BEING MOVED — THE SPIRITUAL VALUE OF TEARS

By , January 6, 2009 12:09 am

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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.

 

 

BEING TOUCHED AND BEING MOVED: THE SPIRITUAL VALUE OF TEARS

In his book, Feelings:Our Vital Signs (Harper, Row Perennials, 1979), Willard Gaylin makes the following distinction:

“Touched is generally a light emotion, although we do experience feelings of being deeply touched. The fact that we speak of it so (and it is not considered redundant) merely affirms the sense of touch as being a gentle feeling. The caress is its symbol. It arises almost inevitably in terms of something that is done for us by someone. It is a person-to-person emotion.

Being moved, on the other hand, is a deep and intense emotion and it rarely relates to a transaction between people. More often than not, the feeling of being moved is in relationship to certain abstractions, events, concepts, and sensations—The most common experience of being moved is in relationship to some encounter with grandeur(p.196)—

There is a physical feeling implicit in the very name of the emotion “being moved.” We do tend to feel “transported” by this emotion—the feeling of our being lifted out of ourselves—establishes an identification of ourself as a part of something bigger.(p.197) It is the emotion of spiritual communion, and, as such, may be the essential feeling of the religious experience.”

It is so pleasing to me to hear someone make such fine distinctions between “feelings” as are more often made between “ideas.”

In my experience, “being touched” and “being moved” are very often signalled by a sheen of tears in the eyes, nature’s signal to us that “This here-and-now is important.” We think of tears as related to painful experiences and overlook how often they signify love, happiness, joy, awe, reverence.

If we pause and use Intuitive Focusing to “sense into” the meaning signalled by the tears, we find ourselves enriched by a “tap root to the core of your Being and to the Universe.” See this excerpt below on using Focusing to find the meaning in tears:

From Chapter Six, manuscript The Wisdom of Tears © Dr. Kathy McGuire
FINDING THE MEANING IN TEARS

By now you have experienced the sheen of tears. Perhaps you have come to treasure moments of being touched and moved. They are an instant channel to energy, a tap root to the core of your Being and to the Universe.

 

You may find yourself asking some questions:

— What does it mean to “be moved by” something?
Am I supposed to do something?

— Do my tears mean anything? Are they trying to
tell me something?

— Why do I always cry when I see a particular
thing?

— Are my tears related to something from my
childhood?

— Do the same things touch other people as touch
me?

What Is ‘Meaning’?

You experience the meaning of living by having feelings in your body, not from ideas in your head. “Meaning” lies in your unique feeling response to any situation, based on your own lifetime of experiences. One man might experience a terrible grief when his father is dying: “Oh, I can’t go on living. He means so much to me. Everything that is important to me is wrapped up in him.” Another man may have a different experience at his father’s death, a sadness tinged with joy: “I’ll miss him, but it means that he is free. His time has come.” By carefully making words for feelings, you can find your own unique meanings.

Being open to tears, anger, embarrassment, love, and other emotions allows you to discover, through the exploration of the “felt meaning,” the personal meanings which give value and direction to your life. It might help to think of feelings as “felt meaning”– your feeling of the meaning of the situation to you. They are your access to the network of thoughts and beliefs which gives a goal and a direction, a meaning or a purpose, to your life.

For instance, when I saw a slender, Asian woman stand up as the violin soloist at a concert and launch into sound, I welled up with tears. The tears indicated that the situation had meaning for me. I found the precise meaning as I made words for the texture of the feeling: “It’s not just that she is a woman, but that she is small and feminine. I can be feminine and be powerful. A small, feminine person can be the vehicle for excellence. I have never seen this before. Always before the vehicle has been a man. Women can do this. I can do this.”

If I had not allowed myself to experience the emotion, to taste the tears and look for words to describe them, I would have been cut off from the profound meanings in the situation, meanings that could affect the entire course of my life.

The capacity to feel the meaning in situations, to be moved to tears, is a skill and a gift overlooked in our society. Psychologists and philosophers note the feelings of isolation, alienation, and despair called the “existential neurosis:” “What’s the meaning of my life?” The loss of meaning can be traced to the downplaying of the ability to feel and thus to discover the personal values which can guide meaningful action.”

You can begin to notice the landscape of your tears as an Eskimo can decipher 100 different kinds of snow.

Download “Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears for many examples of how tears and Focusing interrelate and “Finding The Meaning In Tears”  for exercises for using Focusing to find the meaning in your tears. Both articles are packed with real-life examples of how tears “touch us” and “move us” in positive ways.

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: GRIEVING IS ALCHEMICAL TRANSFORMATION

By , December 25, 2008 10:42 pm

Grieving = Alchemy
 
Alchemy is about transforming something gross and terrible into gold, the most precious metal. Alchemy needs going through a fire of transformation within a protective container.
 
Grieving is alchemical. If you can welcome it and stick with it and see it through, you will come out the other end having created something new and valuable.
 
In grieving properly, we are welcoming and honoring the memories and meanings of our loss. We are viewing our grieving Self with compassion. We create love and self-love.
 
C.S. Lewis wrote one of the best, short books about grieving, A Grief Observed (this is a link to Amazon listing). He describes, upon the death of his wife, going down into despair, then, one day, coming out the end of the tunnel, being able to really hear, really experience the birds singing again.
 
Please see my articles Active Grieving Part One and Active Grieving Part Two for a philosophy about welcoming grieving and actual techniques for using Focusing to enhance the journey through grief. While I used childbearing losses as the example, the philosophy and procedures apply to Actively Grieving any loss — facilitating transformation.

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

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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.

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

GENDLIN’S FOCUSING: RELIEVING OVERWHELMING HOLIDAY ANXIETY

By , December 16, 2008 5:29 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

DEMONSTRATION OF “FELT SHIFT” THROUGH INTUITIVE FOCUSING

The Kaleidoscope Turns and New Solutions Become Possible

Yesterday, I used Gendlin’s Focusing, (bookstore, www.focusing.org ),  or my version  Intuitive Focusing, to try to relieve some overwhelming “free floating anxiety” I was suddenly experiencing. I thought it was related to holiday overwhelm somehow, but nothing I told myself, and nothing I tried doing, alleviated it. So, I sat down, went quietly inside, and asked myself the Focusing Question, “What is this anxiety/overwhelm all about?” 

I intended to use the specific Clearing A Space exercise to make a list of all the various issues I was carrying in a bodily-felt way, and to set each one outside of myself until I could relax and experience “Except for all of that out on the table, I am totally okay!”.

As I worked through the Clearing A space exercise, I hit upon one specific issue which seemed the “crux” of it all, where my body said, “Yes, yes, that is it! That is what is causing the anxiety!” Gendlin calls this “Ahah!” a “felt shift.” I call it a Paradigm shift: the kaleidoscope turns, the Gestalt changes, and new solutions suddenly appear.

Since that new awareness, the anxiety has disappeared, I have slept well, and, today, I find I have, without thinking about it, changed my priorities in a way which should allow me to avoid this particular anxious state again.

So, here is my Intuitive Focusing Turn, including the Clearing A Space Exercise and a “felt shift” with new action steps arising:

Okay, why am I so nervous, having an anxiety attack. So, “clearing a space” by taking an inventory of “all the things I am carrying inside” — stopping to close eyes, breath in, take this Focusing Question toward my solar plexis area, and waiting for a “felt sense,” an “intuitive feel” to form in response, then looking for words/images to capture that, instead of answering with the “already-known” in my Mind — so, breathing deeply, slowing down, Focusing inward) —

—It’s the holiday season. Focusing Discussion e-list, etc., are quieting down, yet I feel like I need to keep stirring up action, keeping my e-lists alive, blogging — perhaps I need to declare a holiday break for myself, since everyone else seems to need one as well! Setting this aside for more attention later, if needed — big sigh. (sensing in again: What else?”) Big sigh

—Speaking to my son on the phone. He always calls me when he is unhappy. Today unhappy at his job, cold working outside, lonely still being out of town, pissed off about new rules about workers logging in new “time records,” showing how they spent their time on each job, being paid only for time justified, or something like that (this is threatening to me, since it could be a way of deciding who will be laid off in these tight economic times ) —

Something teary here about how “disgruntled” he is — stopping to “sense in” to this “intuitive feel” — the words come “Somehow this will be endless, this worry about him and his job, unless I change something about the way I am or the way I am with him” — when he is employed, I still worry every minute he will lose his job — I am always worried about him.

Something teary here, and I am remembering a recent nighttime dream I had, where he and his baby had had to move out of the apartment I was providing, had to get away from me, but some woman with him had left me two glossy, healthy, very green plants, and in a very tidy way; she had “cleaned up” after them — one was a jade plant, a succulent (something teary here, so sensing in—) a succulent saves up water in its leaves for dry times, but its leaves are also very fat and lush — well, I am going to stop here with this issue, set it aside for later, and keep “clearing a space,” making my list, seeing if I can alleviate this anxiety —-

Big sigh (sensing in again, “What else am I carrying?”)

—And something sobbing about JUST HOW MUCH I AM CARRYING, too many things, not just any one thing —

—There is a huge transition with my handicapped step-daughter, trying to move her out of our home and into her own apartment, with 24-hour supervision paid by the government. She has turned 18. Let me stop and “sense into” this one –

— (sobbing here) —she is so needy, and her neediness is increasing during this transition — “Mom, who will get your Christmas ornaments when you die? Who will get your money? Can I have this? Can I have that to take with me? I’ve got to buy this and that and this and that—” (just letting myself feel “this whole thing” about M., her needs, her endless anxiety, these last few weeks, when we are exhausted already, perhaps escalating in difficulty —-

YES,” MY WHOLE BODY SAYS, “YES, THAT IS IT!” THERE IS  A “FELT SHIFT” IN THIS ANXIETY, SOME WORDS FOR IT.  YES, THIS IS A BIG PART OF IT: ANXIETY ABOUT M.’S TRANSITION.

So I am just going to sit with this a little while here,”sensing into” it — Yes, I just need to acknowledge that her needs are going to consume this holiday time, and I need to remind myself that this should be the end of it, in terms of her moving out of our responsibility and to the care-giving agency (except the meeting guaranteeing state financial aid has not happened, but I must trust the agency will get this covered —) Big sigh

That is actually quite relieving of the anxiety. I am laughing and telling myself, “Kathy, plan to have your own holiday after Jan. 1, because it is not going to happen now!”

THAT IS A BIG FELT SHIFT IN THE ANXIETY. THAT IS THE MAGIC OF INTUITIVE FOCUSING — FINDING WORDS FOR EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THAT IS GOING ON INSIDE.

Another big breath, big sigh of tension release. The words are not particularly cheery, but way better than free-floating anxiety!

Back to “clearing a space.” I ask myself, “Is there anything else on my list of issues I am carrying in my body?” (stopping to “sense in” quietly)

—Well, the continuing saga with my son’s divorce/custody dragging on and on, and not being sure the law office is really on top of it — and any inquiry costing me much money, so — not enough reassurance that they are on top of it. Maybe I will call and say, “Please respond in some way, I’ll pay the $10-20, just to be sure you are on top of this. Tell me what the delay is.You could be on vacation for all I know!”

Going to stop here! Have to go do some things and let this “shift” about M’s needs being overwhelming during this time, and just be aware of that, not constantly surprised!

NEXT DAY: NEW ACTION STEPS AND SOLUTIONS ARISE, ANXIETY IS GONE

I slept well, woke to find myself automatically re-ordering my priorities. I found ways to decrease work-related demands over the holidays. I spent the day cleaning my house and arranging table settings for my step-daughter’s graduation party tomorrow night.

Then, I took her “hope chest” of apartment-related items out of her crowded room and spread them out under her Christmas tree. Suddenly, it had become “all right” to allow her and her needs to be the “center of attention.” Intuitive Focusing had not only relieved my anxiety but also allowed new possibilities and solutions to arise.

 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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: “WHY PRACTICE FOCUSING?”

By , December 11, 2008 2:33 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

 

 

Why Practice Intuitive Focusing?

 

In answering this question, freshly, for today, even after thirty years of practicing Focusing, I am going to do Intuitive Focusing!

 

Instead of answering the question from my “head,” the “already-known,” I am going to pause, close my eyes, pay attention to my breathing for a while to come in touch with my body, then, turning my attention toward the center of my body, around my solar plexis/heart area.

 

I am going to wait, for a LONG, LONG minute or more, for the “intuitive feel,” the “whole body-sensing” to form in response to the question.

 

Only when I can feel this thickening of vague, preverbal “intuitive knowledge” forming, then I will begin to look for words or an image that begin to “fit,” to capture this whole-body sensing in response to the question. I will go back and forth, “checking and resonating” any words or images that come against the “bodily feel” until something “shifts” — by body, through a small or large release of tension, says “Yes, that fits. You are on the right track” or “Ahah! That is exactly it.”

So, here I go: “Why practice Focusing?”  (long pause for “felt sensing”) — 

— And, already, my body says, “Change the question. Make it more personal. This is too intellectual, makes you answer from your head” — So, the new question: “Why do I practice Focusing?”  And, again, I pause, waiting for the “intuitive feel” to form, before looking for words/images to express it — (long pause, eyes closed, paying attention to solar plexis — diaphragm —  area ) —

Big sigh (already tension release!)  — I practice Intuitive Focusing because I am a “kinesthetic” person — so, now, I pause to look for the “intuitive feel” of those words TO ME :”What do I mean by ‘kinesthetic person’?” —- 

I mean that I take things in through my body. I live very close to my body’s experience. So, throughout the day (and often in the night!), it is as if I am “hit by” experiences — I have a bodily response, notice my body responding (getting anxious or shut down or overwhelmed or excited or sad or happy or confused —) AND THEN NEED TO USE INTUITIVE FOCUSING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON.

(pausing to “check inside” again, let my words come freshly from my “present felt experiencing,” my “intuitive feel” right now, not what I have always known and said before —-) Big sigh.  (pause for “felt sensing” and then finding fresh words) — 

Before I knew Focusing, and, now, when I don’t stop and pause to use it, I was simply “run around” by my “feelings,” by my bodily responses to situations, thoughts, etc. I felt sad/depressed, I would stay in my bed. I felt happy, elated, I would pursue whatever made me feel that way. I fell in love, I went with those feelings without question. I felt anxious, I suffered sleeplessness. I felt confused, I ran around like a “chicken with its head cut off.”

In the midst of one of these emotional crises, I met Eugene Gendlin and his Experiential Focusing technique (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984, 2007. Order at The Focusing Institute Website Store). NOW I have something I can do other than just run around, “following my feelings.”  I can stop, pause, go quietly inside, and ASK MY BODY, “What is this all about?”, wait quietly for a minute or more for the “felt sense,” the “intuitive feel” to form in response, then carefully go back-and-forth until I find words/images/gestures that are “just right,” and the “whole thing” releases and shifts.

You can learn all about Focusing at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org as well as at Creative Edge Focusing, www.cefocusing.com . You can read many free articles by Gendlin in the online library at www.focusing.org/gendlin .

(so I am pausing to “sense into” “What do I mean by this ‘shift’? What is the positive point of Focusing?”)  —- (pause for “felt sensing,” checking with the “intuitive feel” —) 

Well, we call it going from “sheer emotion,” those reactive, emotional “responses,” to finding the “felt meaning” under the emotional response. The “felt meaning” holds within it everything about the situation, past, present, and implicit future.  Finding words/images for the “felt meaning” lets you know WHAT THIS WHOLE THING IS ABOUT. And, then, instead of just running around reacting, you can choose action steps that will really change the situation.

 

You can try out Intuitive Focusing here, at Instant “Ahah” #1: 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-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 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

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