Deep Hunger and Wholebody Focusing

 

How is a sense of deep hunger helped by Wholebody Focusing ? A few years ago, I was experiencing chronic anxiety due to a stressful situation at work. My body was deeply affected. My blood pressure, heart rate, and diabetes markers were all higher than usual. I relied on my focusing practice to help me. In a Wholebody focusing session, a wordless felt sense of anxiety transformed into a sensation of me experiencing my birth. As I exited the birth canal, I felt free from the stress that I had been experiencing. A new understanding emerged about how my body experienced anxiety.

My History with Hunger

I was my mother’s second child. Her first pregnancy with my older brother was traumatic, and she came close to dying. A few months before my brother was born, my mother’s friend, Mrs. C, a parishioner at our Catholic church, was pregnant with twins. C-Sections were out of favor during more than half of the twentieth century because the medical outcomes were unacceptable due to inadequate surgical procedures and lack of antibiotics.

As a result, there was a heightened possibility that a crisis might happen in the delivery room. The mother or the fetus might be in danger of dying. Because the Catholic Church saw the mother and fetus as two human entities, Catholic hospitals had a policy that prioritized saving the fetus’s life in circumstances in which the doctors could save either the mother or fetus. Mrs.C died in childbirth along with one of her twins. The other twin, a baby girl, was born with severe cerebral palsy. She could not walk, talk, or feed herself.

My mother, having witnessed how this policy impacted her friend’s life and family, felt great anxiety about her fate. Then she also had her crisis in the delivery room. My brother was a large baby in the breech position. The doctor told my mother that she might not survive the birth. Fortunately, both survived; however, my mother was deeply traumatized by the experience. My brother also suffered from this experience. His trauma showed up as severe learning disabilities and emotional difficulties.

Three years later, my mother became pregnant with me. She decided to lose weight during her pregnancy so that the birth would be less complicated. Throughout her pregnancy, the danger she experienced with her first birth and the memory of her friend’s death caused her great anxiety. As a result, my mother starved herself and me during her pregnancy as a strategy to circumvent a possibly fatal outcome.

At the end of a full-term pregnancy, I was born weighing only five pounds. It took me four years to achieve an average weight Moreover, I have had a lifelong struggle with anxiety and panic disorder.

Wholebody Focusing and Anxiety

I always had a felt sense that the level of anxiety I experienced was not all mine– that it was stronger than my constitution created on its own. From this early morning WBF session, I became aware that her anxiety bathed me in my mother’s high cortisol levels for nine months. I carried my mother’s experience of body tension in my body along with my tendency to be anxious. Since that session, my level of chronic anxiety has dramatically subsided. My anxiety connection with my mother had ended. My fear is at a much lower level.

Now, I can be with whatever anxiety emerges in grounded presence. Being grounded gives my body space to carry itself forward in its own way and at its own pace. Under these circumstances, the anxiety sometimes transforms into something else. Before, my stress level was often too overwhelming to be with it in grounded presence. Wholebody focusing helped me experience the release of my mother’s panic from my body and allowed me to understand how it had impacted her and me.

A new awareness about my birth experience happened years later when I attended a week-long workshop at a Catholic retreat center. I often felt hungry because the portions and total amount of food served were inadequate. This experience triggered a bodily sense of hunger, agitation, and anger.

The Intelligence of our Bodies

It wasn’t until early morning on the last day of the conference, during a focusing session, that I sensed what was triggering me. This session started with a felt sense of guilt for my surliness toward the staff in response to the lack of food. An image came to me of working as a young girl in the convent, stirring a pot of soup. I was feeling hunger in the pit of my stomach. I did chores after school in the convent. None of the Sisters ever offered a snack. Finally, one day, I was so hungry that I found the courage to ask for a snack. The sister told me she was not allowed to give students a snack.

It occurred to me in that focusing session that my anger at the staff was due to hunger, a deep historical hunger linked to Catholicism. First, my mother starved us when I was in the womb because of her fear for her life while giving birth in a Catholic hospital. Then there was a longing for food while I worked for almost a year in the convent. Then, 50 years later, I returned to a Catholic environment for the first time in many decades and experienced hunger again. This experience allowed me to be with this deep hunger hidden in my body.

Social conditions, pre-birth experiences, laws or rules that influence medical or educational practices, and other people’s personal decisions can cause trauma. Yet, unfortunately, we sometimes live our whole lives never learning these stories.

Freeing Ourselves from “Not Knowing”

Wholebody focusing gives practitioners a path to be with those hidden parts. One gives their body permission to be with what is there and to move in any way it needs. One’s awareness of something outside yourself and neutrality toward what comes are the only requirements. Often, internal or external movements emerge, and they carry forward without words or images.

The practitioner stays with the movement until a shift happens. In the process, a felt sense, a phrase, or a picture might emerge that gives more information. Other times an agitated movement, for example, might shift to a comforting one without any additional information. When I experienced my birth, I observed the felt sense of my rapid heartbeat during a panic attack. Suddenly, I felt myself moving through the birth canal. I remember what it felt like on my arms and the release of anxiety when I exited the birth canal.

Wholebody focusing trains the practitioner to rely on body wisdom for its information. Body wisdom does not need the right word or image to carry forward. Deeply hidden truths may not have words. Their foundation may not be related to your particular life story. Those places where the unknown parts live also have the ability, with our attention, to tap into the abundant benevolent energy that surrounds us as a support to carry forward our healing. Whenever we rely on only words and images from our narratives, There is a possibility that we may miss the vast resources and stories the universe offers to help our recovery. Wholebody focusing gives us this kind of range of opportunity.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Upon Gazing Out a Train Window

My eyes
my whole Being
a live camera
with no film
to record or to remember
the thousands of trees
the vast dirt fields
the stubble
the long-ago-fallen trees.
Sunlight sprinkles itself
over the surfaces of
winding waterways.

No film to show
only my Body
recording
the land
the furrows of
the fields the gray
clouds
The platinum
glow of our sun.

My eyes
approve.
My Body
has it.

Elizabeth Morana

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Open Hearts as a Door to Social Justice

How can individuals find their own personal way to let go of the bias and inequities in our society and participate in its healing.

Photo Credit: Ellen Korman Mains – Broken Heart Monument at the site of a former children’s camp in Lodz, Poland

Addie van der Kooy’s Wholebody Focusing concept of “holding both with equal regard”  can help us open our hearts and sense our personal role in promoting social justice and perceiving bias. It can also be a guiding principle in developing ways to support social justice in the broader society. As white supremacy roils the U.S. and I prepare to attend an important Holocaust commemoration in Poland, while Diana tends to her own ancestral legacy in Italy, here is another segment from our conversation that touches these issues. It also touches on the inherent vulnerability and truth of the human heart that flies beyond bias and sees basic goodness and equal regard as fundamental to reality, not just a technique we do.

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

 

Peace in Me / Rauha minussa

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

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.

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

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Quantum Entanglement and the Field of Love

Richard Rohr offers an explanation about an
aspect of connection that expands my sense of what happens when we bring our attention to the physical body and how it responds to that kind of attention.

Photo Credit: Michael Lux Rollright Stones on the Oxfordshire & Warwickshire border in England

Like never before in history, this generation has at its disposal new and wonderful evidence from science, confirming the presence and power of what many of us would call A Very Insistent and Persistent Love at the heart of all creation.

Richard Rohr 2019

Dear Friends who are exploring Heartfelt Connection and Conversation, an article that appeared this morning touched me as a kind of historical support to this new experiencing that is emerging of connecting with other people that is natural on a cellular level.

It comes from quantum physics with a new aspect of connection that expands my sense of what happens when we bring our attention to the physical body and how it responds to that kind of attention. This piece expands the same exploration to include connections with other people that is vital to me in order to develop my sense of me more, instead of me less.

The views and words expressed here fit my own spiritual experience and direction but they seem to meet all of us regardless of the history and culture that we follow. For me, it is the path of the mystic, a person who chooses to live a life that seems inner-directed. People with whom I feel understood and appreciated draw me to them before I know what it is that is in me.

That might be enough, but if you would like to read further about what excited my experience today as a kind of support in this way of being here, it is in words. As I work with different people in our various ways, I see something in each one emerging here in one form or another.

Here is the link to Richard Rohr’s November 7, 2019 article The Field of Love that inspired me this morning.

Kevin McEvenue

It’s For This

These are the skis
that will take me
—not down
—not up
but out
into that Greater Place
that-holds-us-all-
in-Its-loving-embrace

 

I want to know.
To experience
It
directly.
Not just to know about
It.

To sit in the
silent hum of my being
To sit in the
silent hum of that
Transcendent Being
The One I choose to call
God
Father

That’s what’s needed
that’s what’s important
to me

I don’t want to settle for less
for writing a beautiful piece
for creating an amazing painting
or sculpture
or for giving something needed to another
All those are Good
But not enough—for me

Continue reading “It’s For This”

Wordless Heartfelt Conversation/Senza parole

We agreed to sense into our bodies separately and then asked our bodies to move how they needed to move. While we sensed into our bodies and gave them time and space to move, we also sensed into each other to connect to the other’s movement.

How would it look to have a conversation without words? Is it possible? What might two people share this way? How can Wholebody Focusing be the medium through which this happens?

Cristina Griggio and I were curious about what connecting via videoconferencing in grounded presence without words would bring. We agreed to sense into our bodies separately and then asked our bodies to move how they needed to move. While we sensed into our bodies and gave them time and space to move, we also sensed into each other to connect to the other’s movement. We became at once the actor and observer.

The video below is but a small slice at the end of that conversation. We were interested in the experience of the communication itself rather than any meaning it might have held. Sometimes we were thoroughly connected to self, and other times were aware of the other and sensing into what is coming for her.

It was fun, surprising, and felt like playing. It also helped us know each other more profoundly. Cristina’s natural ability to express herself through movement at one point filled me with awe.

We offer this video as a suggestion to others–that you too can have a non-verbal conversation between two bodies communicating using the concepts of holding space for what is present, asking your body to move in its own way while holding all that comes with equal regard. We also offer this video as a companion to you so that you have company if you would like to allow your body to communicate with you and move in any way it wants.

Let us know what happens.

Heartfelt Conversation Senza Parole (Google Translate)

Come sarebbe una conversazione senza parole? È possibile? Cosa potrebbero condividere due persone in questo modo? In che modo Wholebody Focusing può essere il mezzo attraverso il quale ciò accade?

Cristina Griggio e io eravamo curiosi di sapere cosa avrebbe portato il collegamento via videoconferenza in presenza radicata senza parole. Abbiamo concordato di percepire i nostri corpi separatamente e quindi abbiamo chiesto ai nostri corpi di spostare il modo in cui avevano bisogno di muoversi. Mentre abbiamo percepito i nostri corpi e abbiamo dato loro il tempo e lo spazio per muoversi, abbiamo anche percepito l’uno nell’altro per connetterci al movimento dell’altro. Siamo diventati subito l’attore e l’osservatore.

Il video qui sotto è solo una piccola parte alla fine di quella conversazione. Eravamo interessati all’esperienza della comunicazione stessa piuttosto che a qualsiasi significato potesse avere. A volte eravamo completamente collegati a se stessi, altre volte eravamo consapevoli dell’altro e percepivamo ciò che le stava accadendo.

È stato divertente, sorprendente e mi è sembrato di giocare. Ci ha anche aiutato a conoscerci più profondamente. La naturale capacità di Cristina di esprimersi attraverso il movimento ad un certo punto mi ha riempito di soggezione.

Offriamo questo video come suggerimento per gli altri – che anche tu puoi avere una conversazione non verbale tra due corpi che comunicano usando i concetti di spazio per ciò che è presente, chiedendo al tuo corpo di muoversi a modo suo mentre trattieni tutto ciò che viene con uguale riguardo. Ti offriamo anche questo video come compagno per farti compagnia se desideri consentire al tuo corpo di comunicare con te e di muoverti nel modo che desidera.

Facci sapere cosa succede.

 

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

Why Heartfelt Conversation?/ Perché Conversazione del Cuore?

When Rosa and I found Wholebody Focusing for the first time, both of us were seasoned Focusers. We had our own way to enter the Focusing process, which worked well. Still, we both realized immediately how Wholebody Focusing grounding was bringing us into a deeper and broader state of presence, in a very natural and straightforward way.
Whenever we engage in a partnered focusing session, we always start with a deep grounding through Heartfelt Conversation. We use this practice to facilitate a session with a client or student. We also enter into a Heartfelt Conversation with each other this way.

We could not start a Heartfelt Conversation without a slow, detailed grounding. First, each of us talks aloud to guide ourselves into a grounded presence. We describe everything we notice and feel to each other; then, we switch and, afterward, we still spend at least five minutes, or even more, exploring our “We Space.” It is a prolonged, natural process that opens both of us to a broader consciousness in which we both resonate with the space around us and experience more abundant wisdom coming from inside and outside ourselves. We feel we are in a vast field of energies and information, more fertile than both our fields alone.
This process helps us to very naturally step into grounded presence, and we experience something that is very wise–more profound, and love guides us as we interact with each other.

This is Heartfelt Conversation at its best for us!

Not all Conversations are so deep. Some of them are a very creative process, and others are full of lightness and sharing. We have also experienced healing process during this process.

As we work to support our clients, students, and focusing partners, we enter Heartfelt Conversation many times with outstanding outcomes. For example, we used HFC when we started working together to explore our differences, their most unclear and hidden parts, and also our different experiences in life. We touched our fears about this new collaboration, and we explored what could interfere, stopping or blocking the flow of energy between us and any chance at having an authentic, open connection.

We explored our discordant aspects in a careful, respectful, and authentic way through HFC. This in-depth process allowed us to open up to an appreciation of our mutual qualities. What did we like about each other? What was moving us to work together, and what was attracting one towards the other?

HFC showed itself as the most touching, positive, and transforming part of our process: any doubt or difficulty disappeared. Spontaneously, almost without becoming aware of what was happening between us, we shared a mutual appreciation for our qualities and positive aspects.  We brought out a whole series of qualities that had remained silent until we began having Heartfelt Conversations. The result of these interactions was that confidence was strengthened not only in our collaborative projects but also in our self-esteem.

Perché iniziare con un buon Radicamento

Quando abbiamo incontrato l’Wholebody Focusing cinque anni fa eravamo entrambe focalizzatrici ormai da tempo. Avevamo sviluppato ognuna il proprio modo di entrare nel processo di Focusing ma, fin da subito, ci siamo rese conto dell’efficacia del radicamento. Come previsto dal primo dei cinque spazi corporei dell’Wholebody, iniziando con un buon Radicamento, il processo andava molto più in profondità e il nostro Stato di Presenza risultava ampliato. Così è diventato il nostro modo di iniziare una sessione o una Conversazione col Cuore.

Iniziare una Conversazione col Cuore con un buon Radicamento per noi è fondamentale: ognuno a turno guida se stesso, descrivendo ad alta voce al compagno, in maniera semplice ed autentica, tutto ciò che percepisce. Così facendo si apre in modo naturale ad uno stato di coscienza più ampio, entra in un ritmo più lento e il pensiero va a servizio della percezione. Le informazioni giungono ai due partner dal Tutto in cui ci si radica, un luogo interiore ed esteriore allo stesso tempo.

I corpi fisici, emozionali ed energetici entrano in risonanza e si aprono all’esplorazione consapevole dello “Spazio del Noi”, quel campo di energie ed informazioni più vasto e ricco di contenuti dei reciproci campi. Si entra naturalmente in uno Stato di presenza Radicata che, nella Conversazione col Cuore, è ancora più vasto e profondo perché è formato dal campo fisico, energetico e spirituale di entrambi e, molto spesso, viene esperito come un qualcosa di molto più intelligente, saggio, amorevole di ciò che potrebbe emergere da una sessione individuale.

Sono molti i casi in cui la Conversazione col Cuore può essere utilizzata con evidenti benefici. Ad esempio all’inizio della nostra collaborazione è stato molto utile per noi esplorare quali erano gli aspetti più diversi, difficili, oscuri dei nostri caratteri e delle nostre esperienze. Quali erano le nostre paure rispetto ad una possibile collaborazione. Cosa avrebbe potuto mettersi in mezzo tra di noi ed impedire l’autenticità, l’apertura, l’accoglienza o semplicemente lo scorrere di una buona energia?

Dopo aver esplorato con discrezione, rispetto e autenticità questi aspetti più spigolosi, ci siamo naturalmente aperte, in maniera sincera, a quelle che erano le nostre reciproche qualità. Cosa apprezzavamo veramente l’una dell’altra, cosa ci aveva attratto e cosa ci aveva spinto a quella collaborazione? Quest’ultima parte si è rivelata la parte più commovente e costruttiva del processo, la parte che ha sciolto ogni nodo e dubbio. Senza neanche rendercene conto, in una spinta naturale di spontaneità, ci siamo confidate la nostra reciproca ammirazione e apprezzamento per alcuni degli aspetti che avevamo colto nell’altra e abbiamo fatto emergere tutta una serie di qualità rimaste in silenzio fino a quel momento. Questo ha sicuramente rafforzato la nostra fiducia non solo nel nostro progetto di collaborazione ma anche nella nostra autostima.

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

%d bloggers like this: