Do your feelings disappear just when you want to learn something from them?

Do your feelings disappear just when you want to learn something from them?
August 2, 2017 Ann Weiser Cornell
When feelings disappear?

Focusing Tip #570 – “Do your feelings disappear just when you want to learn something from them?”


A Reader writes:

A lot of times in Focusing I am supposed to ask the feeling something, but that usually makes me lose the feeling. I am a distant processor most of the time, so many things make it even dimmer when I need it to get more strong.

Dear Reader:

It’s an interesting distinction, the one between “close process” and “distant process.”

“Close process” means your emotions and body sensations tend to be strong, sometimes too strong.

“Distant process” means your emotions and body sensations are faint, elusive, easily lost. Often you feel nothing.

Focusing helps both processing types – which I think is very cool! With Focusing, both close and distant process come more into the “middle.” Too-strong feelings become more bearable. Too-distant feelings become possible to feel and stay with.

Here are some tips if you typically have distant process:

  1. Go slowly. It will take you longer, probably, to feel something definitely enough to describe. It can help to know that this is normal! Think of winning the trust of a shy animal.
  2. When you do feel something, say “something is here” so you don’t feel a pressure to describe it quickly. “Something” may be the only description you have for quite a while
  3. Do not say an inner Hello. Saying Hello is a great move for close process but it can make distant process disappear.
  4. Once there is a “something” there, then do anything slowly… including asking it things… and stop doing whatever if it makes the felt sense go away or get less. It can guide you to what it needs.
  5. Very likely it needs you to just be with it… and eventually describe it… but not quickly.

You have a very good inner compass in your inner sense of what makes the “something” fade vs. what let’s it stay. Just go slowly enough that you can stop anything that isn’t helping.

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