By , December 11, 2008 2:33 pm

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Why Practice Intuitive Focusing?


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can learn all about Focusing at The Focusing Institute, as well as at Creative Edge Focusing, . You can read many free articles by Gendlin in the online library at .

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

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


You can try out Intuitive Focusing here, at Instant “Ahah” #1: Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.


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

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-E-course

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)


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