The “Me Here” Series of Training Conversations

Trainer logo2mergeIn August of 2018, Addie van der Kooy, Kevin McEvenue and I met to discuss what is new in Wholebody Focusing.  Addie and Kevin collaborated on FOCUSING WITH THE WHOLE BODY: A CD-integrated Focusing Learning Program that was published in October 2006.  We wanted to bring together the two people responsible for this extraordinary learning program and to look toward the future of Wholebody Focusing.

That day we filmed until what needed to be said was complete.  The result was the six videos listed below.  The first four are already on the blog.  You may have seen them already.  The last two complete the series and set the stage for what comes next.

My experience as the producer/editor of these videos is that new ground is broken in these intimate dialogues and they may need several views to fully take in what is being shared.  This blog is proud to have the opportunity to make these conversations possible and to be the mechanism to share them with those who would benefit.

These six videos are each part of a flow of exploration so you may want play them in the order they are listed. Once you become familiar with them, you may want to pick and choose which one suits you most on any given day.

Please comment and share how these conversations have impacted you.  This is an exciting way to keep WBF as a vibrant life experience.

The Inner Core Muscle of “Me Here” This Interview discusses training someone to find grounded presence.

The Inner Core Muscle of “Holding Both”   This interview discusses training someone to “hold both with equal positive regard.”

Let Your Experience Be This interview discusses how to be with whatever comes even if it is not what you expected.

Me Here and My Thoughts This interview discusses how to be with racing thoughts that may or may not be true or helpful.

What Is Needed to Start the WBF Process?

Why is establishing an inner structure so important to learning Wholebody Focusing?

 

The End Note: Why Talk About Muscles?

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When You Help Me Go Further, It Feels so Good

Photo Credit: Kakadu National Park, Victoria by Gabrielle Clark

The first time I tried Focusing something was not right. I was usually good at what I tried, and I could pick most things up easily. Not focusing—I froze, I could not do it. My body would shake, my jaw would shake, no words would come out.

It was so hard! How was it that some people were saying how wonderful it was. I hated it and wished I had never joined the class.

This situation led me on a mission to get it. I would try harder; surely I would get it…eventually. I went to lots of different teachers. I did lots of reading, and I even spoke to Gene on one of his phone courses.

An Encounter with Gene Gendlin

Even given a chance to speak with Gene Gendlin, the founder of Focusing, I couldn’t get the words out that I wanted. They would have been, “please help me, Gene, I can’t do focusing and I don’t know why, please help me.” Instead, I made a statement about the process model. I held my breath and blurted out…“Hi Gene, I am so excited that my body will know what it needs when it finds it.” There was silence for a few seconds “Oh…what do you mean?” he asked gently.

Oh my gosh, I froze. Did I even know what I meant? How will I answer him? What if I can’t remember what I said?  I had rushed it out so quickly, and I didn’t know if it was still there to be found. I panicked. I can feel this now, how I hold my breath and rush the words out quickly, I don’t feel my body at all. I paused and begged my body to bring it back, sure enough, it was there. I tried again.

We spoke back and forth for a while. Gene was not just answering me.  He was trying to understand me and to help me to go on from where I was. He seemed to genuinely care about what I said and even wanted to hear more, to understand me or maybe help me understand myself. He would say something that he thought I had meant and then say “is that right?” so I could check it. It moved me profoundly and brought tears to my eyes then and now- this was so new to me and so wanted.

It ended up by him saying “we need both the words and a body sense. If the body is not ready, then it’s not ready, and if the words are not ready, they are not ready. They will come when they are ready.”

How this Conversation Lives in Me Now

Kevin McEvenue says, “when the story is ready to tell itself it will” and “the secret to your unfolding lies in you not me, I just throw things out now and then for you to check them.” My body likes these statements.

I will never forget this moment, and I think one day, with practice, I will be able to slow down enough to feel both. I will be able to pause and hold both my body sense and my words together and speak slowly and surely from a place of grounded presence. My practice will be to feel me first, then speak from that deeper place. To let it come, to allow the story to tell itself from where it wants to. This new ability is a scary thought both unknown and unfamiliar, but I like it.

No one can teach me how to hold both my body sense and my words together, I have to find my own way, and I am grateful to Kevin and Gene for the way they both hold space for a person to do just that.

To find my own way feels so good.

*****

Gene Gendlin is the founder of Focusing. To learn more about him, please click on http://www.focusing.org/bios/gendlin_bio.html

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The Inner Core Muscle of “Holding Both”

Welcome to the third video blog of a heartfelt conversation between Kevin McEvenue and WBF trainer Addie  van der Kooy.  In this part of the conversation both share their excitement and experience of the practice of “Holding Both” – an inner dynamic that naturally comes alive when you not only make space for a body sense of your suffering, but also include the bodily felt connected-ness and aliveness of “Me Here.”  This  inner core muscle of Holding Both opens up new possibilities of deep healing and even transformation.  Enjoy,

Addie van der Kooy (email: avdkooy@outlook.com)

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A Gift that Keeps Giving & How I Mustn’t Feel the Joy of all that Until I Pause!

Photo Credit: Pixaby

Here is where I want to begin, reflecting on what Diana shared below in her blog that will not let go of me until I say something. This was a very powerful connection that demanded my attention. I am appreciating how the power of Diana’s heartfelt piece on the Blog that so deeply touched me. There is so much there as I stop and make room for what wants to come in me now. Maybe see what comes for you here too. Kevin

Pauses Big and Small

“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.”

       Diana Scalera November 19, 2018

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Wisdom from an Unlikely Place

How lucky am I
to be able to turn
to see these gnarled trees
through this train window
stopped
waiting
for some unseen obstruction
ahead

Sunlight illuminates
my friends, the trees
their trunks, their limbs.
Orange-khaki-colored brush
crouches in front of them
Unashamed of their winter attire
Take me as I am
they signal in their own
private language
I have no need for adornments.
I am here.
That is enough.

Elizabeth Morana

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My Background Feeling: unprepared for life

Video Credit: Horseshoe Falls by Elizabeth Morana

Water sometimes has to go
over a ledge and
drop
without knowing
what comes next

you panic
there is nothing to
hold onto
no email with information
you needed
to orient you

The drops of water
too are disoriented
they rely
without forethought
on gravity

They don’t know
which way is up
either

Oh, Angels!
Teach me to be like
Water

Elizabeth Morana

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Meditation is Continuous Transformation / Meditaatio on jatkuvaa muodonmuutosta

Photo Credit: Pixabay

Kevin McEvenue asked if I can be in contact with Eero Voutilainen, the Finnish Wholebody Focusing pioneer, and ask what meditation means to him.

The life of Eero Voutilainen is currently mainly focused on home due to mobility and balance problems. With the inspiring programs on TV he remembers different stages and turning points in his life that can more deeply open to his consciousness through meditation. These memories, Eero says, are often part of subconscious, in which there  are no words.

Eero has noticed that, at its best, meditation is an acceptance of a wordless space, the space beyond any words. According to Eero

“Meditation is airy, airy licking. It allows us to be free and liberated from our own self, own ego, that easily limits our own reality. In meditation our self is not anchored to anything, but it moves sparingly. It is in a continuous transformation process throughout our life, where the caterpillar re-emerges and becomes a butterfly, all over again. Our self, our ego, is in between the subconscious and superego, and in a continuous transformation process throughout our life. The subconscious is consciousness of something underneath that of which we cannot hold in consciousness. Meditation opens the world that we need to gently listen and receive. Superego is much clearer, each of us can recognize it.”

When I asked what kind of photo Eero would like to be attached to this blog, he answered: “A picture of autumn forest, of one leaf floating in air. All those leaves that are floating to the ground are like letters that, when falling find each others again, merging into words.” This was a memory of his visit at the meditation museum in Spain.


Kevin McEvenue kysyi, voisinko olla yhteydessä Eero Voutilaiseen, suomalaiseen Wholebody-fokusointipioneeriin, ja kysyä, mitä meditaatio on hänelle.

Continue reading Meditation is Continuous Transformation / Meditaatio on jatkuvaa muodonmuutosta

Unsatisfied Can Feel so Heard!

A situation happened recently that felt so uncomfortable that I couldn’t leave it alone. I just had to address it and so I did. It was a very familiar event—having dinner with somebody or a group of people and walking away feeling so unsatisfied, hating every moment of it.

In fact, I realized I could kvetch for days and I would still remain unsatisfied. This time, I did something quite different. I paused and found a safe place to ask my body what was so unsatisfying here? And when I could pause like that, I could feel my body appreciating the question and it felt very present in a different way than the usual chatter of thinking about something I don’t like, and why!

This is what came, being with that kind of ‘background feeling’ at a dinner gathering where I came away feeling so very unsatisfied wondering why, again! What came was a real surprise and left me feeling in a very different place!

Join me here and see what comes for you in this kind of situation where you’re feeling either uncomfortable or more—unsatisfied.

Actually, they might feel slightly different. Feeling unsatisfied often points to the possibility of what it would feel like to feel fully satisfied. Feeling uncomfortable seems more like doing something, like making a list about what to do about it, but not necessarily point to something that could change the body experience, more like a quick fix to get rid of that feeling.

In this recording, I discover something very different as a possibility I never dreamed of.

Enjoy! Kevin

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