Focusing Tips by Fiona Parr

I'm often asked questions which I feel are relevant to many people. So I share my responses here which I hope will provide a helpful insight for everyone involved in Focusing and an overview if you are new to Focusing.

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Present moment awareness:

J asks ‘How can I stay more in the present moment? I know that being in this state of immediacy is the best way to be, but somehow I’m moving ahead, making plans, and I miss being in the moment.’

It sounds like you have a lot going on in your thoughts. And we do need to plan ahead, but it can get in the way of Focusing and paying attention to the here and now. There are several things we can do that will help. One is to get a Focusing partner. If I try to do it on my own, I get easily distracted and it’s hard to keep my focus. When I have a partner, it actually feels effortless. The time goes by quickly and I am able to have a deep session without needing to think about other things at all.

If you are distracted during a session, you could have a pen and paper, and simply write things down that you need to remember, and then you can return to your Focusing.

Sometimes thoughts come in the form of a distraction, but they are not actually a distraction. The thought may have come exactly there in your session for a reason. You may not yet know what the reason is. It is helpful then to pay attention to it, and invite more to come from the thought. You will then get a better idea of why that thought has come to you just then. You won’t know until you take a pause and listen to what it is saying.

You can practice staying in the present moment by giving your full attention to specific things. For instance you can notice your breath, what it’s doing and what is the quality of it. Similarly you can notice what is happening in your body. You can be aware of your physical body; how hot or cold it is; tightness or tensions, or how relaxed it is. Sometimes this needs you to pause, slow down and concentrate or focus on it, because we usually take for granted how our body feels.

If you want to practise present moment awareness outside the Focusing session, for instance when you are walking along a beach, observation can be helpful. Notice what you can see, hear and feel, and notice your bodily felt experience as well. There’s a lot to think about and to be aware of, which gives less room for distracting thoughts!