“When a part of me is able to feel loved, it awakens to its own healing!”
Author: Diana Scalera
I am a Certified Wholebody Focusing Professional and Reiki Master Level III. I am interested in the cross-section between Wholebody focusing and energy work. I offer Reiki treatments in person and at a distance. I am also available to train clients in WBF. Please contact me at email@example.com
Christel Kraft is one of the original focusers who worked with Gene Gendlin when he first started teaching focusing. She has been a life long focuser and is now in her 80’s. During a recent Monthly Gathering of WBFers sponsored by Focusing Initiatives International, Christel shared with the group how focusing helps her connect to how her life is now.
My Wholebody Focusing practice is mostly silent. I move into grounded presence and give my body permission to move in the ways it needs. Automatic or spontaneous movements emerge. Words or images might surface but not necessarily. I eventually settled on this type of practice because it allows me to remain in grounded presence in a deeper and more sustained way. Without the need to search for words or images, I do not get triggered out of grounded presence as easily and I don’t have to worry about whether I am doing something “right” or if I’m addressing what is needed. My body takes care of that. Whatever emerges from my body is what it needs. I just need to give what emerges my awareness, equal regard and my consent.
Two dominant movements have consistently emerged. The first one is how every session starts. If I stand, my legs shake from the hips to the ankles. This movement first came to me during an automatic movement Qigong session many years ago. If I am sitting, my feet lift off the floor and shake in a different way. I have a vague sense of what is behind these movements. The leg movements seem to have a cleansing quality. It feels like a release of built up tension or static that might get in the way of what my body might need.
The second dominant movement usually emerges while my legs are still shaking. My arms shoot up over my head and stay there. My arms can be moving or still. This second movement emerged in a foundational session related to an image that has been with me for a long time—an image of a small bird with damaged wings that stubbornly preferred not to change in any way. This movement emerged during a health crisis. In a grounded state, I brought my awareness to how this crisis was affecting my body. My arms flew up at the same time a Kundalini-like sensation of a tornado arose from my feet and moved toward the top of my head. My understanding of this movement is that it was a moment in which this little bird tested its wings and found that they actually worked. This was a turning point in this health crisis. This movement emerges each time I am in grounded presence to remind me that anything is possible and to give me courage. Both of these dominant movements ebb and flow through my sessions in relation to whatever else emerges.
We are so happy you have arrived. We thank all of you who have participated in reading, commenting, liking, sharing, and writing for our blog. The blog was created to provide the Wholebody Focusing Community with an open, online place to participate in a Heartfelt Conversation.
Who we are:
This blog started in December 2017. It was created by Wholebody focusers who have studied with Kevin McEvenue and/or Karen Whalen. Some of us are also working on building the First International Wholebody Focusing Retreat in Barrie, On, Canada in August 2018. We started this process because we saw a need in our own lives for a way to stay connected to the Wholebody Focusing and Heartfelt Conversation practices that we have learned. This blog is part of a coordinated effort to create sustainable resources to help WBFers connect with each other and have multiple ways to keep our shared conversation moving forward. We are very lucky to have the guidance of Kevin McEvenue, the founder of Wholebody Focusing, as our mentor and prime enthusiast. He frequently replies to a post when something in it moves him.
There are no financial interests or ads involved. No one is selling anything and participation from Wholebody focusers is welcomed and encouraged.
YongWei Xu lives in a small village, Wu Xi, outside of Shanghai, China. She has been studying Wholebody Focusing with Karen Whalen and her team since 2009. YongWei talks about how WBF has helped her to stop over-thinking her decisions. Her new ability to connect to the physical body and pay attention to physical symptoms, like tense shoulders, helps her connect to her emotions. Instead of running from one goal to another, she pauses to be with what each goal means to her. This process brings her to the question “Is this the life I really want?”
For YongWei, Heartfelt Conversation is “not just a little chat… It really comes from my heart.” It is the way that she and her friends feel united with each other and it helps her to feel less lonely.
In her small village, YongWei teaches Wholebody Focusing. What her friends, her group and her clients learn is a WBF lifestyle to support their daily life. The focusing community provides a warm place to use their curiosity to explore new things about themselves and each other together.
YongWei also offers us a New Year’s wish that, if you have not already learned focusing, you have an opportunity to learn. This will help you have more fun and happiness in your life.
Bruna Blandino and Rosa Catoio, two Italian Wholebody focusers, met to discuss how Wholebody focusing and Heartfelt Conversation has changed their lives. Rather than being who society and their families want them to be, Wholebody Focusing and Heartfelt Conversation has given them a mechanism to live more fully in their own truth. Watch their video to hear how this has come about.
Many of us who are Wholebody Focusers have learned concepts and practices from many other modalities. In a workshop many years ago, I learned about the concept of “heart’s desire.” The practice I was taught in this workshop was to silently wish yourself your heart’s desire and then silently wish those around you their heart’s desire. We also learned that a true heart’s desire can only be for our highest and greatest good.
What Happens When You Wish People their Hearts Desire
I live in New York City and take public transportation so I have ample opportunities to live this practice. It has helped me learn so many things. First, I struggled to remember to wish myself my heart’s desire. It would be ten minutes of concentrating on others before I remembered myself. Then mentioning me felt quite “selfish.” Eventually, it took less and less time to remember me and wishing myself my heart’s desire gave me a surge of energy.
Then I noticed how judgmental I was. I vowed to wish everyone in my subway car or bus their heart’s desire but I felt negative feelings coming about some people. I had to recognize that harsh part of myself that is so critical. Often the criticism would be about someone’s hairstyle or clothing but it also showed up when people seemed different from me too. My practice became noticing what came for me when I thought about wishing a particular person their heart’s desire. I would acknowledge what was there and let it go. When I added the wish for that person, my heart and the criticism would soften. It also helped me be with how all that criticism that emerged was really about me. This practice helped me be with both the wish to generate love for others along with a fierce need to separate myself through criticism of others. I needed hold those parts with equal regard. This eventually has led to much less criticism for myself and for unsuspected random citizens of NYC.
Monica Gomez Galaz speaking from Mexico city and Diana Scalera speaking from New York City participate in a Heartfelt Conversation when an unexpected topic develops into a mutual felt sense. They find a strong connection between them in how they were disconnected from their roots by circumstances beyond their control. This video demonstrates how WBF supports their experience. Audio: Spanish with English subtitles.
¿Qué sucede cuando nos comueve la experiencia del otro?
Mónica Gómez Galaz habla desde la ciudad de México y Diana Scalera habla desde la ciudad de Nueva York . Ellas participan en un Heartfelt Conversation cuando un tema inesperado se desarrolla en un sentimiento mutuo. Encuentran una fuerte conexión entre ellas en la forma en que fueron desconectados de sus raíces por circunstancias fuera de su control. Podemos ver en este video cómo WBF puede transformar su experiencia. Version Español extendia
Wholebody Focusing Haiku # 21 When upset, I ask What does my body need now? Then I notice me.
Frequently writing Haiku about my WBF discoveries not only helps me document what is emerging but also helps me to sustain the new healing.
As I was preparing for bed a few weeks ago, I noticed that I felt defeated. There were so many challenges that made me anxious and fearful that I wondered if it were useless to try to sleep. My husband and I have been experiencing serious health problems for the last year and a half and it feels exhausting to be in this place.
The words “what does my body need now?” came to me. I thought I would give it a try. As a got into bed, I felt into my body as I asked this question. My hands moved. They landed crossed, on my upper chest with my hands near my shoulders. It felt so comfortable and comforting. The next thing I remembered is that I woke up at 6:00 AM. I had slept through the night and my hands were still in this position. It was as if I had given myself a seven hour Reiki treatment.