“Success is what happens after you’ve survived all your mistakes.“
I found these words on facebook this morning and they speak deeply to me of the life forward movement that is always there when we are able to really “be” with the mistake and keep this beautiful process we call life moving. The power of all of my experiences with Focusing are that they have proven to me again and again that no matter how large a mistake may feel at the time, there is a way forward through it to something one might call “success”. And for this knowing, tears come and I feel a deep sense of gratitude.
I can easily access tears and gratitude right now because I recently made what feels like a large mistake this Monday. Briefly, I was involved in an accident where a large steel rod landed on the top of my foot creating a pulsating waterfall display of blood onto the ground around me. Healers and Rescuers descended upon me.
No one thought to ask me how the experience was for me. When I commented “oh look, I can move my toes” no one heard. I flowed with the choice to go to the Emergency Room in what I would call ‘uncomfortable’ territory until I got back home and then I knew immediately that I had lost Self-in-Presence during this experience. My ‘mistake’ was something about letting emotional well-intended others pull my Self-in-Presence out from under me so that I made a choice that was not, overall, in my best interest. When I sense in now, there is “a lot” and it begins with a deep sense of sadness that I let this happen (and after ALL the work I’ve done with Focusing!). My foot, in case you are wondering, is healing miraculously well!
(above portion originally published 9-3-14)
(originally published 11-2-14)
I also wanted to bring up some recent life forward movement I’ve experienced around my foot injury in Sept. I’ve worked with it a lot on my own of course and also three times with others supporting me in Presence. My first opportunity to invite all this about my foot injury was in the Sept First Thursday Focusing Fun gathering. I remember that Martha was my Companion and I was also supported by the Presence of everyone else there. In this session, I heard and acknowledged from my own sense of compassionate Self-in-Presence some things that felt unheard at the time of the incident. I felt significantly better.
I then invited this whole incident again in another session with my Focusing partner. Here I had more time and really deepened my understanding of what was needing to come forth. I felt a sense of completion for now, and I was pretty sure there was more about this that was not yet ready to move forward.
For several weeks, the process seemed to sit quietly. Then, last week, I noticed two incidents of accidents in which I over-reacted. This caught my attention as not my usual reaction. One was something my partner did that almost hurt one of our cats, Tess. The second was something I did. I was in the kitchen and picked up one of those kitchen scissors that come apart in the center from the counter. I must not have grabbed both pieces and the bottom half of the scissors came off. It fell right toward Eva, my cat who was eating from her bowl and it smashed the bowl loudly into several pieces. Eva was scared and ran off. I totally freaked, afraid that I had hurt her and of course, scaring her into hiding from me in the process. Oh, what a mess. I knew this was not my normal behavior from a sense of Presence. It also became apparent to me as I calmed down, that I had actually made the situation worse for my cat. I had traumatized her a bit with my fear. I acted from a place that assumed that she was hurt rather than first checking with her if she had been hurt. Here I was, acting from a similar sense that others nearby had done when I had the foot injury. How interesting!
Where was that coming from? I could tell by sensing in on my own that it was a part of me that did not want to accidentally hurt someone else and that it had been triggered by the surprise of an accident. I held that with me thinking that it would be a great topic for my next Focusing session. This past weekend, in the Level 3 workshop, I had the opportunity to Focus as a demo for the group. I invited this sense of surprise about causing accidents. And It came. It came as a gesture where I put my hand to my upper chest and gasped air inward with a sense of surprise. I was able to acknowledge and be with it from Self-in-Presence, supported by my Companion and all those present. I heard that it was a part of me that had real compassion for anyone who causes unintentional harm to another in an accident. And I heard that It had a lot of fear that this could be ME.
I continued to be with It for a few minutes … and … ‘It’ released. It released the same way it came – as a gesture – although it was the completion of the gesture. The breath of surprise in was completed with an outward breath, a sigh. I felt the experience and fear passing through me in that breath, no longer held ‘unacknowledged’ in a stuck way. Along with that, I have a real sense of completeness about this process. Moving forward. No longer attracting accidents because I was stuck. Yes!
What a cool little incident, heh? I am really quite grateful for Focusing and how aware it allowed me to be with this little embodied experience of how trauma was held and released in my body. If you had doubt that Focusing can release trauma for you, maybe this has shown you something helpful too.
Oh and I almost forgot to share – no, our cats were not hurt in either incident. And at least so far, there are no signs that they have something stuck from these experiences. One of them (Eva) we’ve had since she was young and she seems to be a natural Focuser herself, very trusting, somewhat unusual for a cat. The other one (Tess) is new to us, 3 yrs old. Tess definitely has some stuck processes from her past that she brought with her. I would not be surprised if you read another cat story next year. The adventures of Eva and Tess….