When Joy Becomes More than a Crumb

Photo by Gabrielle Clark

Today my body bought me a long forgotten memory.
A joyful one!

As I was out walking early in the morning, a little yellow flower caught my eye.

“Do you like butter?”

Instantly, I could hear the sound of little girls giggling with delight as we played this childhood game. It was a simple game we played where you hold a flower under your friend’s chin and if it turns yellow – then you like butter!

It made me smile – and still does – to feel this body memory from long ago.

A forgotten joy.

The joy that is the precious jewel of childhood that no one can take from me. Even a difficult childhood doesn’t stop the timeless innocence, wonder, and magic that each child has available in his or her inner world. A wellspring of wonder.

Rilke says even if you found yourself in the worst prison you would still have it. The magic, wonder, and joy that is inherent in every child.

To savour an ice-cream slowly, trying to catch the drips with my tongue, without an ounce of guilt, enjoying the flavors and taste sensations of fresh passion fruit or feijoa straight off the vine. The total immersion of my whole being when listening to a favourite fairy tale, a song or a story over and over again. The joy and delight of jumping waves at the ocean and running screaming from the water with pure free abandonment. The magic of a mirror and wondering how to get into the world on the other side where the little girl is……

Somewhere along the way, I had let my joy become a crumb.
It is so nice to taste it again.

To feel once again the wonderment and joy the world offers to me when I can pause and listen to my body wisdom.

To nurture the seeds of wonder and joy that live inside me – this is my practice.

My inspiration from Rainer Maria Rilke…

“And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories?”

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Are We Love?

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I finally found the part of me that wants to be loved and the part that does not believe it is safe to be loved. I also discovered how these two parts rule my planet. My practice is to find a way to hold both the need for love and the fear that it may be harmful with equal regard. There still is a “not knowing” what holding both might feel like in my body.

Maria Hakasalo gave me something to sense into in her post “Peace in Me” when she wrote, “There is a peace in me, and I can find it even in a painful moment.” If Maria can assume that peace can be found somewhere inside of her, could I expect that I will encounter pure love, unattached to human interaction/transaction, inside me? How would that help me be with my fear of love? If love does not rely on someone else’s character but on the essential nature of love, how could it be unsafe? But does it exist as Maria’s peace place existed? This is my current exploration.

When we depend on resources outside ourselves to determine our worth, we may fall short. Can I find pure love devoid of judgment or transaction inside me? How will this change who I am? How will it change how I relate to love and how I relate to others? What would it feel like to know with surety that I am love?

I search for that magical place inside me in which love is present, and love and I are one and the same.

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Wholebody Focusing Trainer Corner

Trainer logo2mergeInspired by the work that Addie van de Kooy has been adding to the blog that precisely describes what happens when someone learns Wholebody focusing, we decided to develop a new category of communication. We want to provide those who are Wholebody Focusing Trainers with a place to share their expertise and have a Heartfelt Conversation on how to deepen our practice of working with our clients. Kevin McEvenue’s Intunements are an extraordinary resource that can support both personal practice as well as the work of WBF trainers. Kevin is genuinely interested; however, in being a part of the growth and expansion of how the teaching of Wholebody Focusing can support the forward moving life in all of us.

To that end, we have created this new area in the blog called The Wholebody Focusing Trainer Corner so that information about teaching Wholebody Focusing can be shared and discussed. One should consider the Intunements as part of this training material; however, it will continue to have a separate section on the blog because it serves individual practice as well.

We invite all those who teach Wholebody Focusing to share with us your best practices. If you would like support to prepare an article or video for this section, please contact Diana Scalera at wbf285@gmail.com.

Enjoy the fantastic work of those who are carrying forward what they have learned and continue to find new ways of supporting life in all of us.

Today we are going to highlight a trainer in China.  YongWei Xu shares how she experiences Wholebody Focusing and Heartfelt Conversation in her life and the lives of her focusing partners and clients. She also describes her work with Wholebody Focusers in a small village near Shanghai.

To watch this video in English please click on https://wholebodyfocusing.blog/2018/03/27/is-this-the-life-i-really-want/

 

 

About Us

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

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When Girls Don’t Move – Part I

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My focusing practice is mostly about my relationship with my moving body so you might think that moving is easy for me. That is not the case.  I have a difficult time maintaining not only my WBF practice of moving but also being able to stick to an exercise plan.

For most of my young life, moving was not encouraged and many times vociferously discouraged. For me, not engaging in physical activity was a way to contain the anger that I felt being a member of my family. If I didn’t move, I didn’t feel anything. As an adult, I can choose to be more physically active.  My question has become, “When I move, what happens on an emotional level?”

For my mother, keeping me still contained her anger and fear of the sexual abuse she had experienced as a young girl. I spent the summer of my twelfth year sitting on the steps in front of my house as an observer of the movement of my neighborhood. A friend joined me because I was forbidden to go anywhere else and our other friends stopped playing street games.  They now had responsibility for running their households because their mothers were working.

How Not Moving Moves Us

The funny thing about this restriction is that it turned our focus on what our parents were trying to avoid. All we thought about was boys, being sexy, being competitive, and imagining ourselves as independent sexual beings. We had nothing else to do. Our favorite activity was determining whether another girl or woman who went by was “competition.” If a boy or man passed by we calculated whether or not he was a potential liaison. After a few weeks of seeing the same people over and over again, we developed elaborate narratives about each of these unsuspecting neighbors—we never; however, made any attempt to act out the stories in real life.

Our stillness was not only the result of our parents’ fear; it was pervasive at that time that girls should not move. We should not play sports because it might cause infertility. We should not swim because there might be human predators in the water. Dancing was no longer okay even if we had dance lessons when at 6 or 7 years old. I got to high school never having played on a sports team.

When I joined a group of girls who wanted a girls’ basketball team in grammar school, the nuns banned even the idea of a girls’ basketball team. In high school, I worked out with the girl’s basketball team.  My parents felt it was not their responsibility to get me to and from basketball practice. There was no other way for that to happen. One night of being left on a street corner alone to find my way home after dark was enough for me to get the message of their intense disapproval and enough to stop me from playing on the basketball team.

As an adult, I tried to integrate movement and/or exercise into my life. A pattern emerged. I would start to move. At first, it was a big struggle. It then began to become more natural. Then, one day it felt ecstatic. That put an end to my movement. I would stop whatever type of movement got me there. This pattern has repeated itself throughout my life no matter how determined I was to change it.

What is your experience?

I’m in my sixties now, and I am a Wholebody Focuser.  I hold space for the part of me that is screaming to move while another part of me needs to put a stop to all movement no matter the cost.  Sometimes I hold space for both while I let movement emerge from my body.  Sometimes I hold space for both while I’m still.  That’s all I know right now.

How do you manage to hold both in situations that present fundamental challenges to moving forward?

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Something is Happening That is Good For Me

As a reader and a contributor to this blog, I’m very touched to hear this audio from Kevin, “Something is Happening That is Good For Me.”

And it turns out that he’s talking about his response to recent contributions and comments on this cyber-gathering place.  It’s as though I’m hearing it for the first time—that we are “…participating in something not of our own making…” in these recent writings.

He reminds us that we’re participating—we’re not passive carriers for inspired ideas—instead we‘re active participants in what comes through each of us; something that is uniquely helpful to the writer, and uniquely helpful—in yet another way—to the reader.

And he adds something else that I feel is new:  that we are experiencing “…a felt-sense, person-to-person.”  And he says “YES” to that, adding, “.that’s why I’m here in this moment, to say YES.”

Lucky us—to have the opportunity to sense into this new-knowing.

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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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The Path to Presence

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Dear Blog Readers,

A new Contributor has joined our ranks. Wholebody focuser Steven Jakobovic writes about a rarely discussed element of Wholebody Focusing—wordless, movement-centric sessions that make us new without narratives, words or cathartic thoughts. What he describes is how pure movement can bring him what he desires most—a connection to self. Join us in welcoming his insights to our blog.

Diana Scalera – Blog Administrator

For me, the path to presence is winding, but also an unwinding. It begins with a twitch in a toe or a finger.  The twitches are followed by a slight shudder or a shiver down my back.  At first, the spasms are intermittent; lightly flitting every now and again.

By now, I know what’s coming and wait. I feel carpet fibers between my toes. Through two sit bones resting upon the seat of my chair, I become aware of the weight of my body.  My eyes are closed, but I sense sunlight coming in through the window.

I speak of my bodily experience over Skype, and my voice instantly reaches Toronto, Canada. Kevin’s warm scratchy response encourages me. “Yes…good,” he says.  I agree with a nod that he cannot see with his eyes – we only use audio, but I am sure he ‘sees’ it.

The twitches become more intense and violent. My shoulders jerk back; my head turns from side to side as far as my neck allows; my wrists shake with enough force to toss my fingers across the room if only they could; my toes grab for the carpet fibers. This goes on for several minutes or maybe only thirty seconds; I’ve never counted.

The spasms slow down. A few final twitches make my body pop before it becomes quiet. Sometimes traveling this path makes me tired, but I always end up feeling loose and open.  I am neutral and quiet; a quiet that I long for, but have trouble finding.

Continue reading The Path to Presence