HOW DOES FOCUSING WORK?
Focusing is not a technique but a natural process. You already know Focusing, even if you have not named it or described it as such. By learning to recognize what you already know, and by consciously practicing it with a partner, you will amplify its power and the gifts it brings to your life.
Here’s how it works (for the thinkers):
Focusing invites our whole body-sense of a situation to form, embracing both the somatic and cognitive aspects of feeling states. By anchoring our sensing process to the body, Focusing allows us to address any issue--however rooted in the past or enduring--in the present.
Focusing helps us sense the pattering of our feelings and thoughts in response to certain life situations and helps us to gently begin to loosen such responses, allowing something new and alive to come forth from UNDER, sensing into the implicit complexity of our whole being and our embodied way of knowing.
Focusing helps us pay attention rather than by-pass small and subtle internal shifts, and sustain them gently in the face of stronger feelings and entrenched personal and social habits. It helps us pause deliberately and slow down so that we can feel into the implicit consequences of our actions, emotions, and thinking.
Here’s how it works (for the doers):
We sit in dyads at a comfortable distance from each other. We take turns in being with each other in the role of Focuser and Companion.
The Focuser is in charge of her/his inner process, and takes the time to invite a quiet attentiveness to her/his whole sense of her/his life, RIGHT NOW, in her/his body. Maybe s/he wants to take time with a particular issue. Maybe s/he wants to let what is there come gently to her/his attention, without preconceived agendas.
S/he senses directly into what comes, keeping it company.
S/he slows down. S/he gives attention to the small stirrings in her body and being. S/he feels for the unclear edges of what comes. S/he goes to the place where there are no words yet, before words. S/he lets words arise from the body, much like tears, or hunger, or pain, or pleasure arise. S/he takes time to receive these words, and any feelings, images, or sensations that arise with them. S/he checks back into her body-sense and invites the MORE that is there …
The Companion’s primary role is to support the Focuser. The Companion learns to listen with compassion and empathy, and to help the Focuser’s process along through careful reflections.
The Companion does not interpret, ask questions, or demand explanations. Rather s/he supports the Focuser’s capacity to inwardly listen and discern.
The Companion follows the Focuser’s unfolding process and rhythms, without pushing through “resistance” or imposing a “better” way of being or doing. We have found that this attention to the Focuser’s pace creates an atmosphere of safety and trust, and allows change to be sustained in the long run. While many methods promise dramatic change and breakthroughs, we believe sustainable change is both subtle and profound, at the same time slow and immediately freeing.
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