How often do we take the time to slow down, pause, and really listen to how it feels inside?
Christmas is a busy time of year, and there are a lot of things to deal with and prepare.
There are social engagements and family get-togethers, shopping and preparations, as well as the normal work flow.
Christmas can bring its own stresses, either with family relationships, or being on one’s own.
It can be a stressful time for many people, at a time when the Northern hemisphere is darkening towards the winter solstice, animals are hibernating and plant growth slows.
Especially at this time, it’s helpful to take even a short time out to slow down and listen to what’s going on for you.
In the Level 3 class recently, time got squeezed so we only had a short time for Focusing practice, and yet my partner and I acknowledged how valuable it was.
A new Focuser said, ‘it’s about really slowing down.’
This was on the fourth day of learning Focusing, and she was beginning to understand just how much slowing down is needed when you are Focusing. Focusers call it taking a pause, or taking some time to stay with something, and to keep it company.
These are metaphors or ways of saying how slowing down, staying with and pausing with a felt sense helps the Focusing process to deepen.
The slower you go, the deeper it becomes.
Time seems to change in a Focusing session. People often say how quickly the time seems to go.
It’s almost like stretching out time, so you can see more clearly.
I find that Mindfulness and meditation students and practitioners have learned how to recognise and be with sensations as they come and go, and this brings an easing of discomfort. Focusing has a slightly different way of being with what arises in the body.
When you first learn Focusing, you may not yet have discovered how to stay with a felt sense. You may notice something in the body, and something else, and then a new thing comes. Everything arises and passes away. You can ask did your awareness leave it; can you get it back. See if you can return to the felt sense.
If you stay with something, after a while you may find that it’s gone. If it’s gone, bring it back.
You can do this with evoking techniques. Remember what it was connected to, what life situation brings this particular feeling tone or quality. Notice any emotions that come up in relation to it. Bring a sense of interested curiosity to it. There is more here, that you don’t yet know. You can find words or images that are connected to it, and this also helps you to stay with it.
If you sense that has it resolved, notice what has changed.
Again it’s not enough to say it’s gone, it’s resolved. Look again for how it has resolved, and what has changed.
What new thing is here, and how is it different now.