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

By , August 20, 2008 2:17 pm

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 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

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