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.

Loving-Kindness Changes the World

When I saw the loving embrace, I could feel my relief and my sadness when I realized that my body expected a negative response. Watching this interaction allowed me to be with this part of me with compassion. I could be the loving elder to my young, distressed heart. I hold this precious memory whenever I need a reminder that there is love and support when we need it.

Loving-kindness changes the world? Is it possible? The other day I was walking down the street. There was a group of adults and a ten-year-old girl standing and talking to each other. The men were in deep conversation. There also was a woman and a girl. I was thinking about my COVID stance vis-à vis this group–worrying if there would be enough distance between us as I contemplated walking past them. But something else came.

I noticed that the girl was distressed. The woman looked directly into her eyes and listened intently as the girl explained why she was distressed. Then, the girl had said what she needed to say. The woman pulled her into her chest and held her in a loving embrace. Watching this interaction of two people whom I do not know was deeply felt. In general, it was an act of love. The woman listened in a way that helped the young girl feel deeply heard and embraced her with love and compassion after she said what she needed to say.

Evidence of Loving-kindness

I knew that I was watching something that I deeply desired, and I also knew that I doubted that such an emotion could be genuine. It was not just that someone would hold another’s distress so lovingly but also that one could accept that offering of kindness without fear that something else, something dark, would emerge. Such an action was absent from my childhood, and I have never wholly believed it could exist. Watching this interchange as I walked around the group helped me sense into that longing and fear.

Nevertheless, here it was, evidence that, in any given moment, loving-kindness could prevail. I noticed it and held space for what it meant for me. It helped me appreciate how delicate this part of me is and how much it longs for this kind of interaction. I felt joyful knowing that this young girl could be heard and loved for who she was.

When we see something for which we have a longing, it can touch us in a healing way. As I was watching this interaction, I identified with the ten-year-old girl. I connected to her distress. The women responded to that distress with her heartfelt attention.  I felt worried that she would act harshly or mockingly. And just the opposite happened.

How Loving-kindness Changes the World

When I saw the loving embrace, I could feel my relief and my sadness when I realized that my body expected a negative response. Watching this interaction allowed me to be with this part of me with compassion. I could be the loving elder to my young, distressed heart. I hold this precious memory whenever I need a reminder that there is love and support whenever we need it.

So share Loving-kindness as much as possible. You never know who might be watching.

Painting by Isobel Bennett Hennman

Awakening more fully to your own Aliveness …..

In this gathering, you are invited to give your body the best conditions you can for awakening more fully to its own aliveness, for stepping back and sensing into the underlying energy field of spacious, life-giving Presence that animates and heals us.

Please consider yourself to be warmly invited to our next Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday 10th July.

As we move beyond midsummer, we are surrounded by the aliveness and bounty of Nature. We tend the land and provide the best conditions for everything to grow, but most of the process of growth goes on quietly, out of sight, visible only through its fruits.

In this gathering, you are invited to give your body the best conditions you can for awakening more fully to its own aliveness, for stepping back and sensing into the underlying energy field of spacious, life-giving Presence that animates and heals us.

You will have time to come to rest in that field of Presence, which is always there within and around you, undisturbed by the surface feelings and concerns of daily living; and to allow yourself to be held and nourished.  Being together in this way with others creates a palpable energy field of group Presence which allows you to experience Presence in a much deeper way than if you were on your own.

The format of the gathering is simple. After brief guidance, there will be time to silently rest in Presence in whatever way feels right for you.  There will also be time for any sharing that may want to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 10th July from 4 pm to 5.45 pm BST (British Summer Time).
  • Venue: Zoom video conferencing platform. If you have no experience with Zoom, please let Cecelia know for necessary guidance.
  • Fee: £20 (by bank transfer) or £22 (by Paypal which includes £2 Paypal fee). It includes a free audio-recording of the guided sessions.
  • Email Cecelia Clegg at ceceliaclegg44@gmail.com to register.

If you are unable to attend, you can still register to receive an audio-recording of the guided sessions for a £7 fee.

Warmly,

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg

UK Wholebody Focusing Trainers

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

Letting Things Be Just as They Are …..

It feels like an apt moment to invite you to our next Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday June 5th.  We are moving towards the Summer Solstice and if we let Nature be just as it is, the new life of Spring will naturally mature into the fullness and bounty of the earth.

And in this gathering too, you are invited to let your body be just as it is so it can awaken more fully to its own aliveness and guide you into the underlying energy field of spacious, life-giving Presence – a dimension in you that is always alive, at peace and undisturbed.

This gathering is an opportunity for you to come to rest in that field of Presence within and around you and to allow yourself to be held and nourished.  Being together in this way with others creates a palpable energy field of group Presence which allows you to experience Presence in a much deeper way than if you were on your own.

The format of the gathering is simple. After brief guidance, there will be time to silently rest in Presence in whatever way feels right for you.  There will also be time for any heartfelt sharing that may want to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 5thJune from 4 pm to 5.45 pm BST (British Summer Time).
  • Venue: Zoom video conferencing platform. If you have no experience with Zoom, please let Cecelia know for necessary guidance.
  • Fee: £20 (by bank transfer) or £22 (by Paypal which includes £2 Paypal fee). It includes a free audio-recording of the guided sessions.
  • Email Cecelia Clegg at ceceliaclegg44@gmail.com to register.

If you are unable to attend, you can still register to receive an audio-recording of the guided sessions for a £7 fee.

Warmly,

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg

UK Wholebody Focusing Trainers

 

Something Stops Working

Recently I have noticed my reaction when something stops working for me that is typically so quickly done it is almost automatic–like signing into a much-used app. Since I spend so much time online, I usually face things that sometimes show up as obstacles. Today, I signed into Zoom to start my session with Kevin McEvenue, and Zoom said my password is incorrect.

Something Stops Working, and I Start Worrying

After typing in my password many times, several narratives quickly came to the forefront of my consciousness.

“This is Zoom forcing me to change my password.

“I am losing my mind because I have typed this password every day for years.”

“Kevin will be impatient with me for not signing on in time.”

“It will take me 10 minutes to change the password.”

“I hate being late.”

“I have to warn Kevin, so he won’t think I’m irresponsible.”

“Kevin will think badly of me for being late.”

Once I sent Kevin an email, I paused and held space for all that was there. A simple inability to sign into an app brought all these feelings into consciousness. It felt compelling to acknowledge this. It also opened me to a new solution. Since Kevin sent me the link, I didn’t have to sign in. I could click on the link he sent, and the app would open.

I Find My Way

When I connected to Kevin, we worked through all the narratives that arose from the inability to sign in to Zoom. There is the arbitrariness of how apps function. I am often baffled by how apps change to meet the needs of newer generations of users. If something I usually do causes me distress, I wonder if my brain is failing. Then the shame comes. Why can’t I be as efficient as I think I am? How did it happen that I am late for my session? What will be the impact of not functioning at total capacity on my relationship with partners or participants?

Fortunately, it was Kevin that was on the other side of the camera. We took time to be with all of these narratives. What came for me was how the narratives are related to my background feeling of “there is something wrong with me.” I had a chance to hold space for this complicated felt sense simply because I could not complete a well-known repetitive task. Then it dawned on me that this was a great opportunity.

Each time I can make a choice. I can indulge in the “something is wrong with me.” or I can hold space with equal regard for it and allow it to find its own way. What happened when I worked with Kevin was that by letting “something is wrong with me” pass through my body, I came to the point of “something stopped working for me.” This statement leaves so many unknown opportunities for healing to occur.  

Suggested Readings

I suggest reading Kevin’s article Wholebody Focusing: Life Lived in the Moment.  He talks about how Wholebody Focusing evolved, and the first time he connected to his inner self. It is an excellent read to help one see how habitual experiences can develop into openings. Kevin talks about how holding space for a felt sense can give us “several options for living my life more fully beyond what I already knew.”

My response to the locked password was to go into a hyper-problem solving mode motivated by fear of criticism and failure to meet some standard that I think everyone shares. By being compassionate with all that came, something new emerged. I heard, “something stopped working for me.” At that moment, I felt very joyful and free of the earlier narrative voices. 

I look forward to being aware of how I react when something stops working for me.  I pause, and hold space for what is there. I ask for support and wait to see what comes.

My Background Feeling: Unprepared for Life  is a joyous poem by directencounter asking for support to be with the unknown–the very support I need right now.  

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!