Getting your Body Back through Focusing

donna cerca uomo Chieti Focus-On-the-Small-Things

donna cerca uomo Acireale  

Why not Wake Up this Morning — Rumi

Recovering Our Body: The Moving Cycle



“In the first stage of the Moving Cycle, we acknowledge what we feel, or what we weren’t letting ourselves feel. This starts out as a very physical process, one of tracking and reporting sensations in the body in order to reawaken our natural ability to tell when we are harming ourselves” (p.71).

“Our ability to feel and express our physical experience is the foundation of recovery, the bedrock of joyful and satisfying action in the world” (p. 71)


Owning is “the act of telling the complete truth about one’s experience, of seeing everything that occurs within us to be our own creation” (p. 71)

“When we take 100 percent of the responsibility for our current experience, not confusing it with childhood wounding (for which we were not responsible), we can then reclaim the power to do things differently. As long as we make others responsible for how we feel or for what is happening to us, we give them power over our very aliveness, and the only way we can feel alive is to control them. Taking responsibility cuts through codependency as well” (p. 72)

“The essential problem behind the inability to take responsibility is a lack of boundaries, or inadequate limits. … When are needs are not with such a boundary, the body’s energy continues to rush out into space. This kind of unbounded energy is frightening on a primal level — the feeling is similar to falling off a cliff through open space” (p. 73)

We must practice letting our bodies be the containers for our feelings and emotions. And so, we relearn trusting our bodies.

“We must be able to sense the difference between our own and other people’s movement energy, and still keep our boundaries” (p. 73).


During Acceptance we address our core imprints of shame and wrongness. “Shame lives in the body in several ways. First, it translates to a poor body image … Second, an imprint of wrongness lodges in certain parts of the body causing tension, desensitization, injury, or illness…. Third, and most important of all, the lack of love that we feel for ourselves affects our breathing. By constricting our breathing we cut off our ability to feel, thereby defending ourselves from unrequited pain or threatening pleasure” (p. 74)

“The Acceptance phase has to do with getting the love back” (p. 75).


“The Action Phase begins when we can sustain uncritical and loving attention to ourselves” (p. 75).

“The assumption inherent in the Action phase is that in order for change to become real, in order for love to mean anything, it must be manifested in the world” (p. 76)

“Action makes us producers in the world rather than consumers” (p. 76)

PS — The story I told about the dead coming back to life is found on 2013 Coast to Coast AM interview with Dr. Sam Parnia and can be watched here on youtube.

Focusing by Eugene Gendlin

Focusing moves inward, drawing on information from the deeper, wiser self – the body. — Eugene Gendlin

The key to this practice is understanding the “felt-sense.” A felt-sense is a deep down level of awareness that comes in fuzzy and unknown. It is a feeling, not an emotion or thoughts, of a physical nature. It is a body awareness of a situation or person or event. It is an internal aura that encompasses everything you feel and know about a given subject at a given time.

uomo cerca donna Marsala The Six Movements of Focusing

  1. Clear a Space
  2. Felt Sense
  3. Get a Handle
  4. Resonate
  5. Ask
  6. Receive


Now ask yourself, “How do I feel? Why don’t I feel wonderful right now? What is bugging me on this particular day?

Stay Quiet. Listen. Let what comes come. Don’t get attached to the problems let them all come in and out of focus.

The say, “Well except for all of these, I’m fine.”

Do you feel a small increase of well-being in you?


Ask which problem feels the worst right now. Ask which one hurts the most, feels the heaviest, the biggest, the sharpest, the most prickly or clammy or sticky — or just choose one problem.

Don’t go into the problem. You must get down past all the noise in your head to the felt sense of the problem.

What do you sense in your body when you recall the whole of that problem?

Sense all of it, the sense of the whole thing, the murky discomfort or the unclear body-sense of it.

Be Patient!

The felt-sense is the holistic, unclear sense of the whole thing. — Eugene Gendlin


What is the quality of the felt-sense?

What one word, phrase, or image comes out of this felt-sense?

This is not analysis (perception versus interpretation).

Avoid forcing words into the felt-sense. Let it come to you with its own essence. Or try one word gently.

What you are looking for is something that comes along with a body shift, the whole felt-sense stirs just slightly and eases a little. It might only be a small shift.


Take the word or image you got from the third movement and check it against the felt-sense. Make sure they click precisely into place — a perfect fit. Ask (but don’t answer): Is that right?

There should be a felted response, some deep breath inside, some felt release again, letting you know that the words are right.

It is alright if, on its own accord, the feeling or the word or image changes, as you peforming the matching procedure.

You should get an Yes, Oh Yes, That’s it feeling.

Now let yourself feel that.


If a big shift, an opening, and a bodily release have already come during the earlier movements, go directly the the sixth movement.

Ask Open Ended Questions like:

What is, about the whole problem, that makes me so _________________?

What does the felt-sense need?

What is the worst of this?

What comes swiftly is old information, let the felt-sense stir and from there the answer will emerge.


Welcome what came. Be glad it spoke.

It is only one step of the problem, not the last.

Now that you know where it is, you can leave it and come back to it later.