Posts tagged: Focusing

FOCUSING AND PERSONAL GROWTH AND 12-STEP RECOVERY: A THANKSGIVING POEM

By , November 27, 2008 11:52 am

Immediate Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Below find a link to a beautiful poem, with artwork, of Thanksgiving for the self-knowledge that comes when we use Intuitive Focusing , and the PRISMS/S Focusing Process,   for the kind of gentle Personal Growth that comes from self-reflection, the light of the moon.

http://www.innerwisdoms.com/id16.html

Find more poems, artwork, and the Recovery Focusing model for getting through the holidays with 12-Step Sobriety and self-awareness at  
~~~~~*~~~~~
Suzanne L. Noël, CFT
Insight & Recovery Focusing
http://www.innerwisdoms.com

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 DREAM WORK: NIGHTMARES ARE HELPFUL, BALANCING

By , November 27, 2008 11:40 am

Immediate Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Using Gendlin’s “bias control,” looking at dream images from opposite-to-usual-ego way (Eugene Gendlin, Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams, available in bookstore at www.focusing.org ), we can see that nightmares, so frightening to the Ego, our usual way of looking at things, are actually a loud and clear message from “the rest of us,” the intuitive, implicit body-knowledge meant to try to offer some balancing information.
 
Here is a nightmare I had recently, and its “message”:
 
“My husband, with his boots on, is working in a small ditch. I step in to help him, then realize there is water in the ditch. It is filled with algae. I become completely terrified as I fall down and start struggling, sure I am going to drown, and hating being in this murky, germ-filled, algae-filled water. I am screaming and screaming desperately, “Get me out of here! Get me out of here!” and wake up in heart-stopping anxiety and terror. A true nightmare for my usual-way-of-looking. Nothing worse than falling into that murky pool.”
 
But let’s look from another perspective, for instance, the perspective of my husband in the dream. First of all, he has his boots on to keep his feet dry. He is prepared for standing in water. Also, seeing me struggling and terrified, he is perfectly aware that the water is way too shallow for me to drown in. And the algae — well, it is just a kind of life, not poisonous in any way!
 
I look at the dream images through one way I have of understanding a difference between my husband and myself, in waking life. In our shared life-situation, as we try to help our son struggle through divorce/custody/job issues, I am overwhelmed with anxiety, sleepless, seeking every possible catastrophic outcome, every danger to be avoided. He sleeps well, functions well in his day job, “compartmentalizes,” as he calls it.

On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI — see Personality Tests ), he is ISTJ, me INFJ. We share Introversion and Judging (being organized). But he is Sensing Thinking (ST), I iNtuitive Feeling (NF). And it is this sixth sense, this Intuition, that, while having a positive side, also leads me to imagine every future possibility, positive and negative.
 
My husband, in his five-Senses way, lives comfortably in the “real-world,” the common, everyday world. He is not frightened about all of its implications. He is not worried about its germs, its algae. He is not afraid of drowning in its shallow ditches. It is me who is terrified of it.
 
And, so, the nightmare tries to send my consciousness an alternate message: “This reality, these daily life events,  is only a shallow ditch. It is only algae, not poison. You will not drown in it.”
 
And, in my waking anxiety, I can keep bringing this dream image back to help me find balance.
 

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: “CLEARING A SPACE” FOR STRESS REDUCTION, CHRONIC ILLNESS, ANXIETY, DEPRESSION, OVERWHELM

By , November 27, 2008 12:11 am

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

CLEARING A SPACE” = FREEDOM FROM ILLNESS, OVERWHELM

 “Clearing A Space” is a first step in the Intuitive Focusing Problem Solving Process . But it can also be used as a free-standing exercise for stress reduction and “instant serenity.”

A number of different research studies have shown that using the formal “Clearing A Space” exercise you are learning this month (newcomers, find the introduction to this exercise in last week’s “Felt Sensing”: Clearing A Space = Instant Serenity) has positive effects for women with breast cancer.

In general, “Clearing A Space” allows a person with a chronic illness or chronic stressful situation to put that whole burden down for a while and experience “I am not my illness. I am not my problems. Separate from all of that, I can experience ME as totally okay.” Often people also experience a deep spiritual connection with the positive energy of the Universe, a Higher Power, connection to other people.

Kathy’s Experience (reported to Creative Edge Practice e-support group)

Okay, it’s days later, but I opened my Clearing A Space e-reminder and took some minutes to do it, since I do believe in taking time to practice, but, more importantly, to let my body “take a breather” from carrying stress.

So. I am instructed:

— to ask “What is in the way between me and feeling totally OK?”,

— to take the first issue that arises,

— see if I can find a way I carry it in my body (perhaps a physically-located tension),

— notice that, and try to get the larger “feel of the whole thing,” the felt sense (more likely found in the center of the body, the chest/lung/heart area), and

— to find a “quality” or “emotion” word to describe it.

— Then, I get to try to wrap the whole thing up, like a parcel and —

— ahhhhhh! Set it on a table out in front of me, out of “my body.”

Truly, whenever I describe that “lifting out,” even if I am just teaching about it, I get a huge “Ahhhhh!” of relief as I make some space inside.

But, for me, first I got “fatigue,” which became “so tired I could be nauseous and throw up.” So, I tried to set that outside. Ahhhh!
Not completely gone, but some more “clear space” inside.

Next, came “anxious,” “rushing,” “rushing,” “rushing.” So, again, after spending a little time with the “feel of that whole thing,” I wrapped it up and set it outside — Ahhhhhhh! (that relief happens again as I describe this).

Next came “paralyzed,” a familiar tension in my right jaw. This can be a “sink hole” for me, a too-familiar old place that just feels worse if I “fall” into it, so I was careful to stay just at the edge — some words about “just give up.” I cautiously wrapped that up and tried to set it outside. It wouldn’t budge. So, like a mother prying a child out of a car seat, I picked it up and said “Come on. You are getting out of here!” I set it on the table, but it was like an infant or toddler who just screamed, like it couldn’t stand being alone out there. So, I noticed that. But, still, I felt some relief, having set it outside. Ahhhhhhh!

So, given all of that, all those “problems” sitting out there, I began to feel the miracle of “Clearing A Space” — it is really true that, suddenly, inside it begins to feel more like “Well, except for all of that, I am really okay.” I begin to feel all that “okayness” inside, that peacefulness that is ME, not all my problems. Yes. That almost brings tears.

So, that is the magic of Clearing A Space.

 Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #3: “Clearing A Space”
(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.

Clearing A Space is for those times when your body is so clogged up with issues that it’s hard to get a felt sense, an “intuitive feel,” for any one of them. Instead, you may feel overwhelmed, depressed, numb.

Clearing A Space involves identifying each issue that you are carrying in a physical way and setting it outside of yourself, if only for a moment, so that your body can breath more freely. Later, you can take one issue back inside and work on it in an Intuitive Focusing way. But Clearing A Space can give your body a break even before the problems can be solved.

Clearing A Space can be especially effective when people must carry a chronic illness, an irresolvable problem, or an ongoing stress every day. It provides a way to get some moments of stress reduction and refurbishment, some moments when the burden can be set down and the body/mind can breath freely (Neil Friedman developed some of the imagery below)

Clearing A Space- Allow 20 minutes

—Lie down or sit in a way that’s comfortable for you—if you tend to fall asleep, you might vary your posture to reduce those cues—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Spend a few moments just noticing your breathing—noticing your breath going in—and out—
1 minute
—Now, ask yourself, “What’s between me and feeling perfectly all right?” and wait and see what issue rises to consciousness: ” Well, there is that whole thing about—‘money’—or ‘my relationship’ or ‘my son’ or ‘that work issue’—”
1 minute
—Spend a moment with this issue, noticing how you carry it in your body—10 seconds

—Is there a tension in your neck?—Or butterflies in your stomach?—Or a clenched jaw? —Or furrows in your forehead?——See if you can find a physical manifestation of this issue as a tension in your body—10 seconds

—Now, ask your self, “What is the “intuitive feel” of this thing?”—Look in the center of your body, inside the chest/heart area, for that right-brain “intuitive feel” that is more than words—not the tension itself, but the “felt sense” of “the whole thing 30 seconds

—Don’t try to go into the issue or try to solve the problem, just notice the “intuitive feel” of the whole thing—30 seconds

—Find some words or an image for the feeling or the “quality” of that whole thing—like “scared, “knotted,” “confusing,” “stretching,” “frustrated”—30 seconds

—Now, imagine that there is a counter or a table out in front of you and imagine that you are wrapping that “whole thing,” – the issue, the physical tension, and the intuitive feel-all of it, up like a parcel and setting it outside of yourself for a moment —you may experience a “sigh” of relief as you imagine lifting it and setting it outside——ahhhhhhh!!—10 seconds

—See if you can set “that whole thing” outside for a while—You can come back and solve it later—Right now, just see if your body can be free of it for a moment—30 seconds

—Now, ask again, “What else is in the way of feeling perfectly okay?” and see what issue arises next—30 seconds

—Again, just name it—10 seconds

—Notice if there is a physical location for the tension of it—10 seconds

—Get the “intuitive feel” of the “whole thing, before words, in the center of your body—30 seconds

—Find a word or an image that captures the quality of that whole thing—30 seconds

—And imagine wrapping “that whole thing” up and setting it out on the counter for a while—30 seconds—

—Continue in this way until all the issues have been named and set outside-
3-5 minutes

—Now, check to see if there is any background feeling still inside—a basic feeling tone that is always present—30 seconds

—If you find such a thing, again, notice it, find a word or image that captures the quality of it, and try to wrap it up and set it outside for a while—
1 minute
—Now, you might want to take an inventory of all the positive things in your life at this point, in the same way, naming each— getting the feel of it— finding some words or an image—and then wrapping it up and setting it on the table
3 minutes
—Now, just enjoy the experience of the “cleared space” in your body—
1 minute
—Sometimes, people experience a state of spiritual Oneness at this point—If that happens to you, just savor it—
1 minute
—You might want to create some words or an image for this good feeling state, so that you can come back here whenever you want—
1 minute
—If you were going to continue with Focusing at this point, you would choose one issue, bring it back into the center of your body, and ask “What’s this all about?” and proceed in a Focusing way
Repeat For Newcomers (Old timers, nothing new below):

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

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

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 IN THE WORLD: INTERPERSONAL, GROUP, COMMUNITY, AND ORGANIZATIONAL MODELS FOR CREATIVITY AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION

By , November 24, 2008 5:10 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual 

Focusing Out In The World: Interpersonal, Group, Community, AND Organizational models
 
There is an explosion of interest within those practicing Focusing as an inner problem solving technique toward bringing Focusing, and its companion, Listening, out into the world. How does Gendlin’s Focusing look when it moves from a largely internal practice to an interpersonal, group, community, organizational model?
 
This e-newsletter addresses some models developing directly out of Focusing and Gendlin’s Philosophy of the Implicit, www.focusing.org, as well as other models that integrate well with and are enriched by a Focusing-Oriented perspective.
 
CREATIVE EDGE ORGANIZATIONS: ENGAGING THE “FELT SENSE” OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL TO OVERCOME APATHY, INCREASE CREATIVITY
 
Central to my own Creative Edge Focusing ™ model for innovation, Creative Edge Organizations, is the awareness that, through the careful integration of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening at all levels, every individual can be engaged at the Creative Edge of their personal passion while contributing to the overall goals of the organization. Read all about it 
 
EMPOWERMENT ORGANIZATION: THE “ONE SMALL THING”
 
“Motivation = Engagement : Apathy Is The Enemy!
 
Central to the Creative Edge Focusing ™ model is finding the “One Small Thing” which will allow every individual to take that first step toward involvement in civil action or corporate “buy in.” Find several examples from business and social action and try the “One Small Thing” exercise.
 
INTERPERSONAL FOCUSING: GREETING ANGER WITH EMPATHY
 
“If you view an angry person as a hurting person, you are well on the way toward an empathic, or Listening, way of dealing with interpersonal conflict.  When a person is screaming with anger, she is saying “I perceive you as treading on one of my essential needs, and I am hurting”. 
 
If, through Focused Listening, you are able to help the person to a more direct expression of her vulnerability and need, it is likely that your own defensive reaction will change to what is called “relational empathy”:  even though you are in conflict with the person because she is keeping you from getting your basic needs met, you will be able to see it as it looks to her, to acknowledge the legitimacy of her need, and to care deeply for her in that. 
 
Then a resolution of the conflict can arise as an attempt to find a way in which both of you can get your needs met, rather than as a defensive competition to see who can “win” or be proven “right”—
 
So begins  my own Chapter on Interpersonal Focusing in the Focusing In Community manual, available as an immediate download in English and Spanish, and as part of the multi-media Self-Help Package at Creative Edge Focusing(TM). 
 
You can also find the Interpersonal Focusing Chapter as a free download, using links at the top of the page of the linked blog.
 
Also, for a thorough introduction to internal and external conflict resolution, see my section on Conflict Resolution at the Creative Edge Focusing website.
 
INTERACTIVE FOCUSING: THE DOUBLE EMPATHIC “GOLDEN MOMENT”
 
“What is the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing?
Most simply said, the purpose or intention of Interactive Focusing is to allow you to touch into your direct experience in the presence of another person and through your direct experience in the safe, empathic, accepting and compassionate environment which you create together to become aware of and to share your inner truths thereby building bonds of intimacy.”
 
So states Janet Klein’s introduction to the website for the self-help skill called Interactive Focusing, created by Janet and Mary McGuire.
 
See the website for free downloads of manuals for using their protocol.
 
ROSENBERG’S CENTER FOR NON-VIOLENT COMMUNICATION
 
On the Focusing Discussion List of The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org  (subscribe under category “Felt Community,” then “Discussion Lists”, and access the recent archives), there has been an outpouring of collaborative thinking about the “crossing” between Focusing and Marshall Rosenberg’s Non-Violent Communication methods. Many Focusers have also been involved with Rosenburg’s model since the 1970’s and 80’s, and they are writing passionately about their experiences of contrast, comparison, and complementarity between the two models.
 
There seems to be agreement that, while Gendlin’s Focusers have been the masters of articulating the inner landscape for the last 30 years, Rosenberg and his followers have been masters of articulating the interpersonal communication styles which either alienate us from each other or maximize true “meeting” and understanding.
 
Here is a quote from The Center For Non-Violent Communication website:
 
“The Center for Nonviolent Communication
A global organization helping people connect compassionately with themselves and one another through Nonviolent Communication language, created by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D.

What is Nonviolent Communication?
Imagine connecting with the human spirit, in each person, in any situation.
Imagine interacting with others in a way that allows everyone’s needs to be equally valued.
Imagine creating organizations and life-serving systems responsive to our needs and the needs of our environment.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) helps connect us with what is alive in ourselves and in others moment-to-moment, with what we or others could do to make life more wonderful, and with an awareness of what gets in the way of natural giving and receiving.
NVC language strengthens our ability to inspire compassion from others and respond compassionately to others and ourselves. NVC guides us to reframe how we express ourselves, how we hear others and resolve conflicts by focusing our consciousness on what we are observing, feeling, needing, and requesting.
Nonviolent Communication Language: It awakens empathy and honesty, and is sometimes described as “the language of the heart.”
 
You will find many instructional materials and resources at the website, including lists of words capturing Feelings and Needs. Print out these two lists to expand your communication capacity greatly!
 
To join the Focusing and NVC collaboration group, sign up for a free Google account, log in, and then request to join the Online NVC and Focusing group .
 
COLLABORATIVE EDGE DECISION MAKING: QUICK, EFFICIENT MEETINGS
 
My own method for Collaborative Decision Making Meetings uses structures which prohibit interruptions, moderate turn-taking, and encourage Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing to resolve interpersonal conflict and group-level polarization. Leadership tasks are rotated so that all group members learn to run efficient, creative meetings. Here is a description from The Creative Edge Focusing website:
 
Coordinated Collaboration: The Best of Consensus and Hierarchy 
 
“Here are some Task-Roles  and Impasse Resolution Procedures , for use when a group has a limited time to make decisions. This model can also be used, as Coordinated Collaboration, as a way of gathering information and input, in work groups where there is a boss, a Project Manager, or a Coordinator who will make the final decisions.

As with all the Applied Methods of Creative Edge Focusing ™, the procedures create quiet, protected moments where participants can pay attention to the “intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, and create innovative ideas and solutions.
The tasks can be rotated in a “shared leadership” model, where appropriate, each person on the team learning the various skills. Or, for instance, on the Board of a Corporation or Non-Profit Organization, the formal Chairperson might serve as the agenda keeper more regularly.”
 
Find the entire Collaborative Edge protocol for immediate use in decision making groups, and download a longer article explaining the model, with handouts for groups in English  and in Spanish .
 
DYNAMIC FACILITATION
 
Rosa Zubizaretta, www.diapraxis.com , combines her knowledge of Listening and Focusing with Jim Rough’s Dynamic Facilitation and other models for encouraging group participants to contribute from their Creative Edge with trust in the “self-organizing” capacity of groups. Her website is packed with Resources for a variety of transformational methods both for “At Work” and “In The Community.”
 
In facilitating creativity and conflict resolution in groups and organizations, the DF facilitator uses a form of active listening to draw out every group participant, encouraging speaking from the “felt sense” or “intuitive feel” as well as fully expressing emotions and divergent thinking. Miraculously, when participants are enabled to express themselves fully and really listen to each other, convergent solutions eventually arise.
 
Here is a quote from her introduction to the role and skills of the DF facilitator:
 
“WHAT WE MEAN BY “REALLY LISTENING”
 
In Dynamic Facilitation, the main role of the facilitator is to listen deeply, and to create a space where each participant can be deeply heard. To do so, he or she takes a very active and consistent role in supporting the emotional safety, unique perspective, and creative contribution of each participant.
 
As mentioned earlier, the facilitator is NOT leading the group through any prescribed series of steps. Instead, he or she is very involved on the “micro-level,” providing empathy, respect, and support for each participant’s contribution.”
 
You can find many links to resources and  Rosa’s  free manual for the DF procedure, in English and Spanish.
 
OPEN SPACE TECHNOLOGY AND SPIRIT IN GROUPS AND ORGANIZATIONS
 
Motivation, Passion, Creativity, “Buy In,” Esprit De Corps
 
Open-Space Technology, http://www.openspaceworld.com , is another modality which encourages maximum possibility and responsibility for each participant in group problem solving and creativity/innovation situations. Learn all about the approach at this extensive website. It combines well with Focusing in that each person is encouraged to act out of their alive, present “felt sense” of their creativity.  Here is a quote from the website: 
 
OPENING SPACE FOR PEACE AND HIGH PERFORMANCE
 
Rarely, if ever, have the Peoples of this planet had greater need for Peace and High Performance. Peace so that we may freely pursue the fulfillment of our potential. And High Performance for ourselves and our organizations so that our pursuit may be accomplished with energy and finesse.
 
The twenty year natural experiment with Open Space Technology has demonstrated that both Peace and High Performance are attainable. Hugely conflicted groups have found ways to respectfully deal with each other as they discovered workable solutions for their issues. Complex projects have been brought to fruition in breathtakingly short times, a clear example of High Performance.
 
Many people have viewed the results as counterintuitive, unbelievable, even magic. The results continue, however, in thousands of instances and 135 countries. But the “magic” is not Open Space Technology, but rather the force that underlies it — the power of self organization. You are invited to explore that primal power for purposes of peace making and enabling High Performance.”
 
And thanks to Simon for a quote from Harrison Owen (attributed as the developer of OST):
 
“We know that when Spirit is present in a group of people, wonderful things can happen. We also know that when Spirit is somehow absent or flagging, no amount of money in the bank, technology in the backroom, or executive talent on the roster makes much difference – nothing really seems to go right.
 
Of course there are times when precise statements about the quality and
nature of Spirit are important, but in the work-a-day world, it is usually
sufficient to acknowledge the presence of Spirit, by whatever name. Call it
what you like – team spirit, esprit de corps, Great Spirit of the Cosmos – sooner or later they all connect. I think. But the critical thing is to acknowledge Spirit  when we meet, and somehow summon it again when it is absent.”
 
Read the whole article.
 
FOCUSING, CREATIVITY, AND PERSON-CENTERED DEMOCRACY IN GROUP SETTINGS
 
Francesca Castaldi has written an article which grew out her experience at the first Movement At The Edge Event and other experiences about how the “felt-sense” of each participant can be kept alive in creating “person-centered democracy” in group settings. She states:
 
” Most professional gatherings are organized around content and leave little creativity for process-structure. Professional conferences also tend to foster our caution in presenting new ideas: we privilege what we know well and what we have tested with our experience, knowing that our reputation is at stake and a solid knowing “needs” to be upheld. Often it is only well-recognized celebrities in the profession who can afford the risk of presenting their work-in-process–the edge of their knowing, the exciting new hints and ideas that they are nurturing.
 
We as a community of Focusers have developed the ability to follow the edge of our knowing, to let it emerge in the actual moment and be responsive to our living: we have learned to support a subtle process of explicating that which is still incipient, tentative at first, still forming, and still vulnerable to overwriting by stronger impulses and habits.
 
Recognizing the power of the Focusing process and of Focusing partnership for protecting this incipient process of creation and explication can help us make room for Focusing in larger meetings and gatherings.
 
An understanding of the creative/creating process involved in any project can further help us see the place of Focusing in professional gatherings. Below I present what I consider essential phases in the realization of any project, and the ways in which our use or understanding of the Focusing process can help us in choosing process-structures that best support such phases.”
 
Read the whole article .
 
MEETING AT THE EDGE: FOCUSING AND BODY-WORK/MOVEMENT EVENT, Sept 22-26, 2009   Boldern Center, Maennedorf, near Zurich, Switzerland.
 
This will be the second MAE event. The first was celebrated as a model for collaboration, community building, and warm sharing among those interested in the intersection, or “crossing,” of Focusing with Body-Work and Movement. 
 
Here is the MAE website’s description of the structure of this workshop:
 
“Workshop structure

Our main objective in this residential workshop is to create an environment that is explorative, creative, and collaborative.  Rather than privileging presentations of already well established techniques, attitudes, concepts, or methods we are wanting to foster an encounter that supports the exploration of what is at the edge of your knowing, rich in fecundity and possibilities even when tentative and subtle.
  
The atmosphere of deep listening and open support that we will create as a group of diverse professionals generates its own creative energy.  We have found that when the program of the workshop is set well ahead of time, this creative energy does not have a chance to bring its fruits, as it remains “squished” into an already set structure and at most can leak out in breaks between presentations.

We intend to give central stage to the excitement and inspiration that takes place at the moment of our actual meeting and that is fully responsive to our living.  We have thus created a process-structure that can support a full spectrum of interactions and be responsive to the different needs we may have as individuals in our professional journeys.

We invite you to nurture a sense of a project-something meaningful to you in your work-before coming to Boldern, noticing what in you wants to be shared in the setting we are providing.  By not formally sending in a presentation proposal you will be able to be responsive to the transformation that may occur before our meeting, and then sense freshly into the whole as we meet.”
 
Follow the link to the website for all information and an introduction to the special format and “culture” of these events.

I hope the above methods contribute to a dialogue on “How can we structure groups and organizations such that each individual can stay connected with their internal passion and creativity while collaborating toward a common goal?”

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

RELAXATION: GUIDED IMAGERY “THE FOREST”— Are You Practicing The Exercises?

By , November 23, 2008 3:02 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

I am teaching Pre-Focusing practices of Relaxation, Meditation, and Guided Imagery as a way of “Clearing A Space Inside” of your body where you can then do a longer Intuitive Focusing Problem Solving session if you choose. But these exercises also stand on their own as a way to give your body/mind a life-giving few moments free from stress.

Kathy’s Experience of Falling Off “The Relaxation Wagon”

Well, you know (I know) that you have “fallen off the Relaxation exercises wagon” when, late Friday afternoon, your webdesigner says, “Now, may I suggest that you just relax!”

And, so I did. I lay down on the floor, stretched—and relaxed—three times, and took myself into a guided fantasy of being in The Forest.

It was harder than being at the beach—the Forest is more of a childhood memory. But, as I travelled, more and more memories, wishes, dreams came to mind and seemed to enrich just being there.

I took my shoes off, wandered through the dappled sunshine/shade to the side of the babbling brook. There, I found a beautiful moss-covered rock (nothing is richer than the green of water-side moss), and sat on it, dipping my bare feet into the water. I really looked at the brook rushing over the stones (reminded me of the cover of the Focusing (Bantam, 1981, by Gendlin) paperback. I noticed a turtle, and a frog, and then, oh so delighted, almost leaping off the rock to cup my hands around, I found a tadpole in the water.—

This reminded me of many childhood experiences of finding something so glorious and living in nature and transported me back to that playful, always-ready-to-be-delighted-and-surprised childhood state. And that —was very relaxing.

I saw a squirrel shy and chittering about its new-found acorn; a chipmunk more brave and chittering and scurrying; a fox slyly drifting behind the trees; an owl perched above waiting for night-flight—very relaxing.

And I came back into the room, finally, this week, having taken a few moments just to spend time inside and to relax.

From Creative Edge Focusing: This month’s Relaxation Exercise :

Week Two —“Ahhhhh….pause with me for ten minutes….and just relax!!! I will send this exercise each week as a reminder to pause…

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

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

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

Any of the Relaxation Exercises can be used at the beginning of a longer Focusing session, as a way of “clearing a space” inside, so notice which are your favorites you could call upon.

Guided Imagery: The Forest-Allow 10-15 minutes

These four weeks, we are doing our Relaxation Exercise in the guided imagery of The Forest. A change from The Beach, we will sink into the soft pine needles, listen to the bubbling brook and the scurrying animals. Find the exercise here in an earlier blog.

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

PASSIVE LISTENING TURNS: Quakers, 12-Steps, Sacred Circles

By , November 22, 2008 4:17 pm

Free Downloads right here:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Instant “Ahah!”s #3: Passive Listening Turns: Stop Argument.
Does Passive Listening Work? —
Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director Week Two

Does Passive Listening Work?

Did you have a chance to try Passive Listening turns this week? If so, what was your experience? Please email me.
If you just joined this e-course, see last week’s Instant “Ahah!” #3: Passive Listening Turns Save the World? for an introduction and example of this exercise.

Do you think that everyone could learn this simple protocol starting as children, in school? Do you think it would work, e.g., that, not allowed to interrupt each other, people would “hear” something different that would soften their opposing positions?

Reminds me of the Gestalt Two-Chair procedure where, even for intrapsychic conflict resolution, one has uninterrupted turns for each side, expecting a “softening.”

And, of course, the Quakers have used a no-interruption sharing circle for decision making and conflict resolution for decades.

And, purportedly, at least some Native American tribes used a similar Sacred Circle for conflict resolution and decision making, going around and around the circle for days if needed.

And almost every women’s group I have joined uses this Sharing Circle as a meeting format, each person having an uninterrupted turn.

And, of course, all 12-step meetings have this “no-cross talk” structure.

Why? Because without interruption:

(a) the speaker can refer to the fresh Creative Edge, the bodily-felt sense and create new, fresh words and images out of this “intuitive feel” of the whole situation

(b) the listener can really “hear” what the other is saying, instead of concentrating on grabbing a turn to have their say.

Remember, you want to review Instant “Ahah!” #3 Passive Listening Turns with your significant others when there is no argument, and find a timer, a place, and a neutral signal, like “popcorn,” that everyone will recognize means “sit down, start the timer, and take turns.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

PRE-FOCUSING PRACTICE: RELAXATION #3 — GUIDED IMAGERY: THE FOREST

By , November 19, 2008 11:38 am

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual 

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

Being able to set aside the jumbled thoughts of the day and create a “clear space” inside is a first step in preparation for Intuitive Focusing.

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

Later in the week you will receive and practice a formal “clearing a space” exercise. But here is another basic relaxation exercise to encourage you to take those few moments to step out of stress and begin paying attention to your bodily-felt sense of your living.

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

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

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

Any of the Relaxation Exercises can be used at the beginning of a longer Focusing session, as a way of “clearing a space” inside, so notice which are your favorites you could call upon.

Guided Imagery: The Forest-Allow 10-15 minutes

These next four weeks, we will do our Relaxation Exercise in the guided imagery of The Forest. A change from The Beach, we will sink into the soft pine needles, listen to the bubbling brook and the scurrying animals.

—Lie down or sit down and get comfortable—Loosen any clothing that is too tight—10 seconds

—Stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—10 seconds

—Notice your breathing without trying to change it—just noticing the breath, going in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—
1 minute
—Now, imagine yourself in a cool, dark, forest—10 seconds

—Walk along a path by a bubbling spring—noticing the ferns and wildflowers—the shy, small forest animals—10 seconds.

—Come upon a clearing with a soft cushion of silent pine needles—10 seconds

—Lie down and listen to the wind whistling through the pine trees—10 seconds

—Hear the spring bubbling beside you—10 seconds

—Feel the soft cushion of pine needles beneath you—10 seconds

— Listen to the breeze blowing the branches—back and forth—back and forth—10 seconds

—The spring bubbling—10 seconds

— The breeze blowing the branches—10 seconds

—Hear the birds calling in the trees—10 seconds

—Birds calling back and forth—10 seconds

—Hear the rustle of small animals around you—curious rabbits—and mice—10 seconds

—Stay here as long as you like—
3-5 minutes
—And, when you are ready, stretch, and massage any tension in your face, neck, shoulders, or feet, if you like—
1 minute

Print and Practice!!!!! Visit The Forest

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

You will also find this in the Complete Focusing Instructions download at Creative Edge Focusing, p.5: Pre-Focusing Practice A. Relaxation Suggestions #3: The Forest. You get it by joining our e-support group for further support in practicing Listening and Focusing.  Or, you can download Complete Focusing Instructions from the link at the top of this blog.

And, if you order our Self-Help Package, also in the sidebar icons of our website, you can listen on audio CD Intuitive Focusing: Disk one, Track 4, with Dr, McGuire’s peaceful voice to keep you company — and help you stay on track!! 

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

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

By , November 16, 2008 1:47 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

“Passive Listening: Just Being Quiet, Not Interrupting!

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

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

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

The Basic Procedure

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

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

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

Is It Really That Easy?

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

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

Why does it work?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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

By , November 7, 2008 12:50 pm

Free Downloads from this blog:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

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

Remember, especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!! And it is exactly in the PAUSE that the Creative Edge comes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DEVELOPING THE HABIT OF “FELT SENSING”

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

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

Allow 5-10 minutes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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

By , November 6, 2008 12:35 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

From Creative Edge Focusing (TM):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—Listen to the gulls crying over head—10 sec

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

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

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

— And get up slowly.

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