The Path to Presence

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Dear Blog Readers,

A new Contributor has joined our ranks. Wholebody focuser Steven Jakobovic writes about a rarely discussed element of Wholebody Focusing—wordless, movement-centric sessions that make us new without narratives, words or cathartic thoughts. What he describes is how pure movement can bring him what he desires most—a connection to self. Join us in welcoming his insights to our blog.

Diana Scalera – Blog Administrator

For me, the path to presence is winding, but also an unwinding. It begins with a twitch in a toe or a finger.  The twitches are followed by a slight shudder or a shiver down my back.  At first, the spasms are intermittent; lightly flitting every now and again.

By now, I know what’s coming and wait. I feel carpet fibers between my toes. Through two sit bones resting upon the seat of my chair, I become aware of the weight of my body.  My eyes are closed, but I sense sunlight coming in through the window.

I speak of my bodily experience over Skype, and my voice instantly reaches Toronto, Canada. Kevin’s warm scratchy response encourages me. “Yes…good,” he says.  I agree with a nod that he cannot see with his eyes – we only use audio, but I am sure he ‘sees’ it.

The twitches become more intense and violent. My shoulders jerk back; my head turns from side to side as far as my neck allows; my wrists shake with enough force to toss my fingers across the room if only they could; my toes grab for the carpet fibers. This goes on for several minutes or maybe only thirty seconds; I’ve never counted.

The spasms slow down. A few final twitches make my body pop before it becomes quiet. Sometimes traveling this path makes me tired, but I always end up feeling loose and open.  I am neutral and quiet; a quiet that I long for, but have trouble finding.

I mostly walk through life tense and worried. I can feel rigidity in my limbs and worry in my face as I move through the world and interact with other beings. The process of shaking during focusing is more than imaginary. Residue of the previous week is thrown off me as I shake.

My tension is me, but it is also not me.  During sessions, I find separation.  The casting off of tension makes it feel as though it was given to me and not of me.  From where?  And why have I become such as a hospitable host?  Perhaps from society, but more likely from parents who live full of fear and doubt.  I may never know for sure, but after I’ve shaken, I am no longer society or my parents.  I am more me than them.

As time passes from one Whole Body Focusing session to the next, tension begins to wrap its electric arms around me again; zapping me rigid at times.  But now, I know of a path. The more I practice Whole Body Focusing the shorter the path has become to the place I long for. A place where there is quiet.  A place where there is me.

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3 thoughts on “The Path to Presence”

  1. Oh I like this very much, too much to name it all. But mostly I like the path to quiet, the path to me, the me that is more than, wider than…. deeper and quieter.

    How wonderful to find and allow this quiet that is there waiting underneath all the ‘electric arms of tension.’

    Thank you for sharing this and so poetically, I can really feel it and it helps.

    Welcome from Gabe

  2. Dear Steve
    It is the writing……and feeling my direct experience of your experience of a process that has been put to words so exquisitely….. and all I can say is “that is it!” That is it!
    Thank you. Kevin!

  3. Dear Stephen,

    Thank you for this! It occurs to me to say that the body knows so much, and knows it quicker than the mind can say it. What you’ve written gives me even more respect for ‘body wisdom’ as well as our ability to ‘sit with’ whatever comes so that it can work itself out even without words, insights, explanations.

    And I felt especially drawn to this which you’ve written:

    “The casting off of tension makes it feel as though it was given to me and not of me. From where?”

    It’s a relief to hear that others wonder too, about the source of some of our stresses.

    And why have I become such as a hospitable host?”

    What an amazingly good question. What in me invites this, over and over?

    “Perhaps from society, but more likely from parents who live full of fear and doubt. I may never know for sure, but after I’ve shaken, I am no longer society or my parents.”

    I deeply appreciate hearing it said plainly that we may never put our finger on the source of those stresses—and so what? What’s important is that we are no longer victim to that stress, where ever it emanates from.

    I love your final statement: “I am more me than them!”

    Thank you,

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