Focusing Tip #409 – How to Focus with Two Felt Senses

Focusing Tip #409 – How to Focus with Two Felt Senses
January 15, 2014 Ann Weiser Cornell

“How do I focus with two felt senses at the same time?”

Jeff writes:
My new year is getting off to a good start, because I began learning about and practicing Focusing in earnest a few weeks ago. Focusing has allowed me to start healing some long-held childhood pain in a way that vipassana had not.

So a heartfelt thank you for your teaching. Healing longstanding stuff is wonderful.

A question for you: When I focus on tightness in one area, say my stomach, and sense into that, seeing that it is fear, after a fairly short time emotional pain in the heart area comes up. Conversely, if I start sensing in the heart area, fear in the belly comes up. They seem linked, like conjoined twins.

Do I focus with both at once? Do I tell one of them, “Wait, I’ll get back to you in a minute?” What if one of them starts to clamor?

Dear Jeff,
How great that you’re finding Focusing so helpful already! And there is more to come!

What you are describing, two “somethings” coming to awareness almost at the same time, is quite common. They are seemingly related to each other and responding to each other. Very natural and quite common…

So how to do Focusing with both? Well, first I would suggest acknowledging both. Like this: “I am sensing this here AND I am sensing this here.” The word “AND” is one of those magical words. Try this sentence yourself and you will probably feel how powerful is the word “and” to bring a sense of inclusion and welcome to both parts.

Then you wait a while… feeling both…until you feel drawn to one of them more. This might be what you are calling “clamoring” or it might be quieter than that. Just a sense that one needs to be first.

You can say to the other, “I’ll be back with you soon,” but if you have done those first two steps with a sense of honoring and respect this will probably not be necessary.

Help is available…

* How do I focus when two felt senses come?
* What if I’m not sure if this is a felt sense?
* What if my emotions are too strong?
* What if images come?
* What if I get distracting thoughts?
* What if I don’t like my own feelings?

When people learn Focusing on their own, from books and CDs, there are dozens of questions that arise…that can be cleared up fairly quickly with the support of an experienced person.

That’s why taking our phone course on Path to Lasting Change, Part One can be so supportive and so empowering. You’ll practice Focusing with a new partner each week, and go through a series of practical exercises that let you feel confident at every stage. We offer this course by phone, which might seem odd, but it actually works quite well… and means you can take the course from the comfort of your home or office anywhere in the world.

Or another possibility is to have a one-to-one session. I do sessions… see the link just below… and so do my dear friends and colleagues… that are not therapy sessions but are designed to take you through a Focusing process and leave you feeling more confident and empowered. Sometimes “showing” is a lot more effective than “telling”!



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