Focusing is a simple yet powerful way of paying attention to the subtle signals given by your whole body. These signals come in many forms such as bodily felt sensations, images, gestures, some fuzzy feeling about a whole thing. Beginning to attend to these sensations is a way of really connecting to your inner wisdom with all its wonderful dynamism and complexity. This sensing inward, listening with compassionate grounded attention allows what's not quite formed to come into awareness. This process is about staying with the vague fuzzy 'feel' of things until something emerges and becomes clear, often accompanied by a feeling of, 'yes, that's it!'
What is Focusing?
It's very different from searching straight away for a more cognitive solution or answer and seems to offer more of a whole picture. Focusing can enable you to find out how you really feel about any particular issue or situation but it's not just for solving problems or dealing with difficult situations. Focusing can also enable us to feel at home in ourselves, our environment, in this world and to connect more deeply with others, so learning Focusing can be a wonderful way to enhance your personal and professional development.
Focusing was developed by Dr Eugene Gendlin and his colleague Carl Rogers at the University of Chicago. Gendlin noticed that people who were sucessful in therapy turned their attention inwards and listened very carefully to what was emerging. It was usually quite vague to start with and they might take a while to find the words that fitted. but eventually there would be a sense of rightness where words and images would fit accurately with what was being sensed. This led him to explore more and to describe this natural human behaviour, which sadly, many of us lose touch with over time.
In simple terms, Focusing is turning our attention inwards and listening to what comes, whether it be a body sensation, an image, a gesture or movement or another form with compassion, curiosity and absolutely no agenda. Focusing isn't therapy but it can be incredibly therapeutic and liberating. Simply put, Focusing has changed the way I live my life and I'm now more able to deal with my internal conflicts and to make decisions.
I'm able to teach Focusing one-to-one and may soon be qualified to teach groups. If you're interested in learning, you could book a number of one to one sessions with me or get a small group together so I could teach you at your home or a venue of your choice with a few other people. Sessions are usually a combination of teaching, discussion and guided Focusing to begin with. It's usual to allow an hour and half for the first session, with subsequent sessions lasting up to an hour. Sessions are available face to face or through Skype or VSee.
Focusing can help you in many ways including
- Creating an inner sense of spaciousness
- Understanding your emotions
- Making clearer decisions
- Trusting your inner wisdom or intuition
- Feeling more present to yourself and others
- Bringing a more embodied quality to your spiritual practice
- Developing a better relationship with yourself and others
- Moving from doing to being
Check out my workshops page to find out if there are current opportnities to learn Focusing in a workshop.
For more information on Focusing see the websites below:
Children Focusing UK
British Focusing Association
The International Focusing Institute