Posts tagged: inner relationship focusing

INSTANT “AHAH!” #1: FOCUSING —Find out what is bothering you

By , September 5, 2008 3:38 pm

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

You can download the complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, ten Listening/Focusing exercises for immediate application at home and work, in English or Spanish, from the links to Word files above. 

If you purchase The Self-Help Package multi-media package, instead of just reading, you can listen to the Pre-Focusing and Focusing Instructions directly with Dr. McGuire on audio CD and watch Listening/Focusing demonstrations on the DVD-R. In the Spanish version of the manual, Focusing En Comunidad, you will find many of the Relaxation and Focusing Exercises in Spanish. You will also receive instructions on setting up a Focusing Partnership or Focusing Group to practice the equal exchange of Listening/Focusing turns.

INSTANT “AHAH!” # 1 Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You

Focusing On the Creative Edge

Intuitive Focusing is one-half of the two Core Skills basic to Creative Edge Focusing. Intuitive Focusing can be used any time to find out what is bothering you. Intuitive Focusing involves spending time with the vague, wordless “intuitive sense” that there is something — something you can’t quite put your finger on or put into words — but something definitely determining your behavior or how you feel or the inkling of an idea or solution —

Intuitive Focusing can be used not just for personal problem-solving but for sitting with The Creative Edge of anything: a piece of creative art or writing, an exciting professional problem to solve, a good feeling that has a spiritual edge —see Focusing and Personal Growth, Focusing and Creativity and Focusing and Spirituality described on The Creative Edge Focusing website.

Description of Gendlin’s Six Step Focusing Process

First, I will describe Gendlin’s (Focusing, Bantam, 1981, 1984) process, then I will walk you through some actual instructions below. Here are Gendlin’s six steps for use of this inner, meditation-like problem-solving process in a self-help way:

(1) Clearing a Space: setting aside the jumble of thoughts, opinions, and analysis we all carry in our minds, and making a clear, quiet space inside where something new can come.

(2) Getting a Felt Sense: asking an open-ended question like “What is the feel of this whole thing (issue, situation, problem)?” and, instead of answering with one’s already-known analysis, waiting silently as long as a minute for the subtle, intuitive, “bodily feel” of “the whole thing” to form.

(3) Finding a Handle: carefully looking for some words or an image that begin to capture the “feel of the whole thing,” the Felt Sense, The Creative Edge: “It’s ‘jumpy;'” “It’s scared;” “It’s like the dew of a Spring morning;” “It’s like macaroni and cheese — comforting,” “It’s like jet propulsion! Something new that needs to spring forth!”

(4) Resonating and Checking: taking the Handle words or image and holding them against the Felt Sense, asking “Is this right? Is it ‘jumpy’?, etc. Finding new words or images if needed until there is a sense of “fit”: “Yes, that’s it. Jumpy.”

(5) Asking: asking open-ended questions (questions that don’t have a “Yes” or “No” or otherwise fixed or “closed” answer) like “And what is so hard about that?” or “And why does that have me stuck?” or “What was so beautiful about that moment?” or “And how does this apply to everything else?” and, again, instead of answering with already-known analysis, waiting silently for the whole-body-sense, the Felt Sense, to arise.

At each Asking, the Focuser also goes back to steps (2), (3) and (4) as necessary, waiting for the Felt Sense to form, finding Handle words, Resonating and Checking until there is a sense of “fit”: “Yes, that’s it.” This often physically-felt experience of tension release and easing in the body, this sense of having found the right words, is called a Felt Shift by Dr. Gendlin. Dr. McGuire calls it a Paradigm Shift It can be a small step of “Yes, that’s it” or a larger unfolding, a huge insight, with many pieces of the puzzle suddenly falling into place and a flow of new words and images and possible action steps. Sometimes there is also a flood of tears of acknowledgment and relief or the release of other pent-up emotions. This is an Instant “Ahah!”.

(6) Receiving: at each new step, each Felt Shift, taking a moment to sit with the new “intuitive feel,” simply acknowledging and appreciating your own inner knowing for this new insight. Then, you can start again at step (5), Asking another open-ended question, (“And what is so important about this?”; “And why did that have me stuck?”; “And where does my mother come into all of this?”, etc.). And, again, step (2), waiting for the Felt Sense to form, step (3) finding a Handle, step (4) Resonating and Checking until there is a Felt Shift, a sense of “That’s it!”, another Instant “Ahah!”.

A First Attempt: Find Out What Is Bothering You

Set aside at least 30 minutes for this first attempt. Remember, Focusing is a skill usually taught in 10 two-hour classes or two weekend workshops —so, if it doesn’t work for you immediately, don’t give up! Find a nearby teacher from the Focusing Institute Listings (www.focusing.org  ) or arrange for phone sessions with Dr. McGuire or another Creative Edge Consultant .

But, some people are natural Focusers and just say, “Oh, yes. I’ve been doing this all my life. Now, I can just do it better, more predictably, whenever I want. Give it a try:
(for audio company, purchase Intuitive Focusing Instructions CD as part of our Self-Help Package at www.cefocusing.com  — leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

Step One: Clearing A Space (Relaxation exercise in this case)

—Okay — first, just get yourself comfortable — feel the weight of your body on the chair — loosen any clothing that is too tight —
(one minute)
—Spend a moment just noticing your breathing — don’t try to change it — just notice the breath going in — and out —
(one minute)
—Now, notice where you have tension in your body (pause) —
(one minute)
—Now, imagine the tension as a stream of water, draining out of your body through your fingertips and feet (Pause) —
(one minute)
—Let yourself travel inside of your body to a place of peace —
(one minute)

Step Two: Getting A Felt Sense

—Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation that was troublesome for you this week (pause as long as necessary) — Think about it or get a mental image of it —
(one minute)
—Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about the situation, and just try to bring back the feeling you had in that situation (pause) — not words, but the “intuitive feel” of yourself in that situation —
(one minute)

Step Three: Finding A Handle

—Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that feeling —
(one minute)

Step Four: Resonating and Checking

—Go carefully back and forth between any words and the “intuitive feel of the whole thing” until you find words or an image that are just right for it —
(one minute)

Step Five: Asking

—Now, gently ask yourself, “What is so hard about this situation for me?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in your wordless intuition, your whole-body sense —
(one minute)
—Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that whole feeling — going back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Now, imagine what the situation would be like if it were perfectly all right
(one minute)
—Now, ask yourself, “What’s in the way of that?” and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for something new to come in the center of your body, more like a wordless intuition or whole-body sense —
(one minute)
—Again, carefully find words or an image for that, “whatever is in the way” —go back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Now, see if you can find some small step you might be able to take to move yourself in a positive direction — again, don’t answer from your head, the already known, but wait as much as a minute for the wordless, intuitive “feel,” the bodily felt sense of an answer to arise —
(one minute)
—Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for this possible next step — go back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Check with your “intuitive feel,” “Is this right? Is this really something I could try doing?” — If your “intuitive feel” says, “Yes (some sense of release, relaxation), I could try that,” then you can stop here.
—If your “felt sense” says “No, I can’t do that” or “That won’t work,” then ask yourself again, “What small step in the positive direction would work?”, again, waiting quietly, as much as a minute for an intuitive answer to arise, then making words or an image for it — going back and forth until the symbols are “just right.”
(one minute)
—Keep going back and forth between the “intuitive feel” and possible words and images as long as you are comfortable, or until you experience “Ahah! That’s it!”.
(one minute or more)

Step Six: Receiving

—Whether a “solution” has arisen or not, appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that pausing to take time is the important thing — solutions can then arise later.
(one minute)

The crux of change is just spending quiet time paying attention to the “intuitive feel.” If no clear next step arises, just remind yourself that at least you have gotten a clearer sense of the problem. Because you have spent quiet, Intuitive Focusing time with the “feel” of “the whole thing,” you have started a process of change. Something new may “pop up” later, as you go about your day.

Want to share your experience, do Focusing online and get an actual Listening Response, ask questions? Join The Creative Edge Practive yahoo e-support group.

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 FREE MINI-E-COURSE

By , June 28, 2008 9:09 pm

 Summer E-newsletter Slow-Down/Fall Complete E-Course Starts
 
The e-newsletters are slowing down for a summer rest period! In the Fall, the entire year of e-newsletters will recycle as an e-course, three practice opportunities per week, a walk through the Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual and The Complete Focusing Instruction free downloads, and an interweaving of the Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website materials with the work of others within the Focusing community and also in the larger world.
 
If you are just joining us and have never learned Focusing, probably best to start by reading the introduction to Instant “Ahah!” #1: Focusing — Find Out What Is Bothering You, which lays out Gendlin’s basic six steps of Focusing.
 
SUMMER MINI-FOCUSING E-COURSE
 
Reviewing/Previewing A Variety of Exercises to Strengthen Your Focusing Practice
 
And, here, for old timers and newcomers alike, I will give you a suggested Mini-Course of exercises from The Complete Focusing Instructions and Instant “Ahah!”s free downloads available at www.cefocusing.com under Free Resources, then Articles (or downloaded after signing up for this e-newsletter and for e-support group). The exercises are taken from the e-newsletter archives:
 
Relaxation Exercise: Just Noticing

Relaxation Exercise: “At The Beach”

“Clearing A Space” and Finding Peace

Complete Focusing: “How Am I Today?”

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Finding the “Intuitive Feel” of A Situation

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Unraveling “Situation Pile-Ups and Negative Spirals

Holiday Fun and Stress Relief?: Free Personality Tests and Focusing Reminders

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Creating A Caring, Feeling Presence Inside

 Getting A “Felt Sense”: Caring For Unpleasant Parts of Ourself

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Dealing with Inner Abusers, Inner Critics

Getting A “Felt Sense”: Focusing about Unresolved Interpersonal Situations

Complete Focusing: “Sitting With” The Creative Edge of an Interpersonal Situation

comment on this blog below !

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

Free Downloads: 

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Creative Edge Focusing (www.cefocusing.com ) teaches two basic self-help skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, which can be applied at home and at work through The Creative Edge Focusing Pyramid.

Based upon Gendlin’s Experiential Focusing (www.focusing.org ) and Rogers’ Empathic Listening, our website is packed with Free Resources and instructions in these basic self-help skills. Learn how to build Support Groups, Conscious Relationships, and Creative Edge Organizations based upon these basic skills of emotional intelligence.

You can try out    “Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You.”

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

Click here for a free Intuitive Focusing Mini-Course

Click here for a free Focused Listening Mini-Course

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

THE FOCUSING ATTITUDE: CARING FEELING PRESENCE INSIDE

By , January 12, 2008 5:18 pm

THE FOCUSING ATTITUDE: CREATING A CARING FEELING PRESENCE INSIDE AND AS A FOCUSED LISTENER
 
For the next four weeks, we will work on perhaps the most essential aspect for successful Intuitive Focusing, creating a positive attitude, inside of yourself, for whatever might arise during a Focusing turn.This is The Focusing Attitude.

Free Downloads:

Complete Focusing Instructions Manual (17 pages)

“Ajas” Instantaneos Mini-Manual

Empathy, Congruence, and Unconditional Positive Regard

Caring Feeling Presence is also the essential attitude which you convey to a Focuser when you are being a Focused Listener:
“I am here for you, without judgment. I am happy to receive anything that comes up inside of you, without criticism. I will set aside my own reactions, judgments, own experiences and be here as a Caring Feeling Presence simply to listen to and to give back to you your own experiencing.” It is a necessary component of the “empathy, congruence, and unconditional positive regard” which Carl Rogers defined as the crux ingredients for the healing relationship.
 
Leaning in with Tenderness: A Caring Feeling Presence
 
Once I was having a prolonged argument with another Focusing Trainer at a workshop I was teaching. I kept emphasizing, going with the tears and anger, letting them be experienced. He said it was sufficient to work his feelings through in his imagination, that he did not have to say them out loud, that he did not need to feel them.  Then, in a Focusing turn, the Listener used his name: “So, H, you are saying—” “So, H, what mattered was”  My friend reported to me that just hearing his name created an intimacy that allowed him to feel his tears, and the deeper meanings in his experience, and how valuable that was to him—
 
Another time, I was the Focuser, being Listened to accurately but—well, it felt distant, too objective—I didn’t feel “safe” becoming vulnerable in front of that distance. I asked the Listener to “lean in toward me more—be tender toward me—” When she did this, I was able to feel compassion for myself, and to touch into the place of tears, the deeper meanings for me, the part of me that needed to be comforted in order to grow forward.
 
The Real “First Step” of Focusing: Self-Empathy, Self-Love
 
Pete Campbell and Ed McMahon, creators of the Biospiritual Focusing approach, always started their workshops by teaching The Focusing Attitude, which they called “A Caring Feeling Presence.” They did not think anyone should begin to try out Focusing Instructions without first learning how to be kind and gentle with everything that arises inside.
 
And they knew that Focusers had to have this experience in a bodily-felt way, not just as an intellectual idea. Learning to take this Focusing Attitude toward oneself is a life-long learning for anyone wanting to “make peace” with all the different “parts” or “aspects” of themself.
 
Please try out their introductory exercise for finding a “felt sense,” an “intuitive feel” for this kind of inner caring. It involves learning how it feels, in your body, when you are trying to show complete love and safety to someone. Then, turning that same loving attention, that Caring Feeling Presence, toward your own inner experiences:
 
A CARING FEELING PRESENCE INSIDE
 
“Take a moment to find a comfortable sitting position—
Loosen any clothing that is too tight—
And begin to come quietly inside by closing your eyes and starting to just notice your breathing—
Just noticing your breathing—going in—and out—in—and out—Let any sighs or deeper breathing arise naturally—
(one minute)
Now, notice your body, how it feels in the chair —
Massage any spots that feel sore—
Massage your head—
Wrinkle up your face and stretch your jaw—and relax!!!!!
Make a few circles with your shoulders, bringing them up to your ears, around toward the back, and dropping them down—and repeating four or five times—
(one minute)
And now bring your attention inside, to the place where you find a “felt sense” or an “intuitive feel” when you are using Focusing, often in the center of your body, around the chest/heart area—-
(one minute)
And now, imagine that you work in a hospital—
An infant has been left on the hospital steps—
Let yourself feel the impact of this situation in your body—
It is your job to pick up that infant and to convey to it, through your body, your way of holding it, that it is safe, that it is perfectly and truly wanted in this world. Imagine picking up that infant—
Now, imagine what you would do in your body to convey to that infant that it is prefectly safe, that it is truly wanted in this world—
(one minute)
Notice what you do in your body to convey this loving attention, without words—
(one minute)
Now, imagine turning that same kind of Caring Feeling Presence toward your own inner places, whatever they may be—
(one minute)
Bring to your mind times in your life went you felt loved and valued in this way. Look for particular places or people or animals or situations where you felt completely safe, completely wanted, basking in the warmth of loving attention—
(one to three minutes)
Choose one of these images/places/people/situations that could stand as such a strong symbol of this kind of safety that you could use the memory of it as an anchor or talisman to bring you to that sense of Caring Feeling Presence to your own inside experiences. We’ll call that your Inner Nurturer—
(one to three minutes)
Now, look through your life and store of memories and images and see if you can find an image of a part of yourself that is now or was at some point very much in need of that kind of Caring Feeling Presence. It could be an Inner Child, yourself at a certain age or time of life. But it could be another kind of image: like “a wounded animal” or “a butterfly with a crumpled wing” or “a gangrenous leg—I just want to cut it off” or a particular physical tension (headache, tight jaw, stomach knot) that you often suffer from. We’ll call that your Inner Woundedness—
(one to three minutes)
Now, imagine taking your Inner Nurturer and turning that Caring Feeling Presence toward your Inner Woundedness—
(one to three minutes)
Just spend some time seeing if you can touch your Inner Woundedness with that Inner Nurturing—
(one to three minutes)
And come back into the room when you are ready.
 
Things That Get In The Way of This Inner Attitude
 
This exercise is just a first step. You might have found that Inner Critical Voices arose while you tried this exercise (“This is silly!” “I don’t have any weaknesses!” “It’s too late. The past is the past,” etc. In the next weeks, we will continue working with establishing a Caring Feeling Presence inside, and the things that can get in the way of that. Turning toward oneself, and others, with love and self-love, is a life-long learning! But we are starting today.

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Learn more about Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening  at Creative Edge Focusing’s website, filled with free downloads on creativity, spirituality, collaborative thinking, parenting, innovation in business, and many other aspects of application of Focusing and Listening skills at home, at work, in your community, and globally.

Download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual (”Ajas” Instantaneos en espanol) for ten exercises bringing Listening and Focusing into your everyday life starting today.

Download our complete Intuitive Focusing Instructions to start practicing Relaxation, Getting a Felt Sense, and Intuitive Focusing today!

See actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing in our Self-Help package, a manual in English or Spanish, four CDs of Focusing Instructions, and a DVD with four demonstrations of actual listening/focusing sessions — everything you need to start your own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Support Group or to incorporate these basic self-help skills into existing support groups.

In the side bar at Creative Edge Focusing, subscribe to our free e-newsletter for weekly reminders to practice Relaxation and Focusing exercises and join our free yahoo group, Creative Edge Practice, for ongoing demonstrations, practice, and support.

Find classes/workshops/phone coaching in our Listings section or Coaching/Classes/Consulting with Dr. McGuire in the Store.

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

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

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