Focusing Tip #748 – “Do you no longer ask a felt sense what it needs?”

Focusing Tip #748 – “Do you no longer ask a felt sense what it needs?”
April 14, 2021 Ann Weiser Cornell
How do you create a compassionate relationship with something that you feel?

Focusing Tip #748 – “Do you no longer ask a felt sense what it needs?”

How do you create a compassionate relationship with something that you feel? Read on…


Richard writes:

In your earlier writing about Focusing, one of the steps in the protocol is “I’m asking what it needs.” In the more recent materials this step is not mentioned. Do you no longer ask a felt sense what it needs?

I notice, in my view at least, that the more recent materials focus more explicitly on compassion and awareness in a way that was more implicit previously.

Dear Richard:

So nice that you can see me progressing! (Said with a pleased smile…)

Barbara McGavin and I are definitely moving in the direction of more emphasis on compassion and awareness in Inner Relationship Focusing. And also in the direction of refining the language we recommend so that it’s most likely to bring fresh emerging life.

“I’m asking what it needs” could be helpful. Sometimes it is. But too often that question gets answered by a part of us that has an agenda, and we just get conflict and repetition instead of anything new.

You: “I’ve got this tightness in my throat and I’m asking what it needs.”

A Part of You: “It needs you to get over yourself and start speaking out.”

Ouch. That’s just one part of you berating, shaming, or blaming another part of you in a cycle that’s going to be endless. So let’s not make that invitation.

Instead, if there’s a tightness in the throat (and it’s about my life situation instead of being a symptom of a cold), I say Hello to it. I settle down to get to know it better.

At some point I sense what kind of contact or company it would like from me right now.

And then I sense its point of view, its emotion.

If I’ve taken the time to create a trusting relationship with it, I’ll now be able to sense something that I didn’t know before. Like, “Oh! It’s scared I’m going to take a risk I’m not ready for.”

And then: “I’m letting it know I hear that.”

And then: “It liked that, it’s starting to relax.”

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