December 13 2005

December 13 2005
February 13, 2006 Ann Weiser Cornell

More on Focusing in the Midst of Life

Last week in Weekly Tips I wrote about the possibility of Focusing in the midst of life — when having a conversation with my daughter, or in a business meeting. I talked about taking time to feel my body’s contact with what I’m sitting on, and how that helps me get in touch with what I feel in those situations.

That brought some questions for Weekly Tips reader Edwin Holloway: “Do you do this while holding the issue in awareness simultaneously?
And, what if what comes suggests something that’s not easy to act upon?
Is is just a feeling that comes, or a full-blown resolution?”

When you do Focusing in the midst of life, there’s no need to make an effort to hold the issue in awareness. You are IN the situation. Your body sense will naturally be OF what you are going through.

And if what comes suggests something that’s not easy to act on, I ask for more time! See the next article below for more about this.

As for what comes, that varies. It might be just an acknowledgement that this conversation is hard for something in me. Or that something about the decision the group is making feels “wrong” or “off” somehow. To get more than that, I’ll need to take more time…

“I Need More Time”

I was telling the group about this last Friday night at the Focusing gathering: One of the most powerful tools for bringing Focusing into daily life is the “pause.” Mary Hendricks Gendlin calls this The Revolutionary Pause.

Focusing always happens in some kind of pause. We are taking a larger perspective on what is happening or has happened, we are inviting a felt sense of the whole thing (whole situation, whole issue). Often we can do that in the midst of life by just taking a deep breath, feeling the chair, taking a moment.

But sometime we need a longer pause. And in these cases it is OK to ask for it!
“I need some time to take in what you’re saying.”
“I’d like us to spend some more time with this issue before we vote.”
“I care about what you’re saying to me, and I need a little break so I can get in touch with my own feelings to respond to you.”

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where such pauses are routinely taken?


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