You may have noticed I missed last week… I was at the wonderful 17th Annual International Focusing Conference, reveling in the company of hundreds of other Focusers. I’m convinced that Focusing brings out the best in people!
Tips for Focusing Alone
It made all the difference to me when I realized I could speak out loud while Focusing alone. Without speaking out loud, my thoughts would go off in six different directions at top speed. But when I speak, I’m slowing down and selecting something to give my attention to.
Did you ever notice when you’re counting a number of objects, if you speak the numbers out loud you’re less likely to lose your place? Speaking out loud helps to anchor us in the here and now.
And it works just about as well if you subvocalize, which you might want to do if there are people nearby who can overhear you. Subvocalizing is speaking “under your breath,” moving your mouth and lips to form the words, but letting no sound come out.
Tips for Focusing with a Partner
Q: When I’m the Companion, I give the time signal that the Focuser asked for at the end of the session, and they take a lot more time. Like, they asked for one minute, so I said “one minute,” and then they didn’t stop for five minutes! My Focusing teacher told us not to say “Time’s up,” but I wanted to!
A: First of all, I’d give the person some feedback after the session. “By the way, you asked for one minute, did you know you actually took five? I guess ending can take longer than we think. Next time, do you want me to give you a five minute warning?”
In general I don’t like the Companion saying “Time’s up” but we can’t make absolute rules. If you’re really needing to go somewhere, you have to say something of course. I would say it this way: “Sorry, I don’t know if you heard me give the one minute warning a while ago.”