Category: relationships

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

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

“WHY CRY?” PART 4: CRYING FOR A VISION, OPENING OUR EYES TO TRUTH

By , February 28, 2009 7:59 pm

The Opening of Vision: “Crying For A Vision” by David Michael Levin
 
A key quote from Levin:
 
“Crying, of course, is involuntary.  But the experience of crying, with which we are all familiar, can be taken up by the self, taken to heart, and turned, through the gift of our thought, into a PRACTICE of the self.  The practice is concerned with the cultivation of our capacity for care —  Crying becomes a critical social practice of the self when the vision it brings forth makes a difference in the world, gathering other people into the wisdom of its attunement.”

Crying as a PRACTICE, a discipline like yoga or meditation or Focusing, a social practice for CULTIVATION OF OUR CAPACITY FOR CARE!!!

Dave Young, Focusing Teacher in Colorado,  brought attention to the work of David Michael Levin, a Focuser and philosopher-colleague of Eugene Gendlin, creator of Focusing, particularly Levin’s book, The Opening of Vision, Chapter 2, “Crying for a Vision.” Here are Dave’s comments interspersed with quotes from Levin. I include the entirety, since most will not have the Levin book at hand (original discussion happened on The Focusing Discussion e-list, joined at www.focusing.org , under Felt Community).

Dave says:
 
[Kathy]You challenge us brilliantly & beautifully, with your question:  “So, just wanting people to look and then ask themselves, “What is this about humans being ‘touched and moved’ to tears, and how does it relate to guiding oneself and others during Focusing?”
 
I’m presenting some quotes, with a bit of my own commentary, from the best philosophical writing on crying that I know, this from one of Gene’s closest philosophical colleagues, himself a Focuser, David Michael Levin.  It’s found in his marvelous book, The Opening of Vision, Chapter 2, “Crying for a Vision”.

  “This work on vision began, not with a vision, but with an experience of crying.  Crying for the earth, the earth itself, whose devastation I see all around me.  Crying over the plundering of the land.  Crying from the depths of my ancestral body for the victims of the Holocaust.  Crying for the Indians massacred in my country — “
 
Let me urge our discussion of crying, as Focusers, begin here:  with specific experiences of our crying, not merely of our sense of crying in general.  And let it include our own crying & our own struggles with crying.
 
Levin makes a startling claim, based on his Focusing-oriented experiences:
  “With crying, I begin to see, briefly, and with pain. Only with the crying, only then, does vision begin.” 
 
Perhaps carefully, caringly examining our own specific experiences of crying we can bring Levin’s claim within us.
 
Levin:
  “Our eyes are not only articulate organs of sight; they are also the emotionally expressive organs of crying.  The site where vision takes place is sometimes a site where a very different kind of process takes place.  We will now give some thought to the character of this process. What is crying?  Is it merely an accidental or contingent fact that the eyes are capable of crying as well as seeing?  Or is crying in the most intimate, most closely touching relationship to seeing?  Is crying essential for vision?”
 
Understand that Levin is a Focuser.  Therefore, as he will point out later, vision is never divorced from the body, and in particular, vision is never divorced from what he calls the body’s “moodedness” or as he says, “our capacity for care, ‘Sorge’, feeling:  our care-taking capacity, that is, as visionary beings.”  More strongly, he says, “Crying is visionary feeling, and feeling is inherently closer to a sense of wholeness than the disembodied intellect.”
 
This, then, is what Levin means when he says that crying & “vision” are linked, when through his question he implies that crying is “essential for vision”.
 
Levin:
 
“Only human beings cry.  Animals are beings endowed with sight; but only we are capable of crying.  What does this show about us?  What does this show TO us?  Is it this capacity for crying, then, which ennobles our vision, makes it human?  And is it not the ABSENCE of this capacity which marks off the inhuman?  By the ‘inhuman’ I mean the monstrous and the inwardly dead:  the Nazi commandant, for example, and his victim, the Jew, locked into a dance of death, neither one, curiously, able to shed a tear:  for different reasons, their eyes are dry, empty, hollow.”
 
Very strong, what Levin is challenging us to examine.  And yet, on a deeply felt-sensed level, we know this.  I would hold that, in any discussion of crying, the state or rather the stopped-processing of not-crying must also be closely examined, experientially, in ourselves and in others.  What, societally, that stops us from crying is, of course, what we most need to cry about.  And as this need is a stopped-processing, that means the need always remains within us, waiting, crying to come forth.
 
Levin:
 
“What does this capacity [for crying] make visible?  What is its truth?  What is the truth it sees?  What does it know as a ‘speech’ of our nature?  How does it guide our vision?”
 
Certainly, these are questions which we, as Focusing/Listening guides need to address.
 
Levin:
  “Crying is not something we ‘do’.  Crying is the speech of powerlessness, helplessness —  As a response to what history has made visible, crying calls for vision, for thought, for understanding; we need to SEE what IT make VISIBLE.”
 
Levin points what, to me, is a key in crying:  that crying isn’t a self-chosen act.  Though we do, of course, choose to embody-open ourselves up to seeing what calls for crying.  Yet crying, genuine crying always comes as a kind of cleansing & joining gift.  But more on this later, when I have time to better think it through, based on my own personal experiences.
 
Continuing & developing this thought, Levin states,

“Crying, of course, is involuntary.  But the experience of crying, with which we are all familiar, can be taken up by the self, taken to heart, and turned, through the gift of our thought, into a PRACTICE of the self.  The practice is concerned with the cultivation of our capacity for care —  Crying becomes a critical social practice of the self when the vision it brings forth makes a difference in the world, gathering other people into the wisdom of its attunement.”
 
This will take an unbundling I cannot do now.  But know:  crying does make a difference.  Kathy, it’s not only pointing to meaning, but to a special type of meaning.  And this meaning is a connecting, an act that reaches out and makes a difference in the world.  This I know from my own crying for abused & neglected clients who have been alienated from their capacity to cry for themselves and, worse, have become alienated from the truth that they are worth crying over.  And that is only one example.  But this points to a powerful truth which, when we guide those who have greatly suffered, we should not shirk from.  Always, of course, we see how our crying affects, not only is affected by, in our intense “interacting first”.  But we must never rule away our crying out-of-hand.
 
Additionally, when I allow myself to cry for my clients, not only does this crying — not all crying, not the crying of pre-empting or communicating this is too much, but the crying of being deeply touched which can be held  & presented  — not only does this crying usually bring for depths & healing from within my clients or rather from within our interacting.  I myself, by our genuineness, by my congruence, am far less likely to be drained & burned out.  This healing capacity of crying should also be noted in our discussion.
 
Levin gives us a starting point to understand the types of “moods” in crying, paralleling yours, Kathy:
 
“We could think of our eyes as capable of three kinds of mood:  (i) the ontical moodedness of everyday seeing, which can differentiate and articulate what it beholds only in a more or less dualistic, objectifying, re-presentational manner; (ii) the transitional moodedness of a seeing which cries for vision, immersed in painful seeing, immersed in the processes of its subjectivity; and (iii) the moodedness of a more joyful, more fulfilled seeing, clear and bright and articulate, and capable of being deeply touched and moved, even at a distance, by what it is given to see.”
 
As a taste of where this leads, permit me one more Levin quote: 
 
“Crying is the rooting of vision in the ground of our [universal, shared & interacting] needs:  [our] need for openness, [our] need for contact, [our] need for wholeness.” Dave

And Franc Chamberlain, Certified Focusing Professional in Ireland,  also dives into Levin’s work, with more on Vision and Crying:
 
“Hello, I haven’t been following closely, so apologies if I’m repeating — I’ve recently been dipping back into some of the Levin books, such as The Opening of Vision — and there’s also a questioning about tears in the early part of The Philosopher’s Gaze, in the section entitled ‘Blindness, Violence, Compassion’ (which seems to link the two threads of tears and (non) violence).
 
After discussing briefly T.S. Eliot’s ‘I see the eyes but not the tears/this is my affliction’ he goes on to say:
 
“What must we say about philosophers? When have philosophers seen the tears? When have they given thought to what, without words, tears are saying? Is the history of philosophy a history of blindness, a discourse disfigured by traces of this terrible, unavowable affliction? Is there something inherent in the philosophical gaze that compels this affliction to remain unavowable? (The Philosopher’s Gaze, 1999 p.4)
 
So, is there something in the philosophical gaze that both arrests crying whilst at the same time prevents us from knowing that crying is arrested? So, could we discuss ‘crying’ in a philosophical sense, and even discuss the arrest of crying, without even knowing that our own crying is a stopped process? Because western philosophy often splits itself off from ‘experiencing’ even when speaking about ‘experience’
 
Franc

Dave and Franc and Levin all pointing to the experience that crying is essential to our caring, having compassion, “seeing” the truth of this world, and acting on its behalf. “Being touched and being moved” as essentially human, and essential-to-humanness.

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

“WHY CRY?” PART ONE: ARE WOMEN BETTER AT CRYING THAN MEN?

By , February 22, 2009 6:06 pm
TAKING TEARS SERIOUSLY: WOMEN CRY FIVE TIMES AS OFTEN AS MEN!
 
William Frey, in his book Crying,  states research which found that women cry five times as often as men. Certainly, there is a difference, and perhaps a skill, worth exploring here, if we take the value of tears and crying in a positive way.
 
TEARS OF WONDER/JOY, BEING TOUCHED AND BEING MOVED, AS POSITIVE, TRANSFORMATIVE EXPERIENCES
 
In a recent discussion about the many photos of “tears of joy” throughout the world which appeared in conjunction with Obama’s inauguration, I started a discussion about such “tears of joy,” “tears of ‘being touched’ and ‘being moved’ on The Focusing Discussion e-list (join at www.focusing.org under Felt Communities and read the archives for November/December, 2008 —). Fellow list members came back with some wonderful articles and multi-media on the positive place of tears.
 
I have had an ongoing debate with Eugene Gendlin, creator of Focusing, and others about the place and value of tears in change processes using Focusing and Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy.
 
Gendlin’s position is that some tears are simply repetitive, “sheer” emotion, and change will not happen unless the Focuser pays attention to the wider, deeper, “felt sensing” under the tears: “What are these tears about for me?” and pausing for a “felt sense” of “the whole thing” to form.
 
I agree with Gendlin about this, tears and crying that seem repetitive, stuck, often cried from a helpless, “victim” stance.
 
But there is another kind of tears and crying which I experience as deeply transformative, as part of Gendlin’s “felt shift,” the crux of change within the Focusing model. I call these tears “cathartic unfolding”: tears and crying accompanying a deep shifting and opening and “carrying forward” at the bodily level. I experience these kind of “tearful felt shifts” as among the deepest in terms of true, lasting transformation of the psyche.
 
Gendlin tends to say, “Yes, receive these tears, value them, but they are a ‘side product,’ not an essential aspect of the ‘felt shift’ through Focusing.” I agree that ALL “felt shifts” do not have to include tears, in fact, most do not. But I think I disagree with Gendlin and others on what I see as the ADDITIONAL significance of felt-shifts accompanied by “cathartic unfolding.”
 
I also see more subtle “tearing up,” the slight sheen of tears in the eye, as an indication of places of deep meaning. So, when being a Listener for a Focuser, or a Focusing-Oriented Therapist, I am likely to ask the Focuser if it would make sense to stop and “sense into” the place of tears, as a pathway to profound personal meanings.
 
I have approached this difference with Gendlin as a difference between “masculine” and “feminine” in the Jungian sense, as a difference between being a strong Thinker (T) and a strong Feeler (F) on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). On the MBTI, 60-70% of men score as Thinkers, leaving 30-40% male Feelers, and vice versa for women, 60-70% Feelers but also 30-40% Thinkers. So, there are many men for whom tears come easily, and many women who are not so close to their tears. See my articles, “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory,” “The Body As A Source Of Knowledge,”  and “Existential Phenomenology: A Philosophy Articulating Feminine Experience,” .

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

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

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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

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

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

Clearing A Space

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to subscribe to Creative Edge Focusing(TM)’s  Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!! Today’s blog is part of the year-long e-course offered through the Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter.

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: RELIEVING STRESS OF INTERPERSONAL SITUATIONS

By , December 21, 2008 6:08 pm

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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

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

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

Do your situations leave a felt “residue” behind?
 
Have you noticed that real-world situations, interactions can leave behind a “residue” of “something-more-than-words”? Our bodily knowing, our intuitive sensing, lives in the situation and can “pick up” aspects that affect us without giving us words. We might have to pay attention to the “intuitive feel” left behind a while just to be able to say we feel “anxious,” or “Something is not right here” or “What is being said doesn’t match the feeling being generated” or “I want to get out of here!” or “This is not safe.” 

Even getting this far, any words at all, may take a first step of  “Getting A Felt Sense of a Situation,” paying attention to the “whole thing,” the larger “intuitive feel” under the initial wordless emotional reaction.
 
Intuitive Focusing is made exactly for going further to find words for exactly what is going on in such situations. Finding words allows you to take action to change the situation, because now you know what the problem is.
 
You will learn to take a moment to sit down, “clear a space” inside, and ask an open-ended questions, like, “What is this all about?” Instead of answering with the already-known in your head, you will learn to wait at least a minute for “the feel of the whole thing” to form in the center of your body. Only then will you begin to look for words and images  that are “just right” in capturing the “intuitive feel” of the situation. 

Eventually, you will experience the “Ahah!,” the relief of knowing consciously what your body has been carrying “unconsciously.” Now, you can take action steps to change the situation, clarify the interaction.
 
Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #4: “Finding the Felt Senses of A Situation”
(from Complete Focusing Instructions)
 
 
Remember, especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!! And it is exactly in the PAUSE that the Creative Edge comes.

    4.  The “Felt Sense,” The “Intuitive Feel” of a Situation-Allow 15 to 20 minutes
 
In this exercise, you are going through a first round of Intuitive Focusing, looking for The Creative Edge, the something-new-that-is-more-than-words about an actual situation during the week that felt unfinished.Although you may have gone around and around in your head, trying to find a solution, to figure out what happened that was strange, now you will set aside that left-brain problem solving and consult your “right-brain wisdom, the bodily “intuitive feel” of “that whole thing.”

First, we use a Relaxation exercise as a way of clearing some space inside for Focusing, then we look for “the intuitive feel,” the “bodily-felt sense” of the situation:
 
—Let’s start with The Counting Meditation for initial Relaxation:
 
—First, stretch—and relax, stretch—and relax, stretch—and relax—-30 sec.
 
—Now, begin noticing your breathing, just noticing the breath going in—and out—in—and out—30 sec.
 
—Now, on each exhale, count starting with “1” and continuing, on each exhale, until you reach “9”—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9
2 minutes
—If you lose track, just start counting over again with “1”. When you get to “9,” start over and count to “9” one more time—
2 minutes
—Spend a few minutes coming to a peaceful place inside, noticing your breathing—
2 minutes
—Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation from the past week which feels unfinished, left behind an uncomfortable or confusing feeling—
2 minutes
—Set aside all your ready-made words or images, and try to get a fresh “intuitive feel” for how you felt in that situation, paying attention to the center of your body, around the heart/chest area—
1 minute
—Try to find some words or an image to describe the “intuitive feel” of it, The Creative Edge before words—
1 minute
—Keep checking until the words or image are just right.
1 minute
—Ask yourself, “What’s that about for me?” and wait for a felt sense, an “intuitive feel” that is more than words, to form—
1 minute
—Find some words or an image to capture that “intuitive sense”. You are letting your body’s Wisdom tell you about the situation, instead of answering with everything you already know.
1 minute
—When you are ready, come slowly back into the room.
 
If you wanted to continue with another round of Focusing, you would simply ask again, “And why is this important to me?”, wait to see what comes as an “intuitive feel,” look for words or an image that are “just right,” checking and resonating until something shifts inside. You can find full Focusing Instructions at  “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

SEX FOR SENIORS: BETTER SEX FOR A LIFETIME

By , November 30, 2008 3:30 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual 

Okay, believe it our not, I found this in my AARP newsletter: gentle but sexy, educational and fun DVDs especially for those middle-aged and older. Real couples having real sex, overcoming issues of aging, gently introducing postures, fantasy play, G-Spot stimulation, and more to bring the spice into love-making.

You’ll learn, laugh, get turned on, and thoroughly enjoy these gentle videos. Here is the link for the 2-DVD Great Sex For A Lifetime set that makes a great starter, and don’t neglect to click on the “Free Gift With Purchase” link for more freebies  to go with your purchase.

Of course, for lasting intimacy, we at Creative Edge Focusing recommend our self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening. See our easy Mini-Courses on Conflict Resolution and Intimacy below.

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

INTEREST AREA: CONSCIOUS RELATIONSHIP

By , June 14, 2008 12:27 pm

Interest Areas: Seven Places To Start Practice Groups !!!

The Interest Areas under “Is This You” at The Creative Edge Focusing website (www.cefocusing.com ) give the First Ten Steps you might take to bring the model of Listening/Focusing into seven whole different areas of living: Organizations, Support Groups and Communities, Relationships, Parenting, Education, Spiritual Communities, and Helping Professions (psychotherapy, counselling, medicine, body work, etc.).

I am introducing you to each of these Interest Areas and possible First Steps so that you might start a Listening/Focusing practice group in any of these areas.

INTEREST AREA: CONSCIOUS RELATIONSHIP

Below you will find the Introduction to the Conscious Relationships Interest Area at www.cefocusing.com  . Just as one might undertake an ongoing, disciplined “practice” in yoga or meditation or piano or public speaking, I suggest that we turn the same kind of “conscious, disciplined practice” to our intimate relationships and friendships. Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, the Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange skills, makes the perfect tool for growing through The Way of Relationship:

The Way of Relationship

Intimate relationships can be seen as a spiritual path, The Way of Relationship. Relationships can be a self-therapy. Relationships will point up your “blind spots” or “shadow sides” more effectively (or shall I say more quickly, anyway!) than psychotherapy.

The Way of Relationship can be practiced between lovers. The experiences of empathy which arise during the exchange of Listening/Focusing turns lead to increased emotional and physical intimacy.

The Way of Relationship can also be practiced between friends or in a spiritual or other community. The experiences of empathy, of individual uniqueness as well as common humanity common in Listening/Focusing Exchanges, can be a spiritual experience of the love called Agape, or Buber’s “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” relationship.

Harville Hendrix’ book, Getting The Love You Want, was an early one stating that it’s okay for your relationship to be “therapy.” We are attracted to people who have the capacity to heal us in some way, to move us on our journey toward wholeness. Hendricks calls it The Imago, a kind of template of the kind of person needed for your healing. Ideally, you will find a person enough like your parent to offer the experiences needed for healing but also capable of going through this healing journey with you . At www.gettingtheloveyouwant.com  , you will find more books and training programs connecting you to a network of people, through Imago Relationships International, who are committed to conscious relationship.

Gay and Kathleen Hendricks’ book, Conscious Loving: The Journey To Co-Commitment, names the bedrock of good relationship as complete, absolute, and utter honesty at all times. This book and their many other books and workshops through the Hendricks Institute, www.hendricks.com  , give many concrete techniques and practices for conscious relationship.

Although there are many wonderful, established programs for Conscious Relationship such as the two above, Intuitive Focusing, as aided by Focused Listening, is the missing link in almost every program, the one thing that is usually not taught but makes all the difference in terms of whether people actually succeed in the programs or not.

Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, used in Focusing Partnerships and Interpersonal Focusing, are the bedrock self-help skills which provide a way through. They help you to stick with it when buttons get pushed. They tell you how to mine the treasure in “confrontations.” These are really confrontations with your own shadow side– the parts of yourself you can’t see – the positive aspects you devalue as well as negative aspects you do not want to accept.

The goal for everyone is “wholeness,” the integration of positive and negative shadow aspects, and we choose friends and partners who will push us toward wholeness.

Love Relationships

Perhaps there is no more important place for the use of Empathic Listening and Experiential Focusing skills than in love relationships.

When we “fall in love,” we are drawn to something in the Other that intrigues and fascinates us—CLICK HERE TO GO TO INTEREST AREA: CONSCIOUS RELATIONSHIP AT OUR WEBSITE AND READ ON, INCLUDING FIND THE FIRST TEN STEPS FOR BRINGING LISTENING/FOCUSING INTO INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS AND FRIENDSHIPS.

Go to Core Concept: Intimate Relationship to find a complete Mini-Course on increasing emotional and sexual intimacy.

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!!!

 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.

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

“I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY DAY”: RE-EVALUATION CO-COUNSELING

By , April 2, 2008 2:06 pm

 “I DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY DAY!”

“I hate my job! I hate my life!”

 

Many people feel like they hate their job, and will say, when asked to participate in “Sharing Your Day”: “I hate my job! The last thing I want to do when I get home is talk about it!” and go off for a drink and TV, or some other diversion, something that helps them avoid talking about their day.

 

I think it is obvious that this is a big problem, not only in terms of increasing intimacy, but also in terms of the health and happiness of that person, as well as the relationship.

 

If a person is that unhappy in their job, then something needs to be done about it. And perhaps the first step on that path is to begin talking, begin “Sharing Your Day” with their partner. Through talking, without interruption or judgment, something new can happen, a new possible action step arise.

 

Talking without being interrupted allows automatic access to The Creative Edge, the “intuitive feel” from which new possibilities can arise. So, painful though it may seem, the first step to a new, happier life can be the simple “Sharing Your Day.”

 

Re-evaluation Co-Counseling: Just Telling Your Story Is Healing

 

In a form of peer counseling called Reevaluation Co-Counseling (click this link to find lots of information on actually trying out “RC”  http://www.rc.org/), the main “intervention”is simply “Warm, caring, non-judgmental attention.” The two people sit close enough so that they can hold hands. The Listener simply looks into the Speaker’s eyes with “warm, caring, non-judgmental attention.” Each person took an equal turn as Speaker and Listener, anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour turns.

 

The Speaker starts with their earliest memories and just tells the story of their life, looking into the Listener’s eyes. As they tell their memories, the Speaker welcomes and allows any manifestation of emotion or tension discharge. In the founder, Harvey Jackin’s, list of forms of discharge, are shaking as a discharge of fear, laughing as a discharge of light fear (embarrassment, shame), yawning as a discharge of boredom, crying as a discharge of hurt and pain.  For the first several months (or perhaps the first year?!), this is all that was done. The Speaker tells their memories over and over, as long as more emotions are being discharged. New memories arise and are healed through emotional discharge. Listeners eventually also learn other “interventions” to help Speakers get out of stuck patterns and into emotional discharge, but “warm, caring, non-judgmental attention” is the main one.

 

See if you can start “Sharing Your Day.” Nonjudgmental listening, no interruptions is key! If you and your partner want to add holding hands and looking into each others’ eyes, give it a try. Read up on RC at http://www.rc.org and try out these simple peer counseling skills.

 

If either partner’s pain is so great that “Sharing Your Day” is absolutely not possible, then professional help can be sought. Click here to read about Focusing-Oriented Therapy (FOT).  Visit The Focusing Institute under Learning Focusing to find both  FOTs and Focusing Teachers who can help you get started in the geographical search section under Learning Focusing.

 

“How Do I Find A Life Partner?”

 

In the original Changes group, any person could have a “team” of Listening/Focusing peer helpers to help them solve a difficult life problem or write a book, whatever. I had a “team” to meet with me and plan how I was going to find a life-partner.

 

And we carried out the plan: with my team’s support, I presented on Listening/Focusing at the Association For Humanistic Psychology in Chicago that year, and I also went to a presentation that Eugene Gendlin, creator of Focusing,  was doing there. The idea: maximize the statistical probability of finding a Focusing-Oriented person to relate to. And, at the Gendlin presentation, I saw him. And, at my presentation, I met his friend. And —eventually, I married him, even though he lived in Canada —

 

So, I thought, “How about a Focusing Singles Network—- something like ‘speed dating,’ where you get to meet a lot of people, a few minutes each, but, of course, we could just use the Changes meeting format: Check In (introduction of self), then, perhaps, a Round Robin of short listening/focusing turns — well, really, just Check -In might be sufficient?” , just each person saying a little by way of introduction.

 

Anyway, someone could organize it FOR A FEE or for fun and run it as a phone free conference call or locally…I know, it might sound crazy, but, really, finding a Focusing-Oriented significant other, when you are Introverted like many of us, can be really difficult   —-  of course, this model could be developed locally, or regionally (would be ideal to have them in different languages, in different countries). Anyway, this is the seed of an idea.

 

Also, likely there might be a separate Focusing Gay Singles Network, or maybe address this issue in the introductions? I know for many gays it is difficult to somehow find out who in a group is also gay…a lot of difficult undercover work unless this is addressed directly somehow.

 

Lori Ketover is also starting to use a Focusing Support Group model to introduce small groups of people to each other by phone in order to find partners for Focusing Partnership through the Focusing Institute Focusing Partnership program — just hearing someone’s voice, seeing how they do listening/focusing, seems to really help some people match up.  So, why not extend this idea to more conscious matching up of Focusing Singles? 

 

Otherwise, my best advice to find a Focusing-oriented life-partner is to attend Focusing workshops, conferences, presentations, in your area and internationally, do presentations, participate on e-lists — I started an interesting long-distance relationship when I met someone at a Focusing International in Chicago, and he lived in California, me in Oregon.

 

Although, I met my present life-partner through the persistent efforts of a friend who was a business professor — and kept introducing me to business professors — and I have taught him Listening/Focusing since we married.

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 

FROM INCREASED INTIMACY TO INCREASED SEXUALITY

By , March 31, 2008 2:31 pm

Setting Up “Dates” To Insure Opportunity
 
Instant “Ahah!” # 8: “Sharing Your Day” (link to blog with exercise) will increase intimacy, sensuality, the desire for sexual closeness. However, even in the best of relationships, keeping sexuality alive seems to be aided by “making dates,” setting up specific times as protected space for sexual intimacy.
 
Remember, within a set up time, you can be as spontaneous as you want. Some people may find a certain routine creates a ritual “Sacred Space,” for others it may be important that “anything can happen.” However, once the early romance is over, and especially when jobs and children and chores and TV can gobble up all available time, it is important to set up “dates” (just like when you were first getting to know each other) which guarantee an opportunity for sexual intimacy to arise.
 
The longer couples go without having sex, the harder it can become to bridge that gap. And having sex really does increase intimacy for some people, rather than the other way around (increased intimacy increasing sexual desire). So, many couples find that aiming for two to three sexual encounters per week, along with daily”Sharing Your Day,” can be optimum for keeping the sexual channel open in the midst of busy lives.
 
Even including lighting candles, starting music, doing massage to increase sensuality, 45 minutes to an hour can be plenty of time for a wonderful sexual encounter. In the beginning, it may be important to allow more time to take away pressure. But having a wonderful, memorable “date” takes little enough time that couples can make a commitment to fit that time into their schedules.
 
Erotic Equality: Untangling Sexual Desire
 
So, one partner might say, “Two to three times a week! But I hardly ever feel like having sex!” and the other might say, “Two or three times a week! That is nowhere near enough times to meet my need!” And upon this difference in sexual desire many relationships have foundered.
 
Here are some possible solutions. They are based in the ideas of equality and negotiation basic to the entire Creative Edge Focusing model. However, for some people, they may break sexual taboos, so, if you are uncomfortable with these suggestions, feel free to stop reading! These are all links to Dr. McGuire’s blogs:
 
Erotic Massage To Increase Desire

Self-Satisfaction To Equalize Desire

Learning Self-Satisfaction

Sensitivity To Issues Of Sexual Abuse

Increasing Intimacy With Sexy Board Games

Please read entire blog entries on Conflict Resolution and Relationships in order to place Intimacy and Sensuality/Sexuality within the broader range of self-help skills of Empathic Listening and Intuitive Focusing and Interpersonal Focusing which are taught at Creative Edge Focusing (TM), www.cefocusing.com .

 Intimacy comes from clear, open communication, and Listening/Focusing skills allow that communication. See Conscious Relationship Interest Area on the website for a full introduction to Dr. McGuire’s model for The Way of Relationship.

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 

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