Focusing Tip #757 – Focusing when reactive or dissociated

Focusing Tip #757 – Focusing when reactive or dissociated
June 16, 2021 Ann Weiser Cornell
“How can I focus on my own one when I'm in a more reactive or disassociated state?”

Focusing Tip #757 – Focusing when reactive or dissociated

Merging with parts, including parts that dissociate us from feelings, can be challenging. What can we do? Read on…

Janine writes:

I notice sometimes when I try to focus on my own, if I am too merged or in a reactive state, I have a hard time being Self-in-Presence. I notice myself drifting off into merging with the parts rather than being Self-in-Presence, especially when I’m feeling disassociated from my body.

Do you have any recommendations for how to focus on one’s own one when in a more reactive or disassociated state? How to contact Self-in-Presence when merged?

Dear Janine:

It’s really great that you are noticing when you get merged! That’s really the key.


  1. Use Presence language: “I am sensing something in me feels sad” (or heavy, or anxious…) — even if that doesn’t feel true yet. Even if it still feels like all of you.
  2. Pause to sense if using that language made a difference.
  3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed.

Also say Hello to the “something.” Like this:

“I am sensing something in me feels _____ and I am saying Hello to that.”

That can also be repeated as often as needed.

Here’s another thing to do if you feel merged: Take time to feel your body’s contact on what you are sitting on… rub your hands together… look around the room… say the words “I am here!”

Doing all this will build your Self-in-Presence skills, cultivate your ability to be Self-in-Presence, not just for now but for the future as well.

The more we do this, the bigger “container” we are for our more vulnerable and fragile feelings, and for our stronger feelings as well. This in turn means that we can engage with the tougher areas of life, like stuck repetitive feelings and reactions that have been around a long time. (If you want to know more about how to do that, do have a look at the Untangling training.)

And yet the first step to all of it is what you’ve already done: notice that you’re merged. Hurray!


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