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!

Welcome To The Field of Spacious Presence

In this gathering, you are invited to be with yourself in such an accepting way that your body can begin to open up and guide you “into this vast awesome field of spacious Presence”.

If you can live in your body and not reject any of it, you will be guided into discovery of your own wisdom and Nature’s wisdom, guided into this vast awesome field of spacious Presence”        

–        Late Ed McMahon, co-founder Bio-Spiritual Focusing

With Nature springing into new colourful growth all around us (at least here in the Northern hemisphere), it feels like a perfect time to invite you to our next monthly on-line Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday April 24th.

In this gathering (slightly longer than usual) you are invited to be with yourself in such an accepting way that your body can begin to open up and guide you – as Ed McMahon describes above – “into this vast awesome field of spacious Presence”. This dimension of Presence in you is always alive, at peace and unperturbed by what is going on.

In previous gatherings we have called it “the underlying energy field of living Presence” – a sense of the aliveness felt within the body and around you as a field of Presence that constantly holds and resources you.

The idea of these gatherings is for you to come to rest in this energy field of Presence within and around you and to allow yourself to feel 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 plenty of time to silently come to rest in Presence.  There will also be time for any heartfelt sharing that may want to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 24th April 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.

See you then!

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg

UK  Wholebody Focusing Trainers

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

Letting In The Sunlight of Being

To sense the vitality of Presence within and without recharges our body and mind and resources us in ways nothing else can.

It is a real pleasure to welcome you to our next monthly Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday February 27th.  Life in lockdown during these dark, cold and sun-starved winter months (at least here in the northern hemisphere) is a perfect time to pause and let in the “sunlight of Being”.  To sense the vitality of Presence within and without recharges our body and mind and resources us in ways nothing else can.

Letting in the Sunlight–Addie van der Kooy

In one of our last gatherings the image of the ocean floor emerged with a sense of its deep vibrantly alive stillness, unperturbed by but not separate from the wind-swept waves and cross currents on its surface.  This felt image speaks beautifully of the dimension of Presence that can be felt inside us as “an underlying energy field of living Presence”, always alive, at peace and undisturbed by the waves of thoughts, emotions and physical discomforts you may experience on the surface.

Letting in the Sunlight–Cecelia Clegg

The idea of these monthly 90-minutes gatherings is to come to rest in this underlying energy field of Presence – a sense of the aliveness felt within the body and around us as a nourishing Presence that holds and constantly resources us: to rest and be nourished by the aliveness of “just being” and allowing the surface to be as it is.  Being together in this way 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 our gathering is simple.  After a brief guidance into Presence (for those who need it), we silently come to rest in “this underlying energy field of Presence”. There will also be time for any heartfelt sharing that wants to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 27th February from 4 pm to 5.30 pm GMT.
  • Venue: Zoom video conferencing platform. If you have no experience with Zoom, please let Cecelia know for necessary guidance.
  • Fee: £15 (by bank transfer) or £16 (by Paypal which includes £1 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 £5 fee.

See you then!

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg

UK Wholebody Focusing Trainers

Previous workshops:
Pause for Presence

Welcome to the Depths of the Ocean

Photo Credit: Diana Scalera Labyrinth at Kripalu. Stockbridge, MA 

Participatory Spirituality: A New Experience

Kevin McEvenue explores Participatory Spirituality as a new experience of his ever evolving Wholebody Focusing Practice.

by Kevin McEvenue

Participatory Spirituality: I am introducing a new topic to be shared and explored together.

As I say the words out loud, I notice I stop! I feel confused—as though I don’t know what to think. I don’t know! I pause; I wonder.

I don’t panic or shutdown; I wonder as though I am curious. I am aware of both.

I stop and I notice, and then something comes into my awareness! It feels new—like a new direction—as though a door has been opened in this way of responding. And holding both with equal positive regard.

Something comes that is clearly unexpected and not of my own making. Body, mind, and an awakening that is not of my own making! This is what we will be exploring as this new direction takes us to a place we have not been before, a kind of engagement with life that seems very personal.

Please join me here in this new experience of myself as I explore what happens in me when I take this next step and then the next step, and then the one after that. It seems to have a life of its own. I am given a choice.

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