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.

 

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

When We Observe Ourselves

This video captures one of those moments where transformation becomes dramatically self-evident. You can see it happening!

By Kevin McEvenue

When we observe ourselves on videoconferencing, something in us changes. See The Observer Effect. Videoconferencing has become a favored method of interacting with other people either professionally or socially.  This form of interacting with ourselves and others has never been true for humanity before. I am examining what it means to observe oneself on screen.

You are a witness to a bodily event emerging, changing itself as it happens. In this video, you are watching a bodily experience being transformed from that deeper wisdom of Self, actually undergoing a fundamental reorientation for all to see—even me.

What is becoming transparent is a very familiar pattern: a self-defeating belief that suddenly becomes something just its opposite! It first happened that day in August 2008.

When Perception Changes

What emerged is a whole change of perception of what is true. The very opposite what I have believed to be true most of my life. An immediate shift in perception that actually facilitates a behavior shift and restructuring. Almost like alchemy!

This video captures one of those moments where transformation becomes dramatically self-evident. You can see it happening!

My immediate response to any stimulation is to stop, protect, tighten, or hold-on-to for dear life! Like a bulldog gripping on with that kind of intensity. And then suddenly the opposite occurs—a physical release, expanding with equal determination but from a very different place.

The image that comes is that of a pull-up bar. I find myself lifting myself up, playfully allowing my muscles to flex and work with a pleasurable kind of tension. It seems to be enhancing my ‘wanting’ muscles; “I can do this; I want to do this, I am enjoying doing this; it feels so good to do this.”

This is a beautiful illustration of focusing with your whole body in action as it explores its own possibilities for all to witness. (Wholebody Focusing: Life Lived in the Moment.  It is a wonderful integration of mind/body working together to create a new wholeness of self as it emerges. In the end, the imagining of the event is enough to awaken that process once again! So good—and enough!

The Living Truth

I am trying to describe a moment in our lives that stands out. What it might feel like when it happens? And to know the difference?

The Living Truth is what I hear when I play back this recording once again! It seems impossible to fit words to this experience. It is something that feels so totally alive—but it feels momentary, and then it’s gone. That is how it seems to work!

I am trying to describe such a moment and I feel very inadequate to put words to this experience. It is so powerful, so palpable, and so true beyond words. This is what I yearn for in life. I am asking for it right here, right now, right in this moment.

How could that be framed as a desire? How can I invite my body to have this…..as a desire?…… like a prayer? This is what I am asking…..and at the same time being with the not-knowing…the how of it!

I am trying to describe a moment in our lives that stands out. What it might feel like when it happens? And to know the difference?

I have had such moments. That is all I can say. These are moments that felt so true that they have never left me and I suspect never will. They are engraved in me. That is just how it is!

So bear with me as I stumble through the attempt to describe something that is so vital and so far-reaching in its implications. The living truth!

Thank you for listening.

Desiring Can Be Pleasurable!

by Kevin McEvenue

We can allow a sense of desiring to become so much more than expected—even pleasurable. I asked myself: “how am I right now?” This time, something playful and unfamiliar seemed to emerge. At first there was the immediate tension in the throat, neck, and jaw followed by a familiar feeling of ‘resistance’.

The Resistance and Resilience of the Pleasurable

But something new emerged at the same time. It was vague and it sounded like the word…’resilience‘ It had a new energy that seemed different from the familiar resistance. Almost the opposite—or maybe complimentary—coming from the same source and yet vaguely different. It seemed softer and didn’t trigger the usual tension that immediately stops the flow. In fact, my toes began to flex! I was surprised and I liked it.

And it aroused my curiosity. I decided to play with the words—resistance and then resilience, and just notice what happens.

In Wholebody Focusing, we pause to hold the two—two different words that seem worlds apart. Holding both with equal positive regard.

But that was not what happened today. Both words seemed to be vaguely connected at the source, even the sounding of the words felt poetic. They seemed to want to dance with one another. As though there was something in it for both. Different ways of being, worlds apart and yet…

Mutual Benefit

Today I began to wonder; can these parts benefit from one another in this kind of mutual connection? Like a gentle curiosity that might be mutually supportive, maybe even complimentary or collaborative rather than divisive and combative?

Today, this part of me—the part of me that resists anything new as threatening—behaved differently. it seemed drawn to the warm and pleasing nature of the activity inherent in resilience.

It seemed as if the proximity of the two awakened a kind of collaborative possibility implicit between them. I saw my human consciousness as a light so that they could discover one another, perhaps looking for something mutually satisfying in this moment of connection.

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!”

Power

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