January 26, 2017

Me and my Inner Relationship Focusing

The complex mountains of my mind

“…a remarkable skill that relieves suffering and awakens possibility.” Ann Weiser Cornell

Way back in the day, when I was a kid, my dad often said to me, “Get your head out of your belly button,” by which he meant that I should focus on more worldly things than those affecting only me. But I was rarely interested in the news back then, maybe because of the other sentence he used to say, “Never believe what you read in the newspaper.”

Focusing Training Course

Well, now I'm 53, and more focused than ever on my belly button and deeper, into my soul, especially thanks to the latest psychology training course I’m taking, one called “Inner Relationship Focusing,” according to the Ann Weiser Cornell method @AWCornell ( Twitter) https://focusingresources.com/.

Feeling about the Feeling

Today I learned more about something called “Feeling about the Feeling.” You know how people tend to say things like: “I hate it when you’re right?” So, the idea is to separate the two emotions from each other, and to radically accept each of them.
In this case: A part of me hates this feeling (of when you are right).
Another part of me feels that you are right (at least some of the time).

Then it’s possible to go even deeper into each of these separate parts:
What is that part of me that hates this feeling (of you being right) telling me?

  •       What does it want? (For example, maybe it wants to be right, to win, it wants to feel smart and strong.)
  •       What doesn’t it want? (It doesn’t want to feel weak, or stupid, or wrong.)

That’s just an example, of course. I love it when you’re right. I can accept feedback, that I’m less than perfect. That I’m mortal. That you are as clever as I am. Can’t I?

Still learning, after all these years

In short, it’s interesting for me, being in this process. I’ve worked long as a therapist, a counselor, and made it my business to analyze the feelings and thoughts of both my clients and myself (and even sometimes those of my family and friends, at times, much to their dismay). I thought I ‘got it.’ Although surprisingly, I've still had an issue or two of my own to deal with. :)

Now I’m learning this method, of letting the person who is focusing (eipther me or another) go deeper and deeper into their (my) feelings by way of untangling feelings, looking at them one by one, going deep into them, seeing them, via metaphors and bodily feelings, and then radically accepting them.

You know best - not me

We are learning this in a group, which is a learning experience as well, especially as I see people, not just from the field of psychology, who, simply by this method of focusing, are able to go through very therapeutic, healing processes. It really shows me how empowering others works – how capable people are – how we have the answers within ourselves, if we are only open to listen.

As a DDD, #DeeplyDisappointedDemocrat, I now have an obligation to watch the news, shocking as it may be, but at the same time, I spend a lot of time focusing deep deep within. (Radically accepting my deep disappointment!)

I just want to give a quick shout out to my amazing teacher in this process: Michal Madar-Porat, M.S.W. Focusing Trainer. 
She is so good, kind, giving, and containing. Just spending Monday mornings in her sunny presence would have be enough! Thank you, Michal!