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.
It is very warm this morning. I have the overhead fan on to keep me cool. As I hear Kevin suggest that I connect to something outside myself I notice the sensation of the cool air on my skin. And then Kevin suggests that the sensation of something outside myself can be how my skin feels. He asks me to wait for something to come and I realize that my feet are already moving and my arms are wrapped around each other. My body is here with me today. Is there any goodness in me today? I wait for the answer. My thoracic spine releases the tension it was holding.
In this intunement, Kevin took me back to the roots of focusing. Using the five senses, I found that place in me that is free of the “to dos,” the “shoulds” and the worries. There was Me There waiting to connect. Revisiting this practice with Kevin’s guiding voice helped me to slow down and easily reconnect to my body. As I heard Kevin’s explanation of how being with ourselves in an authentic way is different from being with the narrative we’ve created, I began to reconnect to a safe and welcoming place in my own body.
Someone once told me that gravity is the purest form of unconditional love.Everything is held by gravity without prejudice or discernment.Grounding to this force of nature helps one experience unconditional love.As I listened to Kevin’s voice today, I felt held by the energy of the Earth.A deep relaxation came over me.When the intunement ended, I laid down on my bed and continued to sense that deep sense of being held and I experienced the much needed deep sleep my body was craving.
This intunement encourages us to connect to something outside ourselves to support a deeper grounded presence. At the beginning of the intunement when Kevin mentions becoming “alive and awakened in my own core of being,” I felt a surge of anxiety.
What is this fear? Something in me is afraid of connecting to my core. There is a fear that I will not be happy with what I find. It might be something scary. I followed Kevin’s suggestions and began grounding to the energy of my surroundings. I live in an apartment in NYC. It is made from bricks that were created out of the residue of the glacier that is now the Hudson River. The floors of my apartment are covered in old oak parquet. This is my way to ground to these of elements nature. That made me feel safer when sensing my core—my essence. When I was more strongly grounded, wordless movement came.
This intunement takes us to the beginning of a Wholebody Focusing practice and helps us experience what comes for us when we merely notice what is there, fully acknowledge its presence and support it with full consent. It also helps us be with the blocks we have to doing this. For the person new to Wholebody Focusing, it can set the ground work to giving your body all the time it needs to create this new relationship with self. For the experienced Wholebody Focuser, it can support the full utilization these essential steps in your daily practice to deepen your practice. This may be the intunement that you return to over and over again.
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.