How would it look to have a conversation without words? Is it possible? What might two people share this way? How can Wholebody Focusing be the medium through which this happens?
Cristina Griggio and I were curious about what connecting via videoconferencing in grounded presence without words would bring. We agreed to sense into our bodies separately and then asked our bodies to move how they needed to move. While we sensed into our bodies and gave them time and space to move, we also sensed into each other to connect to the other’s movement. We became at once the actor and observer.
The video below is but a small slice at the end of that conversation. We were interested in the experience of the communication itself rather than any meaning it might have held. Sometimes we were thoroughly connected to self, and other times were aware of the other and sensing into what is coming for her.
It was fun, surprising, and felt like playing. It also helped us know each other more profoundly. Cristina’s natural ability to express herself through movement at one point filled me with awe.
We offer this video as a suggestion to others–that you too can have a non-verbal conversation between two bodies communicating using the concepts of holding space for what is present, asking your body to move in its own way while holding all that comes with equal regard. We also offer this video as a companion to you so that you have company if you would like to allow your body to communicate with you and move in any way it wants.
Let us know what happens.
Heartfelt Conversation Senza Parole (Google Translate)
Come sarebbe una conversazione senza parole? È possibile? Cosa potrebbero condividere due persone in questo modo? In che modo Wholebody Focusing può essere il mezzo attraverso il quale ciò accade?
Cristina Griggio e io eravamo curiosi di sapere cosa avrebbe portato il collegamento via videoconferenza in presenza radicata senza parole. Abbiamo concordato di percepire i nostri corpi separatamente e quindi abbiamo chiesto ai nostri corpi di spostare il modo in cui avevano bisogno di muoversi. Mentre abbiamo percepito i nostri corpi e abbiamo dato loro il tempo e lo spazio per muoversi, abbiamo anche percepito l’uno nell’altro per connetterci al movimento dell’altro. Siamo diventati subito l’attore e l’osservatore.
Il video qui sotto è solo una piccola parte alla fine di quella conversazione. Eravamo interessati all’esperienza della comunicazione stessa piuttosto che a qualsiasi significato potesse avere. A volte eravamo completamente collegati a se stessi, altre volte eravamo consapevoli dell’altro e percepivamo ciò che le stava accadendo.
È stato divertente, sorprendente e mi è sembrato di giocare. Ci ha anche aiutato a conoscerci più profondamente. La naturale capacità di Cristina di esprimersi attraverso il movimento ad un certo punto mi ha riempito di soggezione.
Offriamo questo video come suggerimento per gli altri – che anche tu puoi avere una conversazione non verbale tra due corpi che comunicano usando i concetti di spazio per ciò che è presente, chiedendo al tuo corpo di muoversi a modo suo mentre trattieni tutto ciò che viene con uguale riguardo. Ti offriamo anche questo video come compagno per farti compagnia se desideri consentire al tuo corpo di comunicare con te e di muoverti nel modo che desidera.
Photo Credit: Diana Scalera, East Village, NY 2009
When the opportunity to tune into myself and hear myself speak out like this, my body responds immediately as though I am having this experience all over again. At the same time, I am noticing that I am doing so. This enables me to hold both at the same time, one after the other. The physical experience in the moment coming alive again, and then to be able to report to you what that brings in my consciousness as a thought about this experience. So, I am trying once again to hold both the experience and then the thought from which the experience has awakened.
This short recording of about 15 minutes seems to have a series of three different physical experiences that seem to follow one after the other, coming with the first outburst, “I am stuck!”
“I am stuck, I am so stuck etc.” seems to awaken a very powerful shaking in my body, vibrating all through me. Just a few simple but very clear words, but direct and passionate in its delivery with the full force of intention. “I am stuck!”
I am almost shocked that I can actually speak out this way as though I have broken some kind of taboo. I say it again because I feel I want to—as though I like the sound of my voice. “I am stuck.” I actually begin to smile—almost into laughter—and say even more clearly with more vigor—as though I am enjoying myself!
This vocal experience, sounding off like this, feels very new and very freeing, breaking through some kind of prohibition that I mustn’t speak. I must not say this or something bad will happen to me. There is also a fear right there that is so familiar, a fear that stops me from expressing myself, fearing that something very, very, bad will happen! A belief embedded in me that comes right there when I have a deep reactive felt response that feels so not right. Yes, something bad will happen, I’m sure of it. This fear is like I will go to hell for all eternity, I will be punished severely, I will break my mother’s heart. Very dramatic fears that hold me back enough to remain silent.
But in this moment, as I hold both the experience and then my awareness, something also happened at the same time that I can mark right now. I can feel the physical vibration, the shaking. The fear is there and the words that come saying, “I mustn’t”! but there is more in this experience that feels new. My body is moving, shaking out, vibrating all the way through me, the very opposite of what one would describe as being ‘stuck’! The stuck is not happening, something new is happening and it seems as a very different experience of what that word ‘stuck’ points to!
The word is still there–‘stuck,’–but the experience has moved on to something quite different from what I believe that word is pointing to: stuck in place, rigid, held, tight etc. That is not the experience I am having right now; something quite different, something that I can’t describe, no words yet but the feel of it is so different! What I also notice is that I am noticing. That I have some sense of space to notice these two different expectations and reactions which enables me not only to notice but also to choose, to choose what I might want, rather than the familiar habitual response (I mustn’t), some form of stoppage. I am actually enjoying it, enjoying my own empowerment that I can choose, perhaps for the first time. And I like that.
The whole situation has changed, and in this moment, by holding both, I can speak and perhaps even begin to put words to what has now happened. Physically, I am shaking all over, and at the same time I am enjoying myself in this experience, enough to keep repeating it with a kind of bad-boy intention, I am feeling so stuck, ha ha ha! Yes, whatever is happening, even before I can put words to it, I know I’m having a life-affirming experience right now and I want it. Yes, that kind of bad-boy sounding out there feels almost sexual and knotty in some way. I am feeling so stuck now feels so good: so stuck, so good! And I’m not in hell! My mother is not there, nothing bad is happening! So, I play with the freedom of that, enjoying the freedom that comes in speaking that way, speaking out against something that I believe must never be said!
I am allowing myself to express “what I mustn’t” with passion! It is as though I am almost daring to challenge life itself!
I realize this is only the first part of the recording. As I enjoy this speaking out in this way and having this enjoyable experience of empowerment, something more comes in my consciousness to remind me of something else about myself. Something of how it was for me as a young boy growing up in the school where I didn’t seem to fit in because my experience was different from those of other boys. This is coming out of nowhere now, but the recording seems to have moved on towards another experiencing that want to be noticed too. Other painful places that are stuck in some kind of old belief systems.
I was reminded about being in grade 3, being taught basic arithmetic. I was taught “1+1= 2″. It was implied that this was the first principle of mathematics; truth number one and all else follows. But I was surprised that what seemed to be the accepted truth was not my experience! In fact, I could not accept that this statement was true at all! I knew I had to comply and pretend, perhaps, that I agree with it. But at the same time, I knew in my heart that this was not true for me. What to do? How to live with that split in me? It is still there, stuck!
So, I took the opportunity here to play with my experience once again with counting the numbers from 1 to 10 and then to notice how that was for me. As I spoke out these words slowly, I was surprised to find myself able to count is this felt way, pausing before the next number presents itself. It seemed to make room for another experience that didn’t exclude the mathematical principle, but it included something more too, a sense of space inside, a spaciousness around me and beyond me, life happening over there too.
So the principle could be accepted as a truth, a function that worked in a particular way, but I also could make room for other experiencing happening at the same time. It was not a question of having to choose one or the other. I have the capacity to hold both. The basic principle of mathematics seems to come from a different place, kind of man-made place. Perhaps an essential place for a man to function today. In short, I was able to hold both for more. So much more which included not only thinking but also feeling, tasting, touching, smelling, seeing, hearing etc. So rather than arguing with this formula, there was room in me to expand my experience of more possibilities that are also true, each in their own way. Not just one truth, perhaps many; many I have no sense of—at least not yet.
Feeling satisfied with this long-held anxiety about basic principles around mathematics and finding some kind of peace with the ability to hold differing ways of thinking and experiencing, something new appeared out of the blue again. What came was the recent memory of a shared experience with another person in a Heartfelt Listening situation. It seemed directly connected to the first experience of “I feel stuck”. That kind of sounding off reminded me when another person just did something similar, similar enough that felt somehow mutual like, “we know this place!”
This person said something out loud as she noticed her hands. Staring at them she cried: “My hands are so busy, they are always so busy, they never stop, they drive me crazy.”
I listened to her outburst and also noticed her hands. I noticed her hands were pulled inward at the beginning and then they seemed to do something quite different when she gave voice to what she felt about that. That kind of direct voicing of such an experience seemed to awaken her hands to expand in some new way. They looked bigger, with a different kind of expressing. She too was struck by happening in here, in her hands, and I heard her say, “Oh my God, my hands feel so different, they feel so loving of me. Wow, I love that!”
That whole thing over there, in her, felt true in me too! It felt like she was speaking ‘truth’. And as she did it, I could see the change happening. Her hands seemed to take on a life of their own, independent of her prior outburst of pent-up frustration. They seem to be coming from a very different place now.
What was also very surprising in me was that my own hands were doing something similar too! Something was happening in my hands that felt good, very life-affirming. And I wanted to speak up. I didn’t quite know how to describe that, so I said something: “It feels like I am borrowing your hands for a moment so that my hands can do something like that for me too.” And as I spoke, I could feel my hands beginning to move upward beside my head space to nourish this part of me that had felt so tight and tense at the start of this recording.
Something mutual had happened between us, a kind of ‘energy presence’ that was not of our own making, a presence that has a mind of its own that was mutually supportive in both of us each in our own way. It felt like a Heartfelt Connection as though I could say, “loving is happening here!” Something loving was happening between us that was life supporting for each of us as needed! The only way I could describe this was that “the life in her hands seemed to awaken the life in my hands for more in some way that was needed in my life too.”
The whole thing seems to be complete and I knew it was time to end the recording. So many different events in my life seemed to come together in one moment of integration and awareness in a variety of very different situations at different times and events in my life. Coming together one after the other right now. So grateful, Amen.
When Rosa and I found Wholebody Focusing for the first time, both of us were seasoned Focusers. We had our own way to enter the Focusing process, which worked well. Still, we both realized immediately how Wholebody Focusing grounding was bringing us into a deeper and broader state of presence, in a very natural and straightforward way.
Whenever we engage in a partnered focusing session, we always start with a deep grounding through Heartfelt Conversation. We use this practice to facilitate a session with a client or student. We also enter into a Heartfelt Conversation with each other this way.
We could not start a Heartfelt Conversation without a slow, detailed grounding. First, each of us talks aloud to guide ourselves into a grounded presence. We describe everything we notice and feel to each other; then, we switch and, afterward, we still spend at least five minutes, or even more, exploring our “We Space.” It is a prolonged, natural process that opens both of us to a broader consciousness in which we both resonate with the space around us and experience more abundant wisdom coming from inside and outside ourselves. We feel we are in a vast field of energies and information, more fertile than both our fields alone.
This process helps us to very naturally step into grounded presence, and we experience something that is very wise–more profound, and love guides us as we interact with each other.
This is Heartfelt Conversation at its best for us!
Not all Conversations are so deep. Some of them are a very creative process, and others are full of lightness and sharing. We have also experienced healing process during this process.
As we work to support our clients, students, and focusing partners, we enter Heartfelt Conversation many times with outstanding outcomes. For example, we used HFC when we started working together to explore our differences, their most unclear and hidden parts, and also our different experiences in life. We touched our fears about this new collaboration, and we explored what could interfere, stopping or blocking the flow of energy between us and any chance at having an authentic, open connection.
We explored our discordant aspects in a careful, respectful, and authentic way through HFC. This in-depth process allowed us to open up to an appreciation of our mutual qualities. What did we like about each other? What was moving us to work together, and what was attracting one towards the other?
HFC showed itself as the most touching, positive, and transforming part of our process: any doubt or difficulty disappeared. Spontaneously, almost without becoming aware of what was happening between us, we shared a mutual appreciation for our qualities and positive aspects. We brought out a whole series of qualities that had remained silent until we began having Heartfelt Conversations. The result of these interactions was that confidence was strengthened not only in our collaborative projects but also in our self-esteem.
Perché iniziare con un buon Radicamento
Quando abbiamo incontrato l’Wholebody Focusing cinque anni fa eravamo entrambe focalizzatrici ormai da tempo. Avevamo sviluppato ognuna il proprio modo di entrare nel processo di Focusing ma, fin da subito, ci siamo rese conto dell’efficacia del radicamento. Come previsto dal primo dei cinque spazi corporei dell’Wholebody, iniziando con un buon Radicamento, il processo andava molto più in profondità e il nostro Stato di Presenza risultava ampliato. Così è diventato il nostro modo di iniziare una sessione o una Conversazione col Cuore.
Iniziare una Conversazione col Cuore con un buon Radicamento per noi è fondamentale: ognuno a turno guida se stesso, descrivendo ad alta voce al compagno, in maniera semplice ed autentica, tutto ciò che percepisce. Così facendo si apre in modo naturale ad uno stato di coscienza più ampio, entra in un ritmo più lento e il pensiero va a servizio della percezione. Le informazioni giungono ai due partner dal Tutto in cui ci si radica, un luogo interiore ed esteriore allo stesso tempo.
I corpi fisici, emozionali ed energetici entrano in risonanza e si aprono all’esplorazione consapevole dello “Spazio del Noi”, quel campo di energie ed informazioni più vasto e ricco di contenuti dei reciproci campi. Si entra naturalmente in uno Stato di presenza Radicata che, nella Conversazione col Cuore, è ancora più vasto e profondo perché è formato dal campo fisico, energetico e spirituale di entrambi e, molto spesso, viene esperito come un qualcosa di molto più intelligente, saggio, amorevole di ciò che potrebbe emergere da una sessione individuale.
Sono molti i casi in cui la Conversazione col Cuore può essere utilizzata con evidenti benefici. Ad esempio all’inizio della nostra collaborazione è stato molto utile per noi esplorare quali erano gli aspetti più diversi, difficili, oscuri dei nostri caratteri e delle nostre esperienze. Quali erano le nostre paure rispetto ad una possibile collaborazione. Cosa avrebbe potuto mettersi in mezzo tra di noi ed impedire l’autenticità, l’apertura, l’accoglienza o semplicemente lo scorrere di una buona energia?
Dopo aver esplorato con discrezione, rispetto e autenticità questi aspetti più spigolosi, ci siamo naturalmente aperte, in maniera sincera, a quelle che erano le nostre reciproche qualità. Cosa apprezzavamo veramente l’una dell’altra, cosa ci aveva attratto e cosa ci aveva spinto a quella collaborazione? Quest’ultima parte si è rivelata la parte più commovente e costruttiva del processo, la parte che ha sciolto ogni nodo e dubbio. Senza neanche rendercene conto, in una spinta naturale di spontaneità, ci siamo confidate la nostra reciproca ammirazione e apprezzamento per alcuni degli aspetti che avevamo colto nell’altra e abbiamo fatto emergere tutta una serie di qualità rimaste in silenzio fino a quel momento. Questo ha sicuramente rafforzato la nostra fiducia non solo nel nostro progetto di collaborazione ma anche nella nostra autostima.
What does Heartfelt Connection feel like in a person’s body? What happens if other people watch two people engage in a Heartfelt way? How can the energy of this experience carry over into other’s lives? Also, what does this have to do with Quantum Physics and Quantum Entanglements?
The podcast below by Kevin McEvenue describes such an event that can give us insight into these questions. Kevin participated in an International Focusing Institute event in which Rob Parker was discussing Gene Gendlin’s work when he suddenly stopped and felt into his body. What comes next is an extraordinary entanglement that resonated not only for Rob and Kevin but also for the whole group watching their connection unfold and later for someone completely unconnected to the event or anyone who participated in the event except for Kevin.
If you ever asked any of the questions above, this is the podcast for you. Enjoy listening to the unfolding of this experience of Heartfelt Connection between two leaders of focusing who never met before.
Photo Credit: Michael LuxRollright Stones on the Oxfordshire & Warwickshire border in England
Like never before in history, this generation has at its disposal new and wonderful evidence from science, confirming the presence and power of what many of us would call A Very Insistent and Persistent Love at the heart of all creation.
Richard Rohr 2019
Dear Friends who are exploring Heartfelt Connection and Conversation, an article that appeared this morning touched me as a kind of historical support to this new experiencing that is emerging of connecting with other people that is natural on a cellular level.
It comes from quantum physics with a new aspect of connection that expands my sense of what happens when we bring our attention to the physical body and how it responds to that kind of attention. This piece expands the same exploration to include connections with other people that is vital to me in order to develop my sense of me more, instead of me less.
The views and words expressed here fit my own spiritual experience and direction but they seem to meet all of us regardless of the history and culture that we follow. For me, it is the path of the mystic, a person who chooses to live a life that seems inner-directed. People with whom I feel understood and appreciated draw me to them before I know what it is that is in me.
That might be enough, but if you would like to read further about what excited my experience today as a kind of support in this way of being here, it is in words. As I work with different people in our various ways, I see something in each one emerging here in one form or another.
Here is the link to Richard Rohr’s November 7, 2019 article The Field of Love that inspired me this morning.
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.
For me, music is a way in, a way to be with parts of myself that are sometimes unknown or in the background. I’ll hear a song and locate that feeling again.
A Musical Felt Sense
I found this video, Peace Will Come sung by Miley Cyrus and Melanie Safka, during a conversation with my husband about music that influenced him as a boy. We listened to a song by Dion and the Belmonts called The Wanderer. There was a video of Dion singing this song to an audience of elegantly- dressed couples in a nightclub. While my husband was walking down memory lane, I noticed that the men in the audience had big smiles on their faces and the women were looking aghast. I pointed this out to my husband, and we discussed how this song represented an ideal for men of the ’50s and early ’60s that reduced women to objects.
At the same time, my husband was able to identify the body sense of the song for him as a teenager. He said it opened new possibilities of traveling around the world and adventure. He ended up visiting many parts of the world. He didn’t notice how women were treated because it was not any different from what he had been learning about women from the culture of that time.
Who are the Artists?
I had a felt sense that a counterpoint was needed. I wanted a voice that represented a woman’s point of view, and Melanie came to mind. We went to her web site (www.melaniesafka.com) and found the video below and other material that reminded me how, during the ’60s and ’70s, her songs influenced me along with other girls and women by exemplifying independence and candor about the experience of femaleness. There is evidence in some of the video record that she shares, that she also helped men see women more fully as human beings. She was also a strong supporter of ending the war in Vietnam, and that may have been the reason she wrote Peace Will Come.
Miley Cyrus was a Disney star in the 2000s who was the target of slut-shaming in the USA when she hit her late teens for having grown into a sexy beautiful young woman. She now has a successful career as an actor/singer/songwriter who continues to surprise and challenge her audience. She created the Happy Hippie Foundation that sponsors programs that focus on youth homelessness, the LGBTQ community, and other vulnerable populations.
My Felt Sense of the Duet
This duet between Melanie Safka and Miley Cyrus is a Heartfelt Conversation between artists. The beauty of the setting, the support of the musicians who may not have known what would happen next, the interaction between the singers, and the beauty of the song itself and its social context in the ’70s and today all moved me. A sense of well-being and hope emerged in me.
The multi-generational aspect of this performance also touched me. One commenter called it a “multi-generational eargasm.” Miley’s way of being with Melanie helped me remember how important Melanie’s music was to me as a teenager. Moreover, I became aware of how ageism, especially against women, make this kind of Heartfelt Connection very rare. I found the longing in me for the ability to be a part of a community that holds, with equal regard, the contributions of people of all ages.
Please enjoy the loveliness of this moment shared.
As a reader and a contributor to this blog, I’m very touched to hear this audio from Kevin, “Something is Happening That is Good For Me.”
And it turns out that he’s talking about his response to recent contributions and comments on this cyber-gathering place. It’s as though I’m hearing it for the first time—that we are “…participating in something not of our own making…” in these recent writings.
He reminds us that we’re participating—we’re not passive carriers for inspired ideas—instead we‘re active participants in what comes through each of us; something that is uniquely helpful to the writer, and uniquely helpful—in yet another way—to the reader.
And he adds something else that I feel is new: that we are experiencing “…a felt-sense, person-to-person.” And he says “YES” to that, adding, “.that’s why I’m here in this moment, to say YES.”
Lucky us—to have the opportunity to sense into this new-knowing.