Focusing Tip #733 – Bringing Focusing to communities around the world
It’s a troubled world out there. Hard things happen. An explosion in Beirut kills over 200 people and leaves 300,000 homeless. A pandemic kills over a million people worldwide in less than a year, and leaves lives and careers devastated. A war in Syria turns 5.6 million people into refugees.
We wonder what good it can do to pursue an inner path such as Focusing in the face of such enormous suffering. We wonder if there is some way to bring the benefits of Focusing and listening to whole communities in need, and not just to people who can pay.
That’s the mission of Focusing Initiatives International, a non-profit grassroots organization founded by Melinda Darer and Pat Omidian. The good folks at FII envision a world where people really listen, where community is supported, and where each of us can see the humanity in the person we are interacting with.
And they have seen miracles — so-called enemies who could sit down at the same table and say, “You and I have the same problem, let’s work on it together.” Bitter feuds that ended in hugs and prayers.
The essence of FII is in its middle name: Initiatives. People who have the energy and vision to come together and create a project that’s community wellness-related can call on the support of FII to help them create programs and get the word out. And sometimes the projects start with FII. Like the sliding scale webinars they’ve been doing since COVID started, on a bravely named site called coronaplaza.life.
Oh, and about that explosion in Beirut this past August. A mental health organization in Lebanon working with traumatized parents and children reached out to FII, who in turn connected them with Focusing teachers from the UK and Ireland, who led a series of webinars supporting Lebanese families with information on the body and resilience. The result: kids getting a chance to heal from their trauma instead of carrying its wounds forever.
It’s just one of many examples you’ll find on their website: focusinginternational.org. Like the Psychosocial Support and Community Wellness Initiative. And the Social Justice Initiative, AKA Soul Force Education.
For someone like me, the work of Focusing Initiatives International is food and drink. Life-giving and essential. Focusing has the potential to change the world if it can spread, not just to individuals but to whole communities. That’s the vision.
And that’s why I’m writing to you about FII today. It’s a mostly volunteer 501(c)3 organization. Donations enable them to work with more people, more communities, worldwide. They get many more requests for help than they can meet with their current funding. If it feels right to you, do join me in helping them reach a bit farther.
And may you have a peaceful and healthy holiday season.