By , January 17, 2008 1:25 pm

For this four weeks, we are working on perhaps the most essential aspect for successful Intuitive Focusing, creating a positive attitude, inside of yourself, for whatever might arise during a Focusing turn.This is The Focusing Attitude.
Empathy, Congruence, and Unconditional Positive Regard
It is also the essential attitude which you convey to a Focuser when you are being a Focused Listener:
“I am here for you, without judgment. I am happy to receive anything that comes up inside of you, without criticism. I will set aside my own reactions, judgments, own experiences and be here as a Caring Feeling Presence simply to listen to and to give back to you your own experiencing.” It is a necessary component of the “empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard” which Carl Rogers defined as the crux ingredients for the healing relationship.
Caring for “Unpleasant” Parts of Ourselves
In the first part of the Caring Feeling Presence exercise below, you are asked to imagine picking up an abandoned infant and conveying to it, through your body, that it is totally wanted and safe in the world. That is a “relatively” easy task!
But the parts or aspects or “images” of ourselves that most need our own Caring inner attention are often parts that we have most wanted or needed to ignore, push down, turn away from, often feeling that leaving these parts behind is really the only way to survive. So, now, to turn toward and embrace these very aspects of the Self? Very difficult, a life-long task.
Unpleasant Images for Abandoned Parts
Here are some images people have given for their wounded part:
“A gangraneous leg — I just want to cut it off.”
“The Golum — it has been underground so long that it is white and totally blind, cannot survive in the light.”
“That fat, little crying girl from childhood — Ughhhh!”
“Quicksand, waiting to suck me down!”
“A dark well of pain without bottom—”
Using Touchstones and Anchors to Establish a “Safe Distance”
Initially, you may need to establish some “safe distance” from it, some firm ground where you can “take a whiff” of it without getting sucked in, stick a toe in the water and quickly step back to the shore. The Inner Anchors in the second part of the exercise, be they pleasant places, remembered nurturers, fantasy warriors or guides, can serve this purpose as safe harbors, touchstones to return to when beginning to approach an old, sore, long-ignored, negatively judged inner aspect or felt sense.
Being Willing To Take Time To Establish Contact, Healing Relationship
And the feeling is mutual! Left alone, pushed out, uncared for for many years, the wounded part is not always immediately welcoming of your attention now:
“A dirty, little girl and she is screaming ‘Get away from me!’
“A porcupine — all quills, waiting to shoot them at me.”
“A wounded dog —biting my hand!”
Gene Gendlin, creator of Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984) used to say in these tenuous inner moments: “Can you just pitch a tent and settle down nearby, letting it know you will just hang out there, as long as it needs to feel comfortable with you?”
Try The Exercise Again With Special Attention To Negative Images, Inner Anchors, and Taking Time To Re-Establish Mutual Trust
Please try out again Pete and Ed’s introductory Biospiritual Focusing exercise for finding a “felt sense,” an “intuitive feel” for developing Caring Feeling Relationship inside. It involves learning how it feels, in your body, when you are trying to show complete love and safety to someone. Then, turning that same loving attention, that Caring Feeling Presence, toward your own inner experiences:

Find the Caring Feeling Presence exercise at this Creative Edge Focusing e-newsletter archive link

Read Dr. McGuire’s article, “Focusing Inner Child Work”.

Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening  at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (”Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire in the Store.

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

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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