Posts tagged: conflict resolution

Focusing and Architecture: Designing From The Inside Out

By , December 14, 2009 7:17 pm

In The Not So Big House and Creating The Not So Big House books, Sarah Susanka (amazon link) advocates leaving the vaulted-ceiling mansions that have become the hallmark of house design and returning to designing houses that are specifically tailored to the very personal and unique needs of the homeowner who will live in the architect-designed home. Quality replaces quantity; intimate detailing replaces square footage.

Recently, as my husband and I hired an architect and began the schematic design process for our future retirement home, I found myself in the midst of an “archetypal” battle. I see it as defined by the clash of “masculine” vs. “feminine,” “Thinking vs. Feeling” modes of being, based upon psychiatrist C.G. Jung’s descriptions and psychological tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Keirsey Temperament Sorter (see “Jung, MBTI, and Experiential Theory”  for explanations and Creative Edge Focusing Personality Tests for links for some free versions of these tests).

My husband and I had agreed, after seeing the book New Minimalist Houses (this is Amazon link for great bargain price, $50 reduced to $15!), that Minimalist could describe the kind of house we wanted — lots of glass/concrete/steel, as little as possible between us and the surrounding nature of our 20-acre forest on a ridge. But, it turned out, this was about all we agreed on!

Mind you, both the architect and my husband are feminist, egalitarian, good listeners. And I am a Ph.D. scholar.Yet, there was something about this opportunity to design from a blank slate that engaged all of us in visions to which we desperately wanted to cling, making it almost impossible to “hear from” the opposing view .

The architect followed a method he is known for, going to the home site, hiking for hours, sitting for hours if needed, until he came up with an inspiration for the design of the house, knowing some about us but a lot about the site and location. He ended up discovering a totally different and much better site location for the house, in our twenty acres of forest, and offering creative and striking designs for a one- and two-story version of our house.

The architect’s proposed one-story design was much like The Air House in the Minimalist book — a long rectangle of glass, spread along the ridge, with views and light from North and South. My husband fell in love with it, as it let light enter every room from both north and south.

Okay, I thought, I can live with that, but I want the Guest Area/Project Room/Full Bath closer to the rest of the house, not across a breezeway, I said. I said the Garage and Shop can go across the breezeway. I knew that, at a distance, I would not use the space for Projects, and it would be empty, wasted square footage except when Guests came.

I also wanted the Full Bath to be shared with the two Studies at that end of the house, so that the three spaces, Guest/Project, Study, Study could function as bedrooms, if our future aging needs or future buyers needed such a constellation. I thought my husband would be happy with the striking southern views and light he could have from his shop. And he was okay with this compromise.

And here the epic struggle began. The architect would come back with his original design, saying “the house” needs the Guest/Project/Bath across the courtyard, or “there needs to be a living space across the courtyard to balance the design.” I would counter with “I” need them on this side of the courtyard, so they can function together as three bedrooms, if needed.

And yet his design would come back again, modified some but still with Project/Guest/Bath at a distance from the rest of the house (given geographical distance, we were communicating by email, not ideal!). Finally I said, “You keep trying to ISOLATE this space, and I am trying to CONNECT it.”

I also mentioned casually to my husband that I would like a Front Porch, where I could sit and watch nature go by, and where visitors could find a sheltered entry.

Reading Susanka, I also found some confirmation for my wish for some bay windows to serve as alcoves at the edges of the minimalist open floor plan. I was afraid that flat, rectangular expanses of glass wall would not “draw us in” to the view, would seem cold and distant.

And my husband, usually very mild-mannered,  freaked out: “No! No bumps! The house is to be sleek, sleek, not full of bumps and lumps.”

It seemed to me that each of them, husband and architect, were quite comfortable with accommodating the needs of the residents to the needs of the design, the conceptual needs of “the house.” They could look at a floor plan and fall in love with it.

I however, could not imagine living, feeling alive, in a house that was like a shell laid over and against my actual living, constraining me into a particular shape.

Through an epic struggle coming close to divorce and firing of the architect, we have come to an understanding, a compromise which I call “cozy minimalism,” incorporating Susanka’s sensitivity to the human longing for enclosed, sheltered “alcoves” at the edges of open floor plan spaces with the flying visions, open spaces, and angles of minimalism.

We are entering a period of design where the architect will mainly LISTEN as my husband and I articulate our intuitive sense of our own wants and needs, and then come up with creative, unique ideas and methods for incorporating, aned compromising, those needs.

Out of this new dialogue, already a possible “roof garden” and “sunroom/breakfast nook” alcove have arisen to soften The Air House into an individualized home, yet keep the soaring aspects of the architect’s inspiration.

For more on The Not So Big concept, designing from “the inside out,” from careful attention to the unique needs of the homeowner, see the Susanka books cited above.

For more on learning to Listen To Yourself through Intuitive Focusing and Listen to Another through Focused Listening, see the many resources and free downloads below.

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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 and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

 

 

 

TRANSITION TOWNS: LOCAL SUSTAINABILITY FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

By , May 15, 2009 6:57 pm

In the Transition Towns movement, www.transitiontowns.org,  political action is thoroughly integrated at the local level, building local sustainability and community as a basis for the “resiliency” needed to affect long-term, global change. But even more importantly, skill training for emotional and personal growth and conflict resolution is built right into hands-on, political action. 

Here is a short definition of  Transition Towns from a Facebook Event page announcing an Introductory Workshop and the 2009 Transition Towns Conference in the UK:
           “The Transition movement is a fast-growing, bottom-up response to peak oil and climate change. There are now thousands of communities around the world using this model, and it is being widely acknowledged as a positive, solutions focused approach, ‘more like a party than a protest march’.”
        
From the Transition Towns website, www.transitiontowns.org :

…A Transition Initiative is a community (lots of examples here) working together to look Peak Oil and Climate Change squarely in the eye and address this BIG question:

“for all those aspects of life that this community needs in order to sustain itself and thrive, how do we significantly increase resilience (to mitigate the effects of Peak Oil) and drastically reduce carbon emissions (to mitigate the effects of Climate Change)?”

After going through a comprehensive and creative process of:

  • awareness raising around peak oil, climate change and the need to undertake a community lead process to rebuild resilience and reduce carbon
  • connecting with existing groups in the community
  • building bridges to local government
  • connecting with other transition initiatives
  • forming groups to look at all the key areas of life (food, energy, transport, health, heart & soul, economics & livelihoods, etc)
  • kicking off projects aimed at building people’s understanding of resilience and carbon issues and community engagement
  • eventually launching a community defined, community implemented “Energy Descent Action Plan” over a 15 to 20 year timescale

This results in a coordinated range of projects across all these areas of life that strives to rebuild the resilience we’ve lost as a result of cheap oil and reduce the community’s carbon emissions drastically.”

I like the actual example of a transition town which you can experience at Transition Town Westcliff. You’ll get a taste for all the fun and educational and hands-on gatherings, meetings, celebrations as a town works together for local sustainability affecting global change. “More like a party than a protest march,” indeed! I can’t wait to build or to join such a community.

I like the emphasis upon personal and emotional growth, mutual support, and conflict resolution skill training added into the more specific political goals of building local resilience as part of changing global problems of peak oil and climate change.

I have offered copies of my manual, Focusing in Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group, as one model of peer-based support which teaches core skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening,  that can be applied to  emotional, personal, interpersonal, and group-level growth and community building.

There is a handbook for starting a transition town, The Transition Town Handbook: from oil dependence to local resilience,written by founder Rob Hopkins. You can order the book at the link.

Find out all about Transition Towns, and the 2009 Conference in London, UK, May 22-24, 2009 at www.transitiontowns.org . The conference itself sold out immediately, but you can still sign up for evening Introductory events and pre- and post-conference workshops.

The Creative Edge Focusing(TM) Approach To Community Building

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)’s Culture of Creativity  fights apathy by engaging every person  at the Creative Edge of individual experiencing. Whether in Creative Edge Education or Creative Edge Organizations, Listening/Focusing Turns are used as a basic method for helping people to find and articulate their own Creative Edge.

Creative Edge Focusing and Creative Edge Listening can be used for problem solving at home and at work, alone, in parenting and relationships, during interpersonal conflict, and in group or community decision making situations. The Creative Edge Pyramid describes applications from Focusing Alone to Creative Edge Organizations.

For application in business settings, see my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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 and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

CONFLICT RESOLUTION IN BUSINESSES: TEACHING INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING

By , March 16, 2009 2:31 pm

Creative Edge Organizations, using The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid  for application at all levels,  incorporate Interpersonal Focusing for conflict resolution as well as Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening to facilitate creative, innovative problem solving. Interpersonal Focusing can take place in a separate session or right during the flow of a Collaborative Edge Decision Making (CEDM) meeting. But how do you teach Interpersonal Focusing in an actual business or organization, if there are no conflicts evident? How do you introduce it without the stress of a full-blown conflict?

Interpersonal Focusing can involve the use of a Third Person Listening Facilitator mediating between the two people in conflict. Download the entire Interpersonal Focusing Chapter from Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group. Order the complete manual and multimedia Self-Help Package .

From a Certified Focusing Professional bringing the CEDM model, and Creative Edge Pyramid, into two businesses:

“Can I ask you a question? I have tried to teach the same group that was so happy about CEDM, your Interpersonal Focusing, when people disagree about something. They find it hard to practice the method, without two people really having an argument. Do you have any suggestion how to “train” this skill, listening to another that you have an argument with?

Because the people I teach, they say something like “No, I could never listen in a Focusing way when I am mad at someone”. Maybe just practicing focusing is the best?”

My response: The question is a good one: how do you teach Interpersonal Focusing when there is no conflict going on?

  1. Sometimes I have worked instead on even when one person in the group has strong positive feelings about someone else, like “Wishing I could be like you,” “Thinking you are so self-confident,” etc.  Even hearing this kind of positive information about oneself can be difficult to hear and provide a good exercise in Focused Listening to emotional material.
  2. And you can decide to have a discussion about a topic likely to bring up some conflict. E.g., it is not difficult to find two people who have differing views about politics, for instance, or any other controversial topic.
  3. If this is a group that works together, there can also be a fear of uncovering any negative feelings or interpersonal conflicts, so saying “Oh, we don’t have any of those.” Maybe done the road they would feel safer.
  4. Usually, when I have an ongoing 10-week group, I look for small conflicts we can practice on, as simple as whether we should invite new members, or whether we should have tea and snacks.
  5. Also, if I see a conflict happening, I drop the lesson for the day and practice Interpersonal Focusing right then instead.
  6. You could also have a Focuser work on their feelings about someone outside of the group that makes them really, really mad — so, as Listener, people could at least have the experience of Listening to someone who might be really angry, but it would be less threatening than working on their problems with each other. I think this is a great idea! Getting people used to being around anger when it is not directed at them, getting them used to just reflecting it.

But, you are correct, the more people practice Focusing, in the sense of “owning” their own internal reactions, and Listening, being able to set aside one’s own reactions and really “hear” another, the more these skills will be available when a conflict arises— 

For more on dealing with anger, see  my “yelling at the wall” component in the Passive Listening Turns model  and my Active Listening Turns short article.

Five Minute Grieving might be helpful (what to do if a patient, client, friend, colleague starts crying) and bring up interesting discussion about the role of emotion in business settings.

These are all Instant “Ahah!”s in the sidebar of my website homepage and also in the free download, Instant Ahah Mini-Manual, which you can find below.

Especially in businesses whose work is helping and supporting and healing others, it is important to find a way to nurture those who are trying to help others. That, to me, has always been the great gift of teaching Listening/Focusing to staff — that they can choose to use it to support each other as well!

See my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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 and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

THE CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING PYRAMID IN BUSINESS SETTINGS: FOCUSING, LISTENING, AND COLLABORATIVE EDGE MEETINGS

By , March 15, 2009 6:07 pm

In the Creative Edge Focusing (TM) model, The Creative Edge is the bodily-felt, intuitive “something-more-than-words” that anyone can find if they simply pause, for at least a minute, paying attention in the center of their body for the “intuitive feel,” the “bodily-felt sense” of any issue or idea or problem to form.

The PRISMS/S Focusing Process  shows how Intuitive Focusing, often coupled with Focused Listening, can allow this non-linear, right-brain, intuitive knowing to unfold.

The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid shows how these simple self-help skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening can be incorporated into all levels within a company or organization, as well as for stress relief, conflict resolution, and emotional problem solving at home:

Focusing Alone for Personal Growth
Focusing Partnership for Ongoing Creativity
Interpersonal Focusing for Conflict Resolution
Focusing Group/Team for Innovative Problem Solving
Collaborative Edge Focusing Decision Making for Win/Win  Meetings
Focusing Community To Facilitate Diversity and Mutual Support
Creative Edge Organization To Motivate People For Collaborative Action

Creative Edge Organizations  benefit from the innovation, creativity, commitment, and collegiality which come when each person is engaged at their own Creative Edge and sharing and supporting Creative Edge exploration in others. Read Creating At The Edge: The Culture of Creativity

Here is feedback from a Certified Focusing Professional teaching Listening, Focusing, and Collaborative Edge Decision Making (CEDM) in two companies:

“I am teaching two small companies focusing and I also have workshops and individual sessions for everyone interested. I have also done a few talks on focusing, and I want to develop that more. I want to develop everything more!!!
 
I just want to tell you that the people at the companies, were really amazed about your method for decision making. I translated it all and made sheets for them to work with and it all went so well. We have done it twice in two different groups, and the next two weeks we will try it again.

Afterwards one woman said: “I feel like I have a lot of energy after the meeting, usually I am all tired and out of energy.”

Another one said: “I am a slow person, and have often been told, just hurry and pick the word and say what you want. But I don’t feel like doing that, it just makes me feel so stressed. I rather just stay quiet.” And she really enjoyed this kind of meeting.

I could “feel” the stress disappear when everybody understood that they were going to have their piece of the time for saying what they wanted.

And when I told them that they all had the same responsibility for creating a meaningful meeting, it sort of started twinkling in their eyes.

Most amazing of all was that the ones that volunteered for the timekeeping both times we did this, were two people that usually have a hard time being on time (according to the others in the group). Strange, isn’t it?

And more:

“Thank you for the links you gave me here. I am thinking about translating both “5 minutes of grieving” and “Active Listening: Short-Circuit Angry Confrontations”, they are so good, and the people I work with do need something very “resolute” to get started with Focusing in their daily work … there is really a need for a tool that is respectful and very human. (that’s a need everywhere of course!)”

“The staff that I am teaching Focusing are more and more getting it in to their daily routines. They all say: When we start the morning with some Focusing, there is a calm feeling throughout the day! No matter how much stress they are facing.

So now they are trying, at least in one of the companies, to have at least 10 minutes each in the morning, just Listening to what is inside them right now. And at least once a week they do a longer Listening/Focusing turn two and two. And their meetings have really changed!”

See my article, “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community” from The Folio: Thirtieth Anniversity Tribute edition at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org .

You can learn all about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with the many resources listed below:

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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 and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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

FOCUSING AND BUSINESS: BUILDING COMMUNITY AT WORK

By , January 30, 2009 12:14 pm

In Creative Edge Organizations, everyone learns Intuitive Focusing ( PDF: Focusing Intuitivo: Destreza Basica) to access the intuitive, right-brain Creative Edge of their thinking and problem solving, and everyone learns Focused Listening ( PDF: Destreza Basica: Escucha Focalizada)to help others articulate from the Creative Edge and to hear deeply the views of another instead of arguing.

The exchange of Listening/Focusing Partnership turns leads, not only to creative, innovative problem solving, but also to feelings of “buy in,” “loyalty,” and “collegiality.” The workplace becomes a community,  encouraging diversity and creativity rather than competition and backbiting.

Here is part of my recent article “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community“:

“— Businesses and Organizations ARE Communities

 

Doing my own Thinking At The Edge (TAE) process, I realized that businesses and organizations ARE communities. By their nature, coworkers are “trapped” in a face-to-face, interdependent situation which they cannot leave.

 

Some absolute essentials for workers:

 

• learning to work out their interpersonal conflicts

• having a successful model for making and implementing group decisions

• having a model for creative, innovative thinking and problem solving and for

 communication between themselves and their clients.

• For co-workers: the ability to work in teams, tolerate their diversity, and make

 the most of their “differing gifts.”

 

Businesses cannot afford the constant turnover and need for retraining that comes from irresolvable conflicts.

 

 The model I developed for Focusing Communities, articulated in the Focusing in Community manual (1981, 2007), included all of these things: not just Focusing Alone for creative problem solving, but also Focusing Partnerships in the context of Focusing Groups or Teams, Interpersonal Focusing for resolving conflicts, and Collaborative Focusing-Oriented Decision Making for task-oriented groups. Here was a “package” of skills and methods that could be brought into businesses and organizations.

 

At about this time, I gathered up some books at a kiosk at the Northwest Regional Airport near Bentonville, Arkansas — home of mega-business giant WalMart. Everyone who is a vendor for WalMart passes through that airport, so it seemed to me that the books sold there would be cutting edge —” 

 

Read the entire article “Creative Edge Organizations: Businesses and Organizations As A ‘Kind’ Of Focusing Community in the 30th Anniversary Tribute Focusing Folio online at The Focusing Institute.

 

CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING(tm):  SELF-HELP SKILLS FOR HOME AND WORK

 

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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 and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

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!!! Today’s blog is part of the year-long e-course offered through the Instant “Ahah!” e-newsletter.

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

 

WWW.CHANGE.ORG: VOTE FOR TOP TEN AGENDAS FOR OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, INCLUDING DEPARTMENT OF PEACE, EMPATHY INITIATIVE, SUSTAINABILITY, ETC.

By , January 12, 2009 3:31 pm

Deadline: January 15, so please go now to www.change.org , register, and then Vote for your top ten agendas to be given to Obama at his inauguration and carried through throughout the years.

International votes are accepted, so have an influence on US public policy from abroad!!!!!

I am especially excited about the Empathic Communication initiative, which will mandate instruction in empathic , non-violent communication vs. aggression at all levels of government and diplomacy. It’s number 14, and needs 600 votes to get into the top ten! 

It is sponsored by the Center for Non-Violent Communication (www.cnvc.org ), has the backing of The Focusing Institute (www.focusing.org ) and Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) where I teach empathic, Focused Listening  and Intuitive Focusing as self-help skills which can be used at home, in the community, and at work to enhance communication and creative, innovative, win/win problem solving.

And this Empathy/Non-Violent Communication Initiative would take place within a Department of Peace at the cabinet level!

Please go to www.change.org and vote for the Department of Peace and for the Empathy Initiative and eight other agenda items you want to see the Obama Administration address!

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

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: RELIEVING STRESS OF INTERPERSONAL SITUATIONS

By , December 21, 2008 6:08 pm

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 and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

Do your situations leave a felt “residue” behind?
 
Have you noticed that real-world situations, interactions can leave behind a “residue” of “something-more-than-words”? Our bodily knowing, our intuitive sensing, lives in the situation and can “pick up” aspects that affect us without giving us words. We might have to pay attention to the “intuitive feel” left behind a while just to be able to say we feel “anxious,” or “Something is not right here” or “What is being said doesn’t match the feeling being generated” or “I want to get out of here!” or “This is not safe.” 

Even getting this far, any words at all, may take a first step of  “Getting A Felt Sense of a Situation,” paying attention to the “whole thing,” the larger “intuitive feel” under the initial wordless emotional reaction.
 
Intuitive Focusing is made exactly for going further to find words for exactly what is going on in such situations. Finding words allows you to take action to change the situation, because now you know what the problem is.
 
You will learn to take a moment to sit down, “clear a space” inside, and ask an open-ended questions, like, “What is this all about?” Instead of answering with the already-known in your head, you will learn to wait at least a minute for “the feel of the whole thing” to form in the center of your body. Only then will you begin to look for words and images  that are “just right” in capturing the “intuitive feel” of the situation. 

Eventually, you will experience the “Ahah!,” the relief of knowing consciously what your body has been carrying “unconsciously.” Now, you can take action steps to change the situation, clarify the interaction.
 
Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #4: “Finding the Felt Senses of A Situation”
(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.

    4.  The “Felt Sense,” The “Intuitive Feel” of a Situation-Allow 15 to 20 minutes
 
In this exercise, you are going through a first round of Intuitive Focusing, looking for The Creative Edge, the something-new-that-is-more-than-words about an actual situation during the week that felt unfinished.Although you may have gone around and around in your head, trying to find a solution, to figure out what happened that was strange, now you will set aside that left-brain problem solving and consult your “right-brain wisdom, the bodily “intuitive feel” of “that whole thing.”

First, we use a Relaxation exercise as a way of clearing some space inside for Focusing, then we look for “the intuitive feel,” the “bodily-felt sense” of the situation:
 
—Let’s start with The Counting Meditation for initial Relaxation:
 
—First, stretch—and relax, stretch—and relax, stretch—and relax—-30 sec.
 
—Now, begin noticing your breathing, just noticing the breath going in—and out—in—and out—30 sec.
 
—Now, on each exhale, count starting with “1” and continuing, on each exhale, until you reach “9”—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9
2 minutes
—If you lose track, just start counting over again with “1”. When you get to “9,” start over and count to “9” one more time—
2 minutes
—Spend a few minutes coming to a peaceful place inside, noticing your breathing—
2 minutes
—Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation from the past week which feels unfinished, left behind an uncomfortable or confusing feeling—
2 minutes
—Set aside all your ready-made words or images, and try to get a fresh “intuitive feel” for how you felt in that situation, paying attention to the center of your body, around the heart/chest area—
1 minute
—Try to find some words or an image to describe the “intuitive feel” of it, The Creative Edge before words—
1 minute
—Keep checking until the words or image are just right.
1 minute
—Ask yourself, “What’s that about for me?” and wait for a felt sense, an “intuitive feel” that is more than words, to form—
1 minute
—Find some words or an image to capture that “intuitive sense”. You are letting your body’s Wisdom tell you about the situation, instead of answering with everything you already know.
1 minute
—When you are ready, come slowly back into the room.
 
If you wanted to continue with another round of Focusing, you would simply ask again, “And why is this important to me?”, wait to see what comes as an “intuitive feel,” look for words or an image that are “just right,” checking and resonating until something shifts inside. You can find full Focusing Instructions at  “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

FOCUSED LISTENING: WHY PRACTICE REFLECTIVE, EMPATHIC, ACTIVE LISTENING

By , December 13, 2008 1:08 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

WHY PRACTICE FOCUSED LISTENING?

So, yesterday I asked myself, “Why do I practice Intuitive Focusing?” and I answered from my “felt sense,” the “intuitive feel” that came in the center of my body in response to that question. Using Intuitive Focusing, I carefully went back and forth between any words/images that came and my body’s “felt response,” until I found symbols that were “exactly right” in capturing the “feel of it all.”

Today, I am asking myself, “Why do I practice Focused Listening?” and, as I use Intuitive Focusing to articulate the intuitive feel,” we will see what comes in answer — not from my “head,” the already-known I have said many times in the last thirty years of teaching Listening/Focusing, but from today’s fresh, bodily experiencing.

So, “Why do I practice Focused Listening?” (closing my eyes, going inside quietly, waiting for the “felt sense” to arise in the area of my solar plexis, and only then looking for symbols to describe it) —- Big sigh.

(long pause) — Well, without Listening, the whole world would fall apart! There is nothing more powerful, no better human response, than just showing another that you have heard them by simply saying back, or “reflecting” their own words to them.

And immediately people will want to scoff and laugh and say, “How silly — just stupid parroting.” But, when it actually happens to you, when you feel yourself completely understood, encompassed by your own words coming back to you — well, this is a Sacred experience (stopping to get “out of my head” and to wait again for the fresh, intuitive “bodily-felt sense” to arise so that my words come freshly from that “felt experience” — (big sigh). (long pause)

I am asking myself the Focusing Question, “What do I mean by the word Sacred?” — (pause for Focusing inward). Big sigh. —

I don’t want to “scare people away” by using the word “Sacred.” I could just say “It feels really good to be understood.” But, it really is more than that. Martin Buber, in his book I and Thou, spoke of those moments when we step out of I-It relating, seeing the other as an object to be manipulated and used, into I-Thou relating, where we meet each other without veils, in our essential humanness.

And I guess “essential humanness” is the same, somehow, as what many of us mean by The Divine, The Sacred within each person.

(pausing to “check in” with the “intuitive feel” — “something in me” is saying, “Yikes! Now you are really going to scare people away. You want BUSINESS PEOPLE to use Focused Listening among themselves!” So, now, I am going to pause and “sense into” this aspect, the “business application” of Focused Listening —- (Big sigh. Pause for “felt sensing” before speaking) —

What comes is that “Businesses need to be more friendly places, places where people can feel understood, can feel ‘seen’ for who they are, not just what they do.” (there is something tearful here, I am afraid to admit while I am trying to be business-like!) (pause to check with this teary feeling, “What is that about? What touches me about this?”)

People LIVE in their business settings! They spend more time there than anywhere else. They suffer stress and interpersonal conflict. They stay home rather than face another day. They change jobs too often to get away from a hostile situation.

Certainly we can stand to infuse a little Listening, a simple bit of empathic understanding, the small gesture of Active Listening to show a colleague that we value what they are expressing, even if we disagree with it.

And other days I will blog about how Intuitive Focusing, partnered with Focused Listening, can be used to articulate creative ideas and innovative solutions and to create a Culture of Creativity. But, for today, what comes is that people do want simple human kindness in the workplace.

 

Learn Focused Listening, Active Listening, and Passive Listening for conflict resolution at Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

 

 

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

EMPATHIC OR REFLECTIVE LISTENING: BIOGRAPHY OF CARL ROGERS, CREATOR

By , December 4, 2008 11:27 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

WHAT IS CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING ™?

Dr. McGuire’s Creative Edge Focusing (TM), with her core skills Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, is her offshoot after over 30 years as a Listening/Focusing Teacher and Focusing-Oriented Therapist. She places special emphasis on learning through self-help and peer counseling communities and also upon application to daily life, through her Interest Areas, including Creative Edge Organizations, Conscious Relationships, Building Supportive Community, Positive Parenting, Creative Edge Education, Experiencing The Sacred, and Experiential Focusing Therapy. Here she offers the biography of Carl Rogers, first to develop the idea of empathic or reflective listening as the core human response facilitating growth, change, and creativity.

BIOGRAPHY: CARL ROGERS, CREATOR OF EMPATHIC LISTENING (1902-1987)

Empathic Listening

Carl Rogers, creator of Client-Centered Psychotherapy, was the first to develop a theory about how every person has within an “acorn” able to grow into a certain kind of tree, a “blueprint” for a unique life (On Becoming A Person, Houghton Mifflin, 1961). As a therapist in Rochester, NY, in the 1930’s, Rogers followed up on the suggestion from a female co-worker that, if instead of telling clients what to do, the therapist simply reflected back to them what they were saying and encouraged them to continue to look more deeply into their own answers, clients became empowered to find their own solutions and their own unique, personally meaningful path through life. Rogers called this technique “reflective listening” or “empathic listening.”  Learn Dr. McGuire’s simple, self-help version, Focused Listening.

From the 1940’s until his death in 1987, Rogers worked with many others in developing the idea that clients could heal themselves, if only the therapist provided “facilitative conditions” of “empathy,” “congruence,” and “unconditional positive regard.” Like a plant given water, soil, sun, and fertilizer, the person would unfold along his or her own unique path in facilitative conditions. While negative outward situations could stunt the person, like the potato left in a dark cellar, the person would always find a way, through what might look like torturous turns and twists, to reach toward the light. Read Dr. McGuire’s description of this unique, personal, unfolding through Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, Creating At The Edge.

Invention Of Peer Counseling

Rogers was so effective in defining the “therapeutic conditions” for growth that he and his followers became able to teach these skills, especially “empathic reflection,” to non-therapists as well: to physicians, ministers, parents, really anyone at all. Client-Centered Psychotherapy gave birth to the peer counseling movement, the idea that every day people could help each other, as equals, with their personal growth. The Changes model for building supportive community, written up in Dr. McGuire’s manual, Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group, grew out of this perspective toward peer self-help. Read Dr. McGuire’s applications for home, community, and work, Building Supportive Community and Creative Edge Organizations.

Rogers, Gendlin, and the Discovery of “Focusing”

In the early 1960’s, Rogers and his then-student Eugene Gendlin and others at the University of Chicago undertook a huge and highly regarded research project on therapy with schizophrenics, trying to show that the Rogerian conditions could be as powerful in healing inpatients in a mental hospital as students in university counseling centers. It was during this research that Gendlin fully developed his concept of “experiencing” and the definition of the client’s ability to “focus” upon present experiencing as the crux determining factor in success of psychotherapy, more than any therapist conditions. Gendlin went on to write the self-help book, Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 1984) in order to make this self-help skill of “inner reference” available to everyone. Find many books and articles, teachers and workshops on Focusing at The Focusing Institute website. Learn Dr. McGuire’s version, Intuitive Focusing.

International Conflict Resolution

Rogers went on to extend his methods of “empathic listening” to couples, groups, and global conflicts. Using the simple empathic listening model, during the 1950’s in the United States, he had blacks and whites meet in groups and simply “listen to” each other, getting below stereotypes and prejudices and into their shared humanity. He used the same methods to bring individuals from North and South Ireland together, and for international conflict resolution in Latin America, Europe, Japan, South Africa, and the Soviet Union until his death in 1987. He was a man with a total dedication to working for world peace. See Dr. McGuire’s mini-course on Conflict Resolution.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

SEX FOR SENIORS: BETTER SEX FOR A LIFETIME

By , November 30, 2008 3:30 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual 

Okay, believe it our not, I found this in my AARP newsletter: gentle but sexy, educational and fun DVDs especially for those middle-aged and older. Real couples having real sex, overcoming issues of aging, gently introducing postures, fantasy play, G-Spot stimulation, and more to bring the spice into love-making.

You’ll learn, laugh, get turned on, and thoroughly enjoy these gentle videos. Here is the link for the 2-DVD Great Sex For A Lifetime set that makes a great starter, and don’t neglect to click on the “Free Gift With Purchase” link for more freebies  to go with your purchase.

Of course, for lasting intimacy, we at Creative Edge Focusing recommend our self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening. See our easy Mini-Courses on Conflict Resolution and Intimacy below.

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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