The Gift of Consciousness Expanded

The capacity to reach out to something more than me is where loving happens—something that is not of my own making.

by Kevin McEvenue

Once again, I can feel it all coming together in me because Perception is speaking directly to that experience. Something is emerging, coming to my consciousness as I speak, as I feel, and as I express in the presence of another person included in my consciousness. 

This podcast speaks for itself directly, more that I could try to put words to. It describes a clarity of relationship between me, a wounded part of me, and a higher sense of me, all coming together hereA direct experience in myself that is often beyond words. And then maybe words come. The words that come seem to form directly from the experience.

This is me here: me who can actually reach out and engage with something beyond me. I am doing just that now—right now. It is an action step that I initiate by inviting a connection.  And that is enough!

What is so amazing is that something actually does happen. It is like my wounded self is discovering the power of its own consciousness.   This is the power in me, a part of me that can invite and receive, quite different from trying to possess, trying to take from, or trying to make happen. These activities come from very different places.

When I speak about the power of me experiencing this sense of me as powerful, there is some discernment happening at the same time. It is this power that I have been exploring and struggling with in this exploration of perception. What is coming here is the word Presence—to feel myself being present and grounded like how an electric plug needs to be grounded to the earth to make it safe to come alive.  

The capacity to reach out to something more than me where loving happens—something that is not of my own making—is an experience that really can’t be described.  That is it! 

It is something I invite and then I pause, I stay with the desire, and make room for whatever comes—like whatever seems to be the next right step. That is how it works and it requires my consent.  In short, I have reached out, something has come as a response, and I say yes in some way.

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Ambient Grief – Progress

It’s been a few days since I wrote The Ambient Grief of the Moment. I’ve been able to make some progress in finding ways to be with the energy of this ambient grief.  

Ambient energies are more likely to impact us if we have body memories of those energies. My own experience with unexpressed childhood grief opens me up to sensing the suffering around me. WBF helps me know what to do about it.

New Growth

After connecting to this grief, the I first time I noticed that I struggled to understand or explain something, I recognized that grief was present. I took a few breaths and chanted a Buddhist prayer to connect me to a power outside of myself and then took a few more breaths. I also held space for “this is grief, my own, or what is floating around in the world. What I did not do, however, is even more critical.  

Whenever, confusion arose, I had been getting anxious about my health and creating catastrophe scenarios about what is wrong with me. Now that I am aware that grief is engaged here, I can let go of the need to determine what is causing these problems and what I have to do. That is the game-changer. There is no longer a need to see these symptoms as a health problem and go into overdrive to solve them.

I know this is the correct path because the symptoms have lessened since I began holding space in this way for confusion or the inability to function.

I also connected to a flower essence remedy called Grief Relief, made by the Flower Essence Society. There are three ways to administer this remedy. One can spray the mixture into the mouth (has alcohol), on to your skin, or into the aura. This treatment also helps with the intensity of the sense of grief. It gave me hope that progress was happening in how my body is adjusting to the moment. If you use a flower remedy, I recommend that, whether you take this remedy by mouth or on your skin, include the area around your body for the grief that is not yours.  

The Momentum

I hope that others find new ways to be with these energies that are part of our existence at this moment and may get stronger as we move forward in the next few months. Please share what you find with the Wholebody Focusing Community.  Sharing may increase the possibility of advancing the processing of grief by helping others through this difficult time.

Drawing by Diana Scalera

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The Ambient Grief of the Moment

A Colorado woman wrote an article in the New York Times about how her heated car seat provided her great solace physically, sexually, and emotionally. The text was mostly about who invented the heated car seat and why it was so pleasurable. Amidst the light-hearted story, there was an accurate description of what many of us have been feeling: the ambient grief of the moment.

I recognize grief. I felt it deeply 22 years ago when I had endometrial cancer and lost my last chance to have a child. That grief helped me remember my grandfather’s death. He died when I was 14 months old. I had no conscious memories of being with him, but in a Reiki session, my body revealed my baby self’s grief of the loss of the one person who loved me deeply and who I had loved deeply. I cried for many months during this period.

I also had other symptoms. I lost things, essential things like my wallet, many times. I would find myself in the middle of NYC without my purse and any ID or metro card. The only way to get home was to walk a couple of miles. I remember thinking that the cancer treatment had taken away my uterus and was also a sort of lobotomy. It was when I found focusing through an organization called Cancer Care. Focusing helped me find myself again.

Lately, with the rise of COVID to such dramatic proportions, I find myself in the same position emotionally. I’m always losing things. I think I’m doing something that I usually do, and it turns out I missed a couple of steps. The outcome is I have to spend hours fixing it. I’m also losing my ability to explain things.

There is weekly news of friends and acquaintances who have died along with the thousands world-wide. It was impossible to find a world-wide number of deaths, but the US is reporting that one person dies every minute from COVID.

There are also deaths from other things like heart disease, cancer, lung, and digestive disorders. Most of the people I knew who have died lately are not dying from COVID, but some other conditions. It is as if living with a chronic illness in the time of COVID is just too much to bear.

I am a part of a Buddhist organization. There is a recommendation that we chant for the consolation of those suffering from the impact of COVID. I didn’t take this seriously at first, but now I sense how it can help me with the grief I feel.

On the surface, I “handle” living with COVID by plotting how my husband and I can survive this crisis. What I haven’t been paying attention to is sensing into how the situation is impacting my body. Reading that phrase in an article about heated car seats gave me a connection to my symptoms and the cause. It is the collective sense of grief that is overwhelming our senses.

I don’t have a solution, but I hope our readers can share how they are experiencing this grief and if you have found a way to hold space for it while allowing your body to discover what it needs to heal.

Heated Car Seats Are an Antidote to Our Grief  by Hermione Hoby

Photo by: Diana Scalera

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Welcome to the Depth of the Ocean!

Please consider yourself to be warmly invited to our next monthly on-line Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday 19th December (see details below).

In our last gathering 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 image  spoke 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.

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 90-minute 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 19th December 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

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Feel the Warm and Be the Warm 

By Kevin McEvenue
 

This series, the Doors of Perception, seems to have taken on a life of its own. Something has come to a head; I have recalled the struggles of life and named the basic conflict that seems to always be there. I want so much and I can’t have it in equal proportion. How devastating this has been for most of my life.

Now I feel something has changed; just being with these podcasts seems to have made a difference, being transparent with you present in my awareness at the same time. Something has happened that perhaps could not have happened until I did this: speak out, pausing, waiting for the words to form directly from the experience itself.

This podcast really does speak for itself and I invite you to feel the change of mood and expectation. How something has happened here—how the perception itself has taken on a life of its own, independent of the patterns I so struggle with. I am enjoying that shift as I feel it in my own body this morning. I feel different.  My body is feeling the warmth of itself, physically warm, a sensual feeling, gradually warming every part of me all over, warm and inviting.

What a good feeling that is, to feel myself in this way.  And there is a natural pause to enjoy it as I realize I don’t have to know, I don’t have to understand, I don’t have to do anything. I can enjoy my life just the way it is.

And right now, I am enjoying my warm body being felt all through me. It feels like the struggle doesn’t need to be there—at least not now. It feels like an internalized permission, I don’t have to do anything, I can just be.  My wanting, my desires—they have a place in me to be there.  It is okay.

There is a fundamental change of expectation.  More a sense of acceptance with delight and gratitude. Not a wishing, not a fantasy. There is a quality of hope here that seems to know what is needed. Like a bodily experience of who I am and what I am in my possibilities that seem satisfying. And yet there will be challenges here too, challenges that are manageable, that strengthen me, not drain me. So be it!

Connecting to the Sparks of Life

Take a few minutes and sense into where you encounter forward-moving life energy. For me, sound has been my guide. As a new wave of the international pandemic lays bare how present death is among us, we need to find ways to connect actively to what sparks life in us. Recently, I’ve found that sound helps me find a way to connect to myself and others. This supports the life in me.

The Impact of the Pandemic on our Bodies

The current situation has subtly impacted my nervous system. I don’t feel any different from moment to moment, but I am experiencing panic attacks again, which had disappeared from my life after years of focusing. Just buying groceries, sitting on a bench with a friend, or throwing out the trash includes masking up and putting on gloves—all reminders of the chaos surrounding us.

For example, the other day, I felt my body switch into panic mode in the middle of my virtual Italian class. There was a felt sense, a click in the middle of my chest. After that, I started having thoughts about possible problems with our gas stove.

I acknowledged the felt sense and new thoughts. I also recognized that these were irrational thoughts because I knew no one had used the stove the entire day, and there was no smell to sustain such this concern. I acknowledged that something in me was frightened, yet I did not know what or why.

I recognized “not knowing” the source of the panic and held space for this distress. That allowed me to notice the sound of my classmates’ voices again. We are all very dedicated to learning Italian, and to be a part of this group is very important to me. When the class ended, I held space for this anxiety in a fuller way.  What came for me was that the panic is my body’s way of letting me know that it is on overload. It needs more support. How do we support both– the need to move forward and the horror of the pandemic?

Even though the numbers in New York City are relatively low compared to the rest of the United States, they are still rising. New Yorkers have lived through the worst experience of the first wave and we know where it can go and how fast it can get there.

Recognizing the Sparks of Life

A few days later, I started to prepare to do some errands. I put on a mask, my defogged glasses with a guard strap on the back that keeps them from falling off. Then came my coat and purse and finally my face shield and gloves.

As I began walking to my favorite organic grocery store about a mile away, I noticed that my body was on high alert. First, there was a physical sensation– walking was too difficult. I felt overwhelmed by the mask and the shield. Was I breathing okay? Then came the thoughts about not being able to do the errands I set out to do. “How could I keep going forward while I am feeling like this?”

I kept on walking and hoping the sensation would subside. As I neared Thompkins Square Park, the first thing that woke me out of my thoughts was the sound of a car alarm. NYC banned them a long time ago, so it was a bit surprising to hear. Something, however, was comforting about the jarring sound. Maybe it matched my felt sense energetically. Paying attention to that sound shifted something in me. It broke the spell of my thoughts.

I began to hear someone playing the trumpet. The dogs in the large dog run were barking along with the music.  As I paused to listen actively, I heard so much more. Then an idea came that I should record what I heard because it was so full of life. In the middle of the pandemic, my neighbors found ways to connect and interact in safe and life-sustaining ways. The trumpeter was playing a cheerful tune; the dogs wanted you to know they were there. There were three competing bands, sometimes playing over each other, and occasionally stopping to listen to the other bands. The sounds were loud and were full of life. Each experience could grab you and take you along their journey.

The car alarm helped me ground. The walk through the park, and more specifically, the sounds of life, pulled me into presence. As I exited the park, I noticed how my thoughts had changed. I was able to get through my errands for the day, and I returned home to share the experience with my husband.

I invite you to take a few minutes to listen to the sounds of life that my neighbors shared with me last Saturday that helped me connect to the forward-moving life in me. If you click on Thompkins Square Park you can see some photos of this very special place.

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Coming Home to Myself Again

This podcast is self-exploratory as I struggle with a sense of empowerment next to having to learn to control at the same time. It is like creating a kind of empowering willfulness: I can do this.

By Kevin McEvenue

In this seventh preamble in the series I call The Doors of Perception, what is explored is the issue of power and the need for control—and how I have struggled with this conflict most of my life, passionately wanting something and holding back, that stops me with equal measure.

Again, I am being transparent in living in a direct experience of my own history as I give voice to these events from childhood to the present day and how the conflict is gradually resolving, offering something fresh, better than imagined!  Humpty Dumpty, (wholebodyfocusing.com), is a witness to all those shattered pieces coming together—amazingly. My Humpty Dumpty came into the world with an intuitive kind of Perception, awakened very early in life:  an encounter with a cat—not on a hot tin roof—but a cat looking for warmth right there, a warm breath, sitting on my mouth, stopping my breath that early spring morning! I am in a baby crib, outdoors alone in the fresh air.

It seems that much of my life was preoccupied with just that, holding back, tensing my body to hold back, not feel, not say. No room for the joy of the flow of just being, just being me.  It seemed to suppress that deeper empowerment, that part of me that does know something and wants to have a life of its own. It still does! The fear of life seems to overwhelm the joy of living. That became my reality, my preoccupation to stop, to control and prevent. “I mustn’t!” There was no room for anything else, namely, to enjoy my own empowerment, there to be loved and appreciated.

Gradually the confusion is beginning to clear as my inner wisdom is finding its way through this apparent conflict.   It needed rebuilding a whole new structure, starting from the bottom up, finding my feet, rather than trying to function from a top down that just didn’t fit.  Gradually I am emerging as the person I know and love. This is me, coming home to me! The Love of me!

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We’ll Meet You There!

“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.  And when our souls lie down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.”            Rumi

You are warmly invited to our next monthly on-line Pause for Presence gathering on Saturday 21st November.  This time it will be 15 minutes longer to give us a bit more time for resting in Presence and heartfelt sharing.

Underneath the turbulence of today’s events there is a lot of intense anxiety, anger and despair swirling around in the collective thought/emotional energy field.  You may well have noticed that it takes a strong rootedness in a deeper dimension inside you to not get sucked into these emotional energies.

This deeper dimension is always alive, at peace and free – untouched by the swirling of thoughts and emotions at the surface.  Like the depth of the ocean – alive, still and undisturbed by the waves at the surface.  Yes, you still feel the emotional waves, but also sense the aliveness and unperturbed-ness of the depth of your Being.

As you may know, in our gatherings we often call this dimension “the underlying field of living Presence” – a sense of the aliveness felt within the body and around us as a nourishing Presence that holds and constantly resources us.  The idea is to “lie down in that grass”, letting yourself rest in the felt sense of the aliveness of “just being”.  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 90-minute gathering will be simple.  After a brief guidance into Presence (for those who need it), we silently come to rest in “this underlying field of Presence”.  There will also be time for any heartfelt sharing that wants to happen.

The details:

  • Time and date: Saturday 21st November 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.

We’ll meet you there!

Addie van der Kooy and Cecelia Clegg (UK Wholebody Focusing trainers)

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