Posts tagged: biospirituality

HOLIDAY FUN AND STRESS RELIEF: FREE PERSONALITY TESTS, 12-STEP HELP WITH ADDICTIONS AND CODEPENDENCY, GRIEF WORK

By , December 20, 2008 1:59 pm

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

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. Meet some of them below as we give suggestions for surviving and enjoying the holidays.

FREE PERSONALITY TESTS FOR FUN WITH FAMILY

Got some extra time on your hands? Family and friends to entertain? You could spend some time in the Individual Differences: Personality Tests section at Creative Edge Focusing’s website. You’ll find websites offering free and fun versions of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Keirsey Temperament Sorter, Enneagram, Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences, and info on EQ, the business version of Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence. Play around with several tests. Compare among family members. Of course, these are free versions, for fun. It is more important to think about yourself and others from a variety of perspectives, “shake up” fixed images, than to put anyone in a “box.”

HELP WITH HOLIDAY ADDICTIONS OR CODEPENDENCY?

Unfortunately, the holidays can also stir up alcohol addiction and codependency as families gather. See Recovery Focusing by Suzanne Noel for a gentle combination of Focusing with the 12-Step Programs.

HOLIDAYS INCLUDE GRIEVING WHAT IS MISSING

The holidays can also include some grieving for what or who is missing. Take the opportunity to use these moments to discover“The Meaning in Tears” and to allow yourself to notice “Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears” . Try out the simple Five Minute Grieving: What To Do If A Friend, Colleague, Loved One Starts Crying” .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING ™ INSTANT “AHAH!” E-COURSE

For four weeks, we practice one Instant “Ahah!,”, one Relaxation Exercise, and one Getting A Felt Sense Exercise, with e-reminders and tips each week. Our purpose:Helping you incorporate Listening and Focusing into your everyday life.  Subscribe here.

INTIMACY, SEXUALITY, CREATIVITY, SPIRITUALITY

You might want to try Instant “Ahah!” #8 Sharing Your Day: Instant Intimacy as a simple way to get and stay connected with your significant other, regardless of surrounding turmoil. Here is a mini-course on Intimacy and Sexuality if you want to spend special time over the holidays.

You might want to try Instant “Ahah!” #9 Focusing on Creativity: From Blocks To Predictable “Ahah!”s or #10 Focusing on Spirituality: Being Touched and Being Moved. Read about Focusing and Creativity and Focusing and Spirituality

E-Newsletter Archives Now Available!

Anyone can also access the e-newsletter archives from the Free Resources submenu at Creative Edge Focusing.

AND USE THE CREATIVE EDGE PRACTICE E-GROUP FOR SUPPORT DURING THE BREAK

The Creative Edge Practice e-group for actual practice and demonstrations of Listening/Focusing is becoming a wonderful place for tender reflection, space for Focusing any time of day or night (knowing it may be some hours before you get a response), with the knowledge of a warm, Listening space out there, and interesting discussions about what we learn during the turns.

Please join us if you want company over the break! See instructions below.

Two E-Groups, Creative Edge Practice and Creative Edge Collaboration

In order to increase safety, and hopefully participation, there are now two separate Yahoo e-groups.

Creative Edge Practice is a closed group, where people can feel safe for the vulnerability of sharing Focusing experiences and responding to others with Focused Listening responses. The only requirement: a willingness to introduce yourself upon entry into the group, so everyone knows who is in the group. Further active participation is welcomed but not required.

Creative Edge Collaboration is an open group for discussion and networking around projects related to the spread of listening/focusing to various audiences and throughout the world.

You can visit the homepage of each by clicking on the link and join from there as well. You can choose “emails only” and do not have to start a yahoo account, although accounts are free.

SELF-HELP PACKAGE: MANUAL, CDS, DVD DEMONSTRATIONS

If you order the Self-Help Package, you can use the Intuitive Focusing CD to follow Dr. McGuire as she speaks these exercises and view four actual Listening/Focusing Partnership sessions on DVD.

THE GIFT OF INNER SERENITY: FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, FAMILY

Happy holiday, trusting in the wisdom of your body!

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

CEF NEWS AND GOODS: APPLICATIONS OF FOCUSING IN BUSINESS, EDUCATION, 12-STEP PROGRAMS, AND MORE!

By , August 20, 2008 2:17 pm

“Ajas” Instantaneos       Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

 Focusing-Oriented Children’s Book

The Little Bird Who Found Herself, by Ed McMahon (Co-Founder of BioSpiritual Focusing, http://www.biospiritual.org/ ) a truly Focusing-Oriented children’s book (although adults will find comfort, too). Instead of being told what to do or what to feel, Little Bird is encouraged to stop and “sit with” her feelings, seeing what message and action steps unfold from inside of herself. Whimsical and colorful illustrations. See Amazon link  for reviews and to order.

Business and Education Applications of Focusing!

Here’s a copy of an email I sent to the Focusing-And Coaching e-discussion list (join this and other Focusing-Oriented Discussion Lists at Focusing Institute website :

If you haven’t, get Staying In Focus: The Focusing Institute Newsletter, Vol. Viii, No.2, Applications of Focusing, May, 2008 (you get it by being a member of The Focusing Institute, http://www.focusing.org/ ) .

Catherine Johnson, almost lone Focusing Teacher in South Africa,  writes an experience of bringing Focusing to business people through a business school, what she learned about presenting Focusing to more Sensing people, and also how she learned that, in business settings, you had better “own” your materials or someone else will claim them (hence the rampant use of Trademarking in Business settings). 

Edgardo Riveros, Coordinator, Chile writes about his 30-year long career of teaching Focusing and Focusing-Oriented Therapy in respected university programs, and the many books he has written over that career. And he describes his newest endeavor, “Well, Adolfo Ibanez University is known as the top business school in Chile, although it offers other courses as well. Beginning in August, I will teach a course for engineers and entrepreneurs called “Organizational Focusing.” Already 40 people have enrolled, so there will be two sections: Organizational and Clinical Focusing…In Clinical Focusing….I plan to stress how the felt sense, by experiencing new meaning, crosses the ‘frozen wholes’ where issues get stuck, and creates a mutation of content.” 

“In Organizational Focusing, we will cover the contextual felt sense, or the felt sense in a current situation. We will teach Focusing with another person, such as selecting or firing employees (This leads to a different kind of interview); Focusing on a vision for the future, or goal-setting for leaders; decision making of all kinds; how to select issues when clearing a space; coaching with the experiential dimension of Focusing; and TAE.”

Satoko Tokumaru, Focuser, Japan, writes “Applying TAE to University Composition Classes.” She has taught over 1500 college compostion students using Focusing and TAE in Japan. She has broken TAE steps down into totally user-friendly short exercises that students majoring in Physical Education can use to create from TAE experiences. Physical Education majors writing poems out of their unique TAE experiences, learning a new way of “being with” their whole-body sensing, instead of only their physical body. A complete TAE course that could be used in any high school or college composition setting. Hopefully, Satoko will give us a complete translation of the course in English.

Social Media, Businesses As “Communities,” The Next Step

Well, I’m writing an article on businesses/organizations as a “kind of” Focusing Community, and have this as a heavy emphasis on my website: that bringing in elements of mutual support and even “bonding” and “love” (call it “buy in,” “loyalty”, etc.) through Focusing Partnerships/Groups/Teams and Interpersonal Focusing for conflict resolution is compatible with business/organizational needs of increasing motivation and creativity/innovation and decreasing turnover and absenteeism.

I got a lot of my impetus from Conlin, M. (2006) Champions of innovation. Business Week, June 19, 2006, special IN insert, pp. 17-26.  A great article about “VPs of Innovation,” many of them women, breaking down barriers, increasing collaboration within companies and between companies and outside experts and consumers  — in huge, famous companies.

 And, in the June 2, 2008, Business Week, another confirmation. The Cover Story “Beyond Blogs: What Business Needs To Know,” showed that, in the three years since a Cover Story on blogs as basic tools for businesses, emphasis had moved from blogs to “social media” like MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn — interactive internet communities where consumers can interact directly with companies.

Now, for me as an Introvert, the idea of joining a “social network” is appalling. One of my acquaintances added me to her Linked In network, and suddenly I was receiving daily requests for “your favorite recipe,” etc. I was horrified!!!!

However, the marketing guru/website planner for many of us, Robert Middleton (http://www.actionplan.com/  ), recently invited all his customers to join his “social networks,” because HIS marketing guru had recommended he get involved (I’m thinking SHE read the Business Week article, which likely will become a “self-fulfilling prophecy” , e.g., social media, if not on their way alone, will get a boost from the article/cover story saying they are the next step!!!

And, the next step, even more exciting for me. Asked for his response to this new article, blogging-giant Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine, states:

“Next, I think, Business Week’s readers will see that social media are changing their fundamental relationship with customers to be less about serving and more about collaborating. No, I don’t mean that every product will be the product of a committee. But customers who want to talk will, and smart companaies will not just listen but will engage them in decisions. This will have an impact not just on PR and image but on product design, marketing, sales, customer service — the whole company. Three years from now, I predict Business Week’s Cover won’t be about blogs or tools but about companies as communities.” (p.50)”

And there it is, folks, the title of my article: Businesses as Communities, and, for us, Businesses as “a kind of” Focusing Community. See Interest Area: Creative Edge Organizations at Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website. 

Focusing Recovery for 12-Step Programs

With her permission, I copy Suzanne Noel’s email to the Focusing Discussion List about her recent applications of her new method, Recovery Focusing, in an actual Addiction Rehabilitation Center in Costa Rica. The examples are rich and sacred:

Hi everyone.

As some of you may know, I have been working at a Rehab here in Costa Rica for three weeks. I am doing a class titled “Recovery Focusing” as well as integrating Focusing into my Step groups (as well as doing Relapse Prevention and a few other courses).

I wish to say that the power of Focusing is working in early recovery.:-) Ta TA!!

People are getting both in-the-body Felt Senses as well as “images” that capture their experience. My sense of it is that they are really getting a personal, private, experiential knowing of the Steps (or what’s in the way). I sense their “respect” of the process by their eagerness to DO Focusing.

Examples:

A few days ago, R. got an image of his addict self smoking crack on a bench, crying. Smoking and crying at the same time. He noticed his “recovered” self was bigger and stronger and that what the addict self on the bench needed was “support”. He was pleased that they were looking at each other. Today, he got a felt sense of a very deep, deep,deep hole near his heart. Not big he said, but very deep. The worst of it was how deep it was. He noticed that there was a lot of dirt around it, but nothing with which to move the dirt into the hole. He said he needed a shovel. Some kind of shovel to fill up the Hole. The shovel for him was a sponsor and a willingness to work the Program.

I., a Heroin addict, got a sense of the Third Step (Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to our Higher Power) as lights flickering on and off in a room, until finally the light remained on. (He has previously had a felt sense of falling, falling into the black hole in the middle of his chest, a great emptiness.) He got the insight that though he may lose contact with his Higher Power (lights out at times) that eventually the light would remain on.

These are only two examples.

I also think the listening is very powerful for them. The reflective listening is quite special to them and one can palpably feel their…contentment…with being  “heard”. Addiction is a disease of isolation and disconnection, so Focusing is really appropriate to its “healing”.  They are connecting to themselves as well as to each other (and, as I wrote in another list, their Higher Self/Higher Power) and one can almost see the awe in their faces as we share “what came”.

Truly sacred space. I am so pleased.

Today, one of them came up to me at the end of the day and said how they had been discussing my peacefulness among themselves last night, and how they all felt that they could FEEL IT,  my serenity, and how much they wanted to have what I have. I was so touched. (The Program is all about one person wanting what the others have — “sobriety” — and then going to “any lengths” to get it. No promotion, just attraction.)

I myself have been quite in touch with my inner sense of serenity lately– a type of grounded serenity. I  know this serenity is the DIRECT RESULT of all the Focusing I have been doing these last two years. The processing I have done in a Focusing way has unblocked the blocked energies inside me so to speak, so that now there is primarily a sense of well-being inside. I know what he means when he says they can sense my peacefulness. I sense it as well. 🙂

[Oh, yes, I still get “restless, irritable, and discontent” (as we say in the Program). But, through Focusing, I am now able to be with these in a way that leads back to serenity and contentment.]

I feel so, so very honored to be able to “pass it on” to others.

The staff now is curious, and the director mentioned my doing something with the staff as well. 🙂 I must say, the bottom-up way this is happening is quite satisfying to me.

Someday, Recovery Focusing may be part of what is offered in Alcohol and Drug Addiction treatment centers. The ripples are spreading out, as I now have a  Recovery Focusing partnership with someone who runs a rehab in another part of the planet. The Twelve Steps and Focusing are indeed meeting and liking each other. Very Powerful.

Love and blessings to all,

Suzanne L. Noël, CFT

Insight & Recovery Focusing

http://www.innerwisdoms.com

Apdo 154-6100

Colón, San Jose, Costa Rica

Tel. 2-249-4038; Mobile 8-372-0347

Read Suzanne’s article, “Recovery Focusing”  and another by Steve Crawford on “Experiential Focusing and 12-Step Programs” .

Alice Miller Website and Reader Response

Learn about, or revisit, Alice Miller’s revolutionary work breaking the culture silence around acknowledging the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children and adults. Visit Miller’s website at http://www.alice-miller.com/ and note the Reader Response link. There, you can see how reader’s respond to Miller’s groundbreaking work (first broken in the 1980’s!), and how Miller responds to these Readers.

More on Focusing, Finding The Gems Inside Ourselves and Others

A friend sent me this parable. It came at a time when I was finding it hard to accept the behavior of a family member.  I know not where it came from, but I pass it on to you:

“A man was exploring caves by the Seashore.  In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him.  

As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock — Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls.  Each contained a similar treasure.  He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. 

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves.  Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It’s like that with people.   We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel.  It doesn’t look like much from the outside.  It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy.  But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us.  If we take the time to get to  know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees  them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine  forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay  vessel.”

Listening and Focusing are a way to find our own gems inside our clay vessels and to find these gems in others, valuing our intuitions, “gut feelings,” stuckness and depression, negative feelings like jealousy, anger, our creative and spiritual “inklings” and ideas, our co-workers, family, friends, even when they irritate us — rather than throwing them out without opening the shells.

INVITE OTHERS TO JOIN US!!!
 
Please forward this e-newsletter to any friends, family, trainees, colleagues who might benefit from either the e-course or CEF News and Goods e-newsletter. This Fall is a great time for newcomers to join. They can subscribe at  http://cefocusing.com/subscribe.php   and immediately download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual. Just hit “Forward” down near your “Send” option, then choose anyone you want from your email address book! Take this small step to help bring Listening/Focusing into the world!

FREE RESOURCES

You can get online support and answers to your questions as you try to proceed in the Creative Edge Practice e-group at http://yahoogroups.com/group/creativeedgepractice .

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 AND SPIRITUALITY: EXPERIENCING THE SACRED

By , July 2, 2008 3:53 pm

INTEREST AREA: Experiencing the Sacred

Immanent Spirituality: The Experience of God in The World

Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be used purposefully to “attend to,” “sit with,” “articulate” the “intuitive feel” of spiritual experiences. But more importantly, the practice of Listening/Focusing opens our eyes to seeing the Sacred around us by encouraging attention to those moments when the Sacred enters our lives.

It’s called Immanent Spirituality, God as experienced in the world, moments when the Sacred underpinning of the world “breaks through” and becomes visible, palpable, feel-able. Experiential spirituality is separate from any particular sect or creed. You can incorporate it into any religion and into every day living without organized religion.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat call it Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (Scribner, 1996), and their book jacket reads:

“These remarkable readings tutor us in the art of lingering with our experiences and seeing the world with fresh eyes — Life’s meaning and the presence of Spirit are found in the shape of a child’s foot, in an encounter with a wild animal, in the memories evoked by a rocking chair, in the process of doing a hobby, or in the messages on a computer screen.”

Spirituality Is More than Religion

Elfie Hinterkopf, in her book Integrating Spirituality into Counseling: Using the Experiential Focusing Method (available in The Store at www.focusing.org ), makes the following distinction:

“It is important to distinguish spirituality from religiousness — in this book religiousness will be used to mean adherence to the beliefs and practices of an organized church or religious institution (Shafranske and Malony, 1990). Spirituality will be used to refer to a unique, personally meaningful experience (Shafranske and Gorsuch, 1984). Although spirituality may be positively related to specific forms of religiousness, spirituality is not necessarily reliant upon any given form or appearance of religion.”

And:

“The spiritual experience is one of bodily felt release, more life energy, feeling more fully present, a sense of feeling larger and being able to reach out to more parts of oneself, to more people, and to more of life (Campbell and McMahon, 1985).”

Bio-Spirituality

Jesuit Fathers Pete Campbell and Ed McMahon have made a life’s work out of looking at the specifically spiritual aspect which can be present in any use of Focusing. They call their approach Biospirituality (Bio-Spirituality: Focusing As A Way To Grow ,Loyola Press,1985, 1997, www.biospiritual.org  )

In any Focusing process, the Focuser will often experience a Felt Shift, an opening of tension release into forward movement and new energy. Pete and Ed tell us to pay more attention to the “bodily-feel” surrounding these felt shifts in experiencing. They show us that, if we attend fully to the feelings surrounding the felt shift, we will find feelings of gratitude, of awe, of being “graced” by the presence of the Almighty.

They elaborate upon Gendlin’s sixth step of Focusing, called Receiving: thanking and acknowledging your Body’s Wisdom for the new steps of healing that have emerged. They have taken the further step of noticing the presence of grace and awe and thanking the Greater Source from which felt shifts, spiritual and emotional growth, emerge.

Being Touched and Being Moved

Using Gendlin’s Focusing process, we will refer to “bodily-felt experiencing,” “bodily-felt spirituality.” Whether experienced through nature or inspiring music or religious rituals in church or through watching the kindness of one person toward another, these spiritual experiences will be “felt.” The existence of Something Greater or Something More will be fully and unquestionably known, experientially, rather than being only an intellectual theory.

I call it “being touched and being moved” (PDF article) and find it often marked by at least a sheen of tears in the eyes, along with an expansive feeling of one’s own boundaries and limits dissolving for at least a moment of merging into a feeling of Oneness – with nature, with another person or other people, with music, or with the religious ritual in church.

As with personal growth and creativity, spiritual experiences can also be reached more predictably through the conscious use of the Intuitive Focusing process. If you “accidently” find yourself in the midst of a transformative, spiritual moment, you can enrich and enlarge that opening by consciously turning attention toward the “feel of it all” and making words and images for the power and meaning of it.

These words and images can stay with you after that magical moment ends and can be a road back to that spiritual experience, again by consciously turning one’s attention to them in a Focusing way.

See Focusing and Spirituality: The Still, Small Voice for several ways to use Focusing to invite and to explore spiritual experiences.

Agape: Experiencing God in The Other

For me, intense spiritual experiences of the love known as Agape also happen regularly through the experience of exchanging Listening/Focusing turns in a Focusing Partnership or a Listening/Focusing Community (see Creative Edge Pyramid for explanations of these and other applications).

Through the use of Focused Listening, I am able to set aside my own stereotypes and prejudices and really enter into the world of the other person. In these moments of empathy, when the Focuser touches upon her deepest values and most profound truths, as the Listener, I am often moved and touched by the absolute uniqueness, yet universal humanness, of the Other.

In these moments, often with a sheen of tears in our eyes, it seems that the boundaries separating one person from the other drop, and we stand together in a shared, sacred space. I believe this is what is meant by experiencing The Christ Within The Other or Universal Oneness or Martin Buber’s “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” experience. For me, there is no more sacred experience.

Click here to go to Interest Area: Experiencing The Sacred and scroll down to find The Ten First Steps You Can Take To Bring Listening/Focusing into your spiritual experience and community.

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

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 AND SPIRITUALITY 4: AGAPE —THE SPIRITUAL LOVE OF THE OTHER

By , June 2, 2008 10:30 pm

Experiencing God in The Other

For me, intense spiritual experiences of the love known as Agape happen regularly through the experience of exchanging Listening/Focusing turns in a Focusing Partnership or a Listening/Focusing Community. Through the use of Focused Listening, I am able to set aside my own stereotypes and prejudices and really enter into the world of the other person. In these moments of empathy, when the Focuser touches upon her deepest values and most profound truths, as the Listener, I am often moved and touched by the absolute uniqueness, yet universal humanness, of the Other.

In these moments, often with a sheen of tears in our eyes, it seems that the boundaries separating one person from the other drop, and we stand together in a shared, sacred space. I believe this is what is meant by experiencing The Christ Within The Other or Universal Oneness or Martin Buber’s “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” experience. For me, there is no more sacred experience.

Here is how I recently described this experience of Agape during Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange:

“I like Listening/Focusing better than Focusing Alone because, when people share Listening/Focusing turns, they actually build up Love between each other, the Love of “the unique otherness” of the other which is Agape, which is “seeing Christ in the other person,” which is Buber’s “I /Thou vs. I / It experience.” I am way more interested in promoting a method that creates Love in the world than I am in any individual’s personal growth.

And so I like to spread Listening/Focusing partnership, but even more important, Listening/Focusing groups, and, most importantly, Listening/Focusing Communities. In a Community, there is Listening/Focusing for conflict resolution and for Win/Win decision making, two more HUGE VAST ways to create love rather than conflict, prejudice,stereotyping.

The experience of Love being created? I am Listening to another. That person touches down, often, into a place of tears, a place of deepest, most profound meaning for them. I am also moved to tears of empathy. In that moment, it is “as if” the boundary between the other person and myself dissolves or broadens or merges — I am still there, and they, but there is also this Togetherness — and, in it this feeling of Love — my heart swelling, sometimes tears in my eyes, and a sense that Something Sacred has entered into the room. Something beyond the two of us, and something with qualities of Awe and Grace and the kind of Love that God or a Universal positive force — well, something like that!!!

And, this Love lasts. I am now bonded to this person. In a Focusing Community, out of this Love, people take each other to doctor’s appointment, sit with each other through chemo therapy, help each other move furniture, celebrate each other’s Birthdays, show up at a meeting just to hear each person Check In, each person say their News and Goods from the week. I do think that this mutual “touching into tears” may actually be a crucial, almost physiological/spiritual part of this “melting and merging.”

It is possible that the quality of sharing in my Focusing Communities is different or deeper than in other Focusing Groups because of the emphasis I place on teaching Focusers and Listeners alike to move toward, move into, welcome, the places that start with a shimmer of tears in the eyes, and, if the Focuser stops and “senses in” right there, at the “place of tears,” hugely deep meanings unfold.

It is that, building community (not just partnership) in a world of isolation and mistrust and hate, that I love above all else, and it is Listening, more than Focusing Alone, that allows this to happen, really, really predictably. Creating Love predictably! What could be better! You can take any group of people, no matter how polarized and hating, and, if they will do Listening/Focusing turns with each other, seeing each other’s mutual Uniqueness-yet-Commonality, they will find themselves loving each other, having deep compassion for each other, and being willing to take action steps to help each other (at least, this is my belief! Carl Rogers has done more of these actual world-peace making gatherings than I. Mine have been local Focusing Communities — but six of these over 30 years, all creating love and bonding, each lasting 5-10 years).”

See articles in PDF:

Focusing and Spirituality: The Still, Small Voice Within
Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value Of Tears
Finding The Meaning Of Tears

Click here to see the whole Experiencing The Sacred Interest Area and scroll down to find Ten Ways to Bring Focusing into Spiritual Communities

EXERCISE: FOCUSING UPON A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE OF AGAPE
(You can read these to yourself now, download them for repeated use, read them into a tape recorder for playback; leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

If you need a different kind of Focusing Exercise for where you are today, please click here to access the e-newsletter archives at Constant Contact and choose any Focusing Instruction that fits for you.

As last week, you will choose an experience to spend Intuitive Focusing time on that had spiritual meaning for you, a moment when you might have said that you were experiencing God or The Sacred or Something Profound – often, this can be something that touched you or moved you, perhaps bringing a sheen of tears to your eyes. It might be a piece of music, a prayer or passage from the Bible, a poem, a sunset, the smile of a child, the touch of a friend.

Perhaps this week you could bring to mind an experience of Agape that you have had: A time when you felt a special closeness to another person which had a spiritual feel to it

By spending time with “the intuitive feel of it all,” you are going to make more words and meanings for what is Sacred, to you. Please find a comfortable chair in a quiet place, and give yourself at least 30 minutes for Intuitive Focusing:

Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —
(One minute)
Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —
(One minute — )
Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —
(One minute — )
Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —
(One minute — )
Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —
(One minute — )
Now, bring to mind an event or piece of music or art or religious symbol that felt Sacred, or had a spiritual significance for you. If it fits for you, look for a time when you experienced the special closeness of Agape with another person (pause) — Take your time to find a powerful, meaningful symbol or event —
(One minute or more — )
Think about it or get a mental image of it — take your time to choose something that matters to you —
(One minute — )
Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about this experience, and, as you carry a mental image of the event or symbol in your mind, just wait and see what comes in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area, in response (pause) — not words, but the intuitive feel of that whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that intuitive feel — Go carefully back and forth between any words and the intuitive feel of the whole thing until you find words or an image that are just right for it —
(One minute — )
Now, gently ask yourself, “What was so important for me about that?” or, “What about that touched me or filled me with awe?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, the place where you feel things —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that felt experiencing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “And what was so Sacred to me about that, what do I mean by ‘Sacred’?” and, again, wait quietly, for at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, without words, just the “feel” of “the whole thing” about “Sacred.”
(One minute or more — )
And find some words or an image to capture that “whole thing,” The Sacred —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “Does that capture what I mean by ‘spiritual’?”, and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for an answer to come in the center of your body, your wordless intuition, The Creative Edge —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image for that, and check, “Is that it?” —
(One minute — )
If the answer is “Yes,” a release of bodily tension, a sense of “rightness,” then turn your attention to noticing any “spiritual” experiences that are present around the edges of this experience, right now — feelings of Sacredness, of floating in Oneness, of Awe or Gratitude, of being moved or touched with tears — stay with these immediate spiritual feelings as long as you like —
(One minute or more — )
Try to find an image or other symbol or gesture that might serve as a “handle” for this particular spiritual feeling, something that would remind you of how to find your way to this place again, at any time during the day when you want to revisit the Experience of the Sacred —
(One minute or more)
And, when you are finished, come back into the room.
If the answer is “No,” your body remains tense, then, set aside everything you have already thought and tried and ask your body, The Creative Edge, again: “What is Spirituality for me, and where might I find it?”, and, again, wait, as long as a minute or more, to see what comes in the center of your chest, an intuitive “feel” for the whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for whatever has come —
(One minute or more — )
Keep at this as long as you are comfortable, asking an open-ended question, waiting for an intuitive sense of “the whole thing” to emerge, looking for words or an image or even a gesture or action step that fits the intuitive feel “exactly.”
(One minute or more — )
But, if no clear “felt” experiencing of Spirituality arises, just remind yourself that, by spending Focusing time sitting with The Creative Edge, you have added energy and started a new living-forward, and, especially if you continue to hold “the feel of it all” on the back-burner of your mind, later something new will likely pop up —
(One minute)
Appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that taking time is the important thing – new experiences can then arise later.
(One minute or more — )

Remember, Intuitive Focusing is often learned more easily in the company of a Focused Listener. Go to Creative Edge Focusing TM at www.cefocusing.com  to find many resources, from self-help groups to Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

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

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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

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 

INTUITIVE FOCUSING AND SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE

By , May 4, 2008 12:11 pm

EXPERIENCING THE SACRED

Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be used purposefully to “attend to,” “sit with,” “articulate” the “intuitive feel” of spiritual experiences. But more importantly, the practice of Listening/Focusing opens our eyes to seeing the Sacred around us by encouraging attention to those moments when the Sacred enters our lives.

It’s called Immanent Spirituality, God as experienced in the world, moments when the Sacred underpinning of the world “breaks through” and becomes visible, palpable, feel-able. Experiential spirituality is separate from any particular sect or creed. You can incorporate it into any religion and into every day living without organized religion.

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat call it Spiritual Literacy: Reading the Sacred in Everyday Life (Scribner, 1996), and their book jacket reads:

“These remarkable readings tutor us in the art of lingering with our experiences and seeing the world with fresh eyes — Life’s meaning and the presence of Spirit are found in the shape of a child’s foot, in an encounter with a wild animal, in the memories evoked by a rocking chair, in the process of doing a hobby, or in the messages on a computer screen.”

Like ideas and personal problems or interpersonal conflicts, spiritual experiences also have an “intuitive feel,” a Creative Edge that can be expanded upon and deepened by using the Intuitive Focusing process. If you have just an “inkling” or a “flash” of experience that feels Sacred, you can go back to that experience during a specific Focusing Process, recover the spiritual feeling, and find ways to carry it with you.

I will walk you through an actual session of Focusing upon an Experience of the Sacred which you have had, understanding it more deeply, and finding a way to bring it back consciously.

Exercise: Focusing on Spirituality: Experiencing The Sacred

(You can read these to yourself now, download them for repeated use, read them into a tape recorder for playback; leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

You will choose an experience to spend Intuitive Focusing (click here for a basic description) time on that had spiritual meaning for you, a moment when you might have said that you were experiencing God or The Sacred or Something Profound – often, this can be something that touched you or moved you, perhaps bringing a sheen of tears to your eyes. It might be a piece of music, a prayer or passage from the Bible, a poem, a sunset, the smile of a child, the touch of a friend.

By spending time with “the intuitive feel of it all,” you are going to make more words and meanings for what is Sacred, to you. Please find a comfortable chair in a quiet place, and give yourself at least 30 minutes for Intuitive Focusing:

Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —
(One minute)
Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —
(One minute — )
Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —
(One minute — )
Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —
(One minute — )
Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —
(One minute — )
Now, bring to mind an event or piece of music or art or religious symbol that felt Sacred, or had a spiritual significance for you (pause) — Take your time to find a powerful, meaningful symbol or event —
(One minute or more — )
Think about it or get a mental image of it — take your time to choose something that matters to you —
(One minute — )
Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about this experience, and, as you carry a mental image of the event or symbol in your mind, just wait and see what comes in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area, in response (pause) — not words, but the intuitive feel of that whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that intuitive feel — Go carefully back and forth between any words and the intuitive feel of the whole thing until you find words or an image that are just right for it —
(One minute — )
Now, gently ask yourself, “What was so important for me about that?” or, “What about that touched me or filled me with awe?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, the place where you feel things —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that felt experiencing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “And what was so Sacred to me about that, what do I mean by ‘Sacred’?” and, again, wait quietly, for at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, without words, just the “feel” of “the whole thing” about “Sacred.”
(One minute or more — )
And find some words or an image to capture that “whole thing,” The Sacred —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “Does that capture what I mean by ‘spiritual’?”, and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for an answer to come in the center of your body, your wordless intuition, The Creative Edge —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image for that, and check, “Is that it?” —
(One minute — )
If the answer is “Yes,” a release of bodily tension, a sense of “rightness,” then turn your attention to noticing any “spiritual” experiences that are present around the edges of this experience, right now — feelings of Sacredness, of floating in Oneness, of Awe or Gratitude, of being moved or touched with tears — stay with these immediate spiritual feelings as long as you like —
(One minute or more — )
Try to find an image or other symbol or gesture that might serve as a “handle” for this particular spiritual feeling, something that would remind you of how to find your way to this place again, at any time during the day when you want to revisit the Experience of the Sacred —
(One minute or more)
And, when you are finished, come back into the room.
If the answer is “No,” your body remains tense, then, set aside everything you have already thought and tried and ask your body, The Creative Edge, again: “What is Spirituality for me, and where might I find it?”, and, again, wait, as long as a minute or more, to see what comes in the center of your chest, an intuitive “feel” for the whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for whatever has come —
(One minute or more — )
Keep at this as long as you are comfortable, asking an open-ended question, waiting for an intuitive sense of “the whole thing” to emerge, looking for words or an image or even a gesture or action step that fits the intuitive feel “exactly.”
(One minute or more — )
But, if no clear “felt” experiencing of Spirituality arises, just remind yourself that, by spending Focusing time sitting with The Creative Edge, you have added energy and started a new living-forward, and, especially if you continue to hold “the feel of it all” on the back-burner of your mind, later something new will likely pop up —
(One minute)
Appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that taking time is the important thing – new experiences can then arise later.
(One minute or more — )

Remember, Intuitive Focusing is often learned more easily in the company of a Focused Listener. Go to Creative Edge Focusing TM at www.cefocusing.com  to find many resources, from self-help groups to Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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

The site of new insights and creative solutions is at the edge of what is already known. This edge, The Creative Edge, holds implicit within it all past and future knowing about the problem, more than could ever be put into words in a linear way 

FOCUSING AND SPIRITUALITY

By , November 19, 2007 12:14 pm

Experiencing The Sacred

Predictable Access to Spiritual Experience

As with personal growth and creativity, spiritual experiences can also be reached more predictably through the conscious use of Intuitive Focusing. If you “accidently” find yourself in the midst of a transformative, spiritual moment, you can enrich and enlarge that opening by consciously turning attention toward the “feel of it all” and making words and images for the power and meaning of it.

These words and images can then stay with you after that magical moment ends. You can use them as a predictable road back to that spiritual experience, again by consciously turning your attention to them, and the intuitive feel which goes with them, using Intuitive Focusing. 

Using Intuitive Focusing, you can enrich your spiritual experience. Whether the initial intuitive sense of The Sacred is comes through nature or inspiring music or religious rituals in church or through watching the kindness of one person toward another, these spiritual experiences can be deepened through Intuitive Focusing. The existence of Something Greater or Something More will be fully and unquestionably known, experientially, rather than being only an intellectual theory.

Being Touched and Being Moved

Dr. McGuire calls it “being touched and being moved.” Experiencing The Sacred is often marked by at least a sheen of tears in the eyes, along with an expansive feeling of one’s own boundaries and limits dissolving for at least a moment of merging into a feeling of Oneness – with nature, with another person or other people, with music, or with the religious ritual in church.

Biospirituality

Jesuit Fathers Pete Campbell and Ed McMahon (Bio-Spirituality: Focusing As A Way To Grow, 1985) have made a life’s work out of looking at the specifically spiritual aspect which can be present in any use of  Intuitive Focusing. They see entering the bodily “felt sense” through Focusing as a way of entering into The Body of Christ from the Christian perspective and also into the common ground of all spiritual experience. They call their approach Bio-spirituality (www.biospiritual.org ).

In any Focusing process, the Focuser will often experience a Felt Shift or Paradigm Shift, an opening of tension release into forward movement and new energy. Fathers Pete and Ed tell us to pay more attention to the “bodily-feel” surrounding these felt shifts in experiencing. They show us that, if we attend fully to the feelings surrounding the felt shift, we will find experiences of gratitude, of awe, of being “graced” by the presence of the Almighty.

While they started with Christianity, the Fathers now see Focusing as an access path to the Experience of the Sacred which underlies all religions. They elaborate upon Gendlin’s sixth step of Focusing, called Receiving: thanking and acknowledging your Body’s Wisdom for the new steps of healing that have emerged through Focusing and taking the further step of noticing the presence of grace and awe and thanking the Greater Source from which felt shifts, and spiritual and emotional growth, emerge.

Empathy and Agape: The Creation of Love

Intense spiritual experiences of the love known as Agape also happen regularly through the experience of exchanging Listening/Focusing turns in a Focusing Partnership or Focusing Community. Through the use of Focused Listening, I am able to set aside my own stereotypes and prejudices and really enter into the world of the other person.  In these moments of empathy, when the Focuser touches upon her deepest values and most profound truths, as the Listener, I am often moved and touched by the absolute uniqueness, yet universal humanness, of the Other.
 
In these moments, often with a sheen of tears in our eyes, it seems that the boundaries separating one person from the other drop, and we stand together in a shared, sacred space. I believe this is what is meant by experiencing The Christ Within The Other or Universal Oneness or Martin Buber’s description of “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” relationships. For me, there is no more sacred experience.

Read more about Focusing and Spirituality in Interest Area: Experiencing The Sacred

Download my articles:

 Focusing and Spirituality: The Still, Small Voice

 Being Touched And Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears

 Finding The Meaning Of Tears          

If you haven’t yet, download our Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual   (Ajas Instantaneos  ) so you can try “Ahah!” #10, Spirituality: Being Touched and Being Moved and nine other exercises for integrating Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening into your every day home and work life.

In the sidebars at Creative Edge Focusing (TM)  , you can subscribe to our e-newsletter and e-support groups for ongoing support in applying Listening and Focusing  to every life situation.

Dr. Kathy McGuire

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)                       

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