Beginning a Wholebody Focusing Practice

I’m envisioning a Daily Practice in Wholebody Focusing:  to embody and sustain that sense of Me-Here as a body-sense of my Self as the foundation place—an Inner-Directed Experience of who I am and what I want to do.

Over the years, it has become clear to me that we seem to desire to start with an Intunement, to begin to have a fresh sense of ourselves as a Wholebody Focusing experience—to get in touch with what might be there in us right now.

How am I? What is going on right now? How can I make room for that? –that kind of attention. We seem to need some kind of solid grounding, something that we can hold onto, to allow those kinds of questions to emerge.

We usually start with some form of an Intunement to find that place in us that awakens what naturally wants to come alive and to inform us about ourselves and what is happening when it feels safe enough to do so!

It works when we can do this, and a sense of gratitude often follows when we spend time with ourselves in this way. It also initiates a relationship—it is not just a thought, it is an experience of me and something out there, a not-me, that together awakens a sense of feeling alive to myself beyond stuck-me! Continue reading Beginning a Wholebody Focusing Practice

Pauses Big and Small

This past week I had my first class with Addie van der Kooy and Cecilia Clegg called “Practicing Presence.”   I came away from that workshop with some homework—pause and find your grounded presence whenever you can even if you are just waiting for the kettle to boil.  The experience of these pauses helped me learn so much about myself.

One task I needed to do was to put together my bookcases that I had dismantled when the painters came to freshen up my apartment. For months I’ve been promising myself I would make some sense out of the mess so I could actually find a book I might want.

I began sorting my books into piles. I paused to be with all the categories looking for meaning.  The first thing I noticed was how many journals I had.  Even though writers are supposed to be people who wrote in journals all their lives, I never thought of myself as a journal writer.  I found 11 full journals.  Who knew?  They are mostly from extended trips abroad and times of strife.  This was the first big pause.  I stopped to sense into “Who was this person who wrote in journals and what did she write about?”  There were texts of prose, letters to angels, dreams, schedules, poetry and many different types of art—painting, drawing, collage, and textile design.

I paused with each journal in my hands.  I found the text below in a journal I had written when I was struggling with cancer and my relationship with my mother.

The Rage Temple has Gone out of Business

You have rage that’s too dangerous to express?
Open up an account with me. 
Just tell me your problem
And I’ll deposit it in my body.

And when my body explodes with rage
We are sorry.
Now these Temple doors are closed for good.
How long will it take to empty the inventory?

I had these journals. I never read them. I didn’t remember writing them.  I didn’t remember me.  A pause changed that.  The pause got me to open the journals and remember the me who wrote them.

The next pause helped me notice what books I have been reading.  There were a large number of books about all sorts of energy healing, diet, health, wellness, etc. There’s a considerable number of books about Focusing and WBF.  There are also books about Reiki, Flower Essence Therapy and Homeopathy.  These are all practices that are now as normal to me as breathing.  I paused with the books and I sensed how I loved learning about these modalities and how they have saved me and helped me move toward my highest and greatest good.

The next pause that came was around artistic endeavors. There are books on crochet, drawing, creating Flash cartoons, dance, poetry, and feminist literary criticism.  As I was putting some odd books away, I paused again.  Where should I put my bound copy of the Master’s thesis?  It is study of two Spanish women writers who wrote about breaking free, or not, of their patriarchal limitations. They do this through writing self-begetting novels about women who read Fascist romance novels as children and are trying to create new structures for novels about women’s lives. It suddenly occurred to me that my thesis should go with the other books of feminist literary criticism.  Some of these books were quoted in my work.  Rather than being just an activity that I did to graduate, I could understand now that this work is a companion to the other books of feminist literary criticism that I had.

Each time I paused, I felt more like myself.  I felt more appreciation for who I am, the struggles I’ve survived and the beauty I created along the way.   This is an appreciation I had never felt before because I was always too busy trying to change myself to be something or someone “better.”  Instead, I now know that this treasure trove of information about me is readily available and that whenever I pause and hold space with equal regard for what is there, something new about me will emerge.

What do I do When Something Feels Right?

Photo Credit: Eddie Nunns New Mexico Sunset

It feels in me that this intunement isn’t only about how we might squeeze our eyes—for me it touches into the ways I squeeze mySelf in order to do whatever I “must” do.  Alters Me. Compromises Me.

This intunement reminds me that through WBF and Heartfelt Connections I’ve been able to find Me—this Me is able to see more because there is more of Me to hold her, more of Me allowing more to emerge.

And all of this brings me to be able to ask: how do I squeeze mySelf in order to take in what I think is around me? Can I hold that question at the same time I hold your understanding that my own brain-confusion “is not of my own doing”?

Or is it?!!!?  Can I hold that question too?

Maybe in this moment I can say: I am embodied, therefore I am.  And this embodiment, with the richness of its seeing/vision, is the
“I Am-ness” of me.

Lynn Bryce Rosen

Listen to the Warm

This exercise allowed me to connect with my own warm and the people that are warm around me. It also helped me to connect to the hostility that was there when I grew up and my struggle to get a bit of warm.

After listening to the intunement for a second time, I have been dancing with both, the hostility and the warm, and I am surprised that I am able to find that warm place in me not only for me but for others, no matter their hostility.

Inviting my body into the warm makes me feel like I am in my own cocoon and  I feel less threatened.  I can always come back here and make the choice to engage with other human beings who can be warm and nice. 

I know more will come… it is just opening up. 

Monica Gomez-Galas

Brave enough? / Uskallanko?

Photo credit: Maria Hakasalo

BRAVE ENOUGH?

My hands
Stretched out far away from my body
sad and lonely
Overloaded
Asking, do I suffice, am I good enough

My feet
Marching
Every step hearing a drum cadence repeating
Lazybones Lazybones Lazybones

I will show you I am not a lazybones! I’ll do and do and do!!!
Even though I am too tired of doing anything

Something in me
Gently raises a question
Are you Brave
Are you Brave enough to think
I will lead you where you need to be?

Am I?

Continue reading Brave enough? / Uskallanko?

The Basic Elements of Wholebody Focusing and the Not Knowing

In this intunement Kevin reflects on the overall purpose of Wholebody Focusing – the embodied experience of “Being Me” – and how this experience can only be sustained and deepened through practice, like an inner muscle that will strengthen through exercise.

After briefly re-visiting the various elements in the WBF journey, Kevin highlights the practice of “open detachment” – a complete stepping back from any need to know and understand what is happening, so that you can be truly open and available to what wants to emerge from a deeper wisdom inside you.

Continue reading The Basic Elements of Wholebody Focusing and the Not Knowing

Coming Home to Me Again

Kevin shares a deep—and I want to say ‘unfolding’—insight into something unusual that his long-time focusing partner said to him, and how this statement opened up to him over a period of sitting-with-it. He’d fallen into the details, the talking-about. He’d lost the being-with.

Here’s what his partner said: Kevin, I need you to come back to me.

Over time, Kevin realized: This isn’t about my partner! And he explores, in his here-right-now-way, what was revealed to him. Yes, you guessed it: it’s about coming home to me again.

And then, he gently invites us to contemplate these words too—these words that, he tells us: have their own life, their own physical presence in me.

Continue reading Coming Home to Me Again

Let Your Experience Be

Welcome to the second video blog of a recent conversation between Kevin and UK Wholebody Focusing trainer Addie van der Kooy.  In the first clip Kevin and Addie explored the “inner core muscle” of “Me Here” and in this clip Addie speaks about another inner core muscle that can be activated by the practice of Letting Your Experience Be – a letting go of any notion of what your experience should be in each moment.  Enjoy!

Addie van der Kooy (avdkooy@outlook.com)