Posts tagged: thinking and feeling


By , January 12, 2009 3:14 pm
It’s so easy to see using Intuitive Focusing to unravel the “felt residue” of a situation only when the feelings are negative, unsettling, confusing. However, Focusing can be used just as fruitfully to make words for, to articulate positive experiences.
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If we live in a Focusing/Felt-Sensing way, we will be able to use our “intuitive feel” of situations that touch us or matter to us to uncover, to unfold our most important life meanings and directions. Here is an experience I had and how, taking time later to “sense into” and make words for “the whole intuitive feel” left by the situation guided and enriched me.
Context of the day: I went to a Women-In-Networking (WIN) holiday luncheon. This is a gathering of small business owners and other “Women in Business.” I had fallen just before needing to leave and severely bruised several boney parts. I iced them a little, but had to rush off — I am turning 62 on Dec. 24, and this enters into “feeling more fragile.”
At the meeting, the Emcee, one of few men involved in the organization, told a story about how his single-mother mom had worked and sacrificed to make a home, a living, a life for her children. Throughout the entire telling, he kept completely choking up, being almost unable to speak, tearing up, but he continued on. Noone freaked out. Many people teared up along with him. Occasionally he would make a joke or articulate a point. It did not seem to phase him at all. His main point: (and this made him cry/choke up a lot!) That we here at WIN were supporting each other in a way that his mother did not have support, and how precious and important that was.
Then a woman minister spoke about her ministry, about “women who live dangerously,” meaning “women who are willing to ‘lose’ their life in order to ‘find’ it” (I tear up a little here right now). She told stories of her own widowhood at age 45, about women in third world countries struggling to raise, not only their own, but children orphaned by AIDS. She told stories of how women seem to have a special talent for rising to the occasion in the midst of adversity, being able to pick up the pieces and go on, helping themselves and others. Again, many people were wiping their eyes and sniffling.
And I am sitting there thinking/feeling: this is what I am working on.
And, later, at home, I took time to relax into my body by paying attention to my body, then asked myself in a Focusing way, “What was it about that meeting that is so ‘crux’ to me?” and waited for “the feel of it all” to form in the center of my body. And these are the words that came as I went back-and-forth between words and “the intuitive feel” until the words were “just right”:
This calling of mine about integrating masculine and feminine, work and home, about the way in which “tears of being touched and moved” are our body’s “signposts that we are on the path to profound meaning—and I wondered how I could remind these people of this teary and heartfelt experience they all went through, happily, in a holiday mood, when I proposed (which I was getting clarity on doing as a next step) that we add real Listening/Focusing Support Groups (for creative thinking, problem solving, and emotional clarity — that these two things are not separate but go hand in hand) to the networking meetings that we have and to creating Creative Edge Organizations.
And, in there, is the crux of my work (at least in this area — that leaves parenting support groups, relationship support groups, etc., etc.) — but this thing right here is the crux about bringing work and home, masculine and feminine, thinking and feeling together in a business setting—
Moral of The Story: Living In a Self-Reflective Way Enriches Meaning
So here we see that simply paying attention to what is happening in our “bodily felt sense” or “intuitive feel” while we live our life situations, and taking a few moments to give Focusing attention to make words for “the feel of it all” enriches our life with meaning. Not just for difficulties and problem solving, but in terms of positive, profound indications that we are on the “right track” in terms of life directions.

Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #4: “Finding the Felt Senses of A Situation”
(from Complete Focusing Instructions, free download link at top of this blog) Week Four of four weeks of practice
Remember, especially at the beginning, time those “1 minute” pauses. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!! And it is exactly in the PAUSE that the Creative Edge comes.

 4.  The “Felt Sense,” The “Intuitive Feel” of a Situation-Allow 15 to 20 minutes
In this exercise, you are going through a first round of Intuitive Focusing, looking for The Creative Edge, the something-new-that-is-more-than-words about an actual situation during the week that felt unfinished.

Although you may have gone around and around in your head, trying to find a solution, to figure out what happened that was strange, now you will set aside that left-brain problem solving and consult your “right-brain wisdom, the bodily “intuitive feel” of “that whole thing.” First, we use a Relaxation exercise as a way of clearing some space inside for Focusing:
Let’s start with The Counting Meditation for initial Relaxation:
—First, stretch—and relax, stretch—and relax, stretch—and relax—-30 sec.
—Now, begin noticing your breathing, just noticing the breath going in—and out—in—and out—30 sec.
—Now, on each exhale, count starting with “1” and continuing, on each exhale, until you reach “9”—1—2—3—4—5—6—7—8—9
2 minutes
—If you lose track, just start counting over again with “1”. When you get to “9,” start over and count to “9” one more time—
                                                                2 minutes
—Spend a few minutes coming to a peaceful place inside, noticing your breathing—
2 minutes
—Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation from the past week which feels unfinished, left behind an uncomfortable or confusing feeling or even a positve feeling—
2 minutes
—Set aside all your ready-made words or images, and try to get a fresh “intuitive feel” for how you felt in that situation, paying attention to the center of your body, around the heart/chest area—
1 minute
—Try to find some words or an image to describe the “intuitive feel” of it, The Creative Edge before words—
1 minute
—Keep checking until the words or image are just right.
1 minute
—Ask yourself, “What’s that about for me?” and wait for a felt sense, an “intuitive feel” that is more than words, to form—
1 minute
—Find some words or an image to capture that “intuitive sense”. You are letting your body’s Wisdom tell you about the situation, instead of answering with everything you already know.
1 minute
—When you are ready, come slowly back into the room.
If you wanted to continue with another round of Focusing, you would simply ask again, “And why is this important to me?”, wait to see what comes as an “intuitive feel,” look for words or an image that are “just right,” checking and resonating until something shifts inside. You can find full Focusing Instructions in Complete Focusing Instructions, p.12-17, download from the link at the top of this blog.


Creative Edge Focusing ( ) 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.

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Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)

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