When Art Just Happens

Two human hearts, the song of insects, and the movement of the sun conspired to give us a chance to stop and open ourselves to what can come from our ability to pause and notice what is present.

Sometimes art just happens. Maybe someone is there to observe it. Another person can also be inspired by the moment as much as you might be. It is about sensing something, observing it, slowing down, being present, and having an open heart to know when this moment arrives.

A friend, Liz Taub, aka Violizzy, an excellent violin and fiddle player, and her son, Jonny Warschauer, also an artist, were on Tybee Island, Georgia, at dusk. It is the 17th year of the cycle of the local cicadas. They were out in full-throated song. The sun was setting. Liz had her violin as she picnicked  along  Tybee Creek with Jonny, who had his phone.

The video below is a document of that moment. It is when two human hearts, the song of insects, and the movement of the sun conspired to give them, and now us, a chance to stop and open ourselves to what can come from our ability to pause and notice what is present. So Liz and Jonny decided to become part of the moment by contributing what they had to offer.

With great delight, we share this moment with you. Enjoy.

Rumi on When Art Just Happens

This Rumi poem below speaks to the spontaneous nature of art and how is it constantly in our lives.

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.

Drum  sound rises on the air,
its throb, my heart.

a voice inside the best say,
“I know you’re tired,
but come. “This is the way.”

Are you jealous of the ocean’s generosity?
Why would you refuse to give
this joy to anyone?

Fish don’t hold the scared liquid in cups!
They swim in the huge fluid freedom.

The Essential Rumi 
Translation by Coleman Barks with John Moyne
excerpt from CHINESE ART AND GREEK ART
Pages 122 and 123

You can see another example of art coming from a heartfelt place from the Blog: Billy Holiday and Holding Both

It’s a Big Deal

“There is a deeper process inside of you that wants to be seen…and heard…and appreciated by you.”

It’s a Big Deal
Intro by E. Morana

It’s a Big Deal is a segment on the power of being noticed that brings us to the completion of the series, Participatory Spirituality.

In his own words:  “It’s a big deal…to notice…to be noticed…to be informed…and to receive and to go with…”

The video below is a shortened version of a webinar which Kevin offered on Zoom to a group of WholeBody focusers in July 2021. In it, Kevin begins by speaking to us of his own experience of what it’s like—for him—to be in a community. When asked to lead a webinar on the value of community, he knew he didn’t want to do it. His past experience had left him with generally negative expectations regarding community. He noticed that. Then he decided to do the webinar and to see what was there.

To Notice

He opens with the statement: “Here I am…so what’s going on in me? Notice me being present to myself.”

After articulating his own discovery, he invites his audience—and now, that’s each of us here on the blog—to turn inwardly and to wait for our own Body Sense to form about being here—in this situation. His words: “There’s a deeper process inside of you that wants to be seen…and heard…and appreciated by you.”

The Big Deal

Kevin has set out to show us something almost miraculous: that when we begin to pay attention to whatever-that-is-in-us, it begins to awaken to itself and it begins to transform. On its own! And it needs us to pay attention to it. It couldn’t have awakened—and couldn’t have begun this new period of growth—without our attention.

That’s what we’ve really come here to learn. Not thoughts-about community, but our direct-experience-here-and-now of me-in-this-community. Instead, we’ve come to practice listening to how it is for me, here, now. Things begin to unfold that could not have happened without it. Surprising things. Good things.

No wonder it’s a Big Deal.

Heartfelt Loving Beyond Expectation

The first law of spiritual energy: energy follows attention! In other words, wherever I focus my attention, the energy in my body, mind, and spirit follows. It is as simple as that!

The power of heartfelt loving is beyond any expectation we can imagine. It is the essence of the practice of Heartfelt Connection in Wholebody Focusing as we know it.

HeartFelt Loving

I start by inviting a connection between me, a part of me, a part of something outside myself, and especially a sense of you over there as I hold the whole of that in my consciousness. I pause, to just notice what is there, and accept what comes beyond what I might expect.

This feels proactive in some way—like an opportunity to notice that seems to want my attention, and to do so. Often something totally unexpected or even uninvited appears out of the blue! It is an opportunity to turn my attention towards something there with an open heart and wait there. I just notice…that is all…and allow a felt sense to emerge…as though it seems to notice itself and notice me too…with mutual affection.

Beyond Expectation

Something very powerful seems to be present at the same time; something not of my own making. I can feel it there and it feels powerful. If I am able to hold a space for such an experience, something more begins to happen. Something happening that couldn’t happen without this kind of heartfelt participation!

We could call this the first law of spiritual energy: energy follows attention! In other words, wherever I focus my attention, the energy in my body, mind, and spirit follows. It is as simple as that!

In this blog, I offer two concrete examples of situations where Heartfelt Presence is activated; first, my own experience happening now, and next an event that happened 25 years ago to a man who suffered a very debilitating crisis called carpal syndrome. (See a previous blog entitled: When Love Pays Attention to a Deep Wound.) Today I fill in the empty pieces that unfolded over all these many years and updated that event with some very surprising results.

These two ‘happenings’ speak for themselves. What more can I say except to appreciate the power explored in Participatory Spirituality in this series.

 

Loving-Kindness Changes the World

When I saw the loving embrace, I could feel my relief and my sadness when I realized that my body expected a negative response. Watching this interaction allowed me to be with this part of me with compassion. I could be the loving elder to my young, distressed heart. I hold this precious memory whenever I need a reminder that there is love and support when we need it.

Loving-kindness changes the world? Is it possible? The other day I was walking down the street. There was a group of adults and a ten-year-old girl standing and talking to each other. The men were in deep conversation. There also was a woman and a girl. I was thinking about my COVID stance vis-à vis this group–worrying if there would be enough distance between us as I contemplated walking past them. But something else came.

I noticed that the girl was distressed. The woman looked directly into her eyes and listened intently as the girl explained why she was distressed. Then, the girl had said what she needed to say. The woman pulled her into her chest and held her in a loving embrace. Watching this interaction of two people whom I do not know was deeply felt. In general, it was an act of love. The woman listened in a way that helped the young girl feel deeply heard and embraced her with love and compassion after she said what she needed to say.

Evidence of Loving-kindness

I knew that I was watching something that I deeply desired, and I also knew that I doubted that such an emotion could be genuine. It was not just that someone would hold another’s distress so lovingly but also that one could accept that offering of kindness without fear that something else, something dark, would emerge. Such an action was absent from my childhood, and I have never wholly believed it could exist. Watching this interchange as I walked around the group helped me sense into that longing and fear.

Nevertheless, here it was, evidence that, in any given moment, loving-kindness could prevail. I noticed it and held space for what it meant for me. It helped me appreciate how delicate this part of me is and how much it longs for this kind of interaction. I felt joyful knowing that this young girl could be heard and loved for who she was.

When we see something for which we have a longing, it can touch us in a healing way. As I was watching this interaction, I identified with the ten-year-old girl. I connected to her distress. The women responded to that distress with her heartfelt attention.  I felt worried that she would act harshly or mockingly. And just the opposite happened.

How Loving-kindness Changes the World

When I saw the loving embrace, I could feel my relief and my sadness when I realized that my body expected a negative response. Watching this interaction allowed me to be with this part of me with compassion. I could be the loving elder to my young, distressed heart. I hold this precious memory whenever I need a reminder that there is love and support whenever we need it.

So share Loving-kindness as much as possible. You never know who might be watching.

Painting by Isobel Bennett Hennman

Awakening more fully to your own Aliveness …..

In this gathering, you are invited to give your body the best conditions you can for awakening more fully to its own aliveness, for stepping back and sensing into the underlying energy field of spacious, life-giving Presence that animates and heals us.

Please consider yourself to be warmly invited to our next Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday 10th July.

As we move beyond midsummer, we are surrounded by the aliveness and bounty of Nature. We tend the land and provide the best conditions for everything to grow, but most of the process of growth goes on quietly, out of sight, visible only through its fruits.

In this gathering, you are invited to give your body the best conditions you can for awakening more fully to its own aliveness, for stepping back and sensing into the underlying energy field of spacious, life-giving Presence that animates and heals us.

You will have time to come to rest in that field of Presence, which is always there within and around you, undisturbed by the surface feelings and concerns of daily living; and to allow yourself to be held and nourished.  Being together in this way with others creates a palpable energy field of group Presence which allows you to experience Presence in a much deeper way than if you were on your own.

The format of the gathering is simple. After brief guidance, there will be time to silently rest in Presence in whatever way feels right for you.  There will also be time for any sharing that may want to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 10th July from 4 pm to 5.45 pm BST (British Summer Time).
  • Venue: Zoom video conferencing platform. If you have no experience with Zoom, please let Cecelia know for necessary guidance.
  • Fee: £20 (by bank transfer) or £22 (by Paypal which includes £2 Paypal fee). It includes a free audio-recording of the guided sessions.
  • Email Cecelia Clegg at ceceliaclegg44@gmail.com to register.

If you are unable to attend, you can still register to receive an audio-recording of the guided sessions for a £7 fee.

Warmly,

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg

UK Wholebody Focusing Trainers

Eyes Wide Open

Wholebody focusing demonstrates the power of consciousness alive in possibility. It invites a connection between me and a part of me. Once I sense the connection is there between us, I invite it to awaken to its own awareness of itself. Something it can’t do without me.

Eyes Wide Open is a major shift in perception. A very significant and powerful belief: how I can’t see, mustn’t see, and how limiting that has been for me.

Many of us suffer this kind of eye dis-function, a dysfunction that has been there—only to get worse, not better! I could have just talked about an issue like how it is to be short-sighted, for example. But here I do something very different! I don’t talk about it; I live into the experience of how it is right now!

Eyes Wide Open

I allow myself to come alive to this experience for all to see me in the way I suffer it. I have been haunted by these words, “eyes wide open,” for some time. How that is—a suffering accepted as almost normal. In this session I ask myself, “what is happening?” I pause to wait and see what wants to come. At first it brings me back to how it was; and then—unexpectedly—how it also awakens something new that begins to flow.

Wholebody focusing demonstrates the power of consciousness alive in possibility. It invites a connection between me and a part of me. Once I sense the connection is there between us, I invite it to awaken to its own awareness of itself. Something it can’t do without me.

Notice what happens when we invite this part to awaken to the history of its suffering from its own perspective. When we invite a relationship to emerge between us now, something new can happen that couldn’t without our active participation.

In this session something begins to be moved that feels fresh. First the awareness of how it has been so stuck, but then something else begins to emerge beyond that! And that feels good and yet uncomfortable in its newness. Fear and apprehension appear…I don’t know…I don’t know what to do. I can’t see!

But then I hear a gentle soft voice in the background, saying; “Kevin, open your eyes and see. Open your eyes.”

Eyes wide open…there it is! It keeps coming back. It keeps coming back until I stop and pay attention. This is just how it works.

How Are You?

Something shifts when the panic is awakened. Something very powerful is activated at the same time. My hands strongly connect with my thighs. It feels like an anchor.

Gene Gendlin asks: “How are you, Kevin?” And I say: “I am just fine, thank you!”

In this video, I will ask myself the same question and then I will pause and notice what comes. “I am just fine, aren’t I?”

Laughter! I feel laughter inside that feels more like a challenge than a question as my body begins to awaken and move spontaneously. I become aware—the world outside, the weight of gravity, the floor, the sitting bones, my feet.

Yes, what comes is a kind of twisted humor, to hear: “I am just fine!” Also, confusion—because I know I’m not. Like a split going on inside me. One that feels true and the other false and confused.

Also wondering, what do I do now?! My body is obviously doing something–expanding in some way, but also feeling uncomfortable and confused. What to do?

Suddenly there is a shift. Very intense. My body feels so alive. My eyes are wide open, a child’s eyes. Full of wonder, exploring with unconditional curiosity! Just taking in—no thought.

Then I notice all those paintings around me. How I love pictures; they tell stories, like a doorway into a deeper world beyond me. A word comes—connections. That’s it! That is what I want. I want to connect! I pause to let it be more aware of itself.

But something else comes too: panic, confusion. I don’t know how! I want to and I don’t know how to! So much anxiety surfaces wanting attention.

Very familiar when asked this question, how are you? I say without thinking, I am just fine. Because that is what is expected of me, that I am fine. That is what wants to be heard. And I want to feel the peace in that too. To be just fine, connected, but I know I am not!

Something shifts when the panic is awakened. Something very powerful is activated at the same time. My hands strongly connect with my thighs. It feels like an anchor. I feel ME and it feels so good! Felt with such conviction. I feel myself; yes! That’s it!

Further Reading: Wholebody Focusing — Being in Grounded Presence

Letting Things Be Just as They Are …..

It feels like an apt moment to invite you to our next Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday June 5th.  We are moving towards the Summer Solstice and if we let Nature be just as it is, the new life of Spring will naturally mature into the fullness and bounty of the earth.

And in this gathering too, you are invited to let your body be just as it is so it can awaken more fully to its own aliveness and guide you into the underlying energy field of spacious, life-giving Presence – a dimension in you that is always alive, at peace and undisturbed.

This gathering is an opportunity for you to come to rest in that field of Presence within and around you and to allow yourself to be held and nourished.  Being together in this way with others creates a palpable energy field of group Presence which allows you to experience Presence in a much deeper way than if you were on your own.

The format of the gathering is simple. After brief guidance, there will be time to silently rest in Presence in whatever way feels right for you.  There will also be time for any heartfelt sharing that may want to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 5thJune from 4 pm to 5.45 pm BST (British Summer Time).
  • Venue: Zoom video conferencing platform. If you have no experience with Zoom, please let Cecelia know for necessary guidance.
  • Fee: £20 (by bank transfer) or £22 (by Paypal which includes £2 Paypal fee). It includes a free audio-recording of the guided sessions.
  • Email Cecelia Clegg at ceceliaclegg44@gmail.com to register.

If you are unable to attend, you can still register to receive an audio-recording of the guided sessions for a £7 fee.

Warmly,

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg

UK Wholebody Focusing Trainers