Boundary Wall / Rajamuuri

Photo Credit: Pixabay

I attend a meeting where I suddenly find myself vigorously, downright angry, opposing an initiative to determine  “who will be accepted to our group, and who won’t”.

I Do Not Want Everybody In!

After the meeting, I am with my own anger. Ashamed. What is this about? Why do I feel such strong anger in a matter that is essentially just a matter of conversation?

I start to feel a strong lump in my stomach. The lump is not just a lump. It has boundaries. The walls that guard. Disqualify.

There is a small me inside the lump, who is aware of the boundary because not all should be allowed inside. The lump is not just me, but it is us. “They” belong outside. Those others. Those who are dubious. Different. Those who don’t belong to us.

The lump pushes the diaphragm so that it is difficult for me to breathe. There is right, and there is wrong. Just those two. I don’t precisely know the rules for right and wrong, nevertheless, a part of me feels I should know who belongs to us, and who doesn’t.

There is somebody outside of me, who is part of us and who knows…and is now testing me if I know it too, because I MUST know.

But I don’t.

Continue reading Boundary Wall / Rajamuuri

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

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Silence is a Voice / El Silencio es voz / Hiljaisuus on ääni

Photo credit: Eduardo Esquivel

Silence is a Voice

I look out of the huge windows that open to the sea in the retreat center at Punta de Tralca, Chile. It is the morning. The sea is quiet. The sky is looming pale and it is hard to see where the sea ends, where the sky begins. Yesterday red warning flags waved on the beach. Wild, foam-headed waves wandered loudly to the beach. The water was cloudy brown from the sand.

On the fourth morning of the Focusing Weeklong, during the bio-energetic movement group class, I move according to the sounds of nature in me. I become nature itself. It is not easy, because I am used to the fact that all the sound, which arises from me, should be wise, reasonable or right. I am now the wind, I am swinging in the breeze. I am a seagull skipping on the beach.

Then we settle in a circle. Everyone who wants can step into the middle, move and make the sounds their body wants to express. I step into the middle without making any sound. I look everyone in their eyes swinging my body from side to side. At some point, I feel timid. Is it acceptable to be silent, if we were asked to make sounds?

Is it acceptable to be silent if using our voice is what was asked? This question lives in me until the end. Only at the very end, a new thought sneaks into my mind: silence is a voice.

During the Weeklong I sometimes get tired of speaking English. I don’t understand Spanish at all, or just a word now and then. In the cafeteria, I start to think about speaking Finnish without waiting for anyone to understand me. In this way,  nobody would be confused nor would they find it distracting or worry about the meaning, because that wouldn’t be my point. It would just be…my voice. With this thought in my mind, I try to listen to Spanish with the idea of listening to the “voice of another,” another person with a voice and language different from mine.

Continue reading Silence is a Voice / El Silencio es voz / Hiljaisuus on ääni

Meditation is Continuous Transformation / Meditaatio on jatkuvaa muodonmuutosta

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Kevin McEvenue asked if I can be in contact with Eero Voutilainen, the Finnish Wholebody Focusing pioneer, and ask what meditation means to him.

The life of Eero Voutilainen is currently mainly focused on home due to mobility and balance problems. With the inspiring programs on TV he remembers different stages and turning points in his life that can more deeply open to his consciousness through meditation. These memories, Eero says, are often part of subconscious, in which there  are no words.

Eero has noticed that, at its best, meditation is an acceptance of a wordless space, the space beyond any words. According to Eero

“Meditation is airy, airy licking. It allows us to be free and liberated from our own self, own ego, that easily limits our own reality. In meditation our self is not anchored to anything, but it moves sparingly. It is in a continuous transformation process throughout our life, where the caterpillar re-emerges and becomes a butterfly, all over again. Our self, our ego, is in between the subconscious and superego, and in a continuous transformation process throughout our life. The subconscious is consciousness of something underneath that of which we cannot hold in consciousness. Meditation opens the world that we need to gently listen and receive. Superego is much clearer, each of us can recognize it.”

When I asked what kind of photo Eero would like to be attached to this blog, he answered: “A picture of autumn forest, of one leaf floating in air. All those leaves that are floating to the ground are like letters that, when falling find each others again, merging into words.” This was a memory of his visit at the meditation museum in Spain.


Kevin McEvenue kysyi, voisinko olla yhteydessä Eero Voutilaiseen, suomalaiseen Wholebody-fokusointipioneeriin, ja kysyä, mitä meditaatio on hänelle.

Continue reading Meditation is Continuous Transformation / Meditaatio on jatkuvaa muodonmuutosta

When Rectangles Become Circles or Am I a stubborn person? / Olenko jääräpää?

Photo credit: Maria Hakasalo

I go out frequently to take pictures with a question in my mind: What wants my attention today?

Recently I went to the forest nearby. On the way I passed an area of an allotment garden. I saw a pile of boards on the ground.  Small rivets were bored through one of the boards. It felt stupid to take a photo of them, so I didn’t. Instead I continued walking. Next to the pile of boards I saw an icy grill on the grass. Even though I didn’t understand why I should take a picture of it, I did because it just felt right. Then, I returned back to the pile of boards and took a picture of it too because of a bodily felt sense that it was the right thing to do for some unknown reason.

I started to see circles everywhere around me. I took a picture of a hole in a stick, a tub which was upside down, a wheel of a wheelbarrow, to mention a few things I saw. All of them were frozen.

I took about 120 photos. As I was doing this, I realized that it was a way to invite certain quality in me to be more fully present. The part of me that is not immediately and strongly opinionated was pushing forward exactly the way it sees the world. It is the part of me that is willing to listen and even to bend in to new perspectives. This part of me has been frozen in certain areas of my life because I thought I should be immediately and completely sure about my own thoughts and opinions.

And suddenly, somehow the world was not as rectangular nor with such clear edges as it normally seems to me. It felt much more circular and soft. Somehow it is easier to live and be.

This body sense continued for a couple of days when I suddenly realized why it wasn’t easy to own that soft side of me. It related to my school experiences and how I always felt like I did  not fit into the group. I tried my best to be accepted—I even tried to change my way of being to be more like the others so that I wouldn’t appear so different. For example, the kind of bag they liked was the one I also must like, the color that was their favorite color must be mine too. For many decades I had difficulties knowing what I really like. What is “my taste?”

I hated the part of me that was waiting for the others to say their opinion first so that I could say the same, the part that wasn’t able to know and recognize what I really, deeply wanted and was just worried about what others would say about me being me.

All these circular things around me are now welcoming back this part of me that has its own point of view.

Maria Hakasalo

***

Lähden usein ulos kameran kanssa tietty kysymys mielessäni: Mikä haluaisi huomioni tänään?

Tällä kertaa lähdin kohti keskuspuistoa, jonne kuljen viljelypalsta-alueen halki vievää kävelytietä. Alueen laitamilla huomasin ensimmäisenä lautapinon, erityisesti yhdessä laudassa olevat pyöreät ”nappulat”. Tuntui hölmöltä ottaa kuva epämääräisestä lautakasasta, enkä ensin ottanutkaan vaan lähdin kävelemään eteenpäin. Lautojen vieressä näin jäisen pyöreän ritilän ruohikossa. Vaikka en ymmärtänyt, miksi ottaisin siitä kuvan, otin kuitenkin, koska se tuntui jotenkin oikealta. Palasin myös takaisin äsken ohittamieni lautojen luokse ja otin niistäkin kuvan.

Aloin nähdä pyöreää joka puolella. Otin kuvan viljapaalista, reiästä puussa, kumollaan olevasta saavista, kottikärryn renkaasta ja monesta muusta. Kaikki kylmän kohmettamia.

Otin noin 120 valokuvaa. Siinä kuvatessani oivalsin, että tällä tavoin kutsuin esiin sitä, minkä olin vähän aikaa sitten tiettyyn asiaan liittyen löytänyt, “pyöreyden” itsessäni. Sellaisen, joka ei välittömästi ja vahvasti heti tiedä, mitä mieltä on ja asetu jääräpäisesti ajamaan ko. asiaa juuri sellaisenaan kuin sen itse näkee. Sellaisen, joka kuuntelee, katsoo monelta näkökulmalta ja on valmis edelleen kuuntelemaan, jopa taipumaan uusien näkökulmien edessä. Tämä puoli oli jähmettyneenä minussa, koska luulin, että minun täytyisi aina olla täysin varma omista ajatuksistani ja mielipiteistäni.

Yhtäkkiä maailma ei ollutkaan enää niin suorakulmainen ja jyrkkä vaan pyöreä ja pehmeä. Jotenkin helpompi elää ja olla.

Tämä tarina jatkui parin päivän päästä, kun yhtäkkiä ymmärsin, miksi minun oli niin vaikea hyväksyä tätä pehmeää puolta itsessäni. Se liittyi koulumuistoihini, siihen, miten en koskaan oikein tuntunut kuuluvani joukkoon. Yritin parhaani, että minut hyväksyttäisiin. Yritin jopa sopeuttaa omaa makuani toisten makuun. Laukun, josta toiset pitivät, piti olla se, josta minäkin pidän, toisten lempivärin kuului olla minunkin lempivärini. Vuosikymmenten ajan minun oli vaikea tietää, mistä minä pidän. Mikä on minun “makuni”.

Inhosin sitä osaa minussa, joka odotti toisten ensin sanovan, mistä he pitivät, että voisi sitten sanoa saman, sitä, joka ei tiennyt eikä tunnistanut, mitä itse syvimmiltäni halusin ja joka oli vain huolissaan siitä, mitä toiset sanoisivat, jos olisinkin se, mitä olin.

Kaikki nämä pyöreät esineet ja asiat toivottavat tämänkin osan, jolla on nyt ihan uusi näkökulma, tervetulleeksi kotiin.

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Something against you – or me? / Jotain sinua vastaan – vai minua?

Photo credit: Maria Hakasalo

As I was working on my focusing book, I was listening to music–something random from You Tube. Next thing that I noticed was how I was criticizing the singer’s vocal technique. I had just written about some painful school memories when a sense of isolation emerged.  I also noticed how I was compensating for those feelings by thinking I was being better than others.

Suddenly I understood the connection between feeling isolated and compensating by finding fault in others. Instead of facing the something in me that didn’t feel accepted, I criticized the You Tube singer. I  compensated for my own pain by pretending to be skillful, successful and perfect.  This is what I did as a child who felt isolated.

As I sat next to the small child in me who was feeling the pain I said to her: “You can be as you are, small, painful, sometimes competent, sometimes incompetent. You do not need to be perfect or look like it..”

I sighed deeply and noticed that something in me released.

Do you want to get in touch with the part in you that is not feeling alright? You can listen to one of Kevin’s intunements at https://wholebodyfocusing.blog/2018/10/19/something-is-not-right/

When listening I could feel a firm lump in my stomach which softened after I listened to the following intunement. It helped me to be tenderly present with the felt sense in my stomach: https://wholebodyfocusing.blog/2018/07/19/an-active-meditation-to-welcome-what-wants-to-present-itself-for-your-attention/

***

Kun kirjoitan fokusointikirjaa, kuuntelen välillä musiikkia, tällä kerralla jotain satunnaista Youtubesta. Kirjoittamisen lomassa havaitsin arvostelevani laulajan laulutapaa. Olin juuri kirjoittanut kipeistä koulumuistoista, erillisyyden tunteestani ja kuinka pyrin kompensoimaan sitä näyttämällä paremmalta kuin muut.

Continue reading Something against you – or me? / Jotain sinua vastaan – vai minua?

Melting Point / Sulamispiste

Photo Credit: Maria Hakasalo

MELTING POINT

A judging mind
who crush and shrink, burden and destroy
You come out from the nooks of my mind
seizing me with full of shame
Could I shake you off so that no one notices
how dark and ugly you are?

Welcome, judging mind
Welcome home
Welcome to my arms, welcome to be seen
Welcome to the warmth of my embrace
to the shine of the sun

there you soften
forget your job
begin to melt and love

Continue reading Melting Point / Sulamispiste

Brave enough? / Uskallanko?

Photo credit: Maria Hakasalo

BRAVE ENOUGH?

My hands
Stretched out far away from my body
sad and lonely
Overloaded
Asking, do I suffice, am I good enough

My feet
Marching
Every step hearing a drum cadence repeating
Lazybones Lazybones Lazybones

I will show you I am not a lazybones! I’ll do and do and do!!!
Even though I am too tired of doing anything

Something in me
Gently raises a question
Are you Brave
Are you Brave enough to think
I will lead you where you need to be?

Am I?

Continue reading Brave enough? / Uskallanko?