Peace in Me / Rauha minussa

Photo Credit: Cerro Santa Lucia in Santiago, Chile by Maria Hakasalo

I found peace in me. I sit in a subway in Santiago, Chile. My husband sits at the other end of the full car. I am worried. The next day we go in different directions. He will leave by himself for a backpacking trip to Paraguay, to Iguazu Falls in Brazil and later to Argentina, while I will spend a week in Punta de Tralca, Chile. I will be safe–his experience is an unknown. Who knows, it may even be a bit dangerous. Something in me is absolutely scared.

Finding Peace in Me

A man gets on the subway car with another man. They are  standing near the door. The man holds on to an adjacent bar. Noticing him, I suddenly start to feel my feet firmly against the floor of the car. Peace begins to rise up all over my body. I look at the man when he speaks to his companion.  Just an ordinary man about sixty years old carrying a briefcase in his hand. He’s taller than other men in the car.

I look at people around me curiously: could I find someone else with the same peace in their face and in their whole appearance? Not a soul.

After a while, the man leaves the subway. Deep peace in me does not disappear.

This experience reminds me of focusing, when I am with issues, thoughts or feelings that can arise, there is resistance, fear, and hardening in me. When I pay attention to the support of the floor, the chair, the environment, the listener, I start to feel my grounded presence and me here that is completely safe and peaceful.

Later, I realize that the peace of that man resonated with the peace that was just hidden somewhere in me at that moment. There is a peace in me, and I can find it even in a painful moment.

I can feel the same when listening to Kevin’s attunement at:

Looking for the Life Support to Move Forward the Complexity of a Growing Me?

Istun metrovaunussa Santiagossa, Chilessä. Puolisoni istuu toisessa päässä täyttä vaunua. Olen huolissani. Seuraavana päivänä me menemme eri suuntiin. Hän lähtee yksin reppureissailemaan Paraguayhin, ja Iguassun putouksille sekä Brasilian että Argentiinan puolelle samaan aikaan, kun minä vietän viikon Punta de Tralcassa, Chilessä. Minä olen turvassa, hän tuntemattomassa, kuka tietää, jopa vaarallisessa paikassa. Joku minussa on todella peloissaan.

Metrovaunuun nousee mies toisen miehen kanssa. He jäävät seisomaan oven suulle. Mies ottaa tukea viereisestä tangosta. Kun näen hänet, alan yhtäkkiä tuntea jalkapohjani tukevasti vaunun lattiaa vasten. Rauha alkaa nousta ylöspäin koko kehooni. Katson miestä, kun hän puhuu toiselle. Aivan tavallinen mies, noin kuudenkymmenen ikäinen salkku kädessään. Pidempi kuin moni mies ympärillään.

Katson ihmisiä ympärilläni uteliaana: löytyisikö joku toinenkin, jonka kasvoista ja koko olemuksesta huokuisi sama rauha kuin miehestä vierelläni. Ei ketään.

Jonkun ajan päästä mies poistuu metrosta. Minussa asuva syvä rauha ei häviä.

Tämä kokemus muistuttaa fokusointia. Sitä, kuinka olen asioiden, ajatusten tai tunteiden kansssa, jotka voivat herättää minussa vastustusta, pelkoa, jähmettymistä. Kun vien huomion lattian, tuolin, ympäristön ja kuuntelijani antamaan tukeen, alan tuntea, kuinka jalkani juurtuvat maahan ja löydän sen osan minusta, joka on täysin turvassa, jolla on täysi rauha vain olla.

Myöhemmin oivallan, että miehen rauha resonoi minussa itsessäni sillä hetkellä piiloutuneena olleen rauhan kanssa. Minussakin on se rauha, ja voin löytää sen kipeälläkin hetkellä.

Kevinin harjoitus vie minut tähän samaan tunnelmaan. Löydät sen täältä

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Gravity is Unconditional Love

Keep  noticing Gravity and what shows up. The act of recognizing grounding to Gravity as an energetic bond will strengthen our energetic connection to ourselves and support a sense of being loved in any form of bodywork we do. 


Gravity is unconditional love. I learned to understand this in a drumming workshop many years ago. The presenter was a beautiful woman named Aida, and we drummed all day and throughout the evening. Our energy levels were high from the vibrations of the drums, tambourines, and cymbals. All worldly concerns disappeared, and we didn’t want the experience to end. However, what stands out most for me most is what the presenter taught us: “Gravity is unconditional love.”

Aida explained that Gravity holds all things to the Earth without prejudice or judgment for prophets or sinners alike. Therefore, when anyone needs to feel grounded or is looking to feel loved, we only need to sense how Gravity feels in our bodies. So, what does it feel like to connect to Gravity?

Gravity, Love and Silence 

I traveled to Flaming Gorge, Utah, to one of the least populated places in the United States. Being from the east coast of the US, I have always lived in highly populated areas. Noise, pollution, and the vibrations from all the motors that run the systems we use to support such large populations are the background of our lives, and we seldom notice them. 

Being in Utah gave me a chance to reset my awareness. Once my friends and I got to Flaming Gorge, they chose to hike. I decided to sit alone in an open space on a high cliff overlooking the river gorge. I suddenly became aware of the intense silence. There was no car, airplane, or boat traffic. I didn’t hear any sounds of motors. The lack of human presence eliminated speaking and breathing sounds. Nothing was present that usually would fill my environment with noise.  

Gravity, Silence and Me

As I sat on a rock and relaxed into the what seemed like complete silence, I began to hear my heartbeat. For some time I held space for this new experience marveling at the sound of me. Who knew that I had a discernible  sound? Eventually, I noticed other sounds like a pattern as if  someone  was walking on gravel but not so loud. It sounded like tiny feet crunching on dirt. It wouldn’t go away. I started to look for what might be making this sound. At my feet, I found an army of ants walking in a line in rhythm across the sand. The sound matched perfectly with their movement. 

I had never thought that ants walking could make any sound. I realized that I do not hear or perceive certain sounds because other sounds typically drown them out. This experience was the first time I had a chance to listen to things unrelated to humans. I then started hearing flying bugs from a long distance. It was like an army of insects (of which I have a life-long fear) had decided to show up for me. I wasn’t afraid; I was amazed that I was missing so much of the world because I mostly live in a noisy place.

Gravity, Love and Wholebody Focusing

A few years later, when I began learning Wholebody Focusing, I remembered this experience, and it helped me learn to ground. Many energetic practices ask us to “ground” ourselves before starting a meditation or other techniques that help us connect to our bodies. So the first thing a Wholebody trainer might say is, “notice your feet and include your buttocks if you are sitting or your whole body if you are lying down.” Some people understand this as a metaphor for relaxing or letting go of whatever is in your consciousness. However, what would it feel like if it were not a metaphor? 

What if we focused our attention on how our feet, buttocks, or whole bodies feel the connection to Gravity–the Earth’s primary energy. All we need to do is to shift our attention to where our bodies touch the ground and wait to notice what that sensation entails. Sometimes the area becomes energized, and sometimes we can feel energy outside the part of our body to which we are sending your attention.  We shift our attention to a part of the body connected to the Earth and let go of the noise, thoughts and other stimuli. It will give us the ability to consciously connect to the Gravity of the Earth’s energy.    

It may, at first, seem indiscernible, but with a bit of patience and willingness to hold our attention to our connection to the Earth,  a bodily sensation will emerge. 

 Sensing Gravity’s Love

Whatever does arise, recognize it, thank it for showing itself. We have newly connected to the most potent source of unconditional love. This energy has been with us from inception and will stay with us throughout our lives. It provides us with the stability to move and function that we may be taking for granted or not noticing.  

Recognizing Gravity as an energy force will give us a greater sense of its constancy, inability to use judgement to determine its actions , and how you share this bond with all sentient beings and other objects. Gravity can also reinforce the sense of being loved within ourselves, especially if we are not generally in touch with the love that surrounds us. It is energetic love, not emotional love. Energetic love functions without requirements. Emotional love often comes with limits.  The greater the connection we create, the more we will begin to notice and trust the energetic forces that are our birthright and constant support. We are a part of a collective force that creates our reality.

Gravity as an Energetic Force

What we are doing is giving ourselves a chance to appreciate how nothing will get between us and the Earth no matter how hard we try. Gravity is always holding us, even in airplanes. So the first time we try connecting to Gravity, set goals aside and just experience what happens.  

We can always take a few minutes out of our day to reconnect our body to the Earth. For example, sitting at a desk, reconnect to the floor below you. Standing at a bus stop,we connect feet to the ground below. Keep  noticing how Gravity shows up . The act of recognizing grounding to Gravity as an energetic bond will strengthen our energetic connection to ourselves in any form of bodywork you do. 

Gravity: Accepting Life Itself Unconditionally

Photo Credit: Ellie Brady Flaming Gorge 2018

Letting life happen in me…

Can I even risk being seen that deeply, seeing that deeply. The thought of that scares and excites me.

Photo Credit: Gabrielle Clark

Who am I?

I ask and ask many times and I step back, but nothing comes.

I stay and say it is okay.

I drift off and remember something I have read yesterday – ‘we must defend your dwelling place in us to the last’, so I come back. I ask again.

Then I remember a lovely note from a friend – ‘its okay and enjoy life’ he says – This makes me smile. Enjoy life – yes! The smile keeps growing. I think this is enough and I finish.

I come across a poem and I am moved by the line – “Close your eyes and follow your breath to the still place that leads to the invisible path that leads you home.”

I pause again and follow my breath – a feeling is coming in my body. It’s big! It is like a feeling of ecstasy, it is scary and nice and I am allowing it.

I remember the support of the chair.

It feels like I am allowing life to flow in me and it is so beautiful and light and uplifting. I can still feel it now, it is tingling and buzzing with life. “Let life happen to you” says Rilke.

Perhaps I am the vehicle for the life that is longing to live in me. Or am I the life I felt moving in me.

I don’t know.

Who am I beyond the conditioning that has been imposed on me?

Who is the one that looks out from behind my eyes?

Who is the one that looks out from behind your eyes?

Can I even risk being seen that deeply, seeing that deeply. The thought of that scares and excites me.

I hold both, as a hopeful possibility.


Note Authors of my inspiration in order: Etty Hillesum, Rainer Maria Rilke and Teresa of Avila

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Holding Space for the Suffering of the Holocaust

Ellen part of holding space for the Holocaust, Korman Mains describes being a witness at Auschwitz as “shattering” initially; however, if one is able and willing to stay present to the energy of the experienceShe describes the process of being a witness at Auschwitz as “shattering” initially; however, if one is able and willing to stay present to the energy of the experience, a peacefulness emerges and extends into a sense of spaciousness and well-being.She describes the process of being a witness at Auschwitz as “shattering” initially; however, if one is able and willing to stay present to the energy of the experience, a peacefulness emerges and extends into a sense of spaciousness and well-being.

Presentation by Ellen Korman Mains

As part of the commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Kevin McEvenue’s Wholebody Focusing Blog helped sponsor an online gathering, attended by people from at least 6 countries. Author, Holocaust activist, and Focusing Teacher Ellen Korman Mains led a discussion on ways to hold space for and participate in the healing that needs to happen around the devastation of the Holocaust.

This post has an abridged version of Ellen’s presentation to the participants that supported small group Heart Conversation on this topic. Ellen starts her comments with a discussion of time itself. How are the past, present, and future connected? Can we relate to trauma in the past? Do these past actions relate to what is happening now? And, most importantly, how can holding space for the past carry us forward?

Ellen talks about the history of witnessing the Holocaust—how it was avoided by many at first. It is challenging to hold such horrors in our consciousness. She describes the process of becoming a witness and why witnessing matters. What is the impact on the person who is a witness? Can it change the energy of those spirits who lived through this tragedy?

Ellen draws on her work and the work of other healers for inspiration. She describes the process of being a witness at Auschwitz as “shattering” initially; however, if one is able and willing to stay present to the energy of the experience, a peacefulness emerges and extends into a sense of spaciousness and well-being.

This video is about 18 minutes long but well worth the effort to watch. For me, it is a convincing explanation of how we can heal ourselves, the past, and the future through this type of energy work. This kind of holding of space for suffering can also be helpful in many other circumstances in which unattended suffering still has us in its grip.

Sit back and take your time being with Ellen and her wisdom.

To leave or read a comment, click here and go past the end of the post.

Raw Desire Awakens to the Power of Choice

You can connect to one’s raw desire which awakens your power to hold space with equal positive regard to the wanting and not wanting to acknowledge the desire.

I can feel it in my body that I want to say something; it is like an energy—the energy of desire wanting to say something. At the same time, I am aware I don’t know the nature of that desire; it feels like a raw energy. That immediately brings an almost equal response of resistance that seems to say, “I can’t” or maybe, “I won’t!”


It also feels like I have been here before, possibly in the Intunement Series describing the steps of Wholebody Focusing. I can hear myself saying “I know this place; I know that step.” Thinking—as I pause—it is about holding both with equal positive regard, all about wanting and not wanting.

But this is a different experience; similar—but not the same. What is familiar is the ability to describe this step as a WholeBody focusing experience. What is different is that I am fully immersed in this activity. A desire standing alone on its own power without specific content. I am also aware of the resistance—the mustn’t!—but without the familiar intensity. I am full of desire and at the same time I don’t know! They seem to come from very different places in me.

Raw Desire Awakens Power

Here I choose to pause and stay with the desire. I make room for whatever comes directly out of that power: desire! I wait for more to come from that core sense of wanting and desiring. Raw desire feels neutral at first, but as my awareness connects with the desire, something more happens between us that is rich and surprising.

They feel almost independent of one another, enough to be able to say “hi!” The whole bodily experience seems to expand the whole of me that actually feels palpable! Yes, there is an engagement happening that is remarkably palpable! A feeling of mutual connection with one another that feels not only mutual, but also fulfilling—with appreciation and respect. It is happening and it is good and we know it.

These are movements of active participation with one another, powerful forces activated by this connection. It is for me to just hold the space!

I invite you to share with me what comes; starting with desire, the resistance and the not-knowing. Notice how more seems to be activated and stimulated by this raw energy as we pause and wait with an attitude of curious wondering!

Other writings by Kevin McEvenue

Carnac Stones, Brittany, France.  Photo Credit: Kevin McEvenue

Exploring Excitement, Response & the Power of Noticing

The next step in exploring new directions: exploring excitement, response and the power of noticing. My body seems suddenly excited by something and what happens as an immediate bodily response to that stimulation. And the question: is there a link between the nature of the excitement and the bodily response when I pause to make room for this event unfolding even before thought or choice appears?

Exploring the Link

In this episode, I make a choice; I choose to touch myself and then step back and notice what happens when I touch a sensitive place near a nipple. I pause, step back, and notice what comes. The physical response is instantly pleasurable, wanting more, an expansion of wanting more.

By pausing and waiting in this way and just noticing, that sensitive part of my chest registers something pleasurable. Something I would want to hold on to, to desire!

Then more connection of awakening begins to happen spontaneously throughout different body parts in some kind of meaningful order. Some pleasurable, some not so—maybe something quite different.

The Power of Noticing

There seems to be a pattern awakened when I do this. I touch myself; that awakens a response. It follows immediately with an activation that seems to be in sync with the nature of that kind of stimulation. And also, something else—new connections that were unexpected or even unwanted.

It is as though a whole story begins to unfold that is not of my own making and yet it seems filled with meaning and not-knowing. I pause and wait for more to come…..what else….what’s next….? A next step happens immediately! And then a next!

Maybe as you hear my story unfold, you could playfully explore this kind of awareness that has excited you—out of the blue. It doesn’t have to be pleasurable; maybe something you are drawn to or something that wants your attention right now?

New Directions
Photo Credit: Kevin McEvenue - Megalithic Carnac Stones in Brittany, France

Holding Our Strengths and “Little Monsters” with Equal Regard

Diana and Ellen discuss how both spirituality and focusing live in their bodies and how they support their struggles with the “Little Monsters” with a sense of befriending what’s there by holding both with equal regard.

Illustration of a Neanderthal Woman:  John Sibbick (with permission from the artist)

Ellen Korman Mains came up with “Holding Our Strengths and “Little Monsters” with Equal Regard” as she reflected on her week and how she’d been relating with a disturbing part of herself. Diana Scalera and Ellen talked about being with difficult experiences of ourselves with the help of our spiritual and focusing practices.

Holding our Strengths…

Diana Scalera went to Catholic school until the 8th grade, when she gave up on Catholicism and organized religion in general as a spiritual practice because most of what she experienced from her Catholic education was demeaning treatment, punishment, and fear. Not until she began focusing did her connection to a spiritual life emerge. In one of her first sessions with Kevin McEvenue, a Neanderthal woman became present in her body to support her in a situation in which she felt weak and powerless. Diana could sense the strength in these bones and how the Neanderthal woman was offering them as a gift to guide her and make her strong. From then on, Diana let go of a traditional idea of spirituality and became open to her innate connection to spirit. Neanderthals

Ellen Korman Mains grew up in a Jewish home of Holocaust survivors where ties to previous generations seemed cut entirely. At 19, she met a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who emphasized trusting direct experience over dogma or wishful thinking, and this began her spiritual journey. Twenty years later, illness and energy work broadened her sense of connection to the invisible world and to the “larger system” that Gene Gendlin refers. Later, traveling to Poland to embrace her family’s past led to extraordinary openings described in her book Buried Rivers: A Spiritual Journey into the Holocaust, as ancestors began showing up to support her. Since 2011, Focusing and meditation have been important venues for trusting her direction and spiritual connection and helping others trust theirs.

Holding our “Little Monsters…”

In the video below, Diana and Ellen discuss how spirituality and Focusing live in their bodies. Through the years, show up to support their struggles with the “Little Monsters” by offering their strength and a sense of befriending to hold both the “monsters” and our strength equally.

Thank you to John Sibbick for allowing us to use his wonderful drawing of a Neanderthal woman.

We hope you enjoy this conversation about how two individuals find their way.

To leave or read a comment, click here and go past the end of the post.

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Finding a Safe Structure to Experience Life Fully Inside Me as Me!

Kevin begins by asking us to “find ourselves once again together.”  It is a most luxurious invitation to take the time to explore who I am separate from all the normal static that is part of my life.  To be with Me,  I make room for the life in “what wants to be heard” and to help this part become aware of itself.  This part is always functioning within me, however, it needs my consciousness to become aware of its own existence.  I take all the  time I need to find and spend time with Me as Me.

Diana Scalera

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