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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If you take a moment now, you can notice how you experience ‘limitation’ in your life.

How often do you experience life as difficult? Sometimes it feels like we are beset by limitations, struggling against adversity and limitation. Or do you feel like your life is filled with a sense of possibility? And is a sense of limitation ever a blessing? Does it sometimes help to create containment and structure?

As a helpful ‘learning Focusing exercise’, I have from time to time experienced the dichotomy of the paired concepts of limitations and possibilities. As a way of learning about the felt sense, it is helpful to sense into, and feel the differences between these two familiar dimensions of life, as you experience them from the inside.

If you take a moment now, you can notice how you experience ‘limitation’ in your life. You might at first get a cognitive or emotional response; and then see if you can pay attention to how the body feels or experiences the word ‘limitation’. You might have an instance, or an example of how limitations affect or restrict your life. Notice what happens in your body as you bring the example to mind, and notice how you feel. Take a moment more to see if you can describe that feeling to yourself. What’s it like?

And then you can try saying the word ‘possibility’ to yourself. Notice the difference in how your body feels, when you sense into the quality feel of possibilities in your life. Again, take an extra moment to describe the feeling tone, or perhaps an image comes that somehow captures the quality of how you feel when you sense into the word ‘possibility’. You might feel more expansive, freer or more open, for instance.

Now go back and forth between the two, and see if something more comes from doing that. Notice if anything changes.

This exercise came to mind recently as I began my Focusing session. I was aware of various difficulties in my life, and I wondered if I would Focus with any of them. But my body had other ideas. It showed me that I had a very expansive feeling surrounding me, like a sphere, and then there was a core of energy going up the centre, like the filament in a light bulb. I had just got back from holiday and my body was showing me the open alive energy that was there. It wanted me to have this experience of feeling expansive and alive, before diving into problems and difficulties. It let me know the value of being resourced, and it counteracted the tendency to go to the negative first.