Posts tagged: personal growth

HOLIDAY FUN AND STRESS RELIEF: FREE PERSONALITY TESTS, 12-STEP HELP WITH ADDICTIONS AND CODEPENDENCY, GRIEF WORK

By , December 20, 2008 1:59 pm

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

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. Meet some of them below as we give suggestions for surviving and enjoying the holidays.

FREE PERSONALITY TESTS FOR FUN WITH FAMILY

Got some extra time on your hands? Family and friends to entertain? You could spend some time in the Individual Differences: Personality Tests section at Creative Edge Focusing’s website. You’ll find websites offering free and fun versions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Enneagram, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and info on EQ, the business version of Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence. Play around with several tests. Compare among family members. Of course, these are free versions, for fun. It is more important to think about yourself and others from a variety of perspectives, “shake up” fixed images, than to put anyone in a “box.”

HELP WITH HOLIDAY ADDICTIONS OR CODEPENDENCY?

Unfortunately, the holidays can also stir up alcohol addiction and codependency as families gather. See Recovery Focusing by Suzanne Noel for a gentle combination of Focusing with the 12-Step Programs.

HOLIDAYS INCLUDE GRIEVING WHAT IS MISSING

The holidays can also include some grieving for what or who is missing. Take the opportunity to use these moments to discover“The Meaning in Tears” and to allow yourself to notice “Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears” . Try out the simple Five Minute Grieving: What To Do If A Friend, Colleague, Loved One Starts Crying” .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING ™ INSTANT “AHAH!” E-COURSE

For four weeks, we practice one Instant “Ahah!,”, one Relaxation Exercise, and one Getting A Felt Sense Exercise, with e-reminders and tips each week. Our purpose:Helping you incorporate Listening and Focusing into your everyday life.  Subscribe here.

INTIMACY, SEXUALITY, CREATIVITY, SPIRITUALITY

You might want to try Instant “Ahah!” #8 Sharing Your Day: Instant Intimacy as a simple way to get and stay connected with your significant other, regardless of surrounding turmoil. Here is a mini-course on Intimacy and Sexuality if you want to spend special time over the holidays.

You might want to try Instant “Ahah!” #9 Focusing on Creativity: From Blocks To Predictable “Ahah!”s or #10 Focusing on Spirituality: Being Touched and Being Moved. Read about Focusing and Creativity and Focusing and Spirituality

E-Newsletter Archives Now Available!

Anyone can also access the e-newsletter archives from the Free Resources submenu at Creative Edge Focusing.

AND USE THE CREATIVE EDGE PRACTICE E-GROUP FOR SUPPORT DURING THE BREAK

The Creative Edge Practice e-group for actual practice and demonstrations of Listening/Focusing is becoming a wonderful place for tender reflection, space for Focusing any time of day or night (knowing it may be some hours before you get a response), with the knowledge of a warm, Listening space out there, and interesting discussions about what we learn during the turns.

Please join us if you want company over the break! See instructions below.

Two E-Groups, Creative Edge Practice and Creative Edge Collaboration

In order to increase safety, and hopefully participation, there are now two separate Yahoo e-groups.

Creative Edge Practice is a closed group, where people can feel safe for the vulnerability of sharing Focusing experiences and responding to others with Focused Listening responses. The only requirement: a willingness to introduce yourself upon entry into the group, so everyone knows who is in the group. Further active participation is welcomed but not required.

Creative Edge Collaboration is an open group for discussion and networking around projects related to the spread of listening/focusing to various audiences and throughout the world.

You can visit the homepage of each by clicking on the link and join from there as well. You can choose “emails only” and do not have to start a yahoo account, although accounts are free.

SELF-HELP PACKAGE: MANUAL, CDS, DVD DEMONSTRATIONS

If you order the Self-Help Package, you can use the Intuitive Focusing CD to follow Dr. McGuire as she speaks these exercises and view four actual Listening/Focusing Partnership sessions on DVD.

THE GIFT OF INNER SERENITY: FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, FAMILY

Happy holiday, trusting in the wisdom of your body!

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

INSTANT “AHAH!” #1: FOCUSING —Find out what is bothering you

By , September 5, 2008 3:38 pm

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual         Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

You can download the complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, ten Listening/Focusing exercises for immediate application at home and work, in English or Spanish, from the links to Word files above. 

If you purchase The Self-Help Package multi-media package, instead of just reading, you can listen to the Pre-Focusing and Focusing Instructions directly with Dr. McGuire on audio CD and watch Listening/Focusing demonstrations on the DVD-R. In the Spanish version of the manual, Focusing En Comunidad, you will find many of the Relaxation and Focusing Exercises in Spanish. You will also receive instructions on setting up a Focusing Partnership or Focusing Group to practice the equal exchange of Listening/Focusing turns.

INSTANT “AHAH!” # 1 Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You

Focusing On the Creative Edge

Intuitive Focusing is one-half of the two Core Skills basic to Creative Edge Focusing. Intuitive Focusing can be used any time to find out what is bothering you. Intuitive Focusing involves spending time with the vague, wordless “intuitive sense” that there is something — something you can’t quite put your finger on or put into words — but something definitely determining your behavior or how you feel or the inkling of an idea or solution —

Intuitive Focusing can be used not just for personal problem-solving but for sitting with The Creative Edge of anything: a piece of creative art or writing, an exciting professional problem to solve, a good feeling that has a spiritual edge —see Focusing and Personal Growth, Focusing and Creativity and Focusing and Spirituality described on The Creative Edge Focusing website.

Description of Gendlin’s Six Step Focusing Process

First, I will describe Gendlin’s (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984) process, then I will walk you through some actual instructions below. Here are Gendlin’s six steps for use of this inner, meditation-like problem-solving process in a self-help way:

(1) Clearing a Space: setting aside the jumble of thoughts, opinions, and analysis we all carry in our minds, and making a clear, quiet space inside where something new can come.

(2) Getting a Felt Sense: asking an open-ended question like “What is the feel of this whole thing (issue, situation, problem)?” and, instead of answering with one’s already-known analysis, waiting silently as long as a minute for the subtle, intuitive, “bodily feel” of “the whole thing” to form.

(3) Finding a Handle: carefully looking for some words or an image that begin to capture the “feel of the whole thing,” the Felt Sense, The Creative Edge: “It’s ‘jumpy;'” “It’s scared;” “It’s like the dew of a Spring morning;” “It’s like macaroni and cheese — comforting,” “It’s like jet propulsion! Something new that needs to spring forth!”

(4) Resonating and Checking: taking the Handle words or image and holding them against the Felt Sense, asking “Is this right? Is it ‘jumpy’?, etc. Finding new words or images if needed until there is a sense of “fit”: “Yes, that’s it. Jumpy.”

(5) Asking: asking open-ended questions (questions that don’t have a “Yes” or “No” or otherwise fixed or “closed” answer) like “And what is so hard about that?” or “And why does that have me stuck?” or “What was so beautiful about that moment?” or “And how does this apply to everything else?” and, again, instead of answering with already-known analysis, waiting silently for the whole-body-sense, the Felt Sense, to arise.

At each Asking, the Focuser also goes back to steps (2), (3) and (4) as necessary, waiting for the Felt Sense to form, finding Handle words, Resonating and Checking until there is a sense of “fit”: “Yes, that’s it.” This often physically-felt experience of tension release and easing in the body, this sense of having found the right words, is called a Felt Shift by Dr. Gendlin. Dr. McGuire calls it a Paradigm Shift It can be a small step of “Yes, that’s it” or a larger unfolding, a huge insight, with many pieces of the puzzle suddenly falling into place and a flow of new words and images and possible action steps. Sometimes there is also a flood of tears of acknowledgment and relief or the release of other pent-up emotions. This is an Instant “Ahah!”.

(6) Receiving: at each new step, each Felt Shift, taking a moment to sit with the new “intuitive feel,” simply acknowledging and appreciating your own inner knowing for this new insight. Then, you can start again at step (5), Asking another open-ended question, (“And what is so important about this?”; “And why did that have me stuck?”; “And where does my mother come into all of this?”, etc.). And, again, step (2), waiting for the Felt Sense to form, step (3) finding a Handle, step (4) Resonating and Checking until there is a Felt Shift, a sense of “That’s it!”, another Instant “Ahah!”.

A First Attempt: Find Out What Is Bothering You

Set aside at least 30 minutes for this first attempt. Remember, Focusing is a skill usually taught in 10 two-hour classes or two weekend workshops —so, if it doesn’t work for you immediately, don’t give up! Find a nearby teacher from the Focusing Institute Listings (www.focusing.org  ) or arrange for phone sessions with Dr. McGuire or another Creative Edge Consultant .

But, some people are natural Focusers and just say, “Oh, yes. I’ve been doing this all my life. Now, I can just do it better, more predictably, whenever I want. Give it a try:
(for audio company, purchase Intuitive Focusing Instructions CD as part of our Self-Help Package at www.cefocusing.com  — leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

Step One: Clearing A Space (Relaxation exercise in this case)

—Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —
(one minute)
—Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —
(one minute)
—Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —
(one minute)
—Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —
(one minute)
—Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —
(one minute)

Step Two: Getting A Felt Sense

—Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation that was troublesome for you this week (pause as long as necessary) — Think about it or get a mental image of it —
(one minute)
—Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about the situation, and just try to bring back the feeling you had in that situation (pause) — not words, but the “intuitive feel” of yourself in that situation —
(one minute)

Step Three: Finding A Handle

—Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that feeling —
(one minute)

Step Four: Resonating and Checking

—Go carefully back and forth between any words and the “intuitive feel of the whole thing” until you find words or an image that are just right for it —
(one minute)

Step Five: Asking

—Now, gently ask yourself, “What is so hard about this situation for me?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in your wordless intuition, your whole-body sense —
(one minute)
—Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that whole feeling — going back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Now, imagine what the situation would be like if it were perfectly all right
(one minute)
—Now, ask yourself, “What’s in the way of that?” and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for something new to come in the center of your body, more like a wordless intuition or whole-body sense —
(one minute)
—Again, carefully find words or an image for that, “whatever is in the way” —go back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Now, see if you can find some small step you might be able to take to move yourself in a positive direction — again, don’t answer from your head, the already known, but wait as much as a minute for the wordless, intuitive “feel,” the bodily felt sense of an answer to arise —
(one minute)
—Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for this possible next step — go back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Check with your “intuitive feel,” “Is this right? Is this really something I could try doing?” — If your “intuitive feel” says, “Yes (some sense of release, relaxation), I could try that,” then you can stop here.
—If your “felt sense” says “No, I can’t do that” or “That won’t work,” then ask yourself again, “What small step in the positive direction would work?”, again, waiting quietly, as much as a minute for an intuitive answer to arise, then making words or an image for it — going back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Keep going back and forth between the “intuitive feel” and possible words and images as long as you are comfortable, or until you experience “Ahah! That’s it!”.
(one minute or more)

Step Six: Receiving

—Whether a “solution” has arisen or not, appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that pausing to take time is the important thing — solutions can then arise later.
(one minute)

The crux of change is just spending quiet time paying attention to the “intuitive feel.” If no clear next step arises, just remind yourself that at least you have gotten a clearer sense of the problem. Because you have spent quiet, Intuitive Focusing time with the “feel” of “the whole thing,” you have started a process of change. Something new may “pop up” later, as you go about your day.

Want to share your experience, do Focusing online and get an actual Listening Response, ask questions? Join The Creative Edge Practive yahoo e-support group.

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

BEST OF EVERYTHING: NATIONAL PARKS SENIOR PASS

By , August 18, 2008 3:06 pm

“Ajas” Instantaneos    Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-ManualKing Stag, Yellowstone, by Kathy

Drove up to gate at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, USA, expecting to pay the $25 per day entrance fee, $50 for our two-day stay. My husband saw on the prices sign: “Interagency Senior Pass.” “What’s that?” “For US citizens over age 65, $10 one time fee for LIFETIME ADMISSION TO ALL NATIONAL PARKS IN THE USA.” Now, that is a deal!

INVITE OTHERS TO JOIN US!!!
 
Please forward this e-newsletter to any friends, family, trainees, colleagues who might benefit from either the e-course or CEF News and Goods e-newsletter. This Fall is a great time for newcomers to join. They can subscribe at  http://cefocusing.com/subscribe.php   and immediately download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual. Just hit “Forward” down near your “Send” option, then choose anyone you want from your email address book! Take this small step to help bring Listening/Focusing into the world!

FREE RESOURCES

You can get online support and answers to your questions as you try to proceed in the Creative Edge Practice e-group at http://yahoogroups.com/group/creativeedgepractice .

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 click the links above the stag photo for Word file downloads here.

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

CREATIVITY = THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX = PARADIGM SHIFTS

By , April 23, 2008 4:38 pm

PRISMS/S PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS AND PARADIGM SHIFTS

Creative genius includes thinking “outside the box,” setting aside preconceived concepts and ideas and being able to “look at” a problem from a totally new angle. Actually, this “looking at” is really the “sitting with” the “intuitive feel,” the fresh, present “felt experiencing” that underlies existing concepts and can lead to the articulation of new, non-linear, creative ideas. Gendlin’s Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984), and Dr. McGuire’s Intuitive Focusing, are the pre-eminent approaches for setting aside existing preconceptions, and finding and “sitting with” fresh, preverbal experiencing, the hotbed of new ideas and creative solutions. Below I review some traditional methods for “shaking up” old structures to allow new ideas to become available, then I add the Intuitive Focusing skill into the mix.

In his e-newsletter, The Simple Truth’s Newsletter,Mac Anderson reviews cutting-edge models for increasing creativity and innovation. In the newsletter quoted below, he leads to a link to a beautiful, three-minute video clip which exactly captures the essence of “the paradigm shift”:

“Dear Kathy,
Tom Peters gets it. He said…
“I’ve spent a good part of my life studying economic successes and failures. Above all, I’ve learned that everything takes a back seat to innovation.”
Tomorrow comes at us with lightning speed, and your competitive advantage is a fleeting thing. As leaders, we must create an environment that puts innovation front and center. Your people must know it is the key to your company’s survival.
You must create a climate that rewards risk and creative effort. Your people must not fear mistakes, but understand that honest mistakes can be life’s main source for learning.
SO TEACH THEM TO FAIL QUICKLY, AND OFTEN, TO ENABLE THEM TO REACH THE NEXT PLATEAU.
Every now and then a simple book comes along that deals with a profound subject in an unforgettable way. Paper Airplane is that book; and it teaches a valuable lesson about courage and creativity for people of all ages. It takes less than 30 minutes to read, but the “a-ha moments” are priceless. It’s one of my all time favorites.
So, if you haven’t seen Michael McMillan’s 3 minute inspirational movie titled Paper Airplane, you’re in for a treat! Just click on the link below and share it with friends and co-workers.
http://www.paperairplanemovie.com/ “

Usually, consultants coming in to help corporations with “creativity and innovation” provide a variety of games and other experiences which allow participants to “drop” or “step out of” existing schemata and access the fresh, new pre-verbal experiencing from which new paradigms can be articulated. Here is an introduction to one such “package” of “shake up” exercises:

“WHAT THE CATERPILLAR CALLS THE END OF THE WORLD, GOD CALLS A BUTTERFLY
If you always think the way you’ve always thought, you’ll always get what you always got. The same old, same old ideas over and over again. The future belongs to those thinkers who embrace change, break new ground, forge new paths, and transform the way they think. Discover how to look at the same information as everyone else and see something different by using the creative thinking techniques and strategies that creative geniuses have used throughout history.
Internationally acclaimed creativity expert Michael Michalko’s Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative Thinking Techniques have inspired business thinkers around the world to create the innovative ideas and creative strategies they need to achieve unimaginable success in today’s changing business environment of complexity and uncertainty. Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.
[Available at www.amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and most major bookstores. Visit www.creativethinking.net for more detailed information on these inexpensive workbooks.]”

DeBono’s Six Thinking Hats, and Parallel and Lateral Thinking (description of trainings and books to purchase) approaches are at the cutting-edge of creavity as breaking out of old structures, accessing the new.

Mind Mapping Techniques (http://www.mindmapper.com/?gclid=CMHz54C975ICFQJtlgodQT-75w for a complete description) are another method for breaking out of linear thought structures and allowing the presentation of facets of problem/solution from the non-linear, “intuitive feel” of “the whole thing.” Intuitive Focusing: “Direct Access” to Paradigm ShiftingAs I presented last week, Flavia Cymbalista has helped George Soros and others dealing with the complexity and uncertainty of financial markets to use Gendlin’s Focusing to articulate from the “intuitive feel” in her Market Focusing  approach at www.marketfocusing.com .

While games and exercises can “shake up” thinking from the outside in, at some point, the “new” answer emerges because someone in the group becomes free of old concepts and able to access The Creative Edge, the preverbal “felt sensing” of new possibilities. Intuitive Focusing allows anyone to access the Creative Edge of new, non-linear problem solving at any time.Rather than looking to the outside for new ideas, the Focuser goes inside, getting in touch with the raw, new, “preverbal” complexity of situations from which new solutions, Paradigm Shifts, emerge.

Reflecting Before Acting or Reacting

The radical contribution of Gendlin’s Focusing (Bantam, 1981) and McGuire’s Creative Edge Focusing ™ is that the problem solver makes the explicit choice to pause and take some moments for silent reflecting before acting or reacting. Instead of simply repeating past reactions, the Focuser can create new, completely innovative solutions and behaviors from the “intuitive feel” of the whole situation.A quiet pause is needed in order to sense into the “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, of problems. Whether in private or in group decision making settings, these opportunities for pauses to contact and articulate the Creative Edge are what allow the creation of totally new ideas and solutions. No pauses, no creation of the new!!!!!Using the PRISMS/S Problem Solving Process is like passing light through a prism. A few moments of pondering, and The Creative Edge opens into a whole spectrum of new possibilities and action steps.

Pausing To Ponder: From Problems To Possibilities

The PRISMS/S Problem Solving Process includes seven ingredients of predictable “Ahah!” experiences using Creative Edge Focusing ™. With its Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening , PRISMS/S is based upon Eugene Gendlin‘s “A Theory of Personality Change” (link to Gendlin Online Library at www.focusing.org, where you will find all of Gendlin’s articles for free download) and his Focusing self-help book (Bantam, 1981), as well as Dr. McGuire’s thirty years of  experience integrating Listening/Focusing skills into task-oriented groups and supportive communities.

PRISMS/S is Dr. McGuire’s attempt to create an easily teachable rubric, especially applicable to business settings,  combining Gendlin’s 6-Step Focusing Process with the unfolding steps of change, the “felt shift,” or “paradigm” shift facilitated by Focusing.

PRISMS/S can be used on one’s own or with the help of Focused Listening in a Creative Edge Focusing Partnership, Focusing Group or Team, or Focusing Community. In any case, problem solving goes through the following steps:

Pausing :  Clearing A Space for Problem Identification
Reflecting: Listening To Oneself or
Focused Listening from Another 
Intuitive Focusing:  Back-and-Forth Between Symbols and Intuition
Shifting:  The Kaleidoscope Turns And A New Paradigm Arises
Movement:  Innovative Solutions and Action Steps Arise Spontaneously
Satisfaction:  Tension Releases in the Sureness of “Ahah! That’s It!”
Support: Listening/Focusing Partnerships Build Empathy and Community

Click here to read and download the complete description of the steps of PRISMS/S from www.cefocusing.com. You will find there a link to the Spanish translation as well.

Focusing Partnerships, Groups/Teams, Communities

While anyone can learn to use PRISMS/S for creative problem solving on one’s own, the process can be greatly facilitated by having an outside Focused Listening Partner. Read about all the options for Focusing Alone, Focusing Partnership, Focusing Groups/Teams, etc. under Case Studies at www.cefocusing.com .

If you do not have a Listening/Focusing Partnership, consider whether there is a colleague at work, a friend or family member who is already an excellent listener and might be interested in learning the formal Listening/Focusing Partnership method with you. Then, use the multi-media materials in our Self-Help Package or the free download of Chapter Three: The Listening/Focusing Exchange (a link at the top of this blog entry ). You can also enroll in Listening/Focusing Classes/Workshops internationally  with Certified Focusing Professionals or bring in Creative Edge Consulting for onsite training.

The Blurry, Vague, “Feel of the Whole Thing” Holds The Next Steps

   

I invite you to use Intuitive Focusing again below to find next steps on a “creative project”: an article, a book, a poem, a song, a dance, a marketing campaign, an engineering breakthrough, some project needing creative ideas.

If you need to work more specifically on “blocks” to creativity, you could use Cornell and McGavin’s technique from last week, using Focusing to give a gentle hearing to the “part” that wants to “hold back,” as well as the “part” that wants to “go forward,” until steps toward resolution arise (Week Two Treasures In Blocks).

Focusing On A Creative Problem or Project

Click here to find the complete Intuitive Focusing exercise in e-newsletter archives

Remember, it is often easier to learn Intuitive Focusing with the company of a Focusing Listener. See links below to find many resources, including self-help groups, and Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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

CREATIVITY, INTUITION, AND GLADWELL’S “BLINK THINKING”

By , April 18, 2008 2:54 pm

INTUITIONS GUIDE CREATIVE DECISION MAKING

 

“Blink Thinking”

 

In his best-selling book, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking(Little Brown, 2005), Malcolm Gladwell justified the importance of intuitive, “gut” thinking in decision making. In fact, he pointed out that, contrary to our assumptions about our rationality, many high-level decisions are based more upon a “gut sense” or a “blink of an eye” impression than upon rational, logical thinking.

 

When they believe they are using objective indicators for choices, people are often influenced by subjective, peripheral factors “outside of awareness.” For instance, for generations, classical music orchestras believed that women could not master the instruments or the nuance of the music. Women were seldom hired.

Then, orchestras started having performers audition behind a screen, cutting out visual cues in making hiring decisions. To everyone’s surprise, chosen through “listening” alone, women were actually chosen a majority of the time, even for instruments “presumed” to be more “masculine,” like French Horn and other brass instruments.

 

Gladwell distinguished between two kinds of intuitive decision making:

·        In the one case, a person has a “gut sensing,” an unclear, preverbal “feel” about something, which is very real and substantial and resilient, impossible to put aside or ignore, even though words for it can’t be found. An example: some museum curators have a “sense” that there is something wrong about an antique statue. They don’t know what it is, but their “body-sense” tells them there is something. Eventually, following this “intuition,” they discover concrete evidence that it is a facsimile.

 

·        In the second case, a person makes a decision in “the blink of an eye,” without even awareness of an “intuitive feel” but out of an immediate, precognitive assessment of a situation. An example: a fireman deciding where to step, which way to go, what to do in a split-second emergency situation.

 

Gladwell says that we can’t really “unpack” our “gut senses.” However, although this is true about the split-second decisions in emergency situations, it is not true for the more common situations in his first case, where there is a gnawing, long-lasting “gut sensing,” an “intuitive feel,” for which words HAVE NOT YET been found. In these latter situations, Intuiti Focusing, “sitting with” the “intuitive feel” of “the whole thing,” and carefully looking for words and images which are exactly “right” in capturing this preverbal “intuition,” is a premiere way for increasing the usefulness of “intuitive” or “gut” information.

 

Using Intuitive Focusing In Situations Of Uncertainty

 

In her Market Focusing approach (www.marketfocusing.com ), Flavia Cymbalista  taught Gendlin’s Focusing to people like George Soros, financier, and others needing to make decisions in situations of “uncertainty”, like the ever-changing stock market. Traders often had to follow their “intuition” and wished for something more substantial to base decisions upon.

 

Soros thought he used logical, rational indicators for decisions. Through work with Cymbalista, he realized that, actually, he got a “pain in his back” when his portfolio needed adjusting, and the pain disappeared when he got it “right.” He was following an “intuition,” a “bodily feel” without words. He and others learned that consciously using Gendlin’s Focusing to find words and images for “gut intuition” allowed even greater access to the “intuitive feel” for market decisions.

 

“Gut Sensing” Is Everywhere In Creative Decision Making

 

Here are just a few situations where pausing for some minutes of Intuitive Focusing can provide a way forward:

 

·        You have a “gut feeling” of exactly what problem you want to work on, but you don’t have any words or images to describe it.

·        Your boss hands you a problem to solve out of the blue, and you have no idea where to begin, how to approach it.

·        You are “stuck” on a creative project, “blocked,” no inspiration about where to go next.

·        You know that something is bothering you, your whole body is tense, you can’t sleep, but you have no idea what the problem is.

·        You have an”inkling,” an “intuition,” but you can’t put it into words.

·        You have a “hunch” about what to do, an action you want to take, but you can’t verbalize any reasons to justify it.

·        You wake up with the “feel” of a forgotten night-time dream.

·        You have a wonderful feeling of well-being, a “spiritual” feeling, and you would like to spend more time with it, finding a way to describe it.

·        You have an uncomfortable feeling after an interaction with someone, but you don’t know exactly what it is about, so you don’t know what to do about it.

·        You know exactly what you want to do but find yourself blocked, unable to move forward.

·        You might have no feelings, no creative ideas. You feel like a flat piece of concrete.

·        You feel totally stressed out, confused, overwhelmed —

 

Focused Listening To Aid In Creative Problem Solving

 

While a person can use Intuitive Focusing on their own to find words for “gut sensing,” having the help of a Focused Listener, in aFocusing Partnership or Focusing Group/Team, can make this process of “finding words” easier. Here is a hypothetical example.

 

The Focuser sits with The Creative Edge, the murky, intuitive “feel” of the whole Gestalt, and attempts to make new words and images using the Intuitive Focusing skill. The Listener uses Pure Reflection, simply saying back the words and images of the Focuser, without judgment or advice, and with emphasis upon reflecting “the unclear edge,” the “bodily, intuitive feel.”  The Focused Listener can reflect back the Focuser’s actual words as well as the less-clear nuances, until the Focuser finds exactly the right new symbolizations to capture The Creative Edge.

 

 Example:

 

The Focuser starts out with a “gut sense” about a problem. He knows there is something wrong, but he can’t put his finger on what that is nor on a solution:

     

 Focuser: “There is something about the mechanical execution of this model that is not going to work — I don’t know what it is, but I can sense it. I’m uneasy about it —“

       Listener: “So there’s an uneasiness there — something not right about the

    mechanical execution —“

Focuser: (sitting quietly, pondering at the Creative Edge — ) “All I get so far is an image of red intertwining with white, two triangles intersecting — “

Listener: “So there’s an image — two triangles intersecting — red and white intertwining —“

Focuser: (some excitement in voice, opens eyes) Let me draw that (starts drawing with pen and paper, grabs red and white chalk — soon, a gear-like drawing emerges) —(evident excitement) Yes, it’s something there , in that gear box!!!

Listener: “So, you can see clearly now — it’s something in that particular gear box — “

Focuser: (closes eyes) “Let me sense into that some more (sits quietly, pondering at The Creative Edge — over a minute — ) — something, something twisty there —“

Listener: “Twisty —“

Focuser: (more closed-eyed Focusing, pondering at The Creative Edge — minute or more — sighs, shifts in seat — more pondering —)”Hmmmm — I think I’m getting it — something about the ratios there, the red too dominant over the white — “

Listener: “The ratios — red over white —“

Focuser: “I’ve got it — needs to be 8:6!”

 

Clearly, the Listener doesn’t even have to understand what the Focuser is talking about, but, still, having that outside person offering Reflection can carry forward the process of creating new symbolizations out of The Creative Edge.

 

Even though Focused Listening allows the Listener to occasionally use other kinds of responses (Asking For More, Focusing Invitations, and Personal Sharings), pure reflection is still the most powerful form of response to someone using Intuitive Focusing at The Creative Edge.

If you do not have a Listening/Focusing Partnership, consider whether there is a colleague at work, a friend or family member who is already an excellent listener and might be interested in learning the formal Listening/Focusing Partnership method with you. Then, use the multi-media materials in our Self-Help Package or the free download of Chapter Three: The Listening/Focusing Exchange (a link at the top of this blog entry )

The Blurry, Vague, “Feel of the Whole Thing” Holds The Next Steps

   

I invite you to use Intuitive Focusing again below to find next steps on a “creative project”: an article, a book, a poem, a song, a dance, a marketing campaign, an engineering breakthrough, some project needing creative ideas.

If you need to work more specifically on “blocks” to creativity, you could use Cornell and McGavin’s technique from last week, using Focusing to give a gentle hearing to the “part” that wants to “hold back,” as well as the “part” that wants to “go forward,” until steps toward resolution arise (Week Two Treasures In Blocks).

Focusing On A Creative Problem or Project Click here to find the exercise

Remember, it is often easier to learn Intuitive Focusing with the company of a Focusing Listener. See links below to find many resources, including self-help groups, and Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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

FOCUSING AND CREATIVITY: FINDING TREASURE IN BLOCKS

By , April 16, 2008 4:04 pm

RELEASING BLOCKS TO CREATIVITY

“Treasure Maps To The Soul”

Ann Weiser Cornell and Barbara McGavin, Certified Focusing Trainers, have made a life’s work at discovering the treasures that lie within our deepest conflicts, action blocks, addictions, depression, and other forms of “stuckness.” They have developed a workshop called “Treasure Maps To The Soul” which introduces participants to many forms of “stuckness,” like the Swamp, The Fog, The Dragon, and how to use Focusing to find the treasure, the life-direction forward, in each of these blocks.

Central to their method is “the radical acceptance of everything.” Taking a neutral position of Presence inside, the Focuser then welcomes and greets with curiosity ANY inner experience that wants to come forward, without judgment. With respectful and compassionate Listening to EVERY part, EVERY aspect, their Inner Relationship Focusing allows even the most hated “blocks” and “critics” to soften, to express their own positive wants and needs and wishes to protect the Focuser.

In experiencing a “block,” there is a “part” of us that wants to go forward, to do our creative project, and a “part” that holds us back. We plan to paint, and never get to it. We sit down to write, and become totally blank, feeling suffocated. We try to write a report, and find ourselves daydreaming. Usually, we try to “beat up” or “beat down” the “part” that we see as getting in the way, holding us back.

In Focusing, we stop this inner battle and finally turn with compassionate Listening to this blocking part, asking, “Okay, what is going on for you — ?  What do you need?— What are you trying to protect us from?—How can I allow you to be welcome and present while we attempt this task?” And the Focuser also then takes time to Listening with compassionate curiosity to the “part” that DOES want to go forward, its needs, wishes, fears, hopes, etc.  By going back and forth between the two, Focusing allows something to “shift” inside, and a new possibility for going forward to arise. Here is the Introduction to one of Ann’s Articles from her website for Focusing Resources:

 

How To Use Focusing To Release Blocks To Action

by Ann Weiser Cornell, PhD
This article originally appeared in the January 1993 issue of The Focusing Connection (Subscribe).
Writer’s block, procrastination, being a pack rat… all these are action blocks. If you want to start an exercise program but you don’t, if you want to keep your desk clean but you don’t, if you want to be more creative but it just doesn’t happen, you are experiencing an action block–and Focusing can help. Action blocks are painful, and everyone experiences them at times. For some people, the struggle dominates their lives. Are you familiar with wanting to do something day after day, even cursing and criticizing yourself for not doing it? Do you know about making resolution after resolution, even changing for a little while, but always sliding back? Wouldn’t you love to be able to break that cycle and act easily and confidently instead? Focusing releases the stuck system by changing the dynamic that holds the action block in place. In an action block, there is a part of you that isn’t being heard. Ironically, that’s the same part of you that seems to be in charge: the one that isn’t taking action. It has you in its iron grip, and yet it’s lonely, isolated, unacknowledged. No one has really asked it yet, “How come you’re so set against taking action?” (Remember, being sure that you already know why is not the same thing as asking it!) The Focusing process starts by bringing in self-compassion instead of self-criticism. This alone begins the process of release, because self-criticism is the glue that holds the action block in place. It’s funny, isn’t it, that it often feels like just the opposite is true? I feel like my criticism of the part of me that won’t exercise is my only hope of moving it, and that if I accept it, it will really take over my life! But actually, self-criticism holds the system in place because it ensures that the criticized part will not be heard, and everything will stay the same. And remember: compassion and acceptance are not the same as agreement or giving in. I can still want to change, while being compassionate to the part of me that doesn’t want to. Through Focusing, we create an inner atmosphere of safety, where any part of us can be heard without being attacked or criticized. This is important, because if you want to hear the truth and be released, you can’t put pre-conditions on what you hear. “You can tell me anything except…” just won’t work. In Focusing, it is quite literally true that the truth will set you free. So if you want to set the stage for allowing truth to come, start with an inner atmosphere of compassion, if possible. (If something in you says “No” to being compassionate, see if you can be compassionate to that!)

Listening to the Part that Blocks You —“
READ ON AT ANN’S WEBSITE and check out the many other great articles in her Library and Workshop Offerings.

FOCUSING EXERCISE: RELEASING BLOCKS TO CREATIVITY

Last week, we used Focusing just to work with the “intuitive feel,” the “bodily-felt sense” of next steps in a creative project. We will return to this. But, for today, I ask you to look for a place in your life where you are “stuck” or “blocked” in terms of a creative project, where you are trying to move forward but continuously are holding yourself back at the same time. To begin the Focusing Exercise below, I will ask you to scan your life and choose a “blocked project,” then lead you through Focusing instructions which allow you to “listen to” both sides in the conflict, allowing new possibilities for moving forward to emerge:

 Leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction

(One minute)

Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —

(One minute)

Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —

(One minute —)

Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —

(One minute — )

Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —

(One minute — )

Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —

(One minute — )

Now, bring to mind a creative problem or project that needs attention, particularly one where there is some blockage to forward movement. Take as long as you need to scan your life, looking for something with this kind of “stuckness” (pause) —

(One minute or more — )

Choose one “blocked” project, and spend a moment just bringing it fully to mind, thinking about where you are in relation to it, where you “left off,” the “next step,” the “block” —

(One minute — )

Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about the situation and possible solutions, and, as you carry a mental image of the problem or project in your mind, just wait and see what comes in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area,  in response (pause) — not words, but the intuitive feel of the whole situation, The Creative Edge —

(One minute — )

Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that Edge — Go carefully back and forth between any words and the intuitive feel of the whole thing until you find words or an image that are just right for it —

(One minute — )

Now, gently ask yourself, “What is in the way here? What is the body-sense for the part that gets in the way, doesn’t want to work on the project”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in your wordless intuition, your whole-body sense, The Creative Edge —

(One minute —)

Carefully look for some words or an image or metaphor that exactly fit that Edge —

(One minute — )

Now, ask that “resisting” or “critical” part, “What is this like for you? Why are you holding back? Is there something you are wanting to protect me from? Is there something you are wishing for?”  Take some time just to “listen to” how it is for this part of yourself. Go back-and-forth between words/images and the “bodily feel” of that part until you have captured the “feel of it all” —

(One – three minutes — )

Now, turn your attention to the other side, the “part” of you that wants to move forward, to tackle the project, to have the pleasure of creating. Spend some time looking for the “intuitive feel” of this forward-moving, creating part or energy.  Don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for an answer to come in the center of your body, your wordless intuition, The Creative Edge —

(One minute — )

Again, carefully find words or an image for that, ” the part that wants to create” Weiser Cornell suggests that you imagine yourself working on the project, being free-flowing creative, and get the “body-feel” for what that is like, and find some words or images/metaphors to capture that–

(One to three minutes — )

And ask that part some open-ended questions, like “What is this like for you, being creative?— What are you wanting/needing?— What is a first step you can imagine for moving forward?”. Again, don’t answer from your head, but wait as much as a minute for “the feel of that whole thing” to arise, and then carefully go back-and-forth, finding words/images/metaphors/gestures to capture the “intuitive feel.”

(One to three minutes —)

Continue in this way, going back and forth between the two sides, asking each, “And how is that for you?” , waiting to see what comes in your body, finding words and images for that, letting each side fully express itself.  If other “parts” arise, make room for them as well, giving them time to express themselves.

As you spend compassionate, non-judgmental Listening time with each aspect of the situation, you will find the different “sides” softening and blending, becoming more understanding of each others’ needs, more willing to look for an acceptable “next step forward.”

Weiser Cornell and McGavin suggest you pay special attention to what the “blocking, holding back” aspect is “afraid of” or “wanting to protect” the Focuser from, and what it does want for the Focuser. They find that Critical and Blocking parts are often motivated by FEAR and think they are working in the best interest of the person, guarding and protecting from fearful outcomes in the only way they know how.

Spend as long as is comfortable listening to the various aspects of your “conflicted” situation, looking for a possible step forward. If no clear next step arises, just remind yourself that, by spending Focusing time sitting with The Creative Edge, you have added energy and started a new living-forward, and, especially if you continue to hold “the feel of it all” on the back-burner of your mind, later something new will likely pop up —

(One minute)

Appreciate yourself and your “subconscious,” the “intuitive feel,” for taking time with this, trusting that taking time is the important thing — solutions can then arise later.

Remember, it is often easier to learn Intuitive Focusing with the company of a Focusing Listener. See links below to find many resources, including self-help groups, and Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING AND CREATIVITY

By , April 12, 2008 2:15 pm

FOCUSING ON THE CREATIVE EDGE

“Sitting with” The Unclear Edge

 

Intuitive Focusing,  applied to creative expression, is a methodical, predictable road to “Ah, hah!” experiences.  Gendlin’s Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984) is a step-wise procedure for paying attention to the murky, intuitive, whole-body “feel” of a creative project and going back-and-forth between this Creative Edge and words or images for describing it. When you hit on just the right words or image, you will experience that “Ah, hah! — Yes, that’s it. That is exactly the next step.” With continued rounds of Focusing, you can carry the creative project through many steps of problem-solving.
 
Focusing simply provides specific steps to encourage the “Ah, hah!” process which creative people have always accessed, usually accidentally. Fortunately, the “unconscious,” or the concretely available Creative Edge, “the intuitive body sense,” can carry more information, all at once, in that murky, wordless “feel,” than we can ever carry in our minds consciously. So, during Focusing, the creative problem-solver has access to “all of it,” “the whole thing,” more than could ever be recited consciously.

From Creative Block To Next Step

 

  • For example, a painter is stuck on what a particular painting needs next, right now. She can step back, take a look, and then, ask herself, “What does this painting need?” and, instead of answering from her head, the already-known, she can wait, as long as a minute or more, for the bodily-feel, the intuitive sense, the Creative Edge of “the whole thing, and what it needs now — ” to arise as a murky, wordless “feel,” usually in the center of the body, between the throat and stomach — “What does it need?” — and waiting, just paying attention to the intuitive feel — then carefully looking for words or an image or just the right gesture, the next painterly act, the next step toward “completion.”  Stuck again later? Just follow the same process, stepping back, sensing in, waiting for “the exactly right” next move to arise.

  • A writer is stuck in a novel: “What does this story need? What does this character need? What happens next?” Again, the writer steps back, takes a moment to go quietly inside, perhaps with eyes closed, and sits with the creative question, setting aside any already-known guesses or solutions, and just waiting, for at least a minute, for the intuitive feel of the “whole thing — this whole question” to arise.  Then, just as carefully, he looks for words or images or metaphors that are exactly “right” in capturing the “feel of it all.”  And, then, “Ah, hah! That is exactly it.” Or, in writing even more than in painting, he can try out the body’s best guess, and, again, check with the body sense: “Is that it?”

  • Same thing for creative problem solving in a business, engineering, scientific research situation. When “stuck,” not knowing the answer in a left-brain way, the problem solver can simply pause for a moment, go quietly inside, and look for the Creative Edge, the “intuitive feel” for “this whole problem,” wait at least a minute for the intuitive feel to form, then use Intuitive Focusing to carefully find the exact words or images which ,”fit,” bringing that experience of “Ahah! That is exactly it!”

Often, naturally, artists, writers, dancers “check in” with their “intuitive feel” for a project at many steps throughout the creative process. Learning Intuitive Focusing as a specific Skill will enhance this natural process, as well as giving you a reliable tool for those times when you are “stumped” or “blocked” about what comes next.

The Blurry, Vague, “Feel of the Whole Thing” Holds The Next Steps

Intuitive Focusing is one-half of the two Core Skills of Creative Edge Focusing ™. Focusing can be used any time to find out what is bothering you. Focusing specializes in sitting with the vague, wordless intuitive sense that there is something — something you can’t quite put your finger on or put into words, but something definitely determining your behavior or how you feel or the inkling of an idea or solution —

Intuitive Focusing can be used not just for personal problem-solving but for sitting with The Creative Edge of anything: a piece of creative art or writing, an exciting professional problem to solve, a good feeling that has a spiritual edge —

FOCUSING EXERCISE: “SITTING WITH” THE UNCLEAR EDGE OF A CREATIVE PROJECT

I ask you to choose one or more “creative projects” you can spend Focusing time with during this four-week cycle: an article, a book, a poem, a song, a dance, a marketing campaign, an engineering breakthrough, some project needing creative ideas. This week, we will use Intuitive Focusing on the creative project itself. Next week, we will work more specifically on “blocks” that come up.

Focusing On A Creative Problem or Project

 

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

(One minute)

Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —

(One minute)

Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —

(One minute —)

Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —

(One minute — )

Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —

(One minute — )

Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —

(One minute — )

Now, bring to mind a creative problem or project that needs attention (pause) —

(One minute or more — )

Think about it or get a mental image of it —

(One minute — )

Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about possible solutions, and, as you carry a mental image of the problem or project in your mind,  just wait and see what comes in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area,  in response (pause) — not words, but the intuitive feel of the whole situation, The Creative Edge —

(One minute — )

Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that Edge — Go carefully back and forth between any words and the intuitive feel of the whole thing until you find words or an image that are just right for it —

(One minute — )

Now, gently ask yourself, “Is that it? Would that work here?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in your wordless intuition, your whole-body sense, The Creative Edge —

(One minute —)

Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that Edge —

(One minute — )

Now, try that possible solution out in the creative situation, either in your imagination or by actually writing, painting, tinkering with a model —

(One minute — )

Now, ask yourself, “Does that work?” and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for an answer to come in the center of your body, your wordless intuition, The Creative Edge —

(One minute — )

Again, carefully find words or an image for that, “Does that solution work?” —

(One minute — )

If the answer is “Yes,” a release of bodily tension, a sense of coming unstuck — then return to the creative project and work again until there is another place of not-knowing, where you can begin the whole Focusing process again —

 

If the answer is “No,” your body remains tense and your energy still blocked, flat, then, set aside everything you have already thought and tried and ask your “subconscious,” the “intuitive feel” at The Creative Edge, again: “What does this situation need?”, and, again, wait, as long as a minute or more, to see what comes in the center of your chest, an intuitive “feel” for the whole thing —

(One minute)

Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for whatever has come —

(One minute)

Keep at this as long as you are comfortable, asking an open-ended question, waiting for an “intuitive feel” of “the whole thing” to emerge, looking for words or an image or even a gesture or action step that fits the intuitive feel “exactly.”

(One minute or more — )

But, if no clear next step arises, just remind yourself that, by spending Focusing time sitting with The Creative Edge, you have added energy and started a new living-forward, and, especially if you continue to hold “the feel of it all” on the back-burner of your mind, later something new will likely pop up —

(One minute)

Appreciate yourself and your “subconscious,” the “intuitive feel,” for taking time with this, trusting that taking time is the important thing — solutions can then arise later.

 

Remember, it is often easier to learn Intuitive Focusing with the company of a Focusing Listener. See links below to find many resources, including self-help groups, and Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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

Focusing: Find out what is bothering you

By , November 10, 2007 6:03 pm

Focusing On the Creative Edge

Intuitive Focusing is one-half of the two Core Skills you are learning at Creative Edge Focusing (TM), www.cefocusing.com . Focusing can be used any time to find out what is bothering you. Focusing specializes in sitting with the vague, wordless intuitive sense that there is something….something you can’t quite put your finger on or put into words, but something definitely determining your behavior or how you feel or the inkling of an idea or solution……

Focusing can be used not just for personal problem-solving but for sitting with The Creative Edge of anything: a piece of creative art or writing, an exciting professional problem to solve, a good feeling that has a spiritual edge…

The Crux of Change

In the 1960’s research showed that the single most important variable in predicting success in psychotherapy was, not what the therapist was doing, but the client’s own ability to speak from present, felt experiencing rather than intellectualization. Eugene Gendlin decided we’d better learn how to teach that skill to people. He called it Focusing and broke it down into six steps for teaching it in a self-help way. His book, Focusing (Bantam, 1981), has been translated into over 15 languages and is used throughout the world. Focusing-Oriented Therapy incorporates Focusing into the psychotherapy process.

Description of Gendlin’s Six Step Focusing Process

First, I will describe Gendlin’s  process, then I will walk you through some actual instructions below. Here are Gendlin’s six steps for use of this inner, meditation-like problem-solving process in a self-help way:

  1. Clearing a Space: setting aside the jumble of thoughts, opinions, and analysis we all carry in our minds, and making a clear, quiet space inside where something new can come.
  2. Getting a Felt Sense: asking an open-ended question like “What is the feel of this whole thing (issue, situation, problem)?” and, instead of answering with one’s already-known analysis, waiting silently as long as a minute for the subtle, intuitive, “bodily feel” of “the whole thing” to form.
  3. Finding a Handle: carefully looking for some words or an image that begin to capture the “feel of the whole thing,” the Felt Sense, The Creative Edge: “It’s ‘jumpy;’” “It’s scared;” “It’s like the dew of a Spring morning;” “It’s like macaroni and cheese – comforting,” “It’s like jet propulsion! Something new that needs to spring forth!”
  4. Resonating and Checking: taking the Handle words or image and holding them against the Felt Sense, asking “Is this right? Is it ‘jumpy’?”, etc. Finding new words or images if needed until there is a sense of “fit” – “Yes, that’s it. Jumpy.”
  5. Asking: asking open-ended questions (questions that don’t have a “Yes” or “No” or otherwise fixed  or “closed” answer) like “And what is so hard about that?” or “And why does that have me stuck?” or “What was so beautiful about that moment?” or “And how does this apply to everything else?” and, again, instead of answering with already-known analysis, waiting silently for the whole-body-sense, the Felt Sense, to arise.

At each Asking, the Focuser also goes back to steps (2), (3) and (4) as necessary, waiting for the Felt Sense to form,  finding Handle words, Resonating and Checking until there is a sense of “fit”: “Yes, that’s it.” This often physically-felt experience of tension release and easing in the body, this sense of having found the right words, is called a Felt Shift by Gendlin.

Dr. McGuire, calls it a Paradigm Shift. It can be a small step of “Yes, that’s it” or a larger unfolding, a huge insight, with many pieces of the puzzle suddenly falling into place, with a flow of new words and images and possible action steps. Sometimes there is also a flood of tears of acknowledgment and relief or the release of other pent-up emotions.

     6.  Receiving: at each new step, each Felt Shift,  taking a moment to sit with the new “intuitive feel,” simply acknowledging and appreciating your own inner knowing for this new insight. Then, you can start again at step (5), Asking another open-ended question, (“And what is so important about this?”; “And why did that have me stuck?”; “And where does my mother come into all of this?”, etc.). And, again, step (2), waiting for the Felt Sense to form, step (3) finding a Handle, step (4) Resonating and Checking until there is a Felt Shift, a sense of “That’s it.”

You can always use “Clearing a Space” from the FREE Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual as a first step of Focusing, especially if you have a difficult time relaxing, being able to feel your body from the inside. Clearing a Space is particularly handy if you walk around with your body like cement a lot of the time!! However, a formal Clearing a Space takes a good twenty minutes, just in itself.

However, there are less time-consuming ways to get ready to start Focusing, “clearing a space” through relaxation or imagery work. We’ll give one of those a try below. The CD in our Self-Help Package, Complete Focusing Instructions (or the free download, Complete Focusing Instructions), includes many exercises for relaxation and imagery work as a first step of Intuitive Focusing.

A First Attempt: Find Out What Is Bothering You

Set aside at least 30 minutes for this first attempt. Remember, Focusing is a skill usually taught in 10 two-hour classes or two weekend workshops —so, if it doesn’t work for you immediately, don’t give up! Find a nearby teacher from the Focusing Institute Listings or arrange for phone sessions with Dr. McGuire or another Creative Edge Consultant.

But, some people are natural Focusers and just say, “Oh, yes. I’ve been doing this all my life. Now, I can just do it better, more predictably, whenever I want. Give it a try:

(You can read the instructions below to yourself now or into a tape recorder for playback — or purchase the Self-Help Package with Focusing Instruction CD. Leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

Step One: Clearing A Space (Relaxation exercise in this case)

Okay…first, just get yourself comfortable…feel the weight of your body on the chair…loosen any clothing that is too tight….
(one minute…)

Spend a moment just noticing your breathing….don’t try to change it….just notice the breath going in….and out…..
(one minute…)

Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause)…..
(one minute…)

Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause)….
(one minute…)

Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace…..
(one minute…)

Step Two: Getting A Felt Sense

Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation that was troublesome for you this week (pause as long as necessary)…Think about it or get a mental image of it……
(one minute…)

Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about the situation, and just try to bring back the feeling you had in that situation (pause)….not words, but the “intuitive feel” of yourself in that situation……
(one minute)

Step Three: Finding A Handle

Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that feeling……

Step Four: Resonating and Checking

Go carefully back and forth between any words and the “intuitive feel of the whole thing” until you find words or an image that are just right for it……..
(one minute…)

Step Five: Asking

Now, gently ask yourself, “What is so hard about this situation for me?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in your wordless intuition, your whole-body sense….

Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that whole feeling…..going back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute…)

Now, imagine what the situation would be like if it were perfectly all right……
(one minute…)

Now, ask yourself, “What’s in the way of that?” and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for something new to come in the center of your body, more like a wordless intuition or whole-body sense………
(one minute…)

Again, carefully find words or an image for that, “whatever is in the way”…..go back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute…)

Now, see if you can find some small step you might be able to take to move yourself in a positive direction….again, don’t answer from your head, the already known, but wait as much as a minute for the wordless, intuitive “feel,” the bodily felt sense of an answer to arise……..
(one minute…)

Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for this possible next step…..go back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute…)

Check with your “intuitive feel,” “Is this right? Is this really something I could try doing?”…If your “intuitive feel” says, “Yes (some sense of release, relaxation), I could try that,” then you can stop here. If your “felt sense”  says “No, I can’t do that” or “That won’t work,” then ask yourself again, “What small step in the positive direction would work?”, again, waiting quietly, as much as a minute for an intuitive answer to arise, then making words or an image for it…….going back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute…)

Step Six: Receiving

Keep at this as long as you are comfortable, but, if no clear next step arises, just remind yourself that, at least you have gotten a clearer sense of the problem, and, because you have spent Focusing time with “the whole thing,” maybe later something new will pop up….
(one minute or more…)

Appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that taking time is the important thing — solutions can then arise later.
(one minute…)

Remember, Intuitive Focusing is often taught as a twenty-hour course, so don’t be discouraged if you didn’t experience a dramatic Paradigm Shift this first time. Work through the Mini-Manual and Complete Focusing Instructions downloads, with support and help from our e-newsletter and e-discussion list, order the Self-Help Package with manual, CD, and DVD, or purchase Focusing Coaching by phone.

Subscribe to e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice relaxation, getting a “felt sense,” and Focusing and download the Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manaul (Ajas Instantaneos en espanol) of 10 everyday ways to add Listening and Focusing to your home and work:   

http://visitor.constantcontact.com/optin.jsp?&m=1101671080238&ea=

Join our e-support groups for hands-on practice of Listening and Focusing and receive The Complete Focusing Instructions manual in a return email from Yahoo Groups: http://www.cefocusing.com/focusingcontact.php

Work with Dr. McGuire through Coaching or Consulting: http://www.cefocusing.com/store/categories.php

Find a Focusing Class or Focusing Coach/Trainer world-wide in many languages: http://www.cefocusing.com/freeresources/index.php#listings_pros

Dr. Kathy McGuire

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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