Creative Edge Focusing E-Newsletter


"How am I today?"

 Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director                                Week One 


Gendlin's Six-Step Focusing Process: McGuire's PRISMS/S

      In Intuitive Focusing, first, you relax and find a felt sense, an "intuitive feel" that is before words and more than words. Then, you go back and forth between open-ended questions ("Why is this hard for me?", "What's the meaning for me?", "How is this related to that other decision?") and the "intuitive feel," looking for words or images that exactly capture "the feel of the whole thing," until you find a sense of resolution, of knowing the meaning, an "Ahah!" experience. 


     At this moment of "Ahah!" you are experiencing a "felt shift," a Paradigm shift. The kaleidoscope turns, and the whole situation is new. New ideas, emotions, and action steps suddenly become possible.


     Eugene Gendlin (Focusing, 1981, 1984) was the first to describe Focusing as a series of steps which could be practiced as a self-help, problem solving method. Please see Intuitive Focusing for a full explanation of Gendlin's six-steps of the Focusing process.

     Also review the PRISMS/S Problem Solving Process for Dr. McGuire's version of the steps leading from Pausing to Paradigm Shifts.


      Below is a set of instructions taking you through the complete Intuitive Focusing process.  If you purchase Creative Edge Focusing ™'sSelf-help Package , you  can listen to audio CD Intuitive Focusing Instructions, Disc 2, Track 1: Relaxation, Then Focusing.


Be Gentle With Yourself

      At all times, please remember the Focusing Attitude, the Caring Feeling Presence inside which we are also practicing these four weeks! Having a Caring Feeling attitude toward whatever arises inside is the best insurance for a wonderful quiet time with your own inner experiencing.

      Try these long instructions only as long as you feel comfortable. Don't be judgmental of yourself if nothing huge seems to be happening. It can take a long time to learn to recognize a felt sense, the "intuitive feel," amidst all of the other things going on inside of your body (thoughts, images, muscular sensations, etc.).


If you've recently joined this e-newsletter, later exercises will take you back to practicing separate steps of Focusing, like Relaxation, Clearing A Space, and Getting A Felt Sense. Impatient? You can check earlier e-newsletters about these exercises at the Creative Edge Focusing E-Newsletter Archives. And/or you can start at the beginning of Intuitive Focusing, Disc 1, and try each exercise in sequence.


     Don't force yourself to stay quietly inside longer than is pleasurable for your. Remember, many people learn the basics of Intuitive Focusing and having "felt shifts," or Paradigm Shifts better if they can be in interaction with a Listening partner. Start your own self-help group, using the Focusing In Community (Focusing en Comunidad) manual from the Self-Help package, or seek individual Coaching or a class/workshop with a Creative Edge Focusing Consultant or Certified Focusing Trainer


      If any tears arise during Intuitive Focusing, let them come.  Be very gentle and curious with the place the tears come from, asking "What are these tears all about?", "Why does this move me?", "What's the meaning of these tears?"

Three Different Approaches To A Complete Focusing Session

     Each of the three sets of complete Focusing instructions we will try in the next lessons  emphasizes a different way of getting a "felt sense" or "intuitive feel."  

1.             "How Am I Today?": You simply ask yourself, "How am I today?" and wait and see what comes as a felt sense.

2.             "Clearing A Space": You clear a space inside, making a list of all the issues you find, positive and negative, then choose the one thing from the list you would like to focus on.

3.             "Focusing On A Situation" You think of a specific situation or issue about which you want to learn more, and find the "bodily sense" of how that whole thing feels.


     Try each set. You may find that one way works consistently better for you, or you may find that you like to use different instructions to work on different kinds of issues. But, for the next four weeks, we will practice #1:


     1. "How am I today?"-Allow 20-30 minutes


---Lie down and get comfortable---loosen any clothing that is too tight---

1 minute

---Now, stretch your arms up over your head, point your toes, and stretch as long as you can---and relax---10 seconds


---Let your body relax into the floor---10 seconds


---Now, tense your feet, hold for a second---and relax---and breathe, in and out---10 seconds


---Now, tense your calf muscles--- hold---and relax---and breathe---in and out---10 seconds


---And, now, your thighs---tense---hold---and relax---and breathe---10 seconds


---And now your pelvis and buttocks---tense---and relax---and breathe---10 seconds


---Now, your stomach and lower back---tense---and relax---and breathe---10 seconds


---Your arms---tense---relax---and breathe---10 seconds


---Now, your face and neck---tense them up---wiggle your face all around---and relax---10 seconds


---Notice your thought process---and gently set it aside---10 seconds


--- Find a peaceful place inside of yourself, a place of Caring Feeling Presence. Bring to mind the Anchoring images, your inner Nurturers, from this week's Caring Feeling Presence exercise---30 seconds


---Now, ask yourself, "How am I today?" and just wait and see what comes---30 seconds


---Now, ask yourself, "And what's the feel of that whole thing?" and, again, wait as long as a minute for the "intuitive feel," the more-than-words,  of the whole thing to form, probably in the center of your chest/heart area.

1 minute

---Again, find some words or an image that are just right for the feeling.

1 minute

---And ask yourself, "And why does that matter to me?" and see what comes---

1 minute

---Find some words or an image to capture it just right, going back-and-forth between intuition and symbols until there is a sense of fit: "Yes, that's it."

1 minute

---Now, ask yourself, "What would this be like if it were all okay?" and see if you can get some words or an image for that.

1 minute

---Now, ask yourself gently, "What's in the way of that being okay?" and just wait and see what comes as a bodily sense, an "intuitive feel" around your heart center.

1 minute

---And find words or an image to capture that, going back-and-forth until the sense of "fit."

1 minute

---Now, hold those two intuitive senses next to each other: the way it would be if it were okay, and the way it is now, and see if you experience any change or shift in how it is.

1 minute

---See if you can find any small step that would bring you closer to how you'd like it to be.

1 minute

---Now, just spend another minute receiving what has come---

1 minute

--- If you feel like you want some more steps of problem solving on this issue, you can do more rounds of Focusing: ask yourself an open-ended question, wait for a felt sense, the "intuitive feel," then look for words or images to capture it---

5-10 minutes---

--- When you're ready, end the Focusing for today and slowly come back into the room.

You should feel relaxed, refreshed, less stressed, after a Focusing Session. If, however, you don't feel better, but perhaps feel disoriented or sunk in an unpleasant feeling, you can try the "Present Time" procedure, borrowed from Re-Evaluation Co-Counseling to bring you back "into real time":
Look around the room and name every one of a certain color(all black, all white, or all yellow -- whatever!) or shape (round, square, rectangular, or whatever!) of object in the room. Look around very carefully at this outer world. Continue with variations of this exercise until you feel grounded in "present time" again.
Two E-Groups, Creative Edge Practice and Creative Edge Collaboration, for Ongoing Support and Learning
There are now two separate Yahoo e-groups.
Creative Edge Practice is a closed group, where people can feel safe for the vulnerability of sharing Focusing experiences and responding to others with Focused Listening responses. The only requirement: a willingness to introduce yourself upon entry into the group, so everyone knows who is in the group. Further active participation is welcomed but not required. This is a very warm, sharing place, as well as a great opportunity for learning the actual skills.
Creative Edge Collaboration is an open group for discussion and networking around projects related to the spread of listening/focusing to various audiences and throughout the world.This is a great place to brain-storm ideas for bringing Listening/Focusing into parenting, education, support groups, psychotherapy and other helping professions, business, non-profit organizations like Peace Corps or Heifer International, spiritual communities, or whatever project moves you!
You can visit the homepage of each by clicking on the link and join from there as well. You can choose "emails only" and do not have to start a yahoo account, although accounts are free.However, access to message archives and other web-based features requires the free Yahoo ID. In creating an account, make sure to choose your regular email address to receive messages directly to your usual inbox.
If you order the Self-Help Package, you can use the Intuitive Focusing CD to follow Dr. McGuire as she speaks these exercises and view actual demonstrations of Listening/Focusing turns on the DVD.
About Creative Edge Focusing (TM) 
Mission: bring Core Skills of Intuitive Focusing and Focused Listening, and The Creative Edge Pyramid of applications from individual to interpersonal to organizational, to all audiences throughout the world.
Dr. Kathy McGuire, Director
Location: Beaver Lake in Rogers, AR
These materials 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