Posts tagged: Gendlin

“WHY CRY?” PART 5: BOOKS AND ARTICLES ON TEARS, CRYING, BEING TOUCHED AND BEING MOVED, INNER CHILD HEALING, ACTIVE GRIEVING, TRANSFORMATION

By , March 4, 2009 6:41 pm

Articles by Dr. Kathy McGuire: Being Touched and Being Moved, The Alchemy of Grieving, Focusing Inner Child Work, Finding The Meaning of Tears
 
Crying and vision, crying and opening the heart, crying and connecting (this is such a profound experience when it happens — as a Listener, I tear up in empathy with a Focuser, who may also be touching on tears, and, in my experience, the walls, the envelopes of flesh separating us simply melt away, and we meet in Buber’s I-Thou space — the two of us and The Something More, The Sacred entering in).
 
In my own journey to understand the place of crying, being touched and being moved, particularly, I have found
 
(a) an early book by William Frey called Crying, which, when first published, was a media event. He collected tears in test tubes from people watching a tear-jerker movie, and compared them, their chemical analysis, with “non-emotional” tears, collected questionnaire data on frequency of crying (women five times as often as men!), etc.
 
(b) The book by Anglican hermit Maggie Ross, The Fountain and The Furnace, cited above.
 
(c) Pema Chodrin’s (Buddhist nun) work on the “way of compassion” as a complement to, for instance, Tolle’s “way of enlightenment.” While much of Eastern philosophy seems to emphasize “detachment,” “objectivity,” Chodrin talks about going DOWN into the morass of human pain and living through it and into it, with other humans, with compassion.
 
(d) William Gaylin, Feelings: Our Vital Signs (Harper & Row Perennial, 1979), where he has chapters that are a phenomenology of many different feelings. He has a chapter on “being touched” as a human to human happening, and one on “being moved” as between a human and The Something Greater.
 
Here are links to some of my articles (all found on my website, www.cefocusing.com , Category Free Resources, then Articles):
 
“On Tears and Focusing,”  a mini-research where Focusers spoke about their experience with tears (I have tons of great quotes!). SHORT BUT SWEET
 
“Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value of Tears”,   with lots of quotes about how Focuser value their tears. 
 
“Finding The Meaning of Tears,” a book chapter, with more great quotes about how Focusers use their tears and giving actual Focusing exercises for following the path of tears.
 
“Affect in Focusing and Experiential Therapy”, containing quotes from dialogue between Gene Gendlin and myself about the value and role of what I call “cathartic unfolding” vs. “sheer, repeating emotions.” THEORETICAL WITH EXAMPLES
 
“Medical Change Events Through Experiential Focusing,” including the complete transcript of the 12- minute session (also on my DVD Listening/Focusing Demonstrations) where a woman goes from depression/migraine to felt shift, including joyful releasing teariness, and also including my “Five-Minute Grieving” procedure for helping professionals, immediate application for all physicians and helping professionals.
 
“Active Grieving Part One,”  a perspective on grieving as an alchemical, tranformative process
 
“Active Grieving Part Two,”  an actual protocol for active grieving of a loss.
 
“Focusing Inner Child Work With Abused Clients”, which is not about tears directly but about the extreme attitude of awareness toward subtle nuances of word or body gesture which can indicate repressed memories of emotional/sexual/physical abuse in childhood and the extreme attitude of gentleness needed to allow clients to “be with” and work through, “carry forward,” these painful experiences.
 
It was enlightening to me to see how much of my work has this emphasis upon a kind of “going deeper” and “connection” that is associated with even a slight SHEEN OF TEARS in the eyes (sobbing not necessary but welcome!)
 
GREAT BOOK: WHY GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE
 
By Stephen Post and Jill Neimark, Why Good Things Happen To Good People: The Exciting New Research That Proves The Link Between Doing Good And Living A Longer, Healthier, Happier Life, Broadway Books, 2007. Read about the Ways of Celebration, Generativity, Forgiveness, Courage, Humor, Respect, Compassion, Loyalty, Creativity , and
 
Chapter 11: The Way of Listening: Offer Deep Presence
 
See more at the author’s organization site,
Unlimited Love 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!!! 

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

GENDLIN’S FOCUSING: RELIEVING OVERWHELMING HOLIDAY ANXIETY

By , December 16, 2008 5:29 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

DEMONSTRATION OF “FELT SHIFT” THROUGH INTUITIVE FOCUSING

The Kaleidoscope Turns and New Solutions Become Possible

Yesterday, I used Gendlin’s Focusing, (bookstore, www.focusing.org ),  or my version  Intuitive Focusing, to try to relieve some overwhelming “free floating anxiety” I was suddenly experiencing. I thought it was related to holiday overwhelm somehow, but nothing I told myself, and nothing I tried doing, alleviated it. So, I sat down, went quietly inside, and asked myself the Focusing Question, “What is this anxiety/overwhelm all about?” 

I intended to use the specific Clearing A Space exercise to make a list of all the various issues I was carrying in a bodily-felt way, and to set each one outside of myself until I could relax and experience “Except for all of that out on the table, I am totally okay!”.

As I worked through the Clearing A space exercise, I hit upon one specific issue which seemed the “crux” of it all, where my body said, “Yes, yes, that is it! That is what is causing the anxiety!” Gendlin calls this “Ahah!” a “felt shift.” I call it a Paradigm shift: the kaleidoscope turns, the Gestalt changes, and new solutions suddenly appear.

Since that new awareness, the anxiety has disappeared, I have slept well, and, today, I find I have, without thinking about it, changed my priorities in a way which should allow me to avoid this particular anxious state again.

So, here is my Intuitive Focusing Turn, including the Clearing A Space Exercise and a “felt shift” with new action steps arising:

Okay, why am I so nervous, having an anxiety attack. So, “clearing a space” by taking an inventory of “all the things I am carrying inside” — stopping to close eyes, breath in, take this Focusing Question toward my solar plexis area, and waiting for a “felt sense,” an “intuitive feel” to form in response, then looking for words/images to capture that, instead of answering with the “already-known” in my Mind — so, breathing deeply, slowing down, Focusing inward) —

—It’s the holiday season. Focusing Discussion e-list, etc., are quieting down, yet I feel like I need to keep stirring up action, keeping my e-lists alive, blogging — perhaps I need to declare a holiday break for myself, since everyone else seems to need one as well! Setting this aside for more attention later, if needed — big sigh. (sensing in again: What else?”) Big sigh

—Speaking to my son on the phone. He always calls me when he is unhappy. Today unhappy at his job, cold working outside, lonely still being out of town, pissed off about new rules about workers logging in new “time records,” showing how they spent their time on each job, being paid only for time justified, or something like that (this is threatening to me, since it could be a way of deciding who will be laid off in these tight economic times ) —

Something teary here about how “disgruntled” he is — stopping to “sense in” to this “intuitive feel” — the words come “Somehow this will be endless, this worry about him and his job, unless I change something about the way I am or the way I am with him” — when he is employed, I still worry every minute he will lose his job — I am always worried about him.

Something teary here, and I am remembering a recent nighttime dream I had, where he and his baby had had to move out of the apartment I was providing, had to get away from me, but some woman with him had left me two glossy, healthy, very green plants, and in a very tidy way; she had “cleaned up” after them — one was a jade plant, a succulent (something teary here, so sensing in—) a succulent saves up water in its leaves for dry times, but its leaves are also very fat and lush — well, I am going to stop here with this issue, set it aside for later, and keep “clearing a space,” making my list, seeing if I can alleviate this anxiety —-

Big sigh (sensing in again, “What else am I carrying?”)

—And something sobbing about JUST HOW MUCH I AM CARRYING, too many things, not just any one thing —

—There is a huge transition with my handicapped step-daughter, trying to move her out of our home and into her own apartment, with 24-hour supervision paid by the government. She has turned 18. Let me stop and “sense into” this one –

— (sobbing here) —she is so needy, and her neediness is increasing during this transition — “Mom, who will get your Christmas ornaments when you die? Who will get your money? Can I have this? Can I have that to take with me? I’ve got to buy this and that and this and that—” (just letting myself feel “this whole thing” about M., her needs, her endless anxiety, these last few weeks, when we are exhausted already, perhaps escalating in difficulty —-

YES,” MY WHOLE BODY SAYS, “YES, THAT IS IT!” THERE IS  A “FELT SHIFT” IN THIS ANXIETY, SOME WORDS FOR IT.  YES, THIS IS A BIG PART OF IT: ANXIETY ABOUT M.’S TRANSITION.

So I am just going to sit with this a little while here,”sensing into” it — Yes, I just need to acknowledge that her needs are going to consume this holiday time, and I need to remind myself that this should be the end of it, in terms of her moving out of our responsibility and to the care-giving agency (except the meeting guaranteeing state financial aid has not happened, but I must trust the agency will get this covered —) Big sigh

That is actually quite relieving of the anxiety. I am laughing and telling myself, “Kathy, plan to have your own holiday after Jan. 1, because it is not going to happen now!”

THAT IS A BIG FELT SHIFT IN THE ANXIETY. THAT IS THE MAGIC OF INTUITIVE FOCUSING — FINDING WORDS FOR EXACTLY WHAT IT IS THAT IS GOING ON INSIDE.

Another big breath, big sigh of tension release. The words are not particularly cheery, but way better than free-floating anxiety!

Back to “clearing a space.” I ask myself, “Is there anything else on my list of issues I am carrying in my body?” (stopping to “sense in” quietly)

—Well, the continuing saga with my son’s divorce/custody dragging on and on, and not being sure the law office is really on top of it — and any inquiry costing me much money, so — not enough reassurance that they are on top of it. Maybe I will call and say, “Please respond in some way, I’ll pay the $10-20, just to be sure you are on top of this. Tell me what the delay is.You could be on vacation for all I know!”

Going to stop here! Have to go do some things and let this “shift” about M’s needs being overwhelming during this time, and just be aware of that, not constantly surprised!

NEXT DAY: NEW ACTION STEPS AND SOLUTIONS ARISE, ANXIETY IS GONE

I slept well, woke to find myself automatically re-ordering my priorities. I found ways to decrease work-related demands over the holidays. I spent the day cleaning my house and arranging table settings for my step-daughter’s graduation party tomorrow night.

Then, I took her “hope chest” of apartment-related items out of her crowded room and spread them out under her Christmas tree. Suddenly, it had become “all right” to allow her and her needs to be the “center of attention.” Intuitive Focusing had not only relieved my anxiety but also allowed new possibilities and solutions to arise.

 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

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: “WHY PRACTICE FOCUSING?”

By , December 11, 2008 2:33 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

 

 

Why Practice Intuitive Focusing?

 

In answering this question, freshly, for today, even after thirty years of practicing Focusing, I am going to do Intuitive Focusing!

 

Instead of answering the question from my “head,” the “already-known,” I am going to pause, close my eyes, pay attention to my breathing for a while to come in touch with my body, then, turning my attention toward the center of my body, around my solar plexis/heart area.

 

I am going to wait, for a LONG, LONG minute or more, for the “intuitive feel,” the “whole body-sensing” to form in response to the question.

 

Only when I can feel this thickening of vague, preverbal “intuitive knowledge” forming, then I will begin to look for words or an image that begin to “fit,” to capture this whole-body sensing in response to the question. I will go back and forth, “checking and resonating” any words or images that come against the “bodily feel” until something “shifts” — by body, through a small or large release of tension, says “Yes, that fits. You are on the right track” or “Ahah! That is exactly it.”

So, here I go: “Why practice Focusing?”  (long pause for “felt sensing”) — 

— And, already, my body says, “Change the question. Make it more personal. This is too intellectual, makes you answer from your head” — So, the new question: “Why do I practice Focusing?”  And, again, I pause, waiting for the “intuitive feel” to form, before looking for words/images to express it — (long pause, eyes closed, paying attention to solar plexis — diaphragm —  area ) —

Big sigh (already tension release!)  — I practice Intuitive Focusing because I am a “kinesthetic” person — so, now, I pause to look for the “intuitive feel” of those words TO ME :”What do I mean by ‘kinesthetic person’?” —- 

I mean that I take things in through my body. I live very close to my body’s experience. So, throughout the day (and often in the night!), it is as if I am “hit by” experiences — I have a bodily response, notice my body responding (getting anxious or shut down or overwhelmed or excited or sad or happy or confused —) AND THEN NEED TO USE INTUITIVE FOCUSING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON.

(pausing to “check inside” again, let my words come freshly from my “present felt experiencing,” my “intuitive feel” right now, not what I have always known and said before —-) Big sigh.  (pause for “felt sensing” and then finding fresh words) — 

Before I knew Focusing, and, now, when I don’t stop and pause to use it, I was simply “run around” by my “feelings,” by my bodily responses to situations, thoughts, etc. I felt sad/depressed, I would stay in my bed. I felt happy, elated, I would pursue whatever made me feel that way. I fell in love, I went with those feelings without question. I felt anxious, I suffered sleeplessness. I felt confused, I ran around like a “chicken with its head cut off.”

In the midst of one of these emotional crises, I met Eugene Gendlin and his Experiential Focusing technique (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984, 2007. Order at The Focusing Institute Website Store). NOW I have something I can do other than just run around, “following my feelings.”  I can stop, pause, go quietly inside, and ASK MY BODY, “What is this all about?”, wait quietly for a minute or more for the “felt sense,” the “intuitive feel” to form in response, then carefully go back-and-forth until I find words/images/gestures that are “just right,” and the “whole thing” releases and shifts.

You can learn all about Focusing at The Focusing Institute, www.focusing.org as well as at Creative Edge Focusing, www.cefocusing.com . You can read many free articles by Gendlin in the online library at www.focusing.org/gendlin .

(so I am pausing to “sense into” “What do I mean by this ‘shift’? What is the positive point of Focusing?”)  —- (pause for “felt sensing,” checking with the “intuitive feel” —) 

Well, we call it going from “sheer emotion,” those reactive, emotional “responses,” to finding the “felt meaning” under the emotional response. The “felt meaning” holds within it everything about the situation, past, present, and implicit future.  Finding words/images for the “felt meaning” lets you know WHAT THIS WHOLE THING IS ABOUT. And, then, instead of just running around reacting, you can choose action steps that will really change the situation.

 

You can try out Intuitive Focusing here, at Instant “Ahah” #1: 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-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 EXERCISE — COUNTING MEDITATION

By , December 8, 2008 10:51 pm

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 : COUNTING MEDITATION

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

Relaxation, Guided Imagery, and meditation exercises are all ways of going inside to “clear a space” for a longer Intuitive Focusing problem solving session. So, in Pre-Focusing Practice, you are learning these first steps of Intuitive Focusing. But all these relaxation exercises can be used alone as well, to give you a healthy break from stress any time.

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.

COUNTING MEDITATION

Our first Relaxation exercise #1 was Noticing. Then, in exercise #2 we did Guided Imagery At The Beach, then exercise #3, Guided Imagery in The Forest. Now, with Exercise #4 (p. 6 in the Free Download Complete Focusing Instructions, link at top of page), we go back to a meditation more like Noticing:

Counting Meditation-Allow 10-15 minutes

Here is a simple form of meditation, a way of quieting your mind from its continuous racing—You will learn to discipline yourself to pay attention to counting and breathing, setting aside any thoughts that distract you.

This is not as simple as it sounds! Time and again, you will find that you have forgotten about counting and breathing and allowed your mind to return to its habitual ways of worrying. But the learning is in the trying. If you drift away, simply notice this and return to counting and breathing.

—Lie down or sit down and make yourself comfortable—loosen any clothing that is too tight—
1 minute
—Stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—stretch—and relax—10 seconds

—Begin by simply notice your breathing—do not try to force it—just notice the breath going in—and out—in—and out—in—and out—10 seconds

—Now, you are going to count from one to seven along with your breathing. Count each time you exhale. So, inhale, then, as you exhale, count “1” to yourself—inhale, and, as you exhale, count “2”—inhale, and, as you exhale, count “3”—and so on, until you reach “7”.
30 seconds
—When you reach “7,” just start over again, with inhale, then count “1” on the exhale— and continue up to “7.”
30 seconds
—You will find again and again that you have lost track of your counting and drifted off into random thoughts. Don’t punish yourself or get upset with yourself. Just notice and return to watching your breathing, and counting.
1 minute
— Continue repeating as long as you wish, noticing when your thoughts stray and just bringing yourself gently back to counting, from “1” to “7”, over and again—
5-10 minutes
—And, when you are, ready, slowly come back into the room.

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

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

EXPERIENTIAL FOCUSING: BIOGRAPHY OF CREATOR, EUGENE GENDLIN

By , December 3, 2008 4:06 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

WHAT IS FOCUSING?

Experiential Focusing, or Intuitive Focusing, is a self-help skill for setting aside already-known, left-brain intellectualizations and paying attention to the right-brain, “the bodily felt sense,” the full “intuitive feel” of issues or ideas. Through a series of steps, the Focuser can find exactly the right words/images for capturing this “intuitive knowledge,” this “gut felt-experiencing,” and have an “Ahah!” experience, a moment of paradigm shift when new ideas, solutions, and actions suddenly become clear. Intuitive Focusing can be facilitated by the presence of a Focused Listener. You can learn all about Focusing and Listening/Focusing Partnerships/ Groups/ Teams/ Communities/ Organizations at Creative Edge Focusing (TM). Here I am giving a biography of the Creator of Experiential Focusing, Eugene T. Gendlin.

Existentialism and Phenomenology

Dr. Eugene Gendlin, retired after life-time career at the University of Chicago, now of The Focusing Institute in New York, is the philosopher/psychologist who has most explicitly described the implicit background of human living from which all meaning arises.

While everyone knows about and makes use of this level of “gut feeling” or “intuition” every day, it was the existential and phenomenological philosophers and psychologists who explicitly turned their attention to thoroughly studying this phenomenon – the subtle background of “experiencing” which gives meaning to human living and, from which, new meanings, creative solutions, and personality change can arise. Some of these are Rollo May, Martin Buber, Heidegger, Husserl, Kant, Merleau-Ponty, Nietzsche, Camus.

One story of how Gendlin became interested in “felt experiencing” says that a young Gendlin, while tending to his duties aboard ship in the Navy, realized that he was pondering on the “background feeling” that was left in his body from a dream he had had the night before – at least, as he pondered on this vague feeling, he decided this was where this unclear, vague, but totally present “feeling” had come from. He discovered that, as he continued to ponder upon this feeling, eventually, the whole dream came back to him. So, he thought, the content of the dream was implicit, somehow, in the vague body-sense that was left over. So, we as human beings, could discover or rediscover information by paying attention to this subtle, bodily “intuitive feel” of our life experiences.

It was exactly this kind of experience that intrigued him and which became the basis of his career both as an existential/phenomenological psychologist and a philosopher. In one book, for instance, called Experiencing and the Creation of Meaning( 1962), he outlined seven different ways in which symbols (intellectualizations, behaviors, images, words) and felt meanings (felt experiencing, the felt sense, the “intuitive feel”) interact with each other. These are actual phenomenological events that can be observed if you pay attention to your own inner experiencing of how you find the “meaning” of things. Read them carefully and see if you can find an example of each in your own experience:

Direct reference to felt experiencing: focusing, or directly paying attention to the vague, preverbal, “felt sense” of something; silent pondering;

Recognition: having a, usually speedy and unconscious, bodily-response of “Oh, yes, I know what that means” to a word or other symbol;

Explication: being able to make new words out of the bodily-feel of something, like “the meaning, to me, of that movie I just saw”;

Metaphor: the creation of a new meaning by juxtaposing known symbols in a new way, e.g., saying “The sunset was like a dandelion-puff exploding” creates a completely new meaning in the reader of a poem;

Comprehension: the creation of exactly the right metaphor to capture one’s own immediate felt experiencing, “Ah, that’s exactly it! The feeling I am having is comfortable/comforting, like macaroni and cheese”;

Relevance: the accumulation of previous felt meanings give special meaning to a present event, e.g., an experienced gardener sees a wilted leaf from a different perspective than an inexperienced gardener;

Circumlocution: two people using words to point to an experience that can’t really completely be put into words in such a way that they both know what they are talking about and can get closer by continuing to “circle” the actual phenomenon, which can never be fully described: “It’s like democracy, but not quite…more like citizen participation…” “I know what you mean…it’s like each person being active, not just representatives….” “It’s like a community….”

Whoever would have thought that such distinctions could be made in our inner experiencing, perhaps in the same way that we can name hundreds of colors that we can distinguish between in the outer world?! It was this careful study of inner experiencing, and inner actions, that allowed Gendlin to define the very helpful process called Focusing, which allows everyone to learn to sit at The Creative Edge of felt experiencing, Gendlin’s “felt sense,” and find new meanings and creative solutions.

Client-Centered and Experiential Psychotherapy

In the 1950’s, Gendlin studied psychology at the University of Chicago with Dr. Carl Rogers, creator of Empathic Listening and Client-Centered Therapy. Gendlin also took a degree in Philosophy. Staying on as a faculty member in the Department of Psychology, he created his theory of changes in felt experiencing as the basis of personality change. He was the founder and long-time editor of the journal Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, and Practice.

Gendlin helped to create The Experiencing Scale, a research measure which could accurately predict success in therapy from looking at the client’s own capacity to speak from fresh, ongoing experiencing instead of intellectualizations.

In a large research project, he and others zeroed in on client Focusing as the most important factor in successful therapy. In 1970 he received the “Distinguished Professional Psychologist of the Year” award from the American Psychological Association for his study of client Focusing.

Focusing As A Self-Help Skill

Gendlin went on to define the Focusing skill (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984) as a way of teaching, not only clients, but everyone how to get in touch with the creativity found in felt experiencing. He founded Focusing-Oriented Therapy (Focusing-Oriented Therapy: A Manual of the Experiential Method, Guilford, 1996) as a specific approach for using Focusing to increase client experiencing and thus change in many methods of therapy, regardless of theoretical orientation. You can purchase these and many other books in The Store at www.focusing.org .

Thinking At The Edge (TAE)

In his 80s, Gendlin is still creating new theory and practice. With his Process Model and Philosophy of the Implicit, he has contributed to Post-Modern philosophy. He has created another self-help skill, called Thinking At The Edge (TAE). TAE is a precise method for creating new theory and philosophy out of one’s own “gut sensing” or felt experiencing of something that is meaningful, universal, and profound. Now, everyone can learn to build theory and philosophy by “focusing” upon their own inner experiencing. See The Focusing Institute website, www.focusing.org and the complete Gendlin Online Library for free access to many of Gendlin’s articles.

 As well as a huge Store of books, CDs, and DVDs by a variety of authors, at the Focusing Institute website, under Category: Learning Focusing, you can find Teachers and Classes throughout the world for learning Gendlin’s Focusing skill and its companion, Empathic Listening. You can also join e-discussion groups under Category: Felt Community.

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.

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” TO PREPARE FOR INTUITIVE FOCUSING

By , December 1, 2008 4:07 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing E-Course

The purpose: Help you incorporate Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing into your everyday life, at home and at work. Each month we practice one Instant “Ahah!”, one Pre-Focusing: Getting A Felt Sense exercise, and one Complete Focusing exercise (see Free Downloads above). You can subscribe to this thrice-weekly e-course here.

Intuitive Focusing is a process of going quietly inside and paying attention to the “felt sense,” the right-brain “intuitive feel” that is “more-than-words,” then carefully finding words/images for this Creative Edge until there is an “Ahah!” experience inside. However, it can be hard to find the “intuitive feel” when your body is clogged up, confused, overwhelmed, shut down by a crowd of issues and concerns. “Clearing A Space” is a first-step exercise for simply naming each issue and setting it “outside” of oneself — Ahhhh! Immediate tension release just from naming!  Then, later, you can choose to bring one issue back inside for Intuitive Focusing Problem Solving. Below you will find the “Clearing A Space” exercise for Instant Serenity.

Newcomers, you can catch up on this cycle with Clearing A Space Week One and Clearing A Space, Illness, and “I’m okay!” Week Two. “Clearing A Space” can stand on its own, allowing “Instant Serenity,” or can be used as the first step in a longer Intuitive Focusing Turn.

Kathy’s Experience With Clearing Before Focusing Turn
(reported to Creative Edge e-support group)

“I was having a Focusing Partnership turn, and, knowing I was carrying a jumble of issues, I started by “clearing a space,” as I often do at the beginning of a Focusing turn. I was already thinking about five or six things, not knowing which or if any really needed my Focusing attention.

So I started, telling my Listener, that “my plate is full, and I want to sort that out, just naming each thing.” So, I sat quietly for a moment, noticing inside, and the first issue came up:

“Anxiety about my sex, food, and focusing blog. Is it too forward? Too exposing?” So I sat with that anxiety for a moment, noticing where it was physically, then said, “Okay, I want to pick up that plate and set it out on the table before me.” Big sigh. I experienced it then and experience it again as I describe this. Ahhhhh!

Paying attention quietly again, the next issue came up:

“Anxiety about a work group, can it survive all this chaos or will it be too much.” And I sensed into the physical location of that anxiety. Then, again, I said, “Now, I want to lift that full plate and set it outside.” Ahhhhh!

And so it went through three more major issues, each “an anxiety.”

Then, I said, “Oh, I guess the background feeling running through everything is ‘anxiety.’ Maybe I need to pay attention to that. And I did so, and spent some Focusing time, receiving Focused Listening from my Listener, as I explored the overall ‘anxiety,’ hoping it would shift some.

And that is how “clearing a space” led me into a longer, deeper Focusing turn.”
 

Newcomers, Print and Practice!!!!!

This is your Getting A Felt Sense exercise for this four weeks. Print it out, keep it handy, and try it whenever you have time…I will also send a “reminder” copy by email every week…YOU CAN TRY IT IMMEDIATELY WHEN THE EMAIL COMES! a MOMENT TO RELAX AND CHECK INSIDE!

 Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #3: “Clearing A Space”
(from Complete Focusing Instructions)
Week Three of four weeks of practice

Intuitive Focusing is a back-and-forth between words/images and the larger “intuitive feel,” the “bodily-felt sense” of an issue. In Clearing A Space, you are just noticing all the different issues that you are carrying, getting the “felt sense” of each, then setting that “whole thing” outside of yourself. Ahhhh! Big sigh of tension release as you do this. At the end of the “inventory,” you’ll find yourself saying, “Well, except for all that, I am perfectly okay.” You can spend minutes just being in this place of “okay,” which reduces stress but also can have a spiritual dimension of “being connected to Something More.”

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.
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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

FOCUSING: RELAXATION GUIDED IMAGERY THE FOREST

By , November 29, 2008 3:19 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Relaxation Guided Imagery Exercises are a first step in “clearing a space inside” for the problem solving process called Intuitive FocusingThey can also stand on their on as a predictable method for putting down the burden of stress for some moments of true relaxation.

Kathy’s Experience: Real Raindrops Lead To Relaxation

“I went out on my deck this evening, in the dark. Steady rain pouring, pattering on the leaves. I decided to do The Forest guided imagery, sitting there in my real forest, with my real deer.

Listening to the rain pattering was so peaceful. Whenever I found my thoughts had drifted into worries, angers of the day, I brought my attention back to just listening to the raindrops, imagining the forest.

The image came of me lying in the grass, rain pattering upon me, me dissolving into the landscape, into the rain. How peaceful.

Theoretically, every moment of this peace in the midst of stress is life-giving, the “relaxation response” a reprieve for the body from carrying toxic stress.

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

Week Three —“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 complete exercise here

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

CONFLICT RESOLUTION: AL GORE OF LISTENING TURNS

By , November 28, 2008 1:58 pm

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

To “catch up” with this cycle, please read, from the e-newsletter archives Passive Listening Week 1: Can Listening Turns Save The World and Week Two: Does Passive Listening Work?  Anyone can also access the e-newsletter archives from the Free Resources submenu at Creative Edge Focusing.

Our Own Nobel Peace Project
 
I could spend this third week on Instant “Ahah!” #3 reminding you again to go through the instructions with your significant others and set up the “structures” necessary (a place to sit, a timer, a mutually-agreed upon “signal” word, like “popcorn”) so they will be in place if needed when argument starts. And I will ask you again to email any experiences you are having trying Passive Listening Turns to the CEF e-support group or to me.
 
But, I am going to spend today instead talking about what it would be like to start a “campaign” to get Passive Listening turns, or some other aspect of Listening/Focusing, incorporated into every household, every situation, in the world.
 
Al Gore, and the millions inspired to work with him, are doing this around the issue of Global Warming. Al Gore took it upon himself to take action, to respond to what he perceived as a life-or-death, urgent issue for all human beings.
 
That is how I feel about Listening/Focusing, especially as they can be used for conflict resolution, between individuals, lovers, parents, parent and child, in schools, in cities and communities, in governments, in national and international conflicts. And Passive Listening Turns is the most simple, small-step in that direction that I have come up with.
 
Brainstorm With Me To Find “The One Small Step”
 
Do you think spreading Passive Listening Turns is a good first step, if there were to be a campaign to bring listening/focusing, and the “creation of the new” that can come when people can speak from felt-sensing, to everyone, every situation, worldwide? Do you have a better idea? I’m open!
 
Can you imagine participating in such a campaign? What “one-small-step” might you be willing to do, or willing to encourage your friends, neighbors, colleagues, elected officials, school systems, doctors and nurses, etc., to do or to spread?
 
I’d like to imagine a bumper sticker campaign: “Listen, Don’t Lecture,” “Speaking, Not Arguing,”  “Popcorn!” Get Out The Listening Timer!”, “Passive Listening = Active Solutions” – got better ideas?!!! Certainly, I can use help!
 
A bookmark-sized handout that obstetricians, pediatricians, counselors, teachers could hand out, outlining the procedure (maybe with a magnet for sticking on the fridge!)
 
Maybe “Passive Listening Turns” isn’t the right name for the process. What would be better? “Timed Turn-Taking”? I can’t do this alone, but it would be fun to brain storm it! I know we would come up with something hugely creative.
 
So, for this week, besides setting up the structure and trying the Passive Listening Turns procedure if an opportunity arises, I’d welcome any consideration of the Passive Listening Turn “campaign,” how we might do our own Nobel Peace Prize effort to get Listening/Focusing Conflict Resolution known. Email Dr. McGuire with your ideas and reactions. Thank you!

The Basic Procedure
 
Here are the subheadings from the exercise 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. Find the entire exercise in your Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual or quickly online here, Passive Listening 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

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