Three embodied ways from Focusing that might help us face global crisis

Over the last few months and more so in the last few weeks - since the latest IPPC report on climate change was released, I have been reflecting and exploring the whole raft of responses and reactions, and feel ready to share a few learnings I hope might help. These are all rooted in the embodied practices of Focusing and Somatic Experiencing. Read More...

When we feel "inadequate"

I am sure we all know this kind of experience... we are talking or seeing someone who is more intelligent/knowledgable/outspoken about something... and we being to shrink and feel inadequate or not "enough" in some way. It may be in the realm of sports or politics, music or the arts. The subject doesn't matter. What feels bad is how it impacts us and the meanings that flow on from that. It used to happen to me all the time. Some leap happened from being ignorant (I mean that in a non judgemental way, just the simple fact of not knowing) to me feeling like a failure/idiot/stupid. It happened with politics, with current affairs, with sports. The feeling inside was so bad that I actively avoided those conversations, steering away from them or just changing subject or leaving entirely! Read More...

The "shitty first draft" and on being with uncertainty and complexity


I came across this phrase "shitty first draft" from Brené Brown a few weeks ago and it really appealed to me. It captures how our stories about things can be pretty rough and well... shitty, a sketch that bears little resemblance to the actual reality.

A great example of this is perhaps when you turn up to a new event or meeting, and within minutes or shorter we can find ourselves having opinions about others: what kind of person they are, what they think of you... and so on, and this happens without us even speaking to them! Or we see a friend or colleague who is in a dark mood and we think it is to do with us - that we are to blame even. The story jumps in to fill the void of information. Brené Brown reckons this is a trait of our brain and nervous system

"Our brain hates ambiguity and uncertainty, so it makes a simple story. It doesn’t reward accuracy it just wants certainty."


10 ways to use focusing in everday life

How do I use Focusing in my everyday life? or how shuffle play on your iPod/phone can tell you what you need to know!

At first, it may appear that Focusing is a "practice" like many others: Meditation, Yoga etc, but in essence it is a way of being, or an attitude that weaves itself into your life the more you "practice". It becomes a way of navigating our life on many levels, a compass we refer to and a touch stone for our deeper knowing.... Ok enough metaphors!
I wanted to share just a simple list in no particular order of how I use it in my everyday life, to give a flavour of how it can be woven in. Read More...

meeting the edge


Teachings from my 6 year old son.

(This is different from clear boundaries, to which he also find hard but differently). It is like his radar for hidden agenda is very sensitive. If I am pretending to listen whilst all the while furious underneath he knows it. He may not tell me he knows this in words, but his actions clearly show it. If he can sense my agenda of pushing him to move quicker in some way than he is able to, he reacts. If my frustration at my life creeps (or bursts!) into my "requests" and interactions with him... he reacts. He picks it up no matter how much I try and hide it.

Put simply, he always knows when I am truly with him and on his side.

It's humiliating. It shows how I pretend sometimes. It shows how many mixed feelings are inside of me... It shows me how much gets triggered by having a child in my life...! It leaves me with plenty of themes to explore.

And why is this important for Focusing? It shows me just how responsive and sensitive parts of us can be inside. They know! just like Albie. They can tell if I am listening. It's only when something in me really knows I am listening without agenda that it opens up and shows me more. I have seen this again and again.

It can be easy perhaps to describe some part of me or some sense inside, find a symbol or word that fits... but it can easily grind to a halt there if I am not checking, how am I with this? Is there some other hidden part of me judging it or wanting it to go away? Can what you are with tell you are listening? If it opens up and shows or tells you more then you can be confident that you are, but if it all feels a little cool and rational, then perhaps that part of us senses shame or judgment.

A simple "test" is to enquire inside. "Can this place in me be just as it is?"

In many ways our relationships inside are no different from outside. In our own life we all love it when we feel met, respected and heard, when we feel someone is there for us, curious and empathic. And we all know what it feels like when we sense someone else's agenda or judgment. We often sense it immediately, or we find ourselves slowly closing down as we sense the hostile or indifferent environment. Or we shut down when we find someone analysing or dismissing what we feel. It's no different inside of us. Our somethings always know.