People are born with the ability to know what would feel right
Focusing is a natural ability to tap into a deep personal understanding about any given situation, and determine next steps that would feel right. Formally discovered in the 1960’s during research about what produces successful outcomes in psychotherapy, Focusing is now a process that therapists and healing professionals use in their practices, and people use for personal growth.
Focusing taps the wisdom below your thoughts and feelings
Problems remain stuck because of how we think and feel about them. Our thoughts and feelings seem clear to us, and that’s the point: they’re already fixed in place and don’t lead to change. We go round and round with the same thoughts and feelings.
Focusing is a way – a gentle and safe way – of developing contact with your deeper truth. This innate way of knowing and navigating is rooted in our ability to become present to our directly emerging embodied experience.
We forget how to use this intelligence
Over time though, most of us lose trust in the wisdom of our bodies or forget how to access it. Focusing is the natural human ability to tap into the ‘whole truth’ about a personal situation through slower processing of emerging somatic experience.
When you say to yourself, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” you’re making both a statement about what you know about the situation cognitively, and how you sense the more of it as a bodily whole. You’re using two ways of knowing.
Bridging implicit and explicit knowing is key to change
Focusing includes and bridges both ways of knowing. It is direct access in the present moment to how a whole situation “feels” in our body and life. In Focusing, we call this feel a felt sense, an intricate mix of feelings, thoughts, body sensations, images, gestures, and even more. A felt sense is how the right hemisphere of our brain tracks, maps, and holistically understands our body from the outside and inside all at once. This is also referred to as implicit knowing vs explicit (clearly articulated) knowing, which is much more familiar to us.
Focusing takes us there, integrating right and left brain hemispheres
In Focusing, we cultivate a friendly, relational way of being with something that wants our attention now – as felt “in our body” (right hemisphere implicit knowing). With Presence we sit with it, get to know it, listen to it so that IT shifts, speaks and changes in just the way it needs to, and by doing so comes into focus (left hemisphere explicit knowing). Focusing is having direct access to our wholistic, right hemisphere body-mind knowing and then integrating it with explicit left hemisphere cognitive knowing, language, and interaction.
Would you like to learn how to use both ways of knowing? The Seattle Focusing Institute is dedicated to providing a professional, high quality, and personal Training Program in this naturally occurring, wholistic way of knowing.