Focusing Tip #754 – “How can I get a felt sense when I don’t have one?”

Focusing Tip #754 – “How can I get a felt sense when I don’t have one?”
May 26, 2021 Ann Weiser Cornell
“When I'm Focusing and I don't sense any felt sense, I feel like giving up....”

Focusing Tip #754 – “How can I get a felt sense when I don’t have one?”

What can you do if you don’t find any feelings… yet you know they are in there somewhere? Read on….


Edward writes:

Sometimes there is no awareness of a felt sense in my experience. When I’m with a partner, his/her presence helps me with that. But when I’m Focusing alone and I don’t sense any felt sense, I feel like giving up.

I believe that we cannot force the felt sense, so what can I do (or not do), if anything, in order to be able to experience a felt sense and focus?

Dear Edward:

Thank you so much for your question! I know this one so well, because Focusing was like this for me when I first started. I found out there’s a name for this; it’s called Distant Process. And I learned how to bring my process closer.

Naturally, I do have some tips for you.

ONE. Be sure to start Focusing with an issue in mind.

Focusing doesn’t have to start with an issue. You could simply start by sensing in your body. But people who have Distant Process are greatly helped by starting with a life issue in mind. So you are inviting your felt sense of that.

TWO. Include everything you are aware of. Say “Yes” to your felt experiences.

When I thought I was feeling nothing, I was actually having lots of experiences. I just thought most of them didn’t count. I was worried I wasn’t doing it right. I felt frustrated that I felt nothing.

“Worried” and “frustrated” are feelings! I just didn’t feel them in my body… yet.

Start with whatever you are feeling or experiencing, and acknowledge it. “I am sensing something in me is worried I’m not doing this right.” After acknowledging, sense where it is. You’ll probably notice it’s somewhere in your body. This may take a bit of time. Patience!

THREE. Maybe something is hiding.

Distant Process can result from having feelings that are “shy.” Not feeling anything can be a sign of low trust in the inner world. Your feelings aren’t sure they trust you to be kind and gentle to them when they arrive.

You can send a message to your felt senses, even if you don’t know where they are. “It’s OK. You can hide as long as you need to. When you’re ready, I’ll be here. I won’t judge you or try to change you. I just want to listen.”

It can be easier to wait patiently when you know that something is there.

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