Posts tagged: self-help skills

Positive Psychology: Raising Happy, Kind Children Evolutionarily Adaptive

By , March 5, 2010 4:34 pm
Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

Do Kinder People Have an Evolutionary Advantage?
“Positive psychology” research indicates that the kinder you are, the more likely you are to survive — and evolve. Quoted from March 4, 2010 article from AlterNet, by Yasmin Anwar:

In contrast to “every man for himself” interpretations of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, Dacher Keltner, a UC Berkeley psychologist and author of “Born to be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life,” and his fellow social scientists are building the case that humans are successful as a species precisely because of our nurturing, altruistic and compassionate traits.

They call it “survival of the kindest.”

“Because of our very vulnerable offspring, the fundamental task for human survival and gene replication is to take care of others,” said Keltner, co-director of UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. “Human beings have survived as a species because we have evolved the capacities to care for those in need and to cooperate. As Darwin long ago surmised, sympathy is our strongest instinct.”

…While much of the positive psychology being studied around the nation is focused on personal fulfillment and happiness, UC Berkeley researchers have narrowed their investigation into how it contributes to the greater societal good.

One outcome is the campus’s Greater Good Science Center, a West Coast magnet for research on gratitude, compassion, altruism, awe and positive parenting, whose benefactors include the Metanexus Institute, Tom and Ruth Ann Hornaday and the Quality of Life Foundation.

Christine Carter, executive director of the Greater Good Science Center, is creator of the “Science for Raising Happy Kids” Web site, whose goal, among other things, is to assist in and promote the rearing of “emotionally literate” children. Carter translates rigorous research into practical parenting advice. She says many parents are turning away from materialistic or competitive activities, and rethinking what will bring their families true happiness and well-being.

“I’ve found that parents who start consciously cultivating gratitude and generosity in their children quickly see how much happier and more resilient their children become,” said Carter, author of “Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents” which will be in bookstores in February 2010. “What is often surprising to parents is how much happier they themselves also become.” Read whole article

See our own Creative Edge education model, teaching basic “emotional literacy” self-help skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening to increase creativity and empathy throughout life.

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) (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.

Resources: Free Articles, Training, Classes

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

HARD-WIRED FOR COLLABORATION: PHYSICAL TOUCH INCREASES PERFORMANCE

By , March 1, 2010 1:23 pm

In Born To Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life (Norton, 2009),  Dacher Keltner of UC/Berkeley discusses the relationship between physical touch and performance: a supportive touch on the shoulder can increase participation in classrooms, and new research by Michael Kraus and co-authors Cassy Huang and Keltner, soon to appear in the journal Emotion, shows that basketball teams where players touched each other, in a supportive way, performed better than those with less touch. Highest performing players were also those giving the highest number of supportive touches. As summarized in a recent article by Benedict Carey of  The New York Times, “Touchy-feely sports teams have edge, evidence suggests,”:

“A warm touch seems to set off the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps create a sensation of trust, and to reduce levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In the brain, prefrontal areas that help regulate emotion can relax, freeing them for another of their primary purposes: problem solving. In effect, the body interprets a supportive touch as ‘I’ll share the load.’

‘We think that humans build relationships precisely for this reason, to distribute problem solving across brains,’ says James A. Coan, a psychologist at the University of Virginia. ‘We are wired to literally share the processing load, and this is the signal we’re getting when we receive support through touch.’ ”

More evidence for the assumptions of Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s model for Creative Edge Organizations, where more “feminine” values of support, empathy, listening, colleagiality, and attention to relationships feed the bottom line, encouraging creative problem solving through collaboration.

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) (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.

Resources: Free Articles, Training, Classes

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 Architecture: Designing From The Inside Out

By , December 14, 2009 7:17 pm

In The Not So Big House and Creating The Not So Big House books, Sarah Susanka (amazon link) advocates leaving the vaulted-ceiling mansions that have become the hallmark of house design and returning to designing houses that are specifically tailored to the very personal and unique needs of the homeowner who will live in the architect-designed home. Quality replaces quantity; intimate detailing replaces square footage.

Recently, as my husband and I hired an architect and began the schematic design process for our future retirement home, I found myself in the midst of an “archetypal” battle. I see it as defined by the clash of “masculine” vs. “feminine,” “Thinking vs. Feeling” modes of being, based upon psychiatrist C.G. Jung’s descriptions and psychological tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter (see “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory”  for explanations and Creative Edge Focusing Personality Tests for links for some free versions of these tests).

My husband and I had agreed, after seeing the book New Minimalist Houses (this is Amazon link for great bargain price, $50 reduced to $15!), that Minimalist could describe the kind of house we wanted — lots of glass/concrete/steel, as little as possible between us and the surrounding nature of our 20-acre forest on a ridge. But, it turned out, this was about all we agreed on!

Mind you, both the architect and my husband are feminist, egalitarian, good listeners. And I am a Ph.D. scholar.Yet, there was something about this opportunity to design from a blank slate that engaged all of us in visions to which we desperately wanted to cling, making it almost impossible to “hear from” the opposing view .

The architect followed a method he is known for, going to the home site, hiking for hours, sitting for hours if needed, until he came up with an inspiration for the design of the house, knowing some about us but a lot about the site and location. He ended up discovering a totally different and much better site location for the house, in our twenty acres of forest, and offering creative and striking designs for a one- and two-story version of our house.

The architect’s proposed one-story design was much like The Air House in the Minimalist book — a long rectangle of glass, spread along the ridge, with views and light from North and South. My husband fell in love with it, as it let light enter every room from both north and south.

Okay, I thought, I can live with that, but I want the Guest Area/Project Room/Full Bath closer to the rest of the house, not across a breezeway, I said. I said the Garage and Shop can go across the breezeway. I knew that, at a distance, I would not use the space for Projects, and it would be empty, wasted square footage except when Guests came.

I also wanted the Full Bath to be shared with the two Studies at that end of the house, so that the three spaces, Guest/Project, Study, Study could function as bedrooms, if our future aging needs or future buyers needed such a constellation. I thought my husband would be happy with the striking southern views and light he could have from his shop. And he was okay with this compromise.

And here the epic struggle began. The architect would come back with his original design, saying “the house” needs the Guest/Project/Bath across the courtyard, or “there needs to be a living space across the courtyard to balance the design.” I would counter with “I” need them on this side of the courtyard, so they can function together as three bedrooms, if needed.

And yet his design would come back again, modified some but still with Project/Guest/Bath at a distance from the rest of the house (given geographical distance, we were communicating by email, not ideal!). Finally I said, “You keep trying to ISOLATE this space, and I am trying to CONNECT it.”

I also mentioned casually to my husband that I would like a Front Porch, where I could sit and watch nature go by, and where visitors could find a sheltered entry.

Reading Susanka, I also found some confirmation for my wish for some bay windows to serve as alcoves at the edges of the minimalist open floor plan. I was afraid that flat, rectangular expanses of glass wall would not “draw us in” to the view, would seem cold and distant.

And my husband, usually very mild-mannered,  freaked out: “No! No bumps! The house is to be sleek, sleek, not full of bumps and lumps.”

It seemed to me that each of them, husband and architect, were quite comfortable with accommodating the needs of the residents to the needs of the design, the conceptual needs of “the house.” They could look at a floor plan and fall in love with it.

I however, could not imagine living, feeling alive, in a house that was like a shell laid over and against my actual living, constraining me into a particular shape.

Through an epic struggle coming close to divorce and firing of the architect, we have come to an understanding, a compromise which I call “cozy minimalism,” incorporating Susanka’s sensitivity to the human longing for enclosed, sheltered “alcoves” at the edges of open floor plan spaces with the flying visions, open spaces, and angles of minimalism.

We are entering a period of design where the architect will mainly LISTEN as my husband and I articulate our intuitive sense of our own wants and needs, and then come up with creative, unique ideas and methods for incorporating, aned compromising, those needs.

Out of this new dialogue, already a possible “roof garden” and “sunroom/breakfast nook” alcove have arisen to soften The Air House into an individualized home, yet keep the soaring aspects of the architect’s inspiration.

For more on The Not So Big concept, designing from “the inside out,” from careful attention to the unique needs of the homeowner, see the Susanka books cited above.

For more on learning to Listen To Yourself through Intuitive Focusing and Listen to Another through Focused Listening, see the many resources and free downloads below.

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

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

 

 

MICHAEL JACKSON: CREATIVITY AND BIPOLAR DISORDER

By , August 24, 2009 4:26 pm

In her book, Touched With Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and The Artistic Temperament , Kay Redfield Jamison researched the relationship between creativity and madness. Looking at Poet Laureats of England, and their family histories, she found that, yes, there was a statistically significant greater incidence of institutionalization for mental illness and suicide in these highly creative people and their ancestors.

Jamison concluded that manic-depressive disorder, unless treated with medication and/or psychotherapy, was a TERMINAL ILLNESS — e.g., highly likely to end in death from direct suicide or the slower suicide of alcoholism and other addictions.

In her next book, An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness, Jamison, a neuro-psychiatrist, presented herself as suffering from manic-depressive disorder (recently renamed as “bipolar disorder”) of an extreme form, including psychotic hallucinations. When depressed, she saw blood streaming down her windows; when manic, she bought all the snake bite kits in her city, fearing an overrun of snakes.

Jamison describes the difficulty in giving up the manic state, giving up the poetic, mysterious, depressive boyfriends, the heightened sense of aliveness. But she also describes the final pleasures of stable relationship and stable moods. She also sees psychotherapy as a viable option to long-term medication.

I did not know Michael Jackson. I cannot diagnose him. But I wonder when I see “super-human” people, many of them performers, crash and burn. Jamison says, “Manic-depressive disorder is a terminal illness.”

Manic-depressive, or bipolar, disorder comes on a continuum of severity, from the mild ups and downs of mood to more pronounced cycles of mood to the extremes of psychotic hallucination. It is not uncommon for great artists to wake up with a whole symphony written in their head, to stay awake for several days writing it all down, to be bursting with energy. This can be a manifestation of mania.

Does that mean the person is mentally ill, and not creative? Not at all. The creations stand as authentic. It is only the ravages of such creativity on the physical body, and the effect of its cyclical aftermath of depression upon the creator that is of concern.

I hope that, using Jamison’s wisdom and research and personal experience, we can help our “super-humans,” those with monstrous creativity, to receive help that might stabilize their lives and help them stop self-medicating with addiction and STAY ALIVE,  without putting out their mighty creative spark.

Creative Edge Focusing (TM) teaches self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing, which can be used for centering and unfolding one’s creativity by “listening” to the inner self, and Focused Listening, helping another to articulate their creative ideas and heal emotional stuckness and overwhelm.

Find free instructions and downloads as well as classes and Focusing-Oriented therapy below:

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

Free Downloads: 

 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

 

 

 

TRANSITION TOWNS: LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

By , May 15, 2009 6:57 pm

In the Transition Towns movement, www.transitiontowns.org,  political action is thoroughly integrated at the local level, building local sustainability and community as a basis for the “resiliency” needed to affect long-term, global change. But even more importantly, skill training for emotional and personal growth and conflict resolution is built right into hands-on, political action. 

Here is a short definition of  Transition Towns from a Facebook Event page announcing an Introductory Workshop and the 2009 Transition Towns Conference in the UK:
           “The Transition movement is a fast-growing, bottom-up response to peak oil and climate change. There are now thousands of communities around the world using this model, and it is being widely acknowledged as a positive, solutions focused approach, ‘more like a party than a protest march’.”
        
From the Transition Towns website, www.transitiontowns.org :

…A Transition Initiative is a community (lots of examples here) working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups in the community
  • building bridges to local government
  • connecting with other transition initiatives
  • forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • eventually launching a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.”

I like the actual example of a transition town which you can experience at Transition Town Westcliff. You’ll get a taste for all the fun and educational and hands-on gatherings, meetings, celebrations as a town works together for local sustainability affecting global change. “More like a party than a protest march,” indeed! I can’t wait to build or to join such a community.

I like the emphasis upon personal and emotional growth, mutual support, and conflict resolution skill training added into the more specific political goals of building local resilience as part of changing global problems of peak oil and climate change.

I have offered copies of my manual, Focusing in Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group, as one model of peer-based support which teaches core skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening,  that can be applied to  emotional, personal, interpersonal, and group-level growth and community building.

There is a handbook for starting a transition town, The Transition Town Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience,written by founder Rob Hopkins. You can order the book at the link.

Find out all about Transition Towns, and the 2009 Conference in London, UK, May 22-24, 2009 at www.transitiontowns.org . The conference itself sold out immediately, but you can still sign up for evening Introductory events and pre- and post-conference workshops.

The Creative Edge Focusing(TM) Approach To Community Building

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

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

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

CREATIVE EDGE LISTENING: ACTIVE, EMPATHIC, FOCUSED LISTENING ALLOWS CREATIVITY TO EMERGE

By , April 11, 2009 2:30 pm
Listening for More Than Words

Listening for More Than Words

Creative Edge Listening goes beyond active or empathic listening, where the goal is communication. In Creative Edge Listening, the Listener is actively helping the speaker to pay attention to and to articulate The Creative Edge, the right-brain, “something-more-than-words” from which truly new solutions,  ideas, innovations, and action steps can come.

Also called Focused Listening, in Creative Edge Listening, the Listener pays attention to nuances that the speaker may not be aware of, the “something-more”  behind surface communications. The Creative Edge Listener uses Focusing Invitations to invite the speaker to sit quietly for a moment and “sense into”  The Creative Edge underlying surface words: “You keep mentioning ‘consumer interface.’ Could you say more about what you mean by this?” “Would it be okay to  sit quietly for a moment and ‘sense into’ this ‘gut instinct’  you are having — let new words come directly from it?”

Creative Edge Listening is most powerful when the speaker has also learned Creative Edge Focusing. Also known as Intuitive Focusing, in Creative Edge Focusing, the speaker, known as the Focuser, even goes as far as closing his/her eyes in order to give full attention to the “not-yet-known” which comes as subtle nuances, intuitions, gut instincts, The Creative Edge.

The Focuser learns to look carefully for exactly the right words or images to capture these “bodily-felt” nuances, the true hotbed of creativity and new solutions. When words and images are finally found that are “just right: in capturing The Creative Edge, the speaker experiences an “Ahah!”, a paradigm shift. The Gestalt changes. The kaleidoscope turns, and new possibilities become clear.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

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

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

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: THE ONE MINUTE PAUSE — REFLECTING, NOT REACTING

By , April 10, 2009 5:02 pm
Self-Reflection

Self-Reflection

We like to think of ourselves as free. But, most of the time, we are actually simply reacting to the stimuli around us. Something happens, and we REACT. We do not usually STOP, even for a moment, to REFLECT upon what is happening. We are not “free” but quite controlled by the situations around us. And, most importantly, we are also controlled by the residue left by our past experiences in similar situations.

Human beings have the special capacity to be self-reflective. We are able to take a step back and look at what we are doing, ponder, “Why am I acting like this in this situation?”, and change our future actions. But too seldom do we take this “one minute pause”  before reacting. 

The capacity for self-reflection becomes urgently important when our “reactions” are not serving us well. It is then that we seek psychotherapy or other help — to figure out why we act as we do and how we might act differently.

True change comes from INSIDE and cannot be given as advice by another. Change from advice is short-term. Through self-reflection, change becomes lasting.  Internal patterns change, like a kaleidoscope turning. THEN new thoughts, emotions, and action steps become possible.

Before a crisis leads to therapy, self-reflection can be learned as the simple self-help skill, Intuitive Focusing. Based upon Eugene Gendlin’s six-step Focusing process (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984), Intuitive Focusing is the disciplined “practice” of self-reflection. Intuitive Focusing makes productive use of the PAUSE for self-reflection.

During the pause, the Focuser turns inward and pays attention to the “intuitive feel,” the “something-more-than-words”  which underlies thoughts, behaviors, actions. During this quiet inner attention, the Focuser looks for words or images that are “just right” in capturing the “intuitive feel.” When “just right” symbolizations are found, the “bodily-felt sense” opens and shifts, is carried forward to new understandings. The kaleidoscope turns, and a whole new pattern of possibilities arises.

The PRISMS/S PROBLEM SOLVING PROCESS begins with the PAUSE and goes through the Intuitive Focusing steps needed for paradigm shifts, for the kaleidoscope to turn.

While Intuitive Focusing can be practiced alone, the quiet time for self-reflection can be greatly facilitated by the company of a Focused Listener. The Focused Listener says back the Focusers words, with special attention to the “feeling tone,” the “something more than words.” In a Focusing Community, people take turns as the Focuser and Listener, helping each other with problem solving.

Experiential Focusing Therapy also places emphasis upon teaching this self-help skill of productive self-reflection, so that clients can continue to solve their own problems throughout their life.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

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

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

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: FROM INTUITION TO CREATIVITY, TRANSFORMATION, PARADIGM SHIFTS.PHOTOS OF CHILD’S FIRST CHRISTMAS PRESENT ILLUSTRATE CLICK!

By , March 25, 2009 7:15 pm

Malcolm Gladwell, in Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking (Little, Brown, 2005) shows that, contrary to popular belief, the majority of decisions are not made through careful listing of pros and cons but through following a “gut instinct” or an “intuition.” Intuitive Focusing , often accompanied by Focused Listening, is a predictable self-help skill for “unpacking” these “intuitive feels,” “bodily-felt senses” into usable insights and action steps, for personal growth, creativity, spirituality, intimacy, parenting, innovative decision making and problem solving at home and at work.

A child’s wonder at discovering a first Christmas present at the bottom of a deep bag provides a good symbol for the wonder and transformation to be found by using Focusing for “sitting with” and “going deeper into” the vague, preverbal information constantly offered up by the body/mind, the deeper psyche.

Working with Flavia Cymbalista, Focusing Teacher at www.marketfocusing.com , George Soros and other financial managers explored the use of Focusing in relation to “gut instincts” amidst the uncertainty of financial markets.

Over the last 30+ years, thousands of people have used Focusing for emotional, spiritual, and creative problem solving.

The six steps of the Focusing Process, from Eugene Gendlin’s self-help book, Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984):

Step One: Clearing A Space

Deciding to stop and take the time to sit down and pay attention to what is going on inside, the “preverbal” feel of your living, problems, decision making.

Step Two: Getting A Felt Sense

Setting aside all of your already-known intellectual answers and waiting quietly, as long as a minute, for the “bodily felt sense” of “this whole question” to arise.

Step Three: Finding A Handle

Carefully looking for words/images/gestures that can begin to describe the “bodily-felt sense” : “jumpy,” “like a whirly-gig, going round and round,” ” wanting to scrunch down into a tiny ball, disappear,” etc.

Step Four: Resonating And Checking

Taking any symbols (words/images/gestures) that come, and carefully going back and forth between the symbols and the “intuitive feel,” until the body-sense says, “Yes! That is exactly right! That fits perfectly!”

Step Five: Asking

Going deeper by asking the “intuitive feel” open-ended questions like, “And what is so important about that?” or “And what is the crux of that whole thing?” or “And why does that make me feel sad?”, and, instead of answering from the “head,” waiting each time, again at least for a minute, for the “bodily-felt sense,” the vague, preverbal knowing, to arise in the middle of the body, around the chest/heart area, and only then carefully looking for a Handle word/image/gesture, and Resonating and Checking until the body says “Yes! That is it!”. Continuing this Asking as long as you like or until you experience a “felt shift”:  “Yes, that is exactly it. Now I understand what is going on and what I need to do to act on this information.

Step Six: Receiving

Taking a moment to “live into” this new knowing, let it sink into the cellular level of the body. Taking a moment to be grateful to the “body/mind” for offering you this information. Taking a moment to receive any new insights that have come before going into action.

You can read a more thorough description of Dr. McGuire’s version, The PRISMS/S Problem Solving Process.

You can read applications Including Focusing Alone, Focusing Partnerships, Interpersonal Focusing for Conflict Resolution, Creative Edge Meetings, Creative Edge Organizations in The Creative Edge Pyramid.

See my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

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

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

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: THE GIFT IN EMOTIONAL DEPRESSION, ECONOMIC RECESSION, AND OTHER TIMES OF “IMPRISONMENT”

By , March 13, 2009 12:03 pm

Times of grief, depression, economic recession, imprisonment, in the external world or internally self-imposed, can give the time needed to go deeply, “fish up” new energies and creativities from the bottom feeders, and come out renewed.

Intuitive Focusing, especially in the company of Focused Listening from an empathic friend or support group, is a simple self-help tool for doing this fishing, providing predictable steps for “Ahah!” experiences, at home, work, and in the community, while avoiding getting drowned in the process!

A friend posted this on the Focusing Discussion e-list (subscribe at www.focusing.org under “Felt Community”) and, with his permission, I share it with you:

“(A blog about innovation prompts the following thoughts, which takes form together with what comes for me)

On reflecting on these dark and unprecedented times, amidst gathering clouds and raging storms… it occurs that our predicament is not without parallel (I do not mean 1929), and that it is only that we have not just yet recognised the edges of our cell. By way of locating ourselves, a we-ing of us in this, an Eskimo proverb says that in the storm is the time to fish…

So I’d like to tell you a story… but first, what are the similarities in the lives of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, and Nelson Mandela? Each made a personal and social contribution to equality that was far-reaching, upset a status quo, and has sustained beyond their lives. Each recognised the energy of truth and non-violence. And each spent a lot of time in jail, and each found it to be productive time for reflecting and writing, re-editing and re-imagining the world as-it-was-known.

Ibn Al-Haitham is less known but no different. Ab? Al? al-Hasan ibn ibn al-Haytham (also known as Al hazen) is considered as the first ‘scientist’, a pioneer of the scientific method and a ‘father’ of optics. He headed a project to regulate the flow of the Nile in Egypt. Once he decided it was impossible, he escaped severe punishment from the Fatimid caliph in Cairo only by pretending to be mad. So instead of a death sentence, he was kept under house arrest until Hakim’s death in 1021.

There, in-house (as more than a few of us are about to be), he spent his time experimenting with light and physics, and made the discovery of light travelling in a straight line (instead of light beaming out of eyes as it was known) by making holes in the prison’s wall and seeing how buildings outside were depicted upside down on the other wall. Ibn al-Haitham gave the first clear description, illustration, and correct analysis of the camera obscura. The word ‘camera’ comes from the Arabic (qamara), which means dark or private room.

During this time in prison, he wrote the influential Book of Optics and scores of other important treatises on physics, medicine, science and mathematics problems (among which he explored the squaring of the circle). More than 200 works he wrote on all these topics, and in particular published a seven-volume treatise on optics which had great celebrity and influenced western thought, notably that of Bacon and Kepler. His time in prison gave him time to open himself to new theories, and elaborate the gift of a deeper science of optics some 6 centuries before Isaac Newton’s studies.

So in thinking about  ‘our time in prison’, and considering the evolving impacts that the decline-of-empire inevitably bring, this might also just be our opportunity to explore new ways of being-before-doing in a global self-righting-and-redistribution. Seeking new ways to see and know, even when the images are unfamiliar, upsidedown, senseless, or without a pattern that can be quickly picked.

Not a story directly related to Focusing, but when I hear ‘try Focusing with anything’, I want also to try it with contemporary apprehension, with uncertainty and suburban dread, with this wintering and these icy currents, with what works at all anywhere in this we-ing across the world, in our qamaras and private connections, in my living, seeking wild hybridisations and simpler, quieter approaches – much like in remembering how to fish… in a storm.
Mmm … what might that feel like…”

My friend includes a link to a beautiful short video, A Father’s Tools and The Tears of Things, by Tim Wilson, who includes many more “deep fishing” videos at www.personamedia.com .

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

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

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

COLLABORATIVE EDGE SEXUALITY: TANTRA FOR BUSY COUPLES BOOK

By , March 9, 2009 11:30 am

Here is a book of interest to those seeking greater intimacy through the gentle combination of sexuality and spirituality found in Tantra, with a recommendation from internationally-known Focusing Teacher, Ann Weiser Cornell:
~~~~~~~~~~
Diana Daffner
BOOK: www.TantraforBusyCouples.com (Hunter House, March, 2009)

“As a lifelong advocate of how body awareness can bring us into connection with the present moment, I was delighted to encounter this book. With charming anecdotes and refreshing clarity, the Daffners offer a practical guide to that most elusive of states: true intimacy. Highly recommended! “–Ann Weiser Cornell, Ph.D.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Daffner’s also offer educational Intimacy Retreats:

www.IntimacyRetreats.com
941 349-6804
Florida

And Diana offers a CD audio experience guiding you and your lover to greater intimacy: http://www.intimacyretreats.com/lessons2.htm

Diana also participates in Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s e-course (three e-newsletters a week teaching skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening as applied to personal growth, creativity, spirituality, intimacy, conflict resolution, and creative problem solving at home and at work) and writes:

Dear Kathy,
 
I’ve been meaning to write to thank you for your emails. They are so rich with information and guidance. An impressive body of material. That this one referred to “intimacy” of course caught my attention!
 
~ Diana

You can subscribe to the e-course at the link below and also find links to our Mini-Course on Intimate Relationship, which includes lessons on Sharing Your Day, Equalizing Sexual Desire, Erotic Massage, Tantric Sexuality, and Sacred Spot Massage.

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

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! 

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

 See  Core Concept: Conflict Resolution to find a complete mini-course on Interpersonal Focusing and Conflict Resolution, including Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication, Blanchard’s “One Minute Apology,” Patricia Evan’s books on Verbally Abuse and Controlling Relationships, McMahon’s Beyond The Myth Of Dominance, and much more.

See  Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete mini-course on increasing intimacy and sexuality, including the “Sharing Your Day” exercise, Listening/Focusing Partnerships for The Way of Relationship, untangling and equalizing desire, tantric sexuality, and much more.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website, or download from links at top of this blog.

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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