“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
― Marcus Aurelius
Focusing! How little we know of focus these days as our attention is called away from our Selves and the present into myriad directions.
Focus is defined as the "center" of our attention or activity. Focusing, in the sense I am using it for this article, is about "centering" in the body for what Eugene Gendlin calls the felt-sense. In six simple steps, Gendlin's technique helps us to both see and feel more deeply into our own sense of self.
Focusing in 6 Steps
- Clearing a space
Begin with silence. Relax and focus inward while asking "How is my life going right now? What is the main thing for me right now?"
Allow the answers to bubble up from inside your body, but do not enter into the answer. Acknowledge it by saying "Yes, that is there." And then step back from it, or place it away from you.
Ask what else you feel, and follow the above process until there are a few things placed before you, but away from you.
- Find the Felt Sense
Choose just one of those things before you, still distanced from it, and leaving the others where they are. Without going into it, allow yourself to discover what all of that feels like. It has many parts but feel all of it as one felt sense.
- Find a Keyword or Handle
What is the quality of this felt sense? What one word describes its feeling? Or what phrase, or what image sums it up as a feeling? scary, exciting, sticky, sludge, fear, etc.
Go back and forth between the felt sense and the word or image. See how they resonate. Pay attention to the bodily signal that you have found the fit, like a puzzle snapping into place. Stay with the quality of the felt sense until you find this fit.
Now, ask "What is it about this whole problem that makes it ______ (quality you have just named)?" Sense this feeling quality again, in your body, not just remembering from before. When you are feeling it, tap it, touch it, and/or be with it, and ask "What is in this sense? Pay attention to any shift in bodily energy which indicates a release.
Receive whatever comes with this shift in a friendly way. Stay with it a while, even if the release is only slight. Stay here for a few moments more. There may be more shifts, but feel into this one before you continue. SOMETIMES THE SHIFTS COME AT A LATER TIME. THIS IS OK. WHEN YOU FEEL YOU HAVE DONE ENOUGH, END YOUR FOCUSING SESSION.
Focusing on Oracles
What does focusing have to do with inner wisdom? For me, inner wisdom is THE oracle of oracles, but sometimes we can be too tired, too busy, too "unfocused" to really understand the message. Let me use the above steps to illustrate how to use focusing following an oracle reading or Tarot session, or anytime you need to feel more deeply into issues and answers.