I love to discover the naturalness of Wholebody Focusing in life itself, including in art and music. I found something new listening to Billie Holiday’s version of Good Morning Heartache.
Focusing is based on the work of Gene Gendlin. He worked with Carl Rodgers to research why some people thrive in psychotherapy and others did not. Their award-winning research found that whether or not psychotherapy helped a person with their emotional issues was not related to the type of therapy or the skill of the therapist. It had mostly to do with the client’s innate ability to be aware of their emotional challenges in a meta-cognitive way. Focusing and Wholebody Focusing are practices that help people learn how to become more aware of their inner emotional life in a way that naturally helps one heal.
Good Morning, Heartache is a wonderful example of how as someone becomes aware and accepting of what is there emotionally, healing begins. In this song, Ms. Holiday’s voice guides us through her experience of heartache. She starts with wanting the heartache to “get lost” and cycles through what comes for her by being with these feelings. She ends with lightheartedly offering her heartache to “sit down” next to her. This song demonstrates an important practice in Focusing in which one can hold both the heartache and the not wanting the heartache with equal regard as a part of the healing process.
Please enjoy Good Morning Heartache. This 1946 song was created through a collaboration of writers Irene Higgenbotham, Ervin Drake, and Dan Fisher. It was sung by Billie Holiday with backup from Bill Stegmeyer and his Orchestra.
Today’s intunement helps us connect to another way of finding grounded presence through using our attention to our breath. Kevin guides us to being with this simple practice used for ages in so many healing modalities in a way that the experience of grounding itself becomes self-aware.
What is the quality of your breath? What comes for you as you are holding space for your breath? How does that help you be with what is there for you today?
Start your day with this short exploration and see what comes.
Are you in need of some lighthearted play? Here is an intunement that will move you into an inner-directed body experience without narrative or particular intention other than to experience movement that is generated by your body alone. Kevin narrates the experience of asking his body to stand from a sitting position merely by relying on its own body wisdom sense of standing.
We can be partners in this game. If we invite our bodies, they may want to share the same experience with Kevin, something that takes longer than our own ability to stand and has many nuances that one might not expect.
So ask you body to stand, allow all necessary movement to emerge and let go of any need to create meaning or narrative out the experience.
Anyone who has been around Wholebody focusing for a while has heard stories of, or has had the experience of an emotionally or psychically painful part soften in some way as a result of their WBF experience. In this intunement, Kevin demystifies what may seem like a magical experience. He walks us through his own experience of a painful calf in order to help us experience how grounded presence, combined with acceptance and giving that painful part all the time it needs actually creates something new. This is a simple, reproducible practice that can help anyone through difficult moments and bodily sensations.
To listen to this intunement is to be an observer/participant in the process of the softening of a painful part as it finds a new way of being.
What we resist must persist! is the rallying cry in this intunement. Kevin takes us through the moment in our grounding process in which we choose to either resist what is there or accept what is there. What happens in our bodies as we begin the process of engagement with our resistance?
The parts we resist are looking for compassion and relief. They are suffering. They need our presence for their healing process to begin. When we are holding a strong sense of Me Here, it allows the resistance to unfold in its own way and its own time.
What does it mean to accept ourselves in a deep and true way? As we move forward in our daily Wholebody Focusing practice our sense of aliveness emerges in a stronger and more clear way. This may feel uncomfortable. It may show up as pain or an unraveling of our own ways of ignoring what is there. In this intunement, Kevin gently guides us through this on-going process in which each unfolding may lead to a new one. Along the way, we can continue to ask “what is good for me now?”
By simply accepting what’s there each time, we allow whatever is needed to emerge. Kevin asks us to notice the difference in our bodies when we resist what is there from how our bodies feel when we are giving acceptance to what’s there.
It would be wonderful to hear replies from our readers about that difference.
Welcome to the first of three video blogs of a conversation between Kevin and UK Wholebody Focusing trainer Addie van der Kooy. During this converation Addie talks about the importance of several “inner core muscles” which need to be exercised before Focusing can really come into its own.
In this first video blog, Kevin and Addie explore what it takes to strengthen one of these inner muscles, the “Me Here” muscle – a physical experience of being present, aware and alive in the moment. Daily practice periods and “pauses for Presence” are simple, effective ways of tuning this muscle as they create a new habit: stepping out of our thinking and into our body sense of being present and alive in the moment.
In the next two video blogs Kevin and Addie explore a couple of other inner core muscles.
I hope some day an artist is willing to collaborate on an animation of this Audio Guiding Suggestion. Kevin paints a visually-inspired explanation of how one is healed through grounded presence, Me Here and holding the whole and complexity of ourselves with equal regard. What happens is magic and a reflection of how the universe operates to create balance and harmony in its systems.
Take a journey with Kevin through this world of destruction and rebirth of self as a new whole person.