The next step in exploring new directions: exploring excitement, response and the power of noticing. My body seems suddenly excited by something and what happens as an immediate bodily response to that stimulation. And the question: is there a link between the nature of the excitement and the bodily response when I pause to make room for this event unfolding even before thought or choice appears?
Exploring the Link
In this episode, I make a choice; I choose to touch myself and then step back and notice what happens when I touch a sensitive place near a nipple. I pause, step back, and notice what comes. The physical response is instantly pleasurable, wanting more, an expansion of wanting more.
By pausing and waiting in this way and just noticing, that sensitive part of my chest registers something pleasurable. Something I would want to hold on to, to desire!
Then more connection of awakening begins to happen spontaneously throughout different body parts in some kind of meaningful order. Some pleasurable, some not so—maybe something quite different.
The Power of Noticing
There seems to be a pattern awakened when I do this. I touch myself; that awakens a response. It follows immediately with an activation that seems to be in sync with the nature of that kind of stimulation. And also, something else—new connections that were unexpected or even unwanted.
It is as though a whole story begins to unfold that is not of my own making and yet it seems filled with meaning and not-knowing. I pause and wait for more to come…..what else….what’s next….? A next step happens immediately! And then a next!
Maybe as you hear my story unfold, you could playfully explore this kind of awareness that has excited you—out of the blue. It doesn’t have to be pleasurable; maybe something you are drawn to or something that wants your attention right now?
Photo Credit: Kevin McEvenue - Megalithic Carnac Stones in Brittany, France
Diana and Ellen discuss how both spirituality and focusing live in their bodies and how they support their struggles with the “Little Monsters” with a sense of befriending what’s there by holding both with equal regard.
Illustration of a Neanderthal Woman: John Sibbick (with permission from the artist)
Ellen Korman Mains came up with “Holding Our Strengths and “Little Monsters” with Equal Regard” as she reflected on her week and how she’d been relating with a disturbing part of herself. Diana Scalera and Ellen talked about being with difficult experiences of ourselves with the help of our spiritual and focusing practices.
Holding our Strengths…
Diana Scalera went to Catholic school until the 8th grade, when she gave up on Catholicism and organized religion in general as a spiritual practice because most of what she experienced from her Catholic education was demeaning treatment, punishment, and fear. Not until she began focusing did her connection to a spiritual life emerge. In one of her first sessions with Kevin McEvenue, a Neanderthal woman became present in her body to support her in a situation in which she felt weak and powerless. Diana could sense the strength in these bones and how the Neanderthal woman was offering them as a gift to guide her and make her strong. From then on, Diana let go of a traditional idea of spirituality and became open to her innate connection to spirit. Neanderthals
Ellen Korman Mains grew up in a Jewish home of Holocaust survivors where ties to previous generations seemed cut entirely. At 19, she met a Tibetan Buddhist teacher who emphasized trusting direct experience over dogma or wishful thinking, and this began her spiritual journey. Twenty years later, illness and energy work broadened her sense of connection to the invisible world and to the “larger system” that Gene Gendlin refers. Later, traveling to Poland to embrace her family’s past led to extraordinary openings described in her book Buried Rivers: A Spiritual Journey into the Holocaust, as ancestors began showing up to support her. Since 2011, Focusing and meditation have been important venues for trusting her direction and spiritual connection and helping others trust theirs.
Holding our “Little Monsters…”
In the video below, Diana and Ellen discuss how spirituality and Focusing live in their bodies. Through the years, show up to support their struggles with the “Little Monsters” by offering their strength and a sense of befriending to hold both the “monsters” and our strength equally.
A critical block can be the emotional pain of the fear of not being loved or wanted. This type of despair might be a compelling presence in our lives.
Me & planet Earth sustain me. Out of nothing, something new emerges. Kevin connects us to one of his influences, Pierre de Chardin, who believed that we have a role to play in the expanding universe. We are a part of planet Earth, and it sustains life–even our lives. For example, we can sense the laws of gravity that help us function at every moment of our lives. This intunement is about the experience of our sense of self-connected to the Earth in grounded presence. More importantly, we need to know what might get in the way.
Not Planet Earth
A critical block can be the emotional pain of the fear of not being loved or wanted. This type of despair might be a compelling presence in our lives. If we make room for fear of nothingness, more comes. We need to endure the sense of nothing to allow something not of our own making to emerge.
Me and Plant Earth
In this intunement, Kevin takes us through how these ideas have an inherent connection to our Wholebody Focusing practice and how Kevin uses them to take what he learns about these connections to a new level. These nuances can enrich your practice of Wholebody Focusing.
Enjoy what emerges today listening to Kevin’s journey in connecting to planet Earth.
Photo Credit: Mohonk Mountain, NY at sunset Diana Scalera
That was the awakening: My prayer hears your prayer. Perhaps for you, too. And then something in me said that’s enough! That’s all I need to do—holding a sense of me and being aware of a sense of you. And you’re different!
Painting; Riverdale Park in Cabbagetown by Kevin McEvenue
This is in response to Elizabeth’s “It Is for This.” It is the power of her voice, the tone of the sound that is so healing to my soul. My body instantly awakens to her tone of voice even before the words are felt.
I am just allowing Elizabeth’s prayer to be heard and to be felt inside of me. And the words that seem to awaken something deeper in me is this expression that she keeps repeating: it is for this. It is for this. It is for this.
And each time I hear that repetition, it touches me even more deeply because I know that sound. I can feel that sound and I can feel me.
That is what Elizabeth has awakened in me too—that sense of me that knows who I am. What I am.
And I love the feel of it. I love being awakened when I hear someone else is there too. It gives me a sense of myself that feels totally satisfying. It is a feeling of love.
I am Love.
I live love in my body as a whole.
It is me.
This is who I am.
Something more came for me listening to Elizabeth saying what was there for her and how deeply that awakened something in myself about me. It is as though her sound, her voice, her expression, awakened a sense of myself from inside–like awakening a tuning fork of who I am.
I offer a moment-to-moment description of a grounded presence experience that I had with a deer as we both walked through the woods. This example highlights an important Wholebody Focusing practice–holding a “we” space for partners. It also shows how we can have a “we” space with any other sentient being and how both of us are impacted by the relational space they create together.
There he was, Mr. Deer, quietly but unexpectedly just over there. In fact, he was just beyond the clearing of the forest as I began my own walk. I was taking a break from a training that wasn’t going well for me. I wanted to enjoy a walk in the forest to find a grounded sense of myself again.
That is when it happened, that encounter with Mr. Deer. It seemed to startle both of us so unexpectedly. It was a surprise, yes, and startling? Maybe for a split second we both knew that something felt different here and so we seemed to pause and take in the moment with curiosity. It was that pause that seemed to change everything because we both took some space to take in what might be happening that felt so different from what we were used to. What was that? What made us stop and take a moment to become aware of the something that felt new here?
I can’t speak for Mr. Deer. He has his own sense of what was happening in him. For me, as a reflective human creature that I am, I realized I was in a good place. Usually I walk through a forest without really taking much in. But this time I felt differently. I was enjoying this moment of peace and enjoying myself in this wooded environment.
Your experience Kevin resonated profoundly in me. When you listened deeply, in searching for a sense of self, an uninvited Trappist monk connected with you – and you came alive. As if listening deeply for life could be as a calling to the universe and something from beyond answered you. Could this be possible?
In the beginning of the nineties I was on a similar journey, in my longing to become alive and be myself. My travel led me to an Orthodox Monastery, named New Valamo, in Finland. During the winter war 1939, some 190 monks fled from Valamo Monastery in Russia. They founded a refuge and a new home in a mansion in the east of Finland. To have somewhere to live they had to rebuild the old barn into monk’s cells. The monks lived and prayed in the barn for years. It was possible for me, as a visitor, to stay in one of the old monk´s cells in the barn. And of course, it was an offer I could not refuse.
The whole night I had deep dreams which felt as some sort of inner rebuilding of my whole life. For the next few days, I walked around the monastery without any thoughts, feelings or words. But with tears constantly pouring down, gently melting, cleansing and making me soft and receiving. I was filled with awe that made me feel fresh and alive.