Focusing Tip #742 – “My friend says he never gets felt senses.”

Focusing Tip #742 – “My friend says he never gets felt senses.”
March 3, 2021 Ann Weiser Cornell
What living at a fast pace might be preventing us from experiencing... Read on...

Focusing Tip #742 – “My friend says he never gets felt senses.”

What living at a fast pace might be preventing us from experiencing… Read on.

A Reader writes:

I have a friend who has been involved in Focusing for a while, as well as other awareness methods, but he says he never gets felt senses. I’m curious: Why would someone be unable to get felt senses?

Dear Reader:

We live in such a fast-paced, labeling/naming culture. If someone has a question, we’re supposed to have the answer already. Everything has a label, a category. “This is ______.” (I loved it when Marshall Rosenberg said that his PhD in Psychology was really a degree in Advanced Labeling.)

If you live all the time in the world of certainty, then you can’t get felt senses. Felt senses arise at the edge, at the border zone, where the labels fail.

Felt senses come when you pause and there is a blank space, and you don’t put anything in the blank. You’re willing to have “nothing” be there for a while.

And then slowly the “nothing” becomes “something” — my favorite word.

“Something” is my favorite word because it allows us to hold in presence an experience that is not yet describable with any other word.

I don’t know why your friend says he doesn’t get felt senses. Maybe he actually does, but he was expecting a felt sense to be something stronger, more monumental. Because felt senses usually feel like “almost nothing”… especially when they first come.

Or maybe your friend has a hard time slowing down and allowing the blank unknown to form. Maybe what he feels when he pauses is something scary or uncomfortable… so he doesn’t go there.

It’s a pity not to get felt senses, though. Because that’s where new life emerges. It’s where something new can happen, like a green shoot emerging from the soil in the springtime.


Other Helpful Writings on the Felt Sense

Focusing Tip #420: Going From a Story to a Felt Sense (Opens in a new browser tab)

Something New, Here and Now (Opens in a new browser tab)

Focusing Tip #626 – When your inner compass doesn’t work very well (Opens in a new browser tab)


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