What can you do if you loose touch with a felt sense, and it seems to have gone?
A Focusers asks:
‘Despite some encouraging success with focusing, I still have a reoccurring familiar problem that often crops up. To me the felt-sense can feel like an intermittent radio signal. It can come through loud and clear sometimes, at other times I just can’t seem to find the felt sense at all, or even know what it is or what I should be looking for!’
‘This happened again this evening with my online focusing buddy, I had something, tracked it and then it went… I was left conscious of my body and breathing, aware of the birdsong outside – but I couldn’t seem to find any felt-sense.
It wasn’t unpleasant, I hadn’t blacked-out, it’s just a reoccurring source of disappointment that leaves me feeling ‘Now what?!’
It would be great to get your advice Fiona on what to do in these instances as I’m sure there must be a solution.’
I see this happening often in Focusing sessions.
You are tracking something and the felt sense is there clearly and strongly. Then, it seems to have gone, somehow. And you are left feeling disappointed and perhaps lost or confused.
Now what?, would be an appropriate response!
There may be several reasons why this is happening, and you can respond accordingly.
Felt senses can be delicate, fragile even.
This is why it helps to have a quiet, interrupted space to Focus in, and why it helps if the Companion is quiet and doesn’t interrupt while you are Focusing!
So what might interrupt a felt sense?
It might be ‘shy’, hiding, feeling vulnerable. It wants to know it’s safe to come out and reveal itself. You can help by sensing what kind of company it might like; what ‘distance’ would feel right for it. You can tentatively move closer to it, all the while noticing how it responds to that. Is it getting fainter? If so, you can move away, by bringing your awareness to your whole body, or other places like the contact of your back against the chair, or your feet on the floor. Other ways of doing this include ‘giving it space’, ‘giving it room to breathe’, or stepping back from it. Sometimes a felt sense becomes more present when you are not looking at it directly, but more obliquely, like out of the corner of your eye.
Another reason a felt sense might get fainter includes if something in you doesn’t like it being there, or has an agenda around it.
Maybe a part of you is trying to fix it, rescue it or trying to get rid of it. This part of you may be thinking ‘ if only I could get beyond this block, then my life could move forward.’ Although this may be a very understandable response, it doesn’t help the felt sense to feel safe and welcomed.
There is also the very natural body-mind process that happens when you are Focusing.
The very act of Focusing involves touching into the edge of awareness, being with what is not yet fully known, and sensing into the implicit ground of experiencing. This is finely tuned, delicate sensing. It will naturally come and go, in intensity and in explicit experiencing. If a felt sense goes, you can be easy about it, and think, ‘now where was I?’ like losing your place in a book. You can ask your Companion to remind you where you were, and this can jog your memory, and bring you back in touch with it.
If it’s still gone, then I recommend that you recognise that’s enough for now.
I really trust the body mind process to let me know when it’s enough, and I can come back to it another time. You can check this by saying to yourself, it’s gone, and perhaps that’s enough for now. It will soon let you know if it hasn’t finished and there is more!