lesson five power of presence study guide individual track

Power of Presence Series

Individual Track Learning Guide

Lesson Five: Focusing

Questions Worth Considering

4. “Staying with the felt sense helps you learn that which you don’t already know. As you pay attention to the felt quality of your current experiencing, you develop new expressions, words that are fresh, appropriate and alive . . . When in contact with this sea of experience which you carry in your body, you come to understand how you are living a situation, a relationship, a problem. As you search for a name for what you feel, there is often a wonderful result. ” - The International Focusing Institute.

5. “Focusing is a body-oriented process of self-awareness and emotional healing. It is as simple as noticing how you feel and having a conversation with your feelings in which you do most of the listening. It is indeed a process of honoring your own inner wisdom.” - Soul & Science Lesson

6. “When we honestly ask ourselves which persons mean the most to us, we often find it is those who, instead of giving advice, chose rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.”  - Henri Nouwen

7. “[The act of focusing] is keeping company with ourselves. We can also offer this to another when they are struggling. When a care receiver is really upset, maybe we should offer them the opportunity to be with their difficult, challenging emotions.” - Soul & Science Lesson

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Best Practices – (Choose at Least One)

1) “. . . through repetition and training in these skills of noticing, differentiating, and discerning, individuals engaged in mind-body practices that involve the body are immersed in a process that leads to embodiment and integration.” – (Body Awareness: a phenomenological inquiry into the common ground of mind-body therapies” 2011)

Read about the six steps of Focusing by clicking here. It includes:

  • Clearing a Space
  • Felt Sense
  • Handle
  • Resonating
  • Asking
  • Receiving

Use this method as a part of your self-care practice at least three times over the course of this month.

2) “Asking an open question is one way to invite the Felt Sense to speak, to form into words or images. . . Usually after asking an OPEN question, there is a time of waiting while attending to the Felt Sense…The Felt Sense opens in a slower time zone. The usual way we think fast doesn’t enable a Felt Sense to open.  A slowing down and just ‘being with,’ with no pressure for ‘answers’ is necessary for something to emerge from this felt level of experiencing.”  – Doralee Grindler Katonah, Psy.D., M.Dv

Set aside 30 minutes of meditation to examine any “Felt Senses” within your body. Be sure to have a quiet space and a time with no interruptions. When you encounter a felt sense, a physical sensation, ask yourself “What is this?” and then patiently wait for the answer. Do not let your brain jump in and try to answer. Wait for your body wisdom to provide insights, which may come in the form of a word, a symbol, a memory, or an emotion. Take as much time as necessary to “enable a Felt Sense to open.”

3) “As individuals achieve this sense of a clear or clearer state, their perspective seems to shift in the direction of a wider and, for some, more spiritual experience of their lives. There typically results a sense of distinct physical relief and psychospiritual well-being that brings a fresh viewpoint on their problems.” – (Clearing a Space: An Evidence-based Approach for Enhancing Quality of Life in Women with Breast Cancer” 2012)

Examine your own relationship between psychospiritual well-being and physical well-being. Journal about how your emotional state has influenced your health. Explore the ways you have increased emotional health and how it enhanced your physical state. In what ways, if at all, did it affect your ability to find solutions to pressing problems and give you clarity?