By Kevin McEvenue
These preambles are all about inviting a direct experience—in words, as they are sounded out, then explored, as you listen to me. This is a mutual, bodily-felt event happening as an experience of me and then a sense of you.
It starts with feeling something inside myself. I pause and I wait for the words to come. For your part, you hear the sound of them. Maybe notice that.
This is an opportunity to create a mutual experiencing with each other in this kind of direct experience. Direct—you and me—two different worlds awaken to one another each in our own way as we speak and listen together.
So, let’s see what comes in this next podcast. It came suddenly in the early morning. I wrote it down immediately, because it needed to be precise: “I know something before I know what it is.”
Those were the very words that excited me. I knew I wanted to spend time with it, companion it as I share this experience with you. Speaking out—aware you are there too. To include another beyond myself seems to benefit the whole experience in its possibilities of revelations.
Again, the podcast speaks for itself. It offers surprises, twists and turns that happen. Full stop!……. it brought me right back to an earliest moment of life. Freshly remembered now; perhaps the first experience of awakening to human consciousness, noticing, something is not right! Followed by an instantaneous response, a loud scream that seems to say, get the fuck off me. That is what it felt like then and now—right now—I feel the force of it!
I was in a baby crib—a few months old—left outside in the early spring. A cat jumped on me, sat on my mouth to feel the warmth from my breath. My response was instantaneous, I can still smell it, its fur on my face. Maybe I felt my breathing blocked. I reacted with force. Get the fuck off me! It got the message and fled. I felt it gone. I felt empowered, it brought relief. In other words, it felt good. It worked and it taught me, I can do it! And I still feel that same powerful reaction inside: Something is not right here!
What was your first reaction to something like that in your life? A moment when it felt life-threatening. What did you perceive? What was your reaction?
For me, I acted with anger and yelled like hell. It was over in a second. But the pattern stuck, maybe because I felt I could! It worked! And I liked it, it felt empowering. I got noticed!
And that is what I want to explore now. It is a pattern that is still there, feels good, but it also causes trouble; it feels conflicted with other parts of me. I seem to react too quickly before taking action! For example, to type a message: so much confusion happens right there as I type. As though I am too much in a hurry. Almost like a panic; I have to do something—do something now!
Back to those opening words that excited me; “I know something before I know what it is.” This time, I pause; I wait for the feel of it to come again. Suddenly I hear Gene’s words—Gene Gendlin saying, with a tone of gentle curiosity: “Oh, so you don’t know! (pause) You don’t know yet!” This feels like heartfelt listening at its best.
Something shifts right now, as I put words to it! A new clarity comes now, not the panicked hurried feeling I know so well. And it feels new, I can feel space inside. I have some room, room to pause, to breath, wait and see with a kind of curiosity…to see what wants to come here. What wants to come next. The pull to act quickly is also here, but the desire to wait and see is even more compelling!
The Olympic diver comes to mind again. How he practices that perfect dive, enjoying the whole event slowly in his wonderful imagining, feeling it all, the whole of it. Waiting for the right moment to happen and then it does. Effortlessly it just flows.
The crowd cheers and so do I. I can do this too. And I want to…….
Photo Credit: McEvenue Archives