If you are just beginning…
Then you will be wondering more about what Focusing is. There are many ways to describe it. Here I will say that Focusing is an easily learned method of inward bodily attention that opens new possibilities and meaning that can lead to lasting change. Focusing is a natural skill that many of us in Western cultures are not very good at because getting good takes practice and practice has not been readily available. Until now. Since Focusing is first and foremost a body awareness EXPERIENCE, a Guided Focusing Session with me is your best bet when you are ready to try out the Focusing process yourself with your own inner relationships. I also have a beginner class, Being Your Own Best Friend, that allows one to explore these concepts individually without diving into the partnership activities of Level 1. Feel free to contact me to discuss this individually in whatever way makes you comfortable.
If you are ready to empower yourself …
It’s time for Level 1. I offer both local Live in Floyd workshops or Teleconference courses where you call in from your home anywhere in the US. The door opens here and you may find that a lot wants your attention. This is ultimate self-care and ideally, you have time in your schedule now to devote to just you. Ann Weiser Cornell developed the format of teaching that I use and it truly is ingenious. You will learn to let go of some of the ways of relating that Western Society has encouraged for a more authentic satisfying sense of being in this world. Here’s more details:
Level 1 Training : Open the Door
Like any other skill, use Focusing or lose it. In this Introduction to Focusing, you will learn a practical step-by-step process you can use with any life issue, on your own & in partnership, now & in the future. Focusing is a body awareness skill that allows you to access your own body’s wisdom. Practicing it essentially wires our brains to a more holistic cooperative state of being, integrating our right and left brains, our emotions, body and mind. Focusing is also the essence of change and we become more comfortable with what it feels like to hang at the edge of something new that is emerging. Focusing can be used in many ways. Our motto in this class is Empowered Focuser, Relaxed Companion. The Focuser is always in charge of their inner process. We unlearn western cultural habits of fixing and setting others straight and how to be what is most needed as a listener. Once you have taken a Level 1 Focusing workshop, you can practice as often as you’d like with local Focusers in person or with someone from our online Focusing community via phone. This workshop is generally offered in five 2.5 hr sessions over a period of 2 months. Focusing practice between sessions with others in the class is highly recommended.
If you want more …
LEVEL 2 is about deepening into the Focusing and Listening process by looking more at the role of the Companion. A companion to ourselves as well as others. We learn lead-ins. Then, wherever your process is now, this course nurtures your next step. Our ability to be larger than our emotions or challenges gets stronger. Our understanding of what it is like to stand on the edge of something new gains clarity.
The structure of the class for Level 2 is very similar to Level 1. We continue our emphasis on Empowered Focuser, Relaxed Companion and on deepening our understanding of this state of being we call Presence from which all the rest of Focusing unfolds.
LEVEL 3 is called the Guide’s Journey. My Favorite Level when I did my initial training! Here we learn the typical ‘shape’ of a Focusing session, so we know what stage the process is in and what reminder would be most helpful. This expands our sense of Presence in an experiential way I believe as Presence is always both able to be with our body AND bigger than it. We’ll discover more ways to bring Focusing into our daily life as we learn invitations here which very much adapt to our everyday relationships. There is a lot of new information in this level. By extending the class over a period of months, we’ll give ourselves space and time to integrate this information at a deep level. There are no assistants in this class. I hope that each of you will sometime volunteer to participate as either Focuser or Companion in a Demo. In addition to the five classes, I have added an additional 45 min with me individually to this level. This gives us an opportunity to really check in around process. Often Level 3 is where people say “I thought I knew Focusing before and now I really get it!”
If you are a healing professional or have opportunities to support others (kids, clients, friends, etc!!) as they process a life situation, the guiding tools of Level 3 and one’s growing ability to understand every relational encounter as somewhere ‘in process’, are invaluable skills. This is also a great level to consider repeating sometime.
And… last with the idea that we spiral here happily ever after, I’ve designed LEVEL 4 to be my NEW VERY favorite Level! One I imagine would invite us back every so often as a way to reground in the principles of Focusing.
LEVEL 4 is called The Center of the Maze. Our goal here is to return to the essence of Focusing and ourselves as process. What does it really mean when something within us moves forward? We’ll have more support for embodiment practices and noticing how does this inner process transpire outward and change how we experience the world. We’ll gain clarity around these two normal states of being: Presence and Partiality and how they affect our experiencing. We’ll delve deeper into the principle of the Radical Acceptance of Everything and look at how it applies to distractions, images, sensations outside the middle body, physical symptoms & more. We’ll look closer at the inner criticizing process and it’s reactors. And so much more…
Here are general class topics:
Class 1: Focusing as a Way to Grow; Sensitive Empathic Listening goes a Long Way.
Class 2: More Clarity around Presence and Partiality; The Feeling about the Feeling
Class 3: Inner Criticizing Process and It’s Reactors
Class 4: Focusing Unites Brain and Body: Neuroscience, Close-Distant Process
Class 5: Wholebody Focusing, Exploring Body, Movement, Gestures and Beyond Body
Class 6: A New Sense of Self; Self in Presence as the Transformative Agent in Healing Ourselves and the World
We’ll meet approx. every 3 weeks for 2.5 hrs a total of six times or for about 4 – 4.5 months. Our first 1.5 hrs will be checking in and exploring our topics. Our 2nd hr will revolve around a Demo in class with process feedback. Unlike Levels 1-3, there is no partner practice during class unless you are in the Demo.
There is some essential reading. It’s relatively deep, the type that reveals something new for us from year to year. There are also several areas that we might look at closer depending on what comes up in individual processes. These additional readings and support materials will change yearly as I come across new materials. Focusing encourages us to explore that new edge and there is plenty of new emerging in this field to choose from. Thus, each group that comes together will create a somewhat different experience as we re-ground in a deeper level of trust in ourselves, our current experience and that it’s all going somewhere life-thriving.
If you have a regular Focusing partner, you are welcome to Focus with them throughout this class. If not, I will suggest partners either from this class or our greater community. To get the most out of this class, I’ll suggest you Focus with a partner regularly between classes.
How Focusing Classes Work
There will be lectures, demonstrations, question periods, group exercises, and paired exercises. You will be paired to practice a Focusing exercise with another participant each class session. There will also be an additional paired homework exercise between sessions that will take approximately 45 min. Even with local classes, this additional exercise is usually done over the phone. Please plan to attend all 5 sessions for the full time of the meeting. Missing one class is acceptable. If you miss more than one class, it is best to repeat the Level.
For the videoconference class, all you need is a computer with a camera. You can also attend via a cellphone. You’ll be able to see everyone in the class, generally, whoever is speaking appears larger at the time. You can mute and turn off your video camera as needed. Recordings may be available if you miss a class. Video seminars work amazingly well. Hope to see you here!
And last, but not least – if none of these options work for you, you can always practice the pause in your daily life…
AND share what you know about Focusing with others. Together, we ARE the movement!