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Focusing Attitude (Claudia Conza)

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“Different energies flow to a meeting point where they share being and presence. There is a ‘listening within and without’ in a non–judgmental, compassionate and maybe loving way, accepting but not knowing what will come (Edge.) There is a trust that the right thing will come and an openness toward all possibilities.”

This idea came to me when I Focused on what MAE means to me as one of the organizers. I realized that this is my attitude not only when I work with clients in a Focusing session but also when I give Esalen Massages or do other bodywork and even when I teach. “Wow, this is the Focusing attitude the way I experience it/is it true for me, too?” were my thoughts. I believe that the Focusing attitude creates a special field where we can experience others and ourselves as holistic beings.

By holistic I mean the following levels:

  • Physical
  • Energetic
  • Mental
  • Emotional

The Focusing Attitude and how we are when we connect with people is very important to me. The attitude I am describing is more or less very common for me in daily life — when I talk to someone or when I listen or even when I am alone yet present (admiring nature for example.) Perhaps this attitude is integrated so fully into my life because I have been practicing Focusing for so many years now along with exercises such as Yoga and Meditation that help me to arrive in the present moment.

I teach holistic massage and massage in the lateral position at a massage school and my students and clients have given me the following feedback:

  • “We feel so much non–judgmental presence from you. You give us permission to be what and who we are or might think we are…
  • We feel your compassionate heart.
  • We feel encouraged to go our own ways.
  • We feel empowered to listen within for what will come to help us in our lives.
  • We begin to trust our inner wisdom (mind/spirit, mental and energetic level) and our body wisdom (physical and emotional level.)”

I suggest that we now turn to the experimental part, working in pairs.

I would like to introduce two exercises to explore how to use the Focusing Attitude combined with touch and with the “listener” who applies touch. You are all experienced in Focusing and are therefore familiar with the “Focusing attitude”.

  • Exercise 1: 15 minutes per person
  • A is the Focuser; B is the “listener, companion”.
  • A clears a space and gives a sign when she/he is ready.
  • B is asking slowly: “What is the Focusing attitude for you?”
  • B touches A where A says she/he wants to be touched.
  • A Focuses and shares what arises.
  • Switch roles
  • Exercise 2: 15 minutes per person
  • A clears a space and gives a sign when she/he is ready.
  • A clears a space and gives a sign when she/he is ready.
  • A Focuses and shares what arises
  • Switch roles

We then return to the large group and write our experiences on the flip chart.

Feedback: After the exercises I asked the group for feedback and handed out cards for them to write down their experiences. The statements are listed below:

  • “I learned and felt the importance of presence and grounding and of going deeper inside myself!”
  • “It is important that the companion has clarity when she/he is touching!”
  • “The felt sense can be witnessed by the listener without hearing the words, and there is a powerful presence when touch is used. I feel deep love and connection!”
  • “A combination between doing and not doing. The touch can develop a profound non“judgemental process!”
  • “Both exercises were an invitation to open up to a deeper process!”
  • “Power of connection: I felt so safe with people I do not really know. I trust my own body sense more and healing came after the first exercise!”
  • “1: I can offer a warm, powerful, but gentle presence. 2: I feel safe when the Focuser expresses her/himself!”
  • “I experienced that my hands combined with my voice could find a deep connection with a lived presence. This experience connected me with my heart, like a circle between my companion and me. I didn’t feel the urge to protect myself. I felt accepted and loved.”
  • “Focusing for me becomes more and more a process of waiting, trust and confidence. The touch helps make the connection with the client, keeping them in space and safety “ just holding. Being present, unconditional, open and listening, waiting for what will come.”

Claudia Conza

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This page was last modified on 16 January 2008