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I have just returned from Ecuador where I have experienced first hand the revolutionary power of the Pause.
William Hernandez and his team in FECD have helped thousands of Ecuadorians (in vulnerable communities) to experience the benefits of the Pause. Focusing is making its way into different communities in Ecuador in a gentle way through helping people to experience the benefits of ‘pausing’ in their every day encounters.
The Pause is taught through interactive exercises, giving people a glimpse of the power of pausing when confronted with every day life challenges. People discover the importance of slowing down, listening, looking into each other’s eyes and responding rather than reacting into what is happening around them.
The process is simple and works really effectively.
Leaders in the community are invited to participate in a 2.5 hours workshop, where they are introduced to the power of the Pause through experiential, interactive exercises and facilitator input.
After that the community takes the initiative in continue expanding what they have learned in the workshop with their families and other groups in their community. The whole process empowers the communities to continue the process without relying on the ‘focusing experts’.
Many communities have created the ‘Pause Schools’ were you can witness the transformation that has been achieved through the Pause in the way people interact with their loved ones and with their community members. People can experiment with different common life situations and see how through the Pause they can respond differently to situations, reducing in this way violence and tension.
The implementation of the PAUSE has significantly contributed in reducing family violence and has empowered people to find their own voice when relating with others. The Pause appears to be a driving force for human development that significantly contributes to building prosperity and wellness. Helping people achieve economic prosperity alone does not seem to be enough in supporting vulnerable communities experience wellness. The Pause has come to humanize the Development process and make it more complete.
In my opinion, Ecuador offers a wonderful example of how to apply the essence of focusing without extra frills as a foundation for the ‘more’ to come.
And the more is coming not necessarily in the prescribed and familiar steps, but in a creative way generated by each community based on the needs and challenges they face. The Pause is teaching people to be respectful to their inner process and to each other. It supports human connection, bringing hope in the community. In my opinion, Ecuador offers a beautiful example of Focusing Literacy.
In Ecuador, testimonies from people that have applied the Pause in their everyday life indicate that it is not necessary to teach people all the steps of focusing, to spend hours in helping them understand and apply the six steps. It seems that for social development creating the space for Pausing is enough to help people move forward and transform their encounters and quality of life.
It appears to me that the PAUSE is the foundation for people to get in touch with their felt sense and the ‘more’ that can come from this awareness.
William Hernandez and his team in FECD do not spend hours of teaching all the steps of focusing, do not use jargon like ‘felt sense, handle, resonating, etc. they simply invite people to feel the difference that a Pause can make in the way they experience, understand and respond to each other.
I feel that in Ecuador, focusing has found a fertile ground to blossom into something familiar and yet new. It is not the focusing as we know it, but at the same time it feels so true to the essence of what focusing is all about, a pathway for reconnecting with our humanity and a way for meeting the humanity of the other person.
It seems that the experiment is working. The seeds have started to bloom all over the country…
Hopefully these seeds can be planted in many-many other places to support human development. I will definitely try ….
William, thanks for your support and for embodying in such a wonderful way what PAUSE is all about.
Mary, thanks for sending this beautiful letter a couple of months ago inviting us to contribute to the Focusing Literacy Project (FLP), your message has set a wonderful process in motion for me. I am grateful for all that you do and the support you provide to such wonderful projects and initiatives all over the world.. Your generosity and vision is making a difference. THANK YOU.