Posts tagged: self-help

BARACK OBAMA ENNEAGRAM ONE: A MAN OF LAW

By , June 4, 2009 4:42 pm

The Enneagram is a well-regarded personality measure dividing people into nine distinct personality styles: One: Critic, Two: Helper, Three: Performer, Four: Individualist, Five: Observer, Six: Loyalist, Seven: Enthusiast, Eight: Challenger, Nine: Peacemaker.

While other Enneagram experts have identified Obama as an Enneagram Nine or Three , expert Clarence Thomson of Enneagram Central stands by his decision that Obama is an Enneagram One: A Man of Law.

Thomson describes the Nine Personality Styles, including Enneagram One: The Critic. Each description describes the undeveloped and developed aspects of each style:

“Ones search for what is wrong and how to fix it. When stuck, they are rigid, moralistic and angry. When free, they are supremely moral, compassionate and reliable. Their life is about goodness: its absence or presence.”

Here are excerpts from Thomson’s article in the Out of the Box Coaching Newsletter :

“President Obama, in my opinion, is a style One. Ones tend to be idealistic, guided by clear convictions of right and wrong, and work oriented. Every style has certain strengths and limitations. Style One is, in one way, unduly humble. Ones have a tendency to erase their personal feelings and unite, almost merge their personal agenda with the demands of an ideal or law or tradition or principle.

If you ask Ones what they think, you will get your answer consciously or unconsciously filtered through principles that are larger than themselves and may be inherited from a book or tradition.

It is probably not accidental that Obama would study constitutional law. He will make his decisions based not as much on personal convictions as on the wisdom of the law. He will be a lawyer all day long. He may have some charisma, but he will not be ‘chatty’ or intensely personal. He will have charisma, but not really panache.”

And later in the article:

“Obama’s idealism is not based on evidence. It is based on an inner conviction that right can and must prevail. This is a two-edged characteristic. On the one hand, it enabled him to work as a community organizer with defeat scribbled on every wall and etched in every defeated face. He kept going against the evidence. This could get him into trouble if he has a policy that is not working. He may believe it must work, even against the evidence.”

Learn all about the Enneagram Nine Styles at Thomson’s website and take an Enneagram questionnaire, and also visit his colleague Mary Bast’s Enneagram and Coaching website,  Break Out of the Box, for a wealth of descriptions helping you identify your personal style.

Find a variety of Personality Tests at our Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website.

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

 

MIND/BODY HEALING: FOCUSING-ORIENTED BODY WORK

By , May 25, 2009 9:26 pm

Gendlin’s Focusing (Bantam, 1981, 2007; www.focusing.org ), and McGuire’s Intuitive Focusing, are premiere techniques for mind/body healing. Focusing happens exactly at the edge between conscious and unconscious, the “preconscious” that is immediately available as a “bodily felt sense.” McGuire’s calls it  “intuitive feel,” the “something-more-than-words,”  The Creative Edge, the source of creativity, innovation, and problem solving.

Michael Mayer has years of experience working at the interface between mind and body, and between conscious/unconscious/preconscious. He has worked extensively combining body-centered practices like Tai Chi and Qigong with Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy. Below he reviews his past work and announces his new book, Energy Psychology: Self Healing methods For Bodymind Health, which integrates energy therapies, meridian tapping methods like Emotional Freedom Techniques (www.emofree.com)  as well as Qigong and many others, with Focusing for mind/body self-healing. Quoted from Dr. Mayer on The Focusing Discussion e-list at www.focusing.org (subscribe in Category “Felt Community”, then e-lists): 

I was the Focusing training coordinator for the San Francisco East Bay area from around 1978 to 1988, and Focusing has been close to my heart and an important part of my professional  life for many years.

Over the years I have integrated Focusing with many other traditions: In the 1980’s I  combined Focusing with psychomythology with my “Mythic Journey Process” (Mayer, Focusing Folio 1982);  in the 1990’s I integrated Focusing with  Qigong and Chronic Pain (Mayer, “Qigong and Behavioral Medicine, An Integrated approach to Chronic Pain,” Qi Journal, 1986). Then I brought Focusing together with many facets of Qigong and other traditions of postural initiation (Mayer, Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy, 2007). Now with my latest book I’m hoping to show the importance of Focusing to bring out the inner energetic dimensions of Energy Psychology.
I wanted to let the Focusing community know that I have a new book , Energy Psychology: Self Healing Methods for Bodymind Health (North Atlantic/Random House, 2009) that will be released tomorrow April 28th. Here’s an excerpt:
“In order to bring the healing abilities of a comprehensive energy psychology to the public, I believe that in addition to the well-known energy psychology methods such as EFT, the field of energy psychology (EP) would be well served by expanding its terrain to include Qigong and methods of energy cultivation from other traditions of meditation and postural initiation (Goodman, 1990), depth psychology, Gendlin’s Focusing, symbolic process traditions, Kabalistic methods, etc…

…The internal process of psychological change, as Gendlin (1978) rightly pointed out, has energy activation  (Qigong) as an inextricable part of it, as a patient’s energetic “felt shift” emerges along with a patient’s discovering new meaning. //bolding by Dr. McGuire//

Also symbolic process methods, such as my Mythic Journey Process (Mayer, 1994) and River of Life Process (Mayer 2007, 2009), create an internal energy (Jung, Vol. VIII) that helps a person find a meaningful life path, and helps patients to find a new life stance (Goodman, 1990, Mayer, 2004). As related to EP, this expands the field to include both internal and external methods of energetic change. ..My newest book, Energy Psychology: Self-Healing Practices for Bodymind Health is written to help accomplish these aims (Mayer, 2009)….”

If you are interested in getting a copy of Energy Psychology, on April 28th,  tomorrow, the book will be  available on Amazon.com(direct link to Mayer’s book), and all major books stores, or you can order Energy Psychology or any of my other books from my website www.bodymindhealing.com.
I’ll look forward to hearing more about what other Focusers are up to nowadays from this list, and feel free to email me [email protected].
Warm regards,
Michael Mayer

Claudia Conza also announces the Second International “Focusing in the body-oriented professions” residential workshop, Sept. 22-26, 2009, Maennedorf, Switzerland (also from the Focusing Discussion e-list):

 
Dear all, Guten Tag
 
Finally I am happy to announce our 2. International residential workshop “Meeting at the Edge”2009 in Switzerland
After the big success in Ischia, Italy in 2007 we are ready to introduce the next location for:
 
“MEETING AT THE EDGE”
Focusing in the body-oriented professions
A 4 day residential workshop
September 22 – 26, 2009
Boldern, conference center, Maennedorf, (Zurich) Switzerland.
 
The event will be in English with translation in to German and Italian. Please check our webpage: www.mae2009.org where with time we will ad more and more information, photos and answers to the FAQ.
Attached to print I am sending our flyer in pdf format to print our flyer.
 
I am looking forward to meeting you in September 2009 here in Switzerland to share and explore on our topic and to show you the lovely site with the view down to the lake of Zurich and our mountains.
 
Claudia
In the name of the organising board, Francesca, Nicoletta, Mathias, Larry, Steve, Jack

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING: TRANSFORMATION = PHOTOS OF LOTUS FLOWER OPENING

By , February 6, 2009 11:48 pm
Lotus bud potential
Lotus bud potential
Lotus bud unfurls like Focusing attention

Lotus bud unfurls like Focusing attention

Potential Becoming Whole: "Felt Sense" opening

Potential Becoming Whole: "Felt Sense" opening

Lotus Fully Open, Potential Fulfilled

Lotus Fully Open, Potential Fulfilled

And we begin another cycle, bud to flower

And we begin another cycle, bud to flower

Intuitive Focusing is a meditation-like self-help skill that allows you to set aside pre-formed “intellectualizations” and find the fresh, experiential, immediate “bodily felt sense” of problems and creative ideas. Steps of Focusing allow you to find words and images for this “intuitive feel,” letting totally new solutions, ideas, and action steps unfold.

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

INTUITIVE FOCUSING SKILL: PRACTICE EXAMPLE

By , September 15, 2008 1:38 pm
EXAMPLE OF A COMPLETE FOCUSING TURN 
In the First Week of this four weeks practice of Instant "Ahah!" #1: FOCUSING --- Find Out What Is Bothering You, I introduced Gendlin's Six Step Focusing Process and gave the Complete Focusing Exercise. If you are just joining us, go to blog Intuitive Focusing to read this e-newsletter before proceeding to read the example of a Focusing Turn below: 
I did a Focusing Turn in The Creative Edge Practice E-Group (join here)  on a felt experience which I call "Experiencing The Sacred":   
// Note: Listening/Focusing does not have to be used in relation to spiritual experience -- this is just a special interest of mine, and not central to Gendlin's Focusing process and the use of The Creative Edge Pyramid of skills and applications at home and at work---//  
Step One: Clearing A Space 
(closing my eyes, turning inward---slowing down, paying attention to my breathing) --- Breathing in --- and out---- in---and out--- Massaging my face, neck shoulders. Taking a minute or two to come in touch with my body. 
Step Two: Getting A Felt Sense   
Now I start looking for the "intuitive feel" to form for the Focusing question: "What is this 'whole thing' about Experiencing The Sacred)------  
------(Focusing inward at least a minute, waiting for the "felt sense," the "intuitive feel" of "this whole thing" to form, as a vague, preverbal sensing inside my chest area---) 
Step Three: Finding A Handle  
Initial words come: "Someone asked me why I have used religious or spiritual  terms, like Agape, the Christ-within-the-Other, the Universal Oneness, in pointing to the Sacred experience that I often have during Listening/Focusing turns, especially when the Focuser touches upon a "sheen of tears," a place of profound meaning (see my article "Being Touched and Being Moved"), and I am the Listener, and, suddenly, the boundary between us dissolves and I feel that"our souls are touching" or some such thing---hard to find words to describe it---I am pointing 
Step Four: Checking and Resonating 
(quiet to check with the "felt sense," the "intuitive feel" of this "whole thing"--- "Do those words fit? 'Our souls are touching, boundary dissolves'?" (sitting quietly with "the feel of it all," going back-and-forth between words and images or gestures which arise, checking and resonating, trying to find the symbolizations that are "just right" in capturing "the feel of it all")---   
---The person and I spoke of Martin Buber's "I -Thou" vs. "I-It" distinction as another way of pointing to this experience---(pause to look for words--- new words) this experience of merging-without-joining, union-with-separation, and, not just the two people, but the sense of "something more" in that moment of "soul-touching (soul is not the right word, just a pointing word)"---the sense that The Sacred (again, pointing words---) enters in---the two people hanging together in this larger
---(I'm getting a thrill here, a little teary---almost goose bumps)------(big breath---ahhhhhh!) 
(new steps forward, "felt shifts" coming as I find words that are closer in grasping and articulating the "felt meaning" -- the Ahhh!, sighs, deep breaths that indicate the tension release and "Ahah!" experience of the "felt shift," the Paradigm Shift) 
Step Five: Asking An Open-Ended Question
(and I ask myself, "What is so important about this 'two people hanging together in this larger Something'?" and wait quietly for the "feel of it all" to emerge, preverbally in my body, Getting The Felt Sense, before I again begin looking for Handle Words and Resonating and Checking---pause for "felt sensing", as much as a minute, followed by more symbolizations, more resonating and checking between the symbols and the "feel of it all")    
--- and the words "Well, that is the point---it is that experience that I call Experiencing The Sacred---that sense that something else enters into the "energy" (just a pointing word) space between us------(breath---sigh---a little teary as in "touched and moved"------(big sigh---) 
Step Six: Receiving  
(and I sit with and savor this new insight, that it is exactly the two people and Something More in the space between that feels Sacred, touches me so deeply, and some Global Application comes after the Felt Shift --- seeing new connections)
--- And it can happen in nature, with a sunset, with music, in churches or other sacred spaces, many different roads, not just between people--- (and I spend some time just letting the richness of the felt shift, the new information, register throughout my body/mind, and thanking my body-sense for this new information). End of Focusing Turn
FELT SHIFTING, GIVING BIRTH TO THE NEW 
You can see how, instead of answering immediately from my head, what I already know about "experiencing the Sacred" ("Well, of course, it's related to Martin Buber and it's about Something Greater Than Yourself," etc.), Focusing allows me to stop and "sit with" my larger "whole-body-wisdom" that includes everything I have read and everything I have experienced and am experiencing. 
From this "felt sense" I can articulate new facets of the experience. And I also experience the sense of "sureness," of experiential rather than merely intellectual insight, that lets me know I am on the right track.  Of course, Focusing can be used for all kinds of problem solving without entry into the spiritual realm, without touching on tears and feeling connection with the Other---this Experiencing the Sacred is just a special Interest Area of mine-
Subscribe To E-Course For Weekly Practice Exercises

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

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

Find links to free articles, personality tests, multi-media Self-Help training, Classes and workshops Dr. Kathy McGuire, DirectorCreative Edge Focusing (TM)www.cefocusing.com 


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

By , August 20, 2008 2:17 pm

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

 Focusing-Oriented Children’s Book

The Little Bird Who Found Herself, by Ed McMahon (Co-Founder of BioSpiritual Focusing, http://www.biospiritual.org/ ) a truly Focusing-Oriented children’s book (although adults will find comfort, too). Instead of being told what to do or what to feel, Little Bird is encouraged to stop and “sit with” her feelings, seeing what message and action steps unfold from inside of herself. Whimsical and colorful illustrations. See Amazon link  for reviews and to order.

Business and Education Applications of Focusing!

Here’s a copy of an email I sent to the Focusing-And Coaching e-discussion list (join this and other Focusing-Oriented Discussion Lists at Focusing Institute website :

If you haven’t, get Staying In Focus: The Focusing Institute Newsletter, Vol. Viii, No.2, Applications of Focusing, May, 2008 (you get it by being a member of The Focusing Institute, http://www.focusing.org/ ) .

Catherine Johnson, almost lone Focusing Teacher in South Africa,  writes an experience of bringing Focusing to business people through a business school, what she learned about presenting Focusing to more Sensing people, and also how she learned that, in business settings, you had better “own” your materials or someone else will claim them (hence the rampant use of Trademarking in Business settings). 

Edgardo Riveros, Coordinator, Chile writes about his 30-year long career of teaching Focusing and Focusing-Oriented Therapy in respected university programs, and the many books he has written over that career. And he describes his newest endeavor, “Well, Adolfo Ibanez University is known as the top business school in Chile, although it offers other courses as well. Beginning in August, I will teach a course for engineers and entrepreneurs called “Organizational Focusing.” Already 40 people have enrolled, so there will be two sections: Organizational and Clinical Focusing…In Clinical Focusing….I plan to stress how the felt sense, by experiencing new meaning, crosses the ‘frozen wholes’ where issues get stuck, and creates a mutation of content.” 

“In Organizational Focusing, we will cover the contextual felt sense, or the felt sense in a current situation. We will teach Focusing with another person, such as selecting or firing employees (This leads to a different kind of interview); Focusing on a vision for the future, or goal-setting for leaders; decision making of all kinds; how to select issues when clearing a space; coaching with the experiential dimension of Focusing; and TAE.”

Satoko Tokumaru, Focuser, Japan, writes “Applying TAE to University Composition Classes.” She has taught over 1500 college compostion students using Focusing and TAE in Japan. She has broken TAE steps down into totally user-friendly short exercises that students majoring in Physical Education can use to create from TAE experiences. Physical Education majors writing poems out of their unique TAE experiences, learning a new way of “being with” their whole-body sensing, instead of only their physical body. A complete TAE course that could be used in any high school or college composition setting. Hopefully, Satoko will give us a complete translation of the course in English.

Social Media, Businesses As “Communities,” The Next Step

Well, I’m writing an article on businesses/organizations as a “kind of” Focusing Community, and have this as a heavy emphasis on my website: that bringing in elements of mutual support and even “bonding” and “love” (call it “buy in,” “loyalty”, etc.) through Focusing Partnerships/Groups/Teams and Interpersonal Focusing for conflict resolution is compatible with business/organizational needs of increasing motivation and creativity/innovation and decreasing turnover and absenteeism.

I got a lot of my impetus from Conlin, M. (2006) Champions of innovation. Business Week, June 19, 2006, special IN insert, pp. 17-26.  A great article about “VPs of Innovation,” many of them women, breaking down barriers, increasing collaboration within companies and between companies and outside experts and consumers  — in huge, famous companies.

 And, in the June 2, 2008, Business Week, another confirmation. The Cover Story “Beyond Blogs: What Business Needs To Know,” showed that, in the three years since a Cover Story on blogs as basic tools for businesses, emphasis had moved from blogs to “social media” like MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn — interactive internet communities where consumers can interact directly with companies.

Now, for me as an Introvert, the idea of joining a “social network” is appalling. One of my acquaintances added me to her Linked In network, and suddenly I was receiving daily requests for “your favorite recipe,” etc. I was horrified!!!!

However, the marketing guru/website planner for many of us, Robert Middleton (http://www.actionplan.com/  ), recently invited all his customers to join his “social networks,” because HIS marketing guru had recommended he get involved (I’m thinking SHE read the Business Week article, which likely will become a “self-fulfilling prophecy” , e.g., social media, if not on their way alone, will get a boost from the article/cover story saying they are the next step!!!

And, the next step, even more exciting for me. Asked for his response to this new article, blogging-giant Jeff Jarvis, BuzzMachine, states:

“Next, I think, Business Week’s readers will see that social media are changing their fundamental relationship with customers to be less about serving and more about collaborating. No, I don’t mean that every product will be the product of a committee. But customers who want to talk will, and smart companaies will not just listen but will engage them in decisions. This will have an impact not just on PR and image but on product design, marketing, sales, customer service — the whole company. Three years from now, I predict Business Week’s Cover won’t be about blogs or tools but about companies as communities.” (p.50)”

And there it is, folks, the title of my article: Businesses as Communities, and, for us, Businesses as “a kind of” Focusing Community. See Interest Area: Creative Edge Organizations at Creative Edge Focusing (TM) website. 

Focusing Recovery for 12-Step Programs

With her permission, I copy Suzanne Noel’s email to the Focusing Discussion List about her recent applications of her new method, Recovery Focusing, in an actual Addiction Rehabilitation Center in Costa Rica. The examples are rich and sacred:

Hi everyone.

As some of you may know, I have been working at a Rehab here in Costa Rica for three weeks. I am doing a class titled “Recovery Focusing” as well as integrating Focusing into my Step groups (as well as doing Relapse Prevention and a few other courses).

I wish to say that the power of Focusing is working in early recovery.:-) Ta TA!!

People are getting both in-the-body Felt Senses as well as “images” that capture their experience. My sense of it is that they are really getting a personal, private, experiential knowing of the Steps (or what’s in the way). I sense their “respect” of the process by their eagerness to DO Focusing.

Examples:

A few days ago, R. got an image of his addict self smoking crack on a bench, crying. Smoking and crying at the same time. He noticed his “recovered” self was bigger and stronger and that what the addict self on the bench needed was “support”. He was pleased that they were looking at each other. Today, he got a felt sense of a very deep, deep,deep hole near his heart. Not big he said, but very deep. The worst of it was how deep it was. He noticed that there was a lot of dirt around it, but nothing with which to move the dirt into the hole. He said he needed a shovel. Some kind of shovel to fill up the Hole. The shovel for him was a sponsor and a willingness to work the Program.

I., a Heroin addict, got a sense of the Third Step (Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to our Higher Power) as lights flickering on and off in a room, until finally the light remained on. (He has previously had a felt sense of falling, falling into the black hole in the middle of his chest, a great emptiness.) He got the insight that though he may lose contact with his Higher Power (lights out at times) that eventually the light would remain on.

These are only two examples.

I also think the listening is very powerful for them. The reflective listening is quite special to them and one can palpably feel their…contentment…with being  “heard”. Addiction is a disease of isolation and disconnection, so Focusing is really appropriate to its “healing”.  They are connecting to themselves as well as to each other (and, as I wrote in another list, their Higher Self/Higher Power) and one can almost see the awe in their faces as we share “what came”.

Truly sacred space. I am so pleased.

Today, one of them came up to me at the end of the day and said how they had been discussing my peacefulness among themselves last night, and how they all felt that they could FEEL IT,  my serenity, and how much they wanted to have what I have. I was so touched. (The Program is all about one person wanting what the others have — “sobriety” — and then going to “any lengths” to get it. No promotion, just attraction.)

I myself have been quite in touch with my inner sense of serenity lately– a type of grounded serenity. I  know this serenity is the DIRECT RESULT of all the Focusing I have been doing these last two years. The processing I have done in a Focusing way has unblocked the blocked energies inside me so to speak, so that now there is primarily a sense of well-being inside. I know what he means when he says they can sense my peacefulness. I sense it as well. 🙂

[Oh, yes, I still get “restless, irritable, and discontent” (as we say in the Program). But, through Focusing, I am now able to be with these in a way that leads back to serenity and contentment.]

I feel so, so very honored to be able to “pass it on” to others.

The staff now is curious, and the director mentioned my doing something with the staff as well. 🙂 I must say, the bottom-up way this is happening is quite satisfying to me.

Someday, Recovery Focusing may be part of what is offered in Alcohol and Drug Addiction treatment centers. The ripples are spreading out, as I now have a  Recovery Focusing partnership with someone who runs a rehab in another part of the planet. The Twelve Steps and Focusing are indeed meeting and liking each other. Very Powerful.

Love and blessings to all,

Suzanne L. Noël, CFT

Insight & Recovery Focusing

http://www.innerwisdoms.com

Apdo 154-6100

Colón, San Jose, Costa Rica

Tel. 2-249-4038; Mobile 8-372-0347

Read Suzanne’s article, “Recovery Focusing”  and another by Steve Crawford on “Experiential Focusing and 12-Step Programs” .

Alice Miller Website and Reader Response

Learn about, or revisit, Alice Miller’s revolutionary work breaking the culture silence around acknowledging the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of children and adults. Visit Miller’s website at http://www.alice-miller.com/ and note the Reader Response link. There, you can see how reader’s respond to Miller’s groundbreaking work (first broken in the 1980’s!), and how Miller responds to these Readers.

More on Focusing, Finding The Gems Inside Ourselves and Others

A friend sent me this parable. It came at a time when I was finding it hard to accept the behavior of a family member.  I know not where it came from, but I pass it on to you:

“A man was exploring caves by the Seashore.  In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake. They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him.  

As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could. He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock — Inside was a beautiful, precious stone!

Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls.  Each contained a similar treasure.  He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. 

Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves.  Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It’s like that with people.   We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel.  It doesn’t look like much from the outside.  It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy.  But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us.  If we take the time to get to  know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees  them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine  forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them.

I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay  vessel.”

Listening and Focusing are a way to find our own gems inside our clay vessels and to find these gems in others, valuing our intuitions, “gut feelings,” stuckness and depression, negative feelings like jealousy, anger, our creative and spiritual “inklings” and ideas, our co-workers, family, friends, even when they irritate us — rather than throwing them out without opening the shells.

INVITE OTHERS TO JOIN US!!!
 
Please forward this e-newsletter to any friends, family, trainees, colleagues who might benefit from either the e-course or CEF News and Goods e-newsletter. This Fall is a great time for newcomers to join. They can subscribe at  http://cefocusing.com/subscribe.php   and immediately download our Instant “Ahah!”s Mini-Manual. Just hit “Forward” down near your “Send” option, then choose anyone you want from your email address book! Take this small step to help bring Listening/Focusing into the world!

FREE RESOURCES

You can get online support and answers to your questions as you try to proceed in the Creative Edge Practice e-group at http://yahoogroups.com/group/creativeedgepractice .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

www.cefocusing.com

MINI-FOCUSED LISTENING E-COURSE

By , July 15, 2008 10:02 pm

Reviewing/Previewing A Variety of Exercises to Strengthen Your Focused Listening Practice
 
And, here, for old timers and newcomers alike, I will give you a suggested Mini-Course of Focused Listening exercises. The exercises are taken from the Creative Edge Focusing website , the “Instant Ahah!s” Mini-Manual (download in English or Spanish from links below) and the e-newsletter archives:
 
1. Focused Listening Described: Four Basic Responses

2. Active Listening examples: Short-Circuit Angry Confrontations
 
3. Passive Listening exercise: Stop Arguments with Partners, Children, Co- workers

4. An Angry Person Is A Hurting Person

 5. Can Passive Listening Save the World?

6. Five-Minute Grieving: What To Do When Someone Starts Crying

7. Listening/Focusing-Oriented Group Decision Making Meetings

8. Verbal Abuse vs. Interpersonal Focusing Protocol
 
Starting Your Own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Group
 
In the weekly Felt Sensing newsletters of the last four-week cycle, I  gave instruction (including free Chapter downloads from the manual Focusing In Community: Starting A Listening/Focusing Support Group (Focusing en Comunidad) and encouragement for starting your own, local Listening/Focusing Practice Group.
 
See Week One: Starting A Listening/Focusing Practice Group if you haven’t already downloaded the free Introduction to the Self-Help manual, Focusing In Community, which tells you many ways to find a first person for a Listening/Focusing Partnership and to expand into a core self-help practice group.
 
Week Two: Basic Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange to find links to download Chapter Three, complete instructions for the first ten sessions of your practice groups (English and Spanish versions).
 
Week Three: The Focuser Is In Charge
 to learn exactly what the Focuser does while being Listening To
 
Week Four: What The Listener Does to see the Four Basic Types of Response used by the Listener in a Focusing Partnership turn.
 
Spend the summer finding a Focusing Partner and building up a Focusing Practice Group!!!!!

ADDITIONAL HELP IN TAKING THAT FIRST STEP TO START YOUR LISTENING/FOCUSING PRACTICE PARTNERSHIP OR GROUP
 
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION AND TO CONSIDER PURCHASING THE ENTIRE SELF-HELP PACKAGE ,WITH MULTI-MEDIA SUPPORT.
 
It is my hope that, before the end of the summer, you will have found at least one other person to practice Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with as the beginning of your own local practice group.
 
The manual gives many suggestions about how to find your first one or more people, how to present the idea, how to demonstrate the skills. It also includes Chapters on Why Supportive Community?, The Meaning of Feelings, Focusing Partnership Exchange, Focusing Alone, Interpersonal Focusing, and Collaborative Decision Making.
 
An additional 2 two-CD sets describe applications to Personal Transformation, Relationships, and Parenting, Men and Tears, and a two-hour DVD shows four actual demonstration Listening/Focusing Sessions.
 
BUT ONLY YOU CAN TAKE THAT FIRST STEP OF FINDING SOMEONE, JUST THAT ONE, FIRST PERSON. From then on, you and your partner can support each other in enlarging the group, if you want.
 
You can get online support and answers to your questions as you try to proceed in the Creative Edge Practice e-group at http://yahoogroups.com/group/creativeedgepractice .

 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

COMPLETE FOCUSING EXERCISE: “GUIDING IN” INSTRUCTIONS

By , June 26, 2008 6:19 pm

A “GIFT” FROM SUZANNE NOEL AT CREATIVE EDGE PRACTICE E-GROUP

“Guiding In” Focusing Instructions for Help Entering the Bodily “Felt Sense,” the “Intuitive Feel” of “It All”

With her permission to share, I have copied some “Guiding In” Focusing Instructions that Suzanne Noel offered to someone in our Creative Edge Practice e-group (join us for actual Listening/Focusing practice at http://yahoogroups.com/group/creativeedgepractice  ). Many of the “Guiding In” Responses are equivalent to Focusing Invitations as explained in the instructions for Focused Listening at Creative Edge Focusing (TM). But, here, the Intuitive Focuser  can give “guiding in” instructions to herself, without the help of an external Listener.

Suzanne was careful to say that she usually sticks with just giving Reflective Listening Response, but, if the Focuser seems to have a strong “bodily felt sense” or “intuitive feel” of an issue but is having trouble getting out of “story” and “into” the “felt sense,” then “Guiding In” can be helpful.

I love the term! Usually, people talk about “guiding” a Focuser, but this term, “guiding in” makes it so clear that the Listener is ONLY trying to guide the Focuser more deeply into their own bodily “intuitive feel” — is not giving answers or guidance or advise, just “guiding in,” so the Focuser can find their own solution as the “intuitive feel” unfolds and carries forward.

As I read Suzanne’s instructions, I naturally felt “guided in” to my own issues, leaving head/story and going toward the “whole felt sense of it,” waiting, holding, being compassionate, even offering my own physical comfort by touching any painful place —- Wow!!!! Just powerful instructions for deepening!!!! I’d suggest printing them out and keeping them handing, even carrying them in your wallet/purse!!!!

Suzanne said:” If you want some Focusing “guiding in”, I offer it below. If it feels intrusive,
honor your self and disregard my invitation!
If it is OK to do so (Kathy adds: after

1. Deciding to pause for Focusing, sitting down, getting comfortable, closing your eyes and traveling “inside” by just noticing and following your breathing— noticing the breath, going in—and out—in—and out — in—and out—
2. Spending some time Clearing A Space, making a list of issues you are carrying, and choosing one to spend Focusing time with, or just seeing what arises inside wanting your attention —
3. Then use Suzanne’s “Guiding In” suggestions to proceed :

I invite you to gently hold “all this” about “(Whatever your issue/concern is)”. Hold it all as a whole, standing back from it a bit.

If it feels alright to do so, turn your attention inward.

Is ALL THIS present somewhere inside?

From a space of quiet awareness, WAIT.
Notice if anything emerges from this inside space,
a felt sense, a felt experience of All of THAT.

As something begins to come, be with it until it comes into “focus”.

(If anxiety is present, this may melt a bit as you enter the felt sense that is emerging.)

See if you can symbolize that Something that is emerging with an image, metaphor, gesture, sound, a certain emotional mood… even a memory may come up.

So,
here, you may just want to be with this, what’s here now.
It usually unfolds and offers up meaning just by being with it.

Sometimes, it is helpful to ask it certain questions:
What is the crux (or the worst) of this?
(Wait.)
What does it need?
(Wait.)

Any small shift/insight is welcome. Good enough for now, especially if this is a big or long-term issue/concern. You may even allow yourself to lay your hand where you are holding it all in your body (as suggested in the Bio-Spiritual style of Focusing). Keep it company in this physically felt way.

You may want to see if you can be kind to yourself with this (or to the felt experience of ALL THIS).
If not kind, can you be compassionate?
If not compassionate, Friendly?
If not Friendly, can you be Patient with yourself with all this? Allow yourself or your felt sense to receive some of this Self Empathy.

If none comes to you, ask yourself: Can I appreciate how difficult it is to change this when I can’t be kind or friendly or compassionate or patient with myself?

~~~~~*~~~~~

Suzanne L. Noël, CFT
Insight & Recovery Focusing
http://www.innerwisdoms.com  Thanks, Suzanne, for helping us to “keep company with ourselves” this summer!

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!!!

 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

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

INTEREST AREA: BUILDING COMMUNITY — SUPPORT GROUPS EVERYWHERE!!!

By , June 16, 2008 2:10 pm

Interest Areas: Seven Places To Start Practice Groups !!!

The Interest Areas under “Is This You” at The Creative Edge Focusing website (www.cefocusing.com ) give the First Ten Steps you might take to bring the model of Listening/Focusing into seven whole different areas of living: Organizations, Support Groups and Communities, Relationships, Parenting, Education, Spiritual Communities, and Helping Professions (psychotherapy, counselling, medicine, body work, etc.).

In the next e-newsletters, I will introduce you to each of these Interest Areas and possible First Steps so that you might start a Listening/Focusing practice group in any of these areas.

INTEREST AREA: BUILDING SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY AT HOME, IN THE COMMUNITY, AND AT WORK

The Building Supportive Community Project brings the Creative Edge Focusing TM Model, with its two Core Skills, Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and seven Applied Methods of The Creative Edge Pyramid, into existing support groups and communities, as well as starting new Focusing Communities.

Some applications are 12-Step Groups, Support Groups, Community Mental Health , Religious and Spiritual Communities, Hospitals , Prisons , Schools , Conflict Resolution, Participatory Democracy , and Collaborative Work Groups and Collectives. See (PDF file) Focusing and Twelve Step by Steve Crawford and Focusing Recovery by Suzanne Noel for an integration of Gendlin’s Focusing theory and the 12-Steps.

What Is Community?

Community means a felt-experience of interconnection and mutual support as well as the capacity to work together toward a common cause. In a community everyone can belong, respected for their uniqueness or their role but working toward the common good. For community to work, people need ways to respect and to capitalize on differences and to resolve interpersonal conflicts.

Community can be built starting with people who initially come together for mutual emotional support, as in a support group. That experience of sharing can build outward into an actual community which can organize toward a common goal, for instance, advocacy.

Or, community can be built starting with people who initially come together to accomplish a shared goal, as in a grass-roots campaign or a non-profit or for-profit organization. The good feelings created through collaboration can end up having also created feelings of mutual care and supportive community.

Dr. McGuire’s manual (download a Sample Chapter, English or Spanish,  in our Store) , Focusing In Community: How To Start A Listening/Focusing Support Group (in Spanish, Focusing en Comunidad: Como Empezar un Grupo de Apoyo de Escocha Y Focusing) teaches the basic skills needed. Audio and video tapes and phone sessions and workshops enhance this learning. The Creative Edge e-discussion/support group connects you with other people throughout the world who belong to Focusing Communities. Find contact links below.

See the free article The Focusing Community for a full description of the model.

Support Groups/ Twelve-Step Groups

The Listening/Focusing peer counseling model for building community starts at the emotional support end. The exchange of Listening/Focusing turns in Focusing Partnerships provides the empathic glue that bonds people together and motivates them to want to take care of each other, individually and in terms of uniting around a shared goal.

In a support group, usually around a particular topic like divorce, cancer, adoption, addiction, grief, we have the opportunity of discovering that we are not alone. Others have had similar experiences. They are interested, also, in hearing our own unique story, in all of its detail. Pooling all that we have learned, we can solve our problems. Support groups are places for powerful bonding because of this shared experience.

The Listening/Focusing exchange in Focusing Groups/Teams and Focusing Communities can be as powerful as psychotherapy in terms of healing and moving forward, yet it is safe, self-empowering, and inexpensive. These are bonuses to support group participation too good to pass up!( See More on Focusing in Support Groups.)

Community Mental Health

The Focusing in Community model can also be applied as a grass-roots method for integrating mental health care, as a peer counseling method, into communities.
See APPLICATION: Community Mental Health

Creative Edge Organizations Are Communities

In addition to incorporating Creative Edge Focusing into emotional support groups , building supportive community can start with groups who come together to accomplish a common task. The Creative Edge Organization model can be used for motivation from the bottom up. The Collaborative Edge Decision Making Method (PDF file to download, English or Spanish), with components of Shared Leadership, Coordinated Collaboration, and Creative Edge Impasse Resolution, grounds power and responsibility for decision making in each individual. See More on Task-Oriented Community Building.

Starting either with emotional support groups or collaborative work situations, by teaching the two simple skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and the seven applied methods of The Creative Edge Pyramid, you can strengthen community through
—the personal, creative, and spiritual growth of each member
—the relational aspects of mutual care and conflict resolution
—the task-oriented level of problem-solving, group decision-making, and concerted action toward a goal.

Click here to visit the Building Supportive Community Interest Area and scroll down to find the Ten First Steps For Bringing Listening/Focusing into Support Groups, Community Mental Health, and Task-Oriented Settings

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!!!

 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.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

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 SPIRITUALITY 4: AGAPE —THE SPIRITUAL LOVE OF THE OTHER

By , June 2, 2008 10:30 pm

Experiencing God in The Other

For me, intense spiritual experiences of the love known as Agape happen regularly through the experience of exchanging Listening/Focusing turns in a Focusing Partnership or a Listening/Focusing Community. Through the use of Focused Listening, I am able to set aside my own stereotypes and prejudices and really enter into the world of the other person. In these moments of empathy, when the Focuser touches upon her deepest values and most profound truths, as the Listener, I am often moved and touched by the absolute uniqueness, yet universal humanness, of the Other.

In these moments, often with a sheen of tears in our eyes, it seems that the boundaries separating one person from the other drop, and we stand together in a shared, sacred space. I believe this is what is meant by experiencing The Christ Within The Other or Universal Oneness or Martin Buber’s “I-Thou” vs. “I-It” experience. For me, there is no more sacred experience.

Here is how I recently described this experience of Agape during Listening/Focusing Partnership Exchange:

“I like Listening/Focusing better than Focusing Alone because, when people share Listening/Focusing turns, they actually build up Love between each other, the Love of “the unique otherness” of the other which is Agape, which is “seeing Christ in the other person,” which is Buber’s “I /Thou vs. I / It experience.” I am way more interested in promoting a method that creates Love in the world than I am in any individual’s personal growth.

And so I like to spread Listening/Focusing partnership, but even more important, Listening/Focusing groups, and, most importantly, Listening/Focusing Communities. In a Community, there is Listening/Focusing for conflict resolution and for Win/Win decision making, two more HUGE VAST ways to create love rather than conflict, prejudice,stereotyping.

The experience of Love being created? I am Listening to another. That person touches down, often, into a place of tears, a place of deepest, most profound meaning for them. I am also moved to tears of empathy. In that moment, it is “as if” the boundary between the other person and myself dissolves or broadens or merges — I am still there, and they, but there is also this Togetherness — and, in it this feeling of Love — my heart swelling, sometimes tears in my eyes, and a sense that Something Sacred has entered into the room. Something beyond the two of us, and something with qualities of Awe and Grace and the kind of Love that God or a Universal positive force — well, something like that!!!

And, this Love lasts. I am now bonded to this person. In a Focusing Community, out of this Love, people take each other to doctor’s appointment, sit with each other through chemo therapy, help each other move furniture, celebrate each other’s Birthdays, show up at a meeting just to hear each person Check In, each person say their News and Goods from the week. I do think that this mutual “touching into tears” may actually be a crucial, almost physiological/spiritual part of this “melting and merging.”

It is possible that the quality of sharing in my Focusing Communities is different or deeper than in other Focusing Groups because of the emphasis I place on teaching Focusers and Listeners alike to move toward, move into, welcome, the places that start with a shimmer of tears in the eyes, and, if the Focuser stops and “senses in” right there, at the “place of tears,” hugely deep meanings unfold.

It is that, building community (not just partnership) in a world of isolation and mistrust and hate, that I love above all else, and it is Listening, more than Focusing Alone, that allows this to happen, really, really predictably. Creating Love predictably! What could be better! You can take any group of people, no matter how polarized and hating, and, if they will do Listening/Focusing turns with each other, seeing each other’s mutual Uniqueness-yet-Commonality, they will find themselves loving each other, having deep compassion for each other, and being willing to take action steps to help each other (at least, this is my belief! Carl Rogers has done more of these actual world-peace making gatherings than I. Mine have been local Focusing Communities — but six of these over 30 years, all creating love and bonding, each lasting 5-10 years).”

See articles in PDF:

Focusing and Spirituality: The Still, Small Voice Within
Being Touched and Being Moved: The Spiritual Value Of Tears
Finding The Meaning Of Tears

Click here to see the whole Experiencing The Sacred Interest Area and scroll down to find Ten Ways to Bring Focusing into Spiritual Communities

EXERCISE: FOCUSING UPON A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE OF AGAPE
(You can read these to yourself now, download them for repeated use, read them into a tape recorder for playback; leave at least one minute of silence between each instruction)

If you need a different kind of Focusing Exercise for where you are today, please click here to access the e-newsletter archives at Constant Contact and choose any Focusing Instruction that fits for you.

As last week, you will choose an experience to spend Intuitive Focusing time on that had spiritual meaning for you, a moment when you might have said that you were experiencing God or The Sacred or Something Profound – often, this can be something that touched you or moved you, perhaps bringing a sheen of tears to your eyes. It might be a piece of music, a prayer or passage from the Bible, a poem, a sunset, the smile of a child, the touch of a friend.

Perhaps this week you could bring to mind an experience of Agape that you have had: A time when you felt a special closeness to another person which had a spiritual feel to it

By spending time with “the intuitive feel of it all,” you are going to make more words and meanings for what is Sacred, to you. Please find a comfortable chair in a quiet place, and give yourself at least 30 minutes for Intuitive Focusing:

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 — )
Now, bring to mind an event or piece of music or art or religious symbol that felt Sacred, or had a spiritual significance for you. If it fits for you, look for a time when you experienced the special closeness of Agape with another person (pause) — Take your time to find a powerful, meaningful symbol or event —
(One minute or more — )
Think about it or get a mental image of it — take your time to choose something that matters to you —
(One minute — )
Now, try to set aside all of your thoughts about this experience, and, as you carry a mental image of the event or symbol in your mind, just wait and see what comes in the center of your body, around your heart/chest area, in response (pause) — not words, but the intuitive feel of that whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, carefully try to find words or an image for that intuitive feel — 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 — )
Now, gently ask yourself, “What was so important for me about that?” or, “What about that touched me or filled me with awe?”, and wait, at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, the place where you feel things —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image that exactly fit that felt experiencing —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “And what was so Sacred to me about that, what do I mean by ‘Sacred’?” and, again, wait quietly, for at least a minute, to see what comes in the center of your body, without words, just the “feel” of “the whole thing” about “Sacred.”
(One minute or more — )
And find some words or an image to capture that “whole thing,” The Sacred —
(One minute or more — )
Now, ask yourself, “Does that capture what I mean by ‘spiritual’?”, and, again, don’t answer from your head, what you already know, but wait, as long as a minute, for an answer to come in the center of your body, your wordless intuition, The Creative Edge —
(One minute or more — )
Again, carefully find words or an image for that, and check, “Is that it?” —
(One minute — )
If the answer is “Yes,” a release of bodily tension, a sense of “rightness,” then turn your attention to noticing any “spiritual” experiences that are present around the edges of this experience, right now — feelings of Sacredness, of floating in Oneness, of Awe or Gratitude, of being moved or touched with tears — stay with these immediate spiritual feelings as long as you like —
(One minute or more — )
Try to find an image or other symbol or gesture that might serve as a “handle” for this particular spiritual feeling, something that would remind you of how to find your way to this place again, at any time during the day when you want to revisit the Experience of the Sacred —
(One minute or more)
And, when you are finished, come back into the room.
If the answer is “No,” your body remains tense, then, set aside everything you have already thought and tried and ask your body, The Creative Edge, again: “What is Spirituality for me, and where might I find it?”, and, again, wait, as long as a minute or more, to see what comes in the center of your chest, an intuitive “feel” for the whole thing —
(One minute or more — )
Take a moment, again, to carefully find words or an image for whatever has come —
(One minute or more — )
Keep at this as long as you are comfortable, asking an open-ended question, waiting for an intuitive sense of “the whole thing” to emerge, looking for words or an image or even a gesture or action step that fits the intuitive feel “exactly.”
(One minute or more — )
But, if no clear “felt” experiencing of Spirituality arises, just remind yourself that, by spending Focusing time sitting with The Creative Edge, you have added energy and started a new living-forward, and, especially if you continue to hold “the feel of it all” on the back-burner of your mind, later something new will likely pop up —
(One minute)
Appreciate yourself and your body for taking time with this, trusting that taking time is the important thing – new experiences can then arise later.
(One minute or more — )

Remember, Intuitive Focusing is often learned more easily in the company of a Focused Listener. Go to Creative Edge Focusing TM at www.cefocusing.com  to find many resources, from self-help groups to Creative Edge Focusing Consultants for individual Coaching or Classes and Workshops.

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

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

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

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 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 

STARTING A LISTENING/FOCUSING SUPPORT GROUP

By , May 7, 2008 5:16 pm

Starting Your Own Listening/Focusing Partnership or Group

In these weekly Felt Sensing newsletters of this four-week cycle, I will give instruction (including free Chapter downloads from the manual Focusing In Community: Starting A Listening/Focusing Support Group (Focusing en Comunidad) and encouragement for starting your own, local Listening/Focusing Practice Group.

Most people learn Intuitive Focusing more easily in the presence of a Focused Listener, an outside, non-judgemental “witness.” The Listener can use Pure Reflection to help you hear and resonate/check your own words against your “felt sense,” and Focusing Invitations to remind you to slow down, be quiet, and sense into the “bodily feel,” the Creative Edge. Only then can you let new words and images arise from that wealth of non-linear, right-brain information.The Listener can help you spot the many voices of your Inner Critic, Wounded Child, and other aspects of your experiencing.

I can think of no better way than a weekly group meeting to support you in developing “the habit of felt sensing,” a life style of paying attention to and spending time articulating the wealth of mind/body wisdom that comes every day as The Creative Edge. This “intuitive feel” of your situations, relationships, and creative problem solving contains the possibility of the Paradigm Shifts leading to the most innovative problem solving, the most lasting personal change.Not only will your group learn Listening and Focusing skills, but also you will reap the benefits of “bonding” that come from sharing your inner journey with another.

Finding Your First Person Or Core Group

Beginning your Listening/Focusing Practice Group can be as easy as finding one other person to share the Self-Help Package with. You will have a manual download in English or Spanish giving explicit instructions, two 2-CD sets explaining the basic philosophy and including many Focusing Exercises you can use to begin your meetings, and a two-hour DVD with four different demonstrations of being a Focused Listener while someone else is using Intuitive Focusing. All for the introductory price of $39 US!!!  Click here to explore this option in our Store.

Not ready to commit to a purchase? You can start by downloading the free PDF files, in English or Spanish of the Introduction to the manual which you will also find at the link above.  The Introductory Chapter gives many suggestions for finding people for your practice group. And next week you can download Chapter Three, explicit instructions for the first ten meetings of your Listening/Focusing exchange, here at this blog.

You can start just with one best friend or colleague who is already a great listener.
You can take the skills into an existing support group or work team.
You can do a presentation to the kind of people you would like in your group (counselors, church members, business colleagues, couples, parents, artists — your own peer group!). Or
You can take a Listening/Focusing Class from a Certified Focusing Professional and then carry on as a self-help practice group.

Here are the first pages of the Introduction to inspire you to action! You really can start your own group:

FOCUSING IN COMMUNITY: Introduction

Free sample excerpt of manual by Dr. Kathy McGuire, Creative Edge Focusing TM, www.cefocusing.com  , part of The Self-Help Package available in The Store :

INTRODUCTION

1. How to Use the Manual

The manual has been written so that any individual can

· sit down and read the manual;
· find a friend or two who will also read it and practice the skills in Part Two; and
· build a supportive community for himself.

However, the manual can also be used by professionals:

as the basis for a course in community mental health or counseling skills
as an aid in beginning supportive communities in a variety of settings.

It can be used by professionals and non-professionals alike who want to build non-hierarchical and emotionally supportive work environments for themselves.

The peer counseling model for community offered here also insures a further step toward intimacy to groups who are already meeting some needs through mutual support.The manual is based on thirty years of experience with groups in many contexts and is the best solution I have found to the difficulties of living, meeting and working collectively.

The manual teaches peer counseling skills of empathic listening and experiential focusing and tells how to use these skills to provide emotional support, to work through interpersonal conflicts, and to arrive at consensual, cooperative decisions. It tells how to build a peer counseling community, be it as small as four close friends or one open to anyone in a larger community who wants to come.

In a peer counseling community, there is no distinction made between helper and helpee. Everyone learns the core skills, Focused Listening and Intuitive Focusing. Participants exchange counseling turns as equals: I listen to you while you use Focusing on some concern of yours; then you listen to me while I use Focusing on my concern.

The depth of intimacy generated during the exchange of empathic listening turns grows into a feeling of connectedness and mutual regard which soon blossoms into a supportive community: a throughout the week network of friendships and mutually supporting relationships extending into all aspects of participants” life and work.

The manual should be useful to:

· helping professionals who bring people together for mutual support in a variety of settings, including churches, schools, prisons, halfway houses, community mental health centers, senior citizen centers, 12-Step organizations, hospitals;
· paraprofessionals who offer peer counseling through hotlines, crisis centers, student centers;
· self-help and support groups who want to deepen their level of sharing and commitment;
· businesses, non-profit organizations, and political groups who want to incorporate “the intuitive feel,” The Creative Edge, for innovative problem solving;
· those living in spiritual and other residential communities;
· individuals who are looking for their own solution to isolation and loneliness.

The skills described in the manual, and the theory behind them, can be easily comprehended and practiced by any individual or group of individuals who want to create a more intimate and healing environment for themselves.

Every person should have the skills to respond to emotional crisis, to be in touch with and to share his own inner experiencing, to resolve interpersonal conflicts, and to make decisions without conflict. The need for such skills arises constantly in everyday life: in marriage, friendship, the relationship between employer and employee, any attempt of people to meet or work together.

When such skills remain the province of mental health professionals alone, there is a general mystification which leads individuals to feel dependent upon mental health practitioners and, in the most damaging way, to perceive themselves as not responsible for their feelings and actions and their effects upon other people.

I hope through this manual to give confidence and skills to those wishing to understand the psychological and interpersonal phenomena which arise in everyday friendship and work and thereby to empower individuals.I have received some of my own best mental health care and mental health training in support groups and peer counseling groups. I have come to see the core skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening as the basis of “human literacy,” skills of “emotional and social intelligence.”

CLICK HERE FOR A LINK AT CREATIVE EDGE FOCUSING WHERE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE “INTRODUCTION,” IN ENGLISH OR SPANISH, AS A FREE PDF FILE.

AND/OR CLICK HERE TO VIEW A COMPLETE DESCRIPTION AND TO CONSIDER PURCHASING THE ENTIRE SELF-HELP PACKAGE FOR $39 (OR MANUAL DOWNLOAD ALONE FOR $5), WITH MULTI-MEDIA SUPPORT.

It is my hope that, before the end of this four-week cycle, you will have found at least one other person to practice Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening with as the beginning of your own local practice group. The manual chapter gives many suggestions about how to find your first one or more people, how to present the idea, how to demonstrate the skills.

BUT ONLY YOU CAN TAKE THAT FIRST STEP OF FINDING SOMEONE, JUST THAT ONE, FIRST PERSON. From then on, you and your partner can support each other in enlarging the group, if you want.

You can get online support and answers to your questions as you try to proceed in the Creative Edge Practice e-group at http://yahoogroups.com/group/creativeedgepractice  . 

Tell me what you think at [email protected] or comment on this blog below ! Or email your findings to The Creative Edge Collaborators’ Group. Join at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/creativeedgecollab 

 See blogs under Category: Conflict Resolution in the sidebar 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.

Download complete Instant “Ahah!” Mini-Manual, in English and Spanish, from CEF Website

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 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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