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.

To Discern & Unpack What is There

Noticing at first the sense of anxiety that I am listening to this intunement with the special purpose of writing something.. but as I continue to listen to Kevin’s familiar voice and pay attention to this sense I notice that the anxiety diminishes and there is a sense of safety as I open the door to what is there in this intunement today.

As I hear Kevin listing what might be there…..  I notice a feeling of surprise and then delight that he is inviting the possibility of there being more than the usual felt sense or pain, but also emotions, thought, resistance. Wow!!  All that can be part of what I can acknowledge in this intunement. How often have I been critical of myself if I wandered off into thinking about something, chastised the thought that floated across that had nothing to do with the intunement?  Got wrapped up in the sadness that suddenly appeared from nowhere and then guiltily come back to Kevin’s voice….

Is there something that needs to be noticed now – a feeling of permission to notice more!!

Kit Racette

Felt Sense Naming and Reflecting a Body Experience

Kevin invites us, here, to join him in an exploration that covers some really revolutionary material that most of the world doesn’t entertain—that we can develop a relationship with our own bodily experiences.  There’s a whole lot here, so feel free to pause this audio to really take it in, as he draws us forward through the many nuanced steps toward a relationship between our consciousness and our felt sense.

I was especially energized to hear his words:  what emerges is not of your own making.  Years of socialization make that difficult for me to take in.  And another personal favorite:  it’s almost as though the body waits for your connection….  ….almost as though it appreciates your attention.  Even now, I have a sweet spark of surprise when I realize that a relationship is forming:

Here I am, and there that is.  We are in relationship.

 Eliabeth Morana

Life just ‘Moves’. Just ‘IS’. That is what it is to say ‘I Am’!

Kevin McEvenue, Addie van der Kooy, Patricia Manessy and I, as participants in this blog, have been engaged in a conversation about a new edge of Wholebody Focusing.  Addie presented us with the idea that “I can be okay, whilst not feeling okay.” Patricia let us know how important this concept is to her.  Kevin’s intunement gives us an example of how to achieve that sense of wholeness with movement while holding whatever is present in the body.

What came for me today while listening to this intunement was the pure joy of moving without searching for its meaning.  I was able to feel joy in my movements as I was aware that I woke up this morning with some emotional heaviness.

This is a great intunement to connect you to your natural ability to move from an inner directed source of self, to become solidly grounded, and possibly to be able to hold both a strong sense of “Me Here” and whatever is wanting your attention.  This may alleviate what is suffering in the moment and may also lead to some longer lasting shift in that suffering.

Diana Scalera

Me & Planet Earth That Sustains Me & More

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.  We can sense into the laws of gravity, for example, that help us function every moment of our lives.  This intunement is about the experience of our sense of self connected to the Earth in grounded presence and what might get in the way.

An important block can be the emotional pain of the fear of not being loved or wanted.  This type of despair might be a very powerful presence in our lives.  If we make room for fear of nothingness, more comes. We need to endure the sense of nothing in order to allow something that is not of our own making to emerge.

Enjoy what emerges today in your grounded presence.

Photo Credit: Michael Lux – Yosemite