When Girls Don’t Move – Part II

Photo Credit: Pixabay

How does Wholebody Focusing Help?

I have a life-long curiosity about my relationship to movement–both negatively and positively.  In one of my first sessions with Kevin McEvenue after being a focuser for many years, all my body wanted to do was move. Those first movements were foundational. I found my powerful body in merely walking in place and sensing how strong my bones were. Whenever I feel like I need some support, I can call in that sensation of the strength in my bones by walking in place in grounded presence.

Next, I participated in the Advanced Training for Wholebody Focusers. I met many people who incorporated movement into their focusing practice. The first time I saw someone drop to the floor during a WBF session, my body knew that anything was possible.  From that point on, my body engaged in a variety of movements. In one partnership exchange, my body pulled me to the floor so that my root chakra was touching the ground. That need for my root chakra to be connected to the Earth lasted for months.

I eventually realized that I could allow movement to come without words. An awareness of the meaning of the action was not necessary. Holding space for what is here now has become the most consistent way for me to allow my body to find what it needs and to heal. I start my Wholebody Focusing practice with an invitation to move and the question “What does my body need now?” when I focus alone, with a partner or with my mentor.

I retired from full-time work now which gives me more time to be with this type of movement. I am willing to be with what comes — the struggle, the joy, and the stoppages.

Exercising as a Wholebody Focusing Session

Recently, I wanted to work out at home instead of at the gym so that I could try out new exercises without anyone watching. I wanted to be able to pause more often and check in with my body for its experience of these new exercises. Being at home allowed me to approach my routine differently. For example, when I was completing the last repetition of a particular workout, I got a strong sense that my body didn’t want to do this now. I paused and asked my body what it needed now. I did not need a verbal answer. Erratic and strong movements of my arms and legs emerged. I was curious where this would lead. Five minutes later my arms and legs came to a rest. Then, I slowly completed the last reps of the series, and it felt like the right thing to do.

I also decided that I would work on my squatting exercise barefooted. I would never do this in the gym for sanitary reasons. Without sneakers or socks, one’s squat is more challenging because you do not have the lift that the heel of a shoe provides. As I rested in the bottom of the squat, my left foot turned out. I instinctively pulled it back to a flat position on the floor (as it is “supposed to be.”) My left foot again turned to the outer edge. I was so surprised this happened because in shoes I have never felt this.

Later, when working with my Wholebody mentor, I started the session by saying “I am me here right now.” I was able to sense into my body and feel the authenticity of the experience I just had.

What also came for me in that session was the memory of being forced to wear orthotics as a child to correct this turning out “fault.” The orthotics made the problem more pronounced, and I eventually stopped wearing them. What I did sense into was the shame I felt for having “defective feet.” In that session I allowed my body to move in the way it needed to support the feeling my feet were holding. That day of “I am me here right now;” however, has left me with a new stoppage of being able to move.

When We Physically Exercise our Core, Does our Emotional Core benefit?

A new thought has emerged. Can working with our physical core impact our emotional core? I’ve noticed that, while I’m not doing the physical core exercises so much right now, and I am still more willing to be with my “unfiltered” self and let others see me more often. That sense of being my more authentic self is new. I am holding space for the possibility that the stoppages that I have experienced throughout my life have been my body asking me to pause to allow a new way of being to emerge and become the new normal before pushing on. Rather than seeing the stoppages as “failures” they may signify attainment of a new phase of healing that needs to time to be noticed, appreciated and integrated.

What is your experience?

Related articles

When I Give My Body Permission to Lead

When Girls Don’t Move – Part I

 

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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When Rectangles Become Circles or Am I a stubborn person? / Olenko jääräpää?

Photo credit: Maria Hakasalo

I go out frequently to take pictures with a question in my mind: What wants my attention today?

Recently I went to the forest nearby. On the way I passed an area of an allotment garden. I saw a pile of boards on the ground.  Small rivets were bored through one of the boards. It felt stupid to take a photo of them, so I didn’t. Instead I continued walking. Next to the pile of boards I saw an icy grill on the grass. Even though I didn’t understand why I should take a picture of it, I did because it just felt right. Then, I returned back to the pile of boards and took a picture of it too because of a bodily felt sense that it was the right thing to do for some unknown reason.

I started to see circles everywhere around me. I took a picture of a hole in a stick, a tub which was upside down, a wheel of a wheelbarrow, to mention a few things I saw. All of them were frozen.

I took about 120 photos. As I was doing this, I realized that it was a way to invite certain quality in me to be more fully present. The part of me that is not immediately and strongly opinionated was pushing forward exactly the way it sees the world. It is the part of me that is willing to listen and even to bend in to new perspectives. This part of me has been frozen in certain areas of my life because I thought I should be immediately and completely sure about my own thoughts and opinions.

And suddenly, somehow the world was not as rectangular nor with such clear edges as it normally seems to me. It felt much more circular and soft. Somehow it is easier to live and be.

This body sense continued for a couple of days when I suddenly realized why it wasn’t easy to own that soft side of me. It related to my school experiences and how I always felt like I did  not fit into the group. I tried my best to be accepted—I even tried to change my way of being to be more like the others so that I wouldn’t appear so different. For example, the kind of bag they liked was the one I also must like, the color that was their favorite color must be mine too. For many decades I had difficulties knowing what I really like. What is “my taste?”

I hated the part of me that was waiting for the others to say their opinion first so that I could say the same, the part that wasn’t able to know and recognize what I really, deeply wanted and was just worried about what others would say about me being me.

All these circular things around me are now welcoming back this part of me that has its own point of view.

Maria Hakasalo

***

Lähden usein ulos kameran kanssa tietty kysymys mielessäni: Mikä haluaisi huomioni tänään?

Tällä kertaa lähdin kohti keskuspuistoa, jonne kuljen viljelypalsta-alueen halki vievää kävelytietä. Alueen laitamilla huomasin ensimmäisenä lautapinon, erityisesti yhdessä laudassa olevat pyöreät ”nappulat”. Tuntui hölmöltä ottaa kuva epämääräisestä lautakasasta, enkä ensin ottanutkaan vaan lähdin kävelemään eteenpäin. Lautojen vieressä näin jäisen pyöreän ritilän ruohikossa. Vaikka en ymmärtänyt, miksi ottaisin siitä kuvan, otin kuitenkin, koska se tuntui jotenkin oikealta. Palasin myös takaisin äsken ohittamieni lautojen luokse ja otin niistäkin kuvan.

Aloin nähdä pyöreää joka puolella. Otin kuvan viljapaalista, reiästä puussa, kumollaan olevasta saavista, kottikärryn renkaasta ja monesta muusta. Kaikki kylmän kohmettamia.

Otin noin 120 valokuvaa. Siinä kuvatessani oivalsin, että tällä tavoin kutsuin esiin sitä, minkä olin vähän aikaa sitten tiettyyn asiaan liittyen löytänyt, “pyöreyden” itsessäni. Sellaisen, joka ei välittömästi ja vahvasti heti tiedä, mitä mieltä on ja asetu jääräpäisesti ajamaan ko. asiaa juuri sellaisenaan kuin sen itse näkee. Sellaisen, joka kuuntelee, katsoo monelta näkökulmalta ja on valmis edelleen kuuntelemaan, jopa taipumaan uusien näkökulmien edessä. Tämä puoli oli jähmettyneenä minussa, koska luulin, että minun täytyisi aina olla täysin varma omista ajatuksistani ja mielipiteistäni.

Yhtäkkiä maailma ei ollutkaan enää niin suorakulmainen ja jyrkkä vaan pyöreä ja pehmeä. Jotenkin helpompi elää ja olla.

Tämä tarina jatkui parin päivän päästä, kun yhtäkkiä ymmärsin, miksi minun oli niin vaikea hyväksyä tätä pehmeää puolta itsessäni. Se liittyi koulumuistoihini, siihen, miten en koskaan oikein tuntunut kuuluvani joukkoon. Yritin parhaani, että minut hyväksyttäisiin. Yritin jopa sopeuttaa omaa makuani toisten makuun. Laukun, josta toiset pitivät, piti olla se, josta minäkin pidän, toisten lempivärin kuului olla minunkin lempivärini. Vuosikymmenten ajan minun oli vaikea tietää, mistä minä pidän. Mikä on minun “makuni”.

Inhosin sitä osaa minussa, joka odotti toisten ensin sanovan, mistä he pitivät, että voisi sitten sanoa saman, sitä, joka ei tiennyt eikä tunnistanut, mitä itse syvimmiltäni halusin ja joka oli vain huolissaan siitä, mitä toiset sanoisivat, jos olisinkin se, mitä olin.

Kaikki nämä pyöreät esineet ja asiat toivottavat tämänkin osan, jolla on nyt ihan uusi näkökulma, tervetulleeksi kotiin.

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