Posts tagged: anxiety

PASSIVE LISTENING: STOP ARGUMENTS, RESOLVE CONFLICT, SAVE THE WORLD

By , November 16, 2008 1:47 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

“Passive Listening: Just Being Quiet, Not Interrupting!

This is going to be extremely basic. And, maybe, extremely difficult!! All you are going to do is exchange equal, timed, passive listening turns with the other person, instead of arguing. Passive listening means you don’t say a thing, just let the other person speak without interruption. You don’t even have to try to use Pure Reflection, as in “Ahah” #2, Active Listening.

But, it can also be the most extremely powerful and successful intervention you can make in your relationships, so, please, give it a try. Through the Self-Help Package or Phone Coaching/Consulting available at Services and Programs of CEF, you will learn even more powerful Focused Listening skills which go way beyond passive listening.

But for now, you are just going to practice Passive Listening – being quiet, listening, not interrupting. Try to imagine what the whole world could be like if everyone knew just this one, simple self-help skill!” Stop for a moment to read the rest of the exercise from your Mini-Manual (download from link above) or the Passive Listening download on CEF Website.

The Basic Procedure

Here are the subheadings from the exercise in the download which lay out the basic steps of this very simple procedure:

Agree on a signal during a peaceful time
Set a timer and take a seat
Use the timer to keep turns exactly even
Yell at a blank wall, if needed
Just keep going
Caution: Professional help needed?
Online support for conflict resolution

And those are the basics of this very simple procedure, which can be taught to anyone in five minutes. Download the actual exercise, Passive Listening.

Is It Really That Easy?

Probably not. No, it will not be 100% effective. However, to be a “statistically significant” help, it would only have to work 60% of the time. And, after thirty years experience with it, that seems extremely likely.

And, I have not found anything else, short of professional counseling or mediation (and often, even then, I think this more powerful), which has a chance to become such a widespread “cure” for conflict.

Why does it work?

When people can speak without being interrupted, and without fear of interruption, they automatically become able to speak from their “intuitive feel” of the issue or situation, The Creative Edge, not the already-known logical arguments that cycle around and around without changing. It is from The Creative Edge, this “intuitive knowing” of the whole situation, that new ideas and action steps can arise.

And, when people share from The Creative Edge, and listen to each other, they become vulnerable, authentic, honest. They say what they really want and need. They become “lovable” and move the other person to compassion and a wish to find a solution. So, even “passive listening” creates the capacity for love and understanding.

Passive Listening Become A Cultural Norm? Example: Two People Arguing In A Store

Two people are arguing loudly in a store, screaming back and forth at each other. Their child is standing nearby, forgotten in their fury. Let’s imagine, in our new world where everyone, and I mean everyone, knows about taking passive listening turns for conflict resolution – just like everyone knows about reading and writing, or standing in line, or how to use an implement for eating.

So, a sales person or other staff of the store, or simply a bystander, another citizen, can simply say, “Oh, let me help you use Passive Listening Turns.” Mind you, this has become a cultural norm, just like driving on the right or left side of the street. Maybe there are even special rooms in public places where people can retreat for Passive Listening Turns. Maybe there are even specially trained mediators around, like there might be police or traffic cops.

So, because it is a norm they have been brought up with since childhood, the arguing people stop in their tracks and say, “Oh. Thanks. We had forgotten ourselves. And take their seats in the “safe place” set aside for such conflict processing (like everywhere there are bathrooms, baby changing tables, benches to rest, bus kiosks, first aid stations). And set the timer kept available.

So, they flip a coin to see who goes first, five minute or ten minute equal turns.

She starts. She is furious, not looking at him, sighing, turning from side to side, would really like to be still engaged in that furious tangle of yelling back and forth. She decides she needs to “yell at the wall” for a while, let some steam off before she can get any deeper into what is going on (but, remember, this kind of conflict processing is a “habit” in the culture, practiced since childhood, so she knows how to do it, what to expect, what to look for inside, eventually, the “hook” between them)

So, she yells at the wall for about three minutes, using swear words, saying all the worst she thinks about him and his behavior: “You selfish b______. I work so hard and you do nothing. I’m not letting you spend my money on that s____. I am furious. I am so tired of this and of you”, etc.

But, without response, pretty soon this energy runs out, runs down, and she begins to cry: “I’m just so tired. I’m so tired of our never getting ahead. I’m worried that your work is slowing down. I just can’t do it any more, carry all these burdens.” Her five minutes (or ten, whatever they negotiated) is up.

His turn begins (he is not so mad any more, having heard her words, seen her tears, seen her tiredness instead of just her anger): “I can’t go without something special. I just need to spend $10 once and a while on something that is just for fun. I can’t stand the drudgery, everything always the same. I wanted these sports cards because, for a few minutes, I could be happy looking at them—-I’m scared about my job, about the work slowing down — I don’t like it that you are making more money than me. I don’t like it that you treat me like a little boy getting an allowance— it makes me furious and ashamed.”

Not a total solution yet, but a “softening” on each side. It may take more turns. It may take more sessions. It may take professional help at some point. But, in this moment, the “horns locked” energy between them has been broken. Hopefully, they now have some “free emotional space” to care for their child, to not let the rage wash over there as well.

As long as they are not allowed (and have been trained from childhood how not to allow themselves) to get physically violent, or to shout back and forth, the angry assault will lose its fuel, and something new, a more Creative Edge, will arise in each of them, a more compassionate “touching,” more sympathy for each other. More willingness to look for solutions.

Please try out the protocol with your significant others this week. When there is not an argument happening, come to mutually understand the rules, find a safe spot, get a timer, and establish a “signal,” like “popcorn” that anyone (including your children) to remind you that a bad pattern of “assault” or “argument” is starting, and it is time to try Passive Listening Turns. Then, you can begin to be prepared when an actual argument arises. 

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING PRACTICE: RIGHT BRAIN, NON-LINEAR BODILY-FELT SENSE NOT THE SAME AS BONES OR MUSCLE

By , November 7, 2008 12:50 pm

Free Downloads from this blog:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #2: “From The Bottom Up”
(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.

GETTING A FELT SENSE: FINDING THE “INTUITIVE FEEL,” THE CREATIVE EDGE

Here you are learning the difference between thinking up an answer in your head and Intuitive Focusing: waiting for a subtle “feel” of the whole thing, an “intuition,” to form in the center of your body, and then creating words or images that are just right to capture it. You are looking for the “intuitive feel,” the Creative Edge, the right-brain information that is more than you can put into words. Eugene Gendlin, creator of the self-help process called Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984) calls it “the felt sense” of the whole thing.

Gendlin also created this exercise. He came up with it to help people who were having a lot of trouble with the idea of a “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” inside of the body. Perhaps they didn’t even know what “inside your body” meant. Perhaps they could only pay attention to their concrete bones and muscles, not the more murky, blurry, “something-more-than words” that is the Creative Edge from which new ideas and solutions can come.

The “Felt Sense” is not the same as bones or muscle

In these exercises, you are learning to pay attention to your body “from the inside” in preparation for doing Gendlin’s Intuitive Focusing. But this “inside view,” the “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” of an issue or problem, is not the same as the sore muscles knotted in your back, or the pain in your tightened jaw muscles. While tightened muscles or sore bones might be the first “cue” that there is “something-more-than-words” going on in your body, the “intuitive feel” of “that whole tightness or pain” comes more fully as an “energy accumulation” or fuzzy, unclear, “sense of the whole thing.”

So, if I have a headache, for instance, first, I might put my attention into the painful area of my head, as we do in this exercise, feeling the toe “from the inside.” But, then, I would ask a more general Focusing question, like “What is this tightness in my head all about?” and then wait, for as long as a minute, for the “feel of that whole thing” to form in the center of my body, in an “energy space” in the inside of my heart/lung/chest area.

It is from this broader “intuitive feel of the whole thing” that new words, images, and, eventually, solutions will come as I use the Focusing process to go back and forth between the “intuitive feel” and words or images until I find symbols that “fit,” and experience an “Ahah!” of “That’s it!” as well as release from the headache.

DEVELOPING THE HABIT OF “FELT SENSING”

Getting A “Felt Sense” #2 : From The Bottom Up

One more time let’s try this
method for finding the “intuitive feel” of the inside of your body(Eugene Gendlin invented this). You are developing “the habit of felt-sensing,” an all-day long capacity to check with the “bodily-felt sense,” the “intuitive feel” of implicit information that is “more than words”:

Allow 5-10 minutes

—Close your eyes and get comfortable—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Follow your breathing for a few moments, just noticing the breath, going in—and out-
1 minute
—Now, turn your attention to your right big toe—Can you feel your toe?—10 seconds

—Now, turn your attention to your knee—and feel your knee from the inside—10 sec

—Now, pay attention to your body where it touches the chair or floor—Feel everywhere that your body makes contact with the supporting surface—30 seconds

—Now, the inside of your chest, where your heart, lungs, diaphragm are — this is where the felt sense, the “intuitive feel” comes–feel in there, inside—10 seconds

—Ask yourself, in there, “How am I today?” and wait and see what comes—If you wait for at least a minute, a “felt sense” will arise, a subtle “intuitive feel” of yourself, that is not in words—
1 minute
—Just be with the “intuitive feel” for a moment, feeling it and trying to find a short, feeling or “quality” word (like “scared,” “sad,” “tense,” “silly,” “joyful” “red,” “jumpy,” “elastic”) that captures the quality of the “intuitive feel”—Or you might find an image that is just right—or perhaps your body wants to move into a certain posture or gesture.
1 minute
—You can use this quality word or image or posture as a “handle” to hold on to an “intuitive feel” so that you can come back to it later for a Complete Focusing Turn —
10 sec
—When you are ready, come slowly back into the room

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

LISTENING/FOCUSING SKILLS: RELAXATION, GUIDED IMAGERY “AT THE BEACH”

By , November 6, 2008 12:35 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

From Creative Edge Focusing (TM):

Through these weekly e-reminders, I am trying to help you to
(a) begin to have brief, safe times getting to know your Inner Space, if this is new to you;
(b) teach you Intuitive Focusing through a series of exercises which are “small steps” in learning Focusing
(c) help newcomers and longtime Focusers alike integrate the “practice” of pausing for relaxation, felt-sensing, and Focusing into everyday living.

A first step of Focusing is learning to “clear a space” inside where the “something new” of right-brain, non-linear “felt sensing” can arise. One way of “clearing a space” is a Relaxation/Meditation/Guided Imagery exercise as a first step toward coming in tune with your “bodily-felt wisdom.” So, as a step in learning Intuitive Focusing, we practice relaxation.

Kathy’s Experience this week: Awakening The Body/Mind

Even I, the “creator” of the exercises, struggle to find time to “practice” them. But, I remind myself, I am really taking just a few minutes, a few times a week, to be with myself, to be with my physical body as well as psychological and emotional self in a way which is healthy, relaxing, brings deep breathing and some measure of peace.

I have not yet, even in the second month, gotten out my CD player to listen along with the audio CD from the Self-Help Package. I often don’t open the e-reminder when it comes. But I do find myself grabbing a few moments here and there and remembering I can use the time to “Go To The Beach” (relaxation through Guided Imagery).

One day, for instance, I was reading a book where “seagulls wheeled overhead.” I noticed how tense I was and I thought, “I can stop and go to The Beach,” lay down on the floor, and did the exercise from memory, experiencing some minutes of Relaxation.

Also, this week, I did open the e-newsletter when it came, took ten minutes, and had a wonderful “awakening” of my stressed-out body/mind:

So, this was not a Focusing Turn, but Relaxation through Guided Imagery. I closed my eyes, stretched — and relaxed— three times, then imagined myself arriving at my favorite Oregon beach, taking off my sandals to walk in the warm sand as I always do. And, immediately, tears came, about how far away from that sense of relaxation I was at that moment, in this troubled time in my mind.

I did not stop for “Focusing” into the deeper meanings of the tears, but continued with the guided imagery journey. I ran down to the shore and said, “Hello, sky! Hello, birds! Hello, waves!” and more tears came with the realization, again, of how far from this in-touchness with the beauty of nature I was in the moment (and I live, in real life, beside a beautiful lake surrounded by Fall colors, right outside my computer-bounded window!).

I continued with the visualization, listening to the waves, wind, bird calls, going to lie down in the warm sand, to feel the warm sand cradling me below, and the warm sun cradling me from above — and I felt like the middle of a “love sandwich,” being cared for and nurtured. I stayed there a while, enjoying the warmth and the sounds, the support of the sand. And then I came back into the room, refreshed.

PRE-FOCUSING PRACTICE:
A. RELAXATION SUGGESTIONS (from Complete Focusing Instructions)
“The Beach (Guided Imagery)

The quiet time between instructions is an important time for just breathing—and relaxing.

You can lie on the floor or, for most exercises, sit in a chair. If you fall asleep, it’s okay! Means you need more rest! But you may also want to practice sitting up to avoid sleeping.

Especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses and enjoy relaxing in the imagery. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!!
The Beach-Allow 10-15 minutes

—Lie down or sit down and get comfortable. 10 seconds

—Stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax— three times— 10 sec

—Notice your breathing, without trying to change it.
1 minute

—Now, imagine yourself at the ocean—.10 seconds

—See the wide, sweeping beach of white, crystalline sand—warm and smooth—10 sec

—Take off your shoes and socks, and feel the warm sand between your toes—10 sec

—Smell the sea on the breeze, breathing in—and out—in—and out—in—and out–10 sec

—Watch the waves rolling in, and hear their roaring sound—10 sec

—Waves blue-green with creamy white caps—lapping at the sand—10 sec

—Waves rolling in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—10 sec

—Lie down in the warm sand—feel its warmth all over your back—10 seconds

—Stretch and settle in, feeling the sun upon your body, the sand cushioning you—10 sec

—Listening to the waves rolling in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—10 sec

—Listen to the gulls crying over head—10 sec

—Feel the warmth of the sand below you, the warmth of the sun beating down on you—10 sec

—Remain here as long as you wish.
3 – 5 minutes

—Now stretch, and massage any tension in your face, neck, shoulders, or feet, if you like—
1 minute

— And get up slowly.

LISTENING/FOCUSING SKILLS: STARTING A SELF-HELP PRACTICE GROUP

By , November 5, 2008 7:31 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

This month: From Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, p. 7, #2.Active Listening: Short-Circuiting An Angry Confrontation.

Starting A Simple Listening/Focusing Practice Group

So, we have reframed “anger” as “upsetness” and suggested that an “upset” person will respond to empathic, active listening rather than attack-back.

And, last week, I suggested lots of first steps to practice Active Listening so it will be ready-to-hand when a confrontation arises.

This week, I am going to give another nudge toward starting your own Active Listening, or Focused Listening, practice group.

Reading the Focused Listening description at the link, you will find definition and examples of the Four Basic Types of Response:

Pure Reflection: setting aside judgments and advice and just trying to say back the words of the other, with attention to also reflecting the “feeling tone.” Three times more Pure Reflection than anything else!

Asking For More: if the person stops speaking, you can “ask for more” about words/images that seemed to carry more implicit meaning

Focusing Invitations: once in a while, you can also suggest that the speaker stop talking for a moment, go quietly inside, and “sense into” the “intuitive feel,” the “something more” implicit in their words.

Personal Sharings: once in a while, in longer turns, you can, with the speaker’s permission share an intuition or experience or idea of your own, but always immediately returning to Pure Reflection to let the speaker say how your sharing fit or didn’t fit their experiencing, and letting the Speaker go on with explicating their own experiencing.

Below I am copying pages from the Focusing In Community manual which tell you:
(a) How to find a Partner or a Core Group to start practicing with
(b) How to structure a ten-week Listening/Focusing Practice Group.

These suggestions are just a hint of all the examples, demonstrations, and instructions in the manual and on the CDs and DVDs in Self-Help Package. But I am giving them to show you that it is not difficult to start your own practice group, and that the manual will show you how, step-by-step.

You can also download the entire manual Chapter Three, The Listening/Focusing Exchange, in English or Spanish, from the links at the top of that blog, if you haven’t yet, and read many examples of Listening Responses, and of how Focusing by the speaker while talking enriches problem solving.

Finding a Core Group
(From Focusing In Community manual, Chapter Three)

“If you are not reading the manual as part of a classroom or colleague group, here are some suggestions on how to find an initial person or two with whom to read the book and practice the skills involved:

(a) First, choose the people with whom you feel most able to be yourself, most comfortable, most accepted when you are talking about your feelings. At the beginning, you might want to share the book and practice just with your closest friend; then, after a while, each of you might choose to invite one more person, and so on. Four to six people are an ideal size beginning group.

(b) Some people are best approached by offering them the book to read and telling them what you liked about it, what was important to you. But it’s usually best to avoid too much discussion of theory. It’s too easy to argue down a theory. Usually, instead of a lot of discussion, we like to say to someone, “Come on. Let’s try it for a few minutes. I’ll listen to your (using reflection of feelings) for a while, then you can listen to me.”

(c) There might also arise a time when you realize that you are naturally using reflection of feelings as a friend is sharing feelings with you. It might then be appropriate at the end to say something like, “You know how we are with each other when one of us is hurting, how we just try to listen and not be judgmental. Well, I’m learning a lot about how to do that even more effectively, and I’d like to share it with you.”

(d) Lastly, if there are two of you who have practiced Listening and Focusing together, then you can introduce other people to it by demonstrating with them watching.

Once you have started your small group using Chapter Three, the level of intimacy and mutual concern that arises during Listening/Focusing turns will begin to flow out into other aspects of your lives together. You may find your little core group growing as another couple hears that you can help with interpersonal problems and asks for help. Or you may decide to share the idea with interested persons in your church or synagogue group, in a professional organization, or in any number of ways.”

Instructions for Small Group Practice (The Listening Exchange)
(From Focusing In Community manual, Chapter Three ):

Step 1 :Round-Robin Practice: Start with a small group of people (four to six).

“Listening/Focusing Turns: Go around in a circle, one person focusing in and saying something from what she is feeling (an important issue in her life or just how she is feeling right then about being there, doing this sharing), the person to the right of her saying back what she says, the Focuser checking these words inside and saying what comes next, the Listener reflecting that. Go back and forth in this way about three times. If the Focuser seems to have run out of things to say in less than three steps, the Listener can try asking her to “say more” about some part of it that seemed important.

AT THIS EARLY STAGE, STICK WHITH “PURE REFLECTIONS” AND “ASKING FOR MORE”

It’s important not to move on to Focusing Invitations and Personal Sharings until everyone is well-practiced at just hearing what the other is saying and at just holding on to a feeling sense and checking words reflected against it.

Feedback: At the end of the turn (about five minutes), first the Focuser, and then the Listener, say a little about how the experience felt, what felt good, what wasn’t quite right. Other people in the group can comment or give suggestions from the readings, but avoid getting into too much discussion or argument about what happened. The point is to practice, not to get distracted into intellectual conversation (which is all too easy!).

Continue around the circle until everyone has had a turn at both roles. Your group can repeat Step One as often as you like or until you feel ready to move on to Step Two. Step One takes about one-and-one-half hours with four to six people. I would suggest doing it at least three or four times.

Step 2 : Dyads

Pair off in twos and spread out to exchange fifteen minute turns, using just Pure Reflection and Asking For More when the person seems to have run out of things to say. Try out using a Focusing Invitation. Come back together as a group and discuss how it went, where you had trouble, what new things you learned. Consult readings, or memory of things read, for answers to questions. Repeat as often as wanted or needed.

Step 3: Triads

Alternatively, pair off in threes. This is an ideal learning structure, since the third person can act as an observer. Split up the time equally, allowing 10 minute between turns for feedback. Each person takes a turn as Listener, Focuser, and observer. The observer also keeps time, giving a five-minute warning before the end of a turn.

At the end of a turn, each person gives short feedback, First the Focuser says how the turn was for him/her – what was helpful, what could have been different. Then the Listener says how it was to be the Listener – good feelings from following the others journey, anxiety about remembering, etc. Then, the observer gives feedback, using Table 3.4., Feedback Sheet For Listening Turns, as a guide.

Step 4: Focusing Partnerships

When you feel ready or interested, pair off in twos who will get together sometime during the week to exchange one-half hour turns. In these turns, Listeners can try out Focusing Invitations and Personal Sharings as well as Pure Reflection and Asking For More, but always with the emphasis on helping the Focuser to stay with her “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, and make words for it. The Focuser needs to be sure to go back to Pure Reflection for several steps after each Personal Sharing or Focusing Invitations. At the end of each Turn, have 5 minutes for feedback, first from the Focuser to the Listener, then from the Listener to the Focuser.

Step 5: Focusing Group Meetings

When you come together to do Listening/Focusing turns in a small group (set aside two hours), split up the time so that each person will have an equal amount for a listening turn, with five to ten minutes additional in between each turn, for feedback and comments from others besides the two. Take turns keeping time, ending people’s turns on schedule, warning them a minute or two before the end, and moving on to the next turn after limited discussion. Chapter 7.2 gives a format for a group meeting.

Don’t get side-tracked into a lot of discussion with no time for doing. Know that a person can stop at the end of her turn, even if she has been working on heavy feelings. During turns, allow no input from others in the group. At the end of each turn, anyone in the group can say what they saw, ask questions, or offer warm support for the work done.

Option: If there are more than four people, or if each person wants a longer turn, you may decide to split into triads and share turns within these, again dividing time equally and making sure that each person who wants to gets a chance both at listening and being listened to. The third person can serve as an observer, giving feedback at the end of the turns. The following page gives a feedback sheet which you can use as a guide when you are observing listening turns (Table 3.4).” 

You really can start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Practice Group!

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below !

Click here to subscribe to our Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter and get the latest exercises first!!!

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSING PRACTICE: USING TOUCH TO “GET IN TOUCH” WITH THE “INTUITIVE FEEL”

By , October 31, 2008 11:19 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #2: “From The Bottom Up”
(from Complete Focusing Instructions)

In order to access right-brain, non-linear solutions to problems, you must learn to find and pay attention to “the bodily-felt sense,” the “intuitive feel” that is more than words. These Pre-Focusing exercises help you find “the felt sense,” a vague, unclear, preverbal “intuitive feel” in the center of your torso. Intuitive Focusing teaches you to find exactly the right words or images to capture this “intuitive feel.” 

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.

****I am finding it really helpful in this exercise to use touch from the outside to help me find the “inside feel” of each body-location. So, I wiggle and rub my toe, sensing inside, then my knee, sensing inside, wiggle my body against the supporting surface while sensing inside those points of contact, and, finally, put my hands on top of my chest/heart/lung area to sense inside of there and, then, while waiting for the larger “intuitive feel” of myself and my day to arise*******

Here’s another method for finding the “intuitive feel” of the inside of your body, especially the space around the chest/heart area where you will experience the Creative Edge, the intuitive information that is more than words. “Getting a Felt Sense” is an important first step in Intuitive Focusing (Eugene Gendlin invented this exercise):

“From the Bottom Up”  — Allow 5-10 minutes

—Close your eyes and get comfortable—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Follow your breathing for a few moments, just noticing the breath, going in—and out-
1 minute
—Now, turn your attention to your right big toe—Can you feel your toe?—10 seconds

—Now, turn your attention to your knee—and feel your knee from the inside—10 sec

—Now, pay attention to your body where it touches the chair or floor—Feel everywhere that your body makes contact with the supporting surface—30 seconds

—Now, the inside of your chest, where your heart, lungs, diaphragm are — this is where the felt sense, the “intuitive feel” comes–feel in there, inside—10 seconds

—Ask yourself, in there, “How am I today?” and wait and see what comes—If you wait for at least a minute, a “felt sense” will arise, a subtle “intuitive feel” of yourself, that is not in words—
1 minute
—Just be with the “intuitive feel” for a moment, feeling it and trying to find a short, feeling or “quality” word (like “scared,” “sad,” “tense,” “silly,” “joyful” “red,” “jumpy,” “elastic”) that captures the quality of the “intuitive feel”—Or you might find an image that is just right—or perhaps your body wants to move into a certain posture or gesture.
1 minute
—You can use this quality word or image or posture as a “handle” to hold on to an “intuitive feel” so that you can come back to it later for a Complete Focusing Turn —
10 sec
—When you are ready, come slowly back into the room 

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: GUIDED IMAGERY EXERCISE VS. MEDITATION

By , October 29, 2008 10:01 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

From Creative Edge Focusing (TM): Through these weekly e-reminders, I am trying to help you to
(a) begin to have brief, safe times getting to know your Inner Space, if this is new to you;
(b) teach you Intuitive Focusing through a series of exercises which are “small steps” in learning Focusing
(c) help newcomers and longtime Focusers alike integrate the “practice” of pausing for relaxation, felt-sensing, and Focusing into everyday living.

Kathy’s Experience: Difference Between Guided Imagery, Meditation, and Focusing

Having finally accumulated lots of hot water in my jacuzzi, I decided to stay still there until it became cool. So, I decided to bring back Relaxation Exercise #1: Noticing — just noticing the breath going in and out; letting go of any problem solving and just coming back to breathing.

As I practiced Noticing, I noticed how different this meditation-like technique was from the guided imagery of Relaxation #2: The Beach.

Guided Imagery Can Stir “Felt Senses”

Doing The Beach the day before, a lot of “felt senses” came up in response to the imagery. So, that day, the exercise became tinged with the sadness and melancholic nostalgia that “gathered” around the imagery that day. The exercise took on the “color” or “intuitive feel” of my day.

Meditation Involves Letting Go of Meanings

In comparison, during Noticing, I specifically “let go” of any such associations that come up. I go back again and again to purely breathing.
There is a specific kind of “freeing” from all thought which I think of as typical of a more meditation-like approach. I wouldn’t say “detached” but “unattaching” moment by moment.

Intuitive Focusing Finds The Creative Edge under an Image

Intuitive Focusing itself is a third kind of inner activity. Coming upon a “felt sense” or “intuitive feel,” one makes the conscious choice to “sit with,” go more deeply into “the feel of that whole thing.” In guided imagery, one might go from one image to the next, like a movie. In Intuitive Focusing, one pauses with an image and asks, “What is the feel of this whole thing?” and goes DOWN in a non-linear way, “sitting with” The Creative Edge from which a whole new meaning for the image can arise.

PRE-FOCUSING PRACTICE:
A. RELAXATION SUGGESTIONS (from Complete Focusing Instructions)
“The Beach (Guided Imagery)

The quiet time between instructions is an important time for just breathing—and relaxing.

You can lie on the floor or, for most exercises, sit in a chair. If you fall asleep, it’s okay! Means you need more rest! But you may also want to practice sitting up to avoid sleeping.

Especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses and enjoy relaxing in the imagery. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!!

The Beach-Allow 10-15 minutes

—Lie down or sit down and get comfortable. 10 seconds

—Stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax— three times— 10 sec

—Notice your breathing, without trying to change it.
1 minute

—Now, imagine yourself at the ocean—.10 seconds

—See the wide, sweeping beach of white, crystalline sand—warm and smooth—10 sec

—Take off your shoes and socks, and feel the warm sand between your toes—10 sec

—Smell the sea on the breeze, breathing in—and out—in—and out—in—and out–10 sec

—Watch the waves rolling in, and hear their roaring sound—10 sec

—Waves blue-green with creamy white caps—lapping at the sand—10 sec

—Waves rolling in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—10 sec

—Lie down in the warm sand—feel its warmth all over your back—10 seconds

—Stretch and settle in, feeling the sun upon your body, the sand cushioning you—10 sec

—Listening to the waves rolling in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—10 sec

—Listen to the gulls crying over head—10 sec

—Feel the warmth of the sand below you, the warmth of the sun beating down on you—10 sec

—Remain here as long as you wish.
3 – 5 minutes

—Now stretch, and massage any tension in your face, neck, shoulders, or feet, if you like—
1 minute

— And get up slowly. 

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

LISTENING/FOCUSING: WAYS TO PRACTICE ACTIVE LISTENING

By , October 27, 2008 2:48 pm

Free Downloads below:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Each four weeks, we practice one Instant “Ahah!,”, one Relaxation Exercise, and one Getting A Felt Sense Exercise. Our purpose: Helping you incorporate Listening and Focusing into your everyday life.
This month: From Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, p. 7, #2.Active Listening: Short-Circuiting An Angry Confrontation.

Several ideas for practicing Active Listening so you will have the skill ready when an angry confrontation comes your way:

1. You can go to Robert Frick’s Do Focusing website’s  area on Becoming A Better Listener and go through his step-by-step teaching program. You can try out his Focusing Program while you are there! Neither is perfect, but they are interesting first steps, computerized ways to practice and learn.

2. Download the instructions from Focused Listening  section at our website and free download of Chapter Three, Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange found in links at top of that blog, and find a friend, colleague, or family member to try practicing with. Take turns, one as the Intuitive Focuser, one as the Focused Listener. This is not a big deal! Just find someone you feel comfortable with, someone, perhaps, has “intuitively” been a good listener.

3. You can go to The Focusing Institute Partnership Program to find a Listening/Focusing Trainer near you and purchase a few beginning sessions. You can also look for a class or workshop near you.

4. You can email Agnes Rodriguez for inexpensive phone coaching in English or Spanish and Ruth Hirsch for phone classes.In Europe, you can email Franc Chamberlain in Ireland and visit Barbara Rolsma’s website in English and Dutch.You can find other Certified Focusing Professionals internationally at The Focusing Institute teacher search.

5. You can purchase our Self-Help Package and immediately download the manual in English or Spanish, CDs and DVD with demonstration sessions you can watch mailed immediately. The DVD has four demonstration Listening/Focusing sessions you can watch, giving you an excellent grip on the actual skills.

6. You can also purchase an Introductory or three-session package of Listening/Focusing sessions with me under Coaching/Training Sessions, although there are many teachers less expensive than me!

7. You can join the Creative Edge e-support group from the icon on our home page and ask to practice using Reflection to someone’s Focusing turn printed there. I’ll give feedback

Bottom line: please take the plunge and try out Pure Reflection with someone you know, a computer program, a Trainer, just someone!

Radical Idea: Greet Anger With Empathy!!!!

Please Read The Examples Again

Get out your Mini-Manual and follow along with me or open Instant “Ahah!” #2, Active Listening on the CEF website …In each of the demonstrations, somebody is really, really upset, and they are taking it out on somebody else. In fact, they come across as really, really angry.

When someone comes at you with anger, it is a natural response to feel attacked and to defend yourself, to fight back without a moment’s thought.

However, it may help to reframe this anger as “upsetness.” The person is feeling attacked or undermined or frustrated in some way, so they are attacking back. We can break this cycle of attack and defense if we can reframe the anger as “upsetness” and, stepping aside from reacting, simply reflect in an active listening way: “Wow! You are really upset!” “Wow! Something is really bothering you.” “Wow! Something I’m doing is upsetting you.” And, you can add, “Would you like to tell me more about that?”, but, if that doesn’t allow the person to calm down, just keep reflecting (maybe we can think of it as “deflecting” as well…trying to get the anger off of yourself so that you feel less threatened, less need to react with attack yourself).

The person who is angry, who is upset, is knocked off balance. As you know yourself, this kind of angry response doesn’t feel good. It is not centered, but a reaction to the helplessness of feeling attacked or frustrated. So, by reflecting the person’s words, you can help the person to get grounded again, to get centered.

Read the instructions and the examples and try to keep this immediate response of Active Listening in your back pocket, for emergency confrontations.

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

PRE-FOCUSING PRACTICE: FINDING YOUR BODILY-FELT SENSE!

By , October 21, 2008 12:59 pm

Free Downloads

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

From Creative Edge Focusing: This month’s Getting A Felt Sense Exercise : “From The Bottom Up”

GETTING A FELT SENSE: FINDING THE “INTUITIVE FEEL,” THE CREATIVE EDGE

Here you are learning the difference between thinking up an answer in your head and Intuitive Focusing: waiting for a subtle “feel” of the whole thing, an “intuition,” to form in the center of your body, and then creating words or images that are just right to capture it. You are looking for the “intuitive feel,” the Creative Edge, the right-brain information that is more than you can put into words. Eugene Gendlin, creator of the self-help process called Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984) calls it “the felt sense” of the whole thing.

Gendlin also created this exercise. He came up with it to help people who were having a lot of trouble with the idea of a “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” inside of the body. Perhaps they didn’t even know what “inside your body” meant. Perhaps they could only pay attention to their concrete bones and muscles, not the more murky, blurry, “something-more-than words” that is the Creative Edge from which new ideas and solutions can come.

Kathy Shares Her Experience: Hard To Find My Body!

So, I did the loosening clothing, the paying attention to my breathing, in and out. Then I tried to feel the inside of my big toe. It was not as easy as I expected. I found I had to wiggle my toe to find the feel of it, and think I should add this to the instructions. So, I found the feel of my toe from the inside.

Then, I moved to my knee. Again, that was not so easy. I almost had to put my hand on my knee to find it. I put my attention inside of my knee, the feel of it from the inside.

Then, I moved to the feel of my body in contact with the supporting surface. Immediately, I felt the pressure of my thighs and bottom against the chair. It took me a while to realize that, oh, my entire back was also leaning against the chair, and to feel along my spine. And even longer to realize my feet were also resting on the floor. Surprising how oblivious we can be of our body-world interaction! Now, I could feel the whole envelope of my body touching the surfaces.

Then, per instructions, I brought my attention to the center of my body, around my heart, chest, lungs, and just tried to feel inside of there, that whole cavity. Sigh. I’m pausing to do that again, now. I could do that, find that energy space inside, not the bones and muscles, but the cavity, the space inside.

Then, I asked myself, “How am I today?” and waited, as much as a minute, for a feel of it all to come inside of that cavity. It took quite a while, my mind beginning to doubt, but eventually, I found something and the words that came were flighty, worried, scared.

I stopped there, putting a flag in, knowing I could go back to work with those handle words in a deeper Focusing turn later.

Research has shown that galvanic skin response (GSR, the physiological measure of stress used in lie-detector tests) actually lowers when people find words for unclear feelings and body-senses during Focusing.

E.g., even if the words might seem unsettling, like worried, scared, the body responds with relaxation. Even if the words are difficult, it is better for body-tension to find words, images, or gestures through Focusing, than to carry the unknown as body tension and stress.

Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #2: “From The Bottom Up”
(from Complete Focusing Instructions, which you can download from link at top of blog)

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.

Here’s another method for finding the “intuitive feel” of the inside of your body, especially the space around the chest/heart area where you will experience the Creative Edge, the intuitive information that is more than words (Eugene Gendlin invented this):

Allow 5-10 minutes

—Close your eyes and get comfortable—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Follow your breathing for a few moments, just noticing the breath, going in—and out-
1 minute
—Now, turn your attention to your right big toe—Can you feel your toe?—10 seconds

—Now, turn your attention to your knee—and feel your knee from the inside—10 sec

—Now, pay attention to your body where it touches the chair or floor—Feel everywhere that your body makes contact with the supporting surface—30 seconds

—Now, the inside of your chest, where your heart, lungs, diaphragm are — this is where the felt sense, the “intuitive feel” comes–feel in there, inside—10 seconds

—Ask yourself, in there, “How am I today?” and wait and see what comes—If you wait for at least a minute, a “felt sense” will arise, a subtle “intuitive feel” of yourself, that is not in words—
1 minute
—Just be with the “intuitive feel” for a moment, feeling it and trying to find a short, feeling or “quality” word (like “scared,” “sad,” “tense,” “silly,” “joyful” “red,” “jumpy,” “elastic”) that captures the quality of the “intuitive feel”—Or you might find an image that is just right—or perhaps your body wants to move into a certain posture or gesture.
1 minute
—You can use this quality word or image or posture as a “handle” to hold on to an “intuitive feel” so that you can come back to it later for a Complete Focusing Turn —
10 sec
—When you are ready, come slowly back into the room

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

FOCUSING RELAXATION EXERCISE: THE BEACH AND THE SACRED

By , October 18, 2008 8:36 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

From Creative Edge Focusing: This month’s Relaxation Exercise : Week Two —“Ahhhhh….pause with me again for ten minutes….and just relax!!! I will send this exercise each week for four weeks as a reminder to pause…

Kathy’s Experience of The Sacred At The Beach

Your experiences with Guided Imagery: The Beach may be nothing like mine. But I want to share this special “bonus” I got this week. I posted it in our e-support group, joined in sidebar at Creative Edge Focusing, and repost it here (encouraging you to join us there!):

“Well, with the Noticing exercise last month, I found myself remembering to stop and just “notice the breath—going in—and out” during the month when I found myself spinning in blind problem-solving mode.

The experience I had this week with the Beach Relaxation exercise had a different quality. I had done the first run-through with the instructions from the e-reminder. Then, during the week, feeling stressed out, I found the strong imagery of the beach which I had created in the initial runthrough returning. I began to see those beautiful green and white waves, rolling in—and out—and to hear the cry of the seagulls over head.

And then I had this miraculous and different experience than “just noticing”. I had a strong “spiritual experience” of the beauty of nature, and how, to me, that is a tie to the experience of The Sacred in everyday life. And I felt comforted (as opposed to just “relaxed”) by this idea of a loving Creation in this world supporting me. So, a sense of relaxation into a trusting of some form of “beneficence” in the world.

And that was my experience!”

Some people find it easy to drop all their stress and enter into an interior Focusing space. But, many people need easy first steps of practice for “going quietly inside.” And even experienced Focusers get caught up in stress and business and welcome a reminder to take a moment to….pause…..(sigh!)…pay attention to their breathing…….(ahhhhhh!)……and…relax…

Print and Practice!!!!! Visit The Beach

Here is your relaxation exercise for this month. Print it out, keep it handy, and take those few moments to relax every day, if you can, or as often as possible. Or, you can just open this weekly reminder and walk through the exercise online. Relaxing is one way to “clear a space” inside for a longer-term Focusing Problem Solving session.

You will also find this in the Complete Focusing Instructions download at Creative Edge Focusing, p.4: Pre-Focusing Practice A. Relaxation Suggestions #2: The Beach. You get it by joining our e-support group for further support in practicing Listening and Focusing. OR you can download it from the link at top of this blog.

And, if you order our Self-Help Package, also in the sidebar icons of our website, you can listen on audio CD Intuitive Focusing: Disk one, Track 3, with Dr, McGuire’s peaceful voice to keep you company — and help you stay on track!!

PRE-FOCUSING PRACTICE:
A. RELAXATION SUGGESTIONS (from Complete Focusing Instructions)

“The Beach” (Guided Imagery)

The quiet time between instructions is an important time for just breathing—and relaxing.

You can lie on the floor or, for most exercises, sit in a chair. If you fall asleep, it’s okay! Means you need more rest! But you may also want to practice sitting up to avoid sleeping.

Especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses and enjoy relaxing in the imagery. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!!

The Beach-Allow 10-15 minutes

—Lie down or sit down and get comfortable. 10 seconds

—Stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax— three times— 10 sec

—Notice your breathing, without trying to change it.
1 minute

—Now, imagine yourself at the ocean—.10 seconds

—See the wide, sweeping beach of white, crystalline sand—warm and smooth—10 sec

—Take off your shoes and socks, and feel the warm sand between your toes—10 sec

—Smell the sea on the breeze, breathing in—and out—in—and out—in—and out–10 sec

—Watch the waves rolling in, and hear their roaring sound—10 sec

—Waves blue-green with creamy white caps—lapping at the sand—10 sec

—Waves rolling in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—10 sec

—Lie down in the warm sand—feel its warmth all over your back—10 seconds

—Stretch and settle in, feeling the sun upon your body, the sand cushioning you—10 sec

—Listening to the waves rolling in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—10 sec

—Listen to the gulls crying over head—10 sec

—Feel the warmth of the sand below you, the warmth of the sun beating down on you—10 sec

—Remain here as long as you wish.
3 – 5 minutes

—Now stretch, and massage any tension in your face, neck, shoulders, or feet, if you like—
1 minute

— And get up slowly.

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

LISTENING/FOCUSING SKILLS: GREETING ANGER WITH EMPATHY

By , October 17, 2008 11:24 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

This month: From Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, p. 7, #2.Active Listening: Short-Circuiting An Angry Confrontation.

Radical Idea: Greet Anger With Empathy!!!!

As I’ve gone through the week, I’ve realized how radical this idea and how worth saying again: “An angry person is a hurting person. Try responding with empathic understanding (Active Listening) instead of attacking back.”

I guess I have become an expert on anger, hurt, and empathy because I am a person who can become really, really angry when I feel betrayed or otherwise blindsided by those that I trust. I’ve come to some understanding about this “personality style” by studying the Enneagram. Of the nine styles, I am an 8: The Challenger, The Boss. “How does an 8 Enneagram cross the river? She jumps in and starts swimming upstream.”

8s are great managers and bosses, but they can also scare people with their anger, assertiveness, bluntness. As an 8, I don’t really know how to “play games,” to be indirect. Give me directness, even anger, anytime! Let me know where you are coming from. Don’t hide or seem to go behind my back. You can imagine the vicious cycle for 8 bosses: they get angry because others are being indirect, seeming to hide, going behind their back — and their anger leads the others to become more indirect, more hidden.

Anyway, from a lifetime of experience, I can tell you that the angry 8 is just a hurting child underneath. While the 8 can look terribly strong and take on any battle, this strong front takes a toll. Like anyone else, the angry 8 responds to empathic understanding (see Enneagram links to find your own personality style).

Read through the examples in Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual #2: Active Listening again. What if the husband had attacked back when his wife came at him with anger: “Shut up! You can’t imagine what my day has been like.” Now, two people with their hackles up, attack and attack back (until one of them can respond with empathy: “Okay, I get it. You’re saying you had a really bad day and are needing some empathy and understanding.”(you can download complete chapters on the Interpersonal Focusing Protocol here, from the links at top of page, English and Spanish.

Practice Active Listening In Non-Stressful Situations

Of course, in order to respond with Active Listening in an emergency, you’ll want to practice it in less stressful situations until it can become an automatic response. You can do this through our Self-Help Manual and Demonstration DVD. And you can also learned Active (or Empathic or Focused) Listening as part of a Listening/Focusing Level l class. See Resources for teachers below

Self Help Package

To really learn about Reflection, read Focused Listening at Creative Edge Focusing (TM). To begin practice in a serious way, purchase The Self Help Package, a manual,CDs, and a DVD with four Listening/Focusing Sessions you can study. The manual will help you to find at least one other, and, hopefully, a small group with whom you can start a Focusing Community, supporting each other as you practice Listening and Focusing.

E-Support Group

If you haven’t, also use the sidebar icon at Creative Edge Focusing to join the e-support group so you can share your experiences, ask questions, and participate in demonstrations.  

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

Panorama Theme by Themocracy