We have very different ways we can know something: I know in a conscious way that Paris is the capital of France. But I also have another, deeper emotional sensual knowing of Paris – the smells of Paris, the taste of Paris, that odd little back street that I couldn't tell you how to find but that I could walk to with ease. One kind of knowing – the conscious sort – is right here in my head. The other – that fuzzy, wordless, poetic knowing – is here in my gut. This is what our body knows, and Focusing is a simple but powerful way to learn to listen to the deep wisdom of your body.
We do this by becoming aware of what’s called the ‘felt sense’, which is a feeling in the body that has a meaning for us. A felt sense is more than just an emotion, though it certainly has an emotional aspect. It’s those fuzzy feelings that we don’t usually pay much attention to. But when you do, the felt sense can begin to get a shape, a colour, a smell or even a taste.
"a fuzzy, wordless, poetic knowing ..."
Let me give you some examples: Sometimes we just don't feel quite right. We might say 'I got out of bed the wrong side this morning'. That feeling that something isn't quite right is your body trying to communicate with your conscious mind. The feeling is a ‘felt sense’. Or imagine you're taking a walk on a beautiful fresh morning, just after a rain storm, and you come over a hill, and there, hanging in the air in front of you is a perfect rainbow. As you stand there and gaze at it you feel your chest welling up with an expansive, flowing, warm feeling. That’s a felt sense too.
Why would we want to spend time with a felt sense? Because they are the way your body communicates and your body has immense wisdom. I believe that at a deep level our bodies are connected to everything around them. If that’s true – and has been going on throughout your whole life – imagine what a wealth of experience and knowledge your body has.
Focusing has something in common with guided mediation or inner journeying but I think it’s subtly different from either, but that will give you an idea of what it's about. If you'd like taste follow the instructions I gave in my talk, Us and Them: Listening to the more-than-human majority, where I led my audience on a short Focusing journey.
Focusing is quite simple but also very subtle. I suggest you get hold of a book on the subject - I recommend The Power of Focusing: A Practical Guide to Emotional Self-Healing by Ann Weiser Cornell. If you like what you find there, I suggest you get basic training to fine-tune your Focusing. I trained with Manjudeva (http://livingfocusing.co.uk/), who is great, but there are many trainers. See the Focusing Institute site links page.
For more information, contact me.