Creative Edge Focusing E-Newsletter

Getting A Felt Sense #4:

Situation Pile Ups and Negative Spirals
Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director                                Week Three
Newcomers, Print and Practice!!!!!
This is your Getting A Felt Sense exercise for this four weeks. Print it out, keep it handy, and try it whenever you have time...I will also send a "reminder" copy by email every week...YOU CAN TRY IT IMMEDIATELY WHEN THE EMAIL COMES! a MOMENT TO RELAX AND CHECK INSIDE! 
E-Newsletter Archives!!!!
Within a year, we will cycle through all the exercises again.But,if you want to catch up with previous e-newsletters, you can go to the Creative Edge Focusing Archives. You can access these from the link under Free Resources at Creative Edge Focusing. You might want to read Felt Sensing #4. Felt Sense of a Situation and Felt Sensing #4. Do Your Situations Leave Residues?
Download Complete Focusing Instructions
If you haven't gotten them by joining one of our yahoo e-groups, you can now download The Complete Focusing Instructions from the link at the top of recent blogs at . Many of the Pre-Focusing Relaxation, Guided Imagery, and Meditation exercises, as well as the "Getting a Felt Sense" exercises and Complete Focusing Sessions, are all in that download. 



While I can use "sensing into" the "intuitive feel" left by situations to clear my inner space, sort through meanings, and come up with action steps many times a week, there are two other inner events related to outer situations and interactions that are harder to unravel. I call them "situation pile ups" and "negative spirals."




Sometimes I find myself feeling overwhelmed, or maybe numb, like concrete, or stiffened from stress and anxiety. When I find time to gently "sit with" the "feel of it all," I can start to unravel what may have been a "situation pile up." The final feeling state is the result of several situations or incidences during the week where the "felt residue" went unnoticed and unattended to. Hence, the "pile up" into complete overwhelm or numbness.


Perhaps starting with a Relaxation Exercise like #1. Noticing (p. 3) or #4. Counting Meditation (p.6), I might then move to Felt Sensing # 3, Clearing a Space (p. 10 in Complete Focusing Instructions). As I ask myself, "What is between me and feeling totally okay?", I can sit with each issue or situation or interaction that arises, taking a moment to find a "handle" word for it, then setting it outside of me (ahhhhh!). Eventually, I will find a cleared space inside and be able to say, "Except for all of that, I am totally okay." I will realize that a series of unresolved situations or interactions have "piled up." I can now choose to take them one at a time and use Instant Ahah #1, Focusing: Find Out What Is Bothering You, to go more deeply into problem resolution.




Similarly, I might find myself falling into negative statements and beliefs about myself, saying "I am so stupid," "Nobody wants me," "There is something terribly wrong with me," "I never do anything right," etc. There seems to be a negative spiral, going deeper and deeper into despair and negative thinking.


Again, such a negative spiral can be the end result of a number of situations or interactions that left an unresolved "residue." In this case, they may all have coalesced around a theme, like "I am worthless." And again, the solution is to stop and commit some quiet time to Intuitive Focusing. Start with a Relaxation Exercise, then perhaps Clearing A Space followed by a longer Focusing session. Simply by sitting with the negative feelings, giving them an empathic hearing, and asking open-ended questions like "What is this all about?", you can begin to trace the negative feelings back to actual situations and interactions. Now, knowing what really happened, you can begin to look for solutions and action steps.


Especially with overwhelming negative spirals, you will want to use some specific techniques for dealing with the inner Critic and for finding a way to give a negative feeling a voice without falling into it. Ann Weiser Cornell, with her Inner Relationship Focusing methods, has specialized in helping Focusers to "disidentify" from all the various "parts" or "voices" or "aspects" inside, giving each an empathic hearing. You can learn some of these methods in upcoming Level 1 and 2 tele-classes with Ruth Hirsch, an Inner Relationship teacher and Creative Edge Associate.

Pre-Focusing Practice B. Getting A Felt Sense #4: "Finding the Felt Senses of A Situation"
(from Complete Focusing Instructions) Week Three of four weeks of practice


Remember, especially at the beginning, time those "1 minute" pauses. You will be amazed at how long a minute is, how seldom we ever pause for a whole minute!!! And it is exactly in the PAUSE that the Creative Edge comes.

4.  The "Felt Sense," The "Intuitive Feel" of a Situation-Allow 15 to 20 minutes

In this exercise, you are going through a first round of Intuitive Focusing, looking for The Creative Edge, the something-new-that-is-more-than-words about an actual situation during the week that felt unfinished.Although you may have gone around and around in your head, trying to find a solution, to figure out what happened that was strange, now you will set aside that left-brain problem solving and consult your "right-brain wisdom, the bodily "intuitive feel" of "that whole thing." First, we use a Relaxation exercise as a way of clearing some space inside for Focusing:


---Let's start with The Counting Meditation for initial Relaxation:

---First, stretch---and relax, stretch---and relax, stretch---and relax----30 sec.
---Now, begin noticing your breathing, just noticing the breath going in---and out---in---and out---30 sec.
---Now, on each exhale, count starting with "1" and continuing, on each exhale, until you reach "9"---1---2---3---4---5---6---7---8---9

2 minutes

---If you lose track, just start counting over again with "1". When you get to "9," start over and count to "9" one more time---
                                                                2 minutes

---Spend a few minutes coming to a peaceful place inside, noticing your breathing---

2 minutes

---Now, bring to mind an incident or a situation from the past week which feels unfinished, left behind an uncomfortable or confusing feeling---

2 minutes

---Set aside all your ready-made words or images, and try to get a fresh "intuitive feel" for how you felt in that situation, paying attention to the center of your body, around the heart/chest area---

1 minute

---Try to find some words or an image to describe the "intuitive feel" of it, The Creative Edge before words---

1 minute

---Keep checking until the words or image are just right.

1 minute

---Ask yourself, "What's that about for me?" and wait for a felt sense, an "intuitive feel" that is more than words, to form---

1 minute

---Find some words or an image to capture that "intuitive sense". You are letting your body's Wisdom tell you about the situation, instead of answering with everything you already know.

1 minute

---When you are ready, come slowly back into the room.

If you wanted to continue with another round of Focusing, you would simply ask again, "And why is this important to me?", wait to see what comes as an "intuitive feel," look for words or an image that are "just right," checking and resonating until something shifts inside. You can find full Focusing Instructions in Complete Focusing Instructions, p.12-17.



Creative Edge Practice is a closed, safe group for hands-on Focusing and Listening experiences, and Creative Edge Collaborators is an open group for discussion and networking around projects bringing listening/focusing skills to audiences throughout the world.


You can subscribe to Creative Edge Practice and put "subscribe" in the subject heading. You can subscribe to Creative Edge Collaborators and put "subscribe" in the subject heading. Hope to see you in these two unique e-groups, with lots of new capabilities through Yahoo Groups.

E-Newsletter Archives

Past Creative Edge Focusing (TM) e-newsletters are now available in Creative Edge Focusing archive. You could email this link to friends to interest them in this "Email Focusing Course." There is also a link from the website in the menu under Free Resources.
More Help and Support: Online e-group, Audio Tapes, Teachers
  Remember, it can be much easier to learn Intuitive Focusing in the company of a Focused Listener. You can learn all about Focusing Listening, and find resources and teachers, at the website for Creative Edge Focusing


You will also find this Getting a Felt Sense exercise in the Complete Focusing Instructions download, p.12 : B. Getting A Felt Sense #4: "The Felt Sense of a Situation". You get it by joining our e-support group for further support in practicing Listening and Focusing, but you can also find the download link at the top of recent blogs at .

If you order our Self-Help Package, you can listen on audio CD Intuitive Focusing: Disk One , Track 12, "The Felt Sense of a Situation," with Dr, McGuire's peaceful voice to keep you company -- and help you stay on track!!
And many of these exercises are in the Spanish version of the manual, Focusing En Comunidad. Order from our Store Self-Help Manuals, CDs, DVD.
Kathy McGuire, Director
About Creative Edge Focusing
Located by Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR, our goal is to support people in the practice of listening/focusing skills, throughout the world, and for personal growth, interpersonal conflict resolution, and creative individual and group problem solving.

Disclaimer: The instructions in Creative Edge Newsletters are offered purely as self-help skills. In providing them, Dr. McGuire is not engaged in rendering psychological, financial, legal, or other professional services. If expert assistance or counseling is needed, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

Creative Edge Focusing (TM)
Dr. Kathy McGuire