Jo Kennedy is a registered trainer with the Focusing Institute in New York. Jo trained with internationally renowned Focusing teacher Ann Weiser Cornell in Inner Relationship Focusing. Focusing is a naturally occurring process in all of us. As children, we access it easily, but as we get older our relationship with this subtle, quiet internal process is easily lost, forgotten or pushed aside by other concerns.
Staying in touch with our Felt Sense, or focusing place facilitates a sense of joy and freedom. If we can retain this inner contact with our natural flow our lives move forward with ease. Focusing is a practice that teaches us to be present to our aliveness, so when a child next says to us, “Look, it’s a butterfly!” we find it a pleasure to slow down and be in that moment with the child and the butterfly.
What is Focusing?
Most of us remember moments when we have had a sudden flash of insight, an unexpected sense of ‘knowing’. An awareness arriving ‘out of the blue’ that somehow crystallises something for us. It may have come as a sudden awareness of our connection with nature. These flashes of insight most often arrive unannounced and bring with them a deepening of understanding. Sometimes what comes cannot be said in words. We often remember these moments for the whole of our lives for they can hold a special significance that is just our own. Focusing is being in touch with that deep place inside that contains all of this; our rich intricacy – that which is beneath our emotions and conceptual models.
This way of knowing ourselves was first described and named by philosopher Eugene Gendlin. He called it "the felt sense". Over time, he developed a simple process to access this place. Longitudinal studies undertaken at the time showed that it was this ability to focus or be with oneself in this focusing way that facilitated real change in any therapeutic process. "Focusing will enable you to find and change where your life is stuck, cramped, hemmed in, slowed down. And it will enable you to change – to live from a deeper place than just your thoughts and feelings," Eugene Gendlin.
There is a lot of discussion in the world about the psychological and physical benefits of living in the moment, being present. However, for anyone who has explored this, it is not easy. Focusing actually shows us how to be there moment-by-moment, step-by-step.
Focusing can help with:
- Pain relief
- Major life transitions
- Decision making
- Mood swings
Is it complicated?
It does sound complicated but really it is simple. To access this place we learn a simple step-by-step process. It is a gentle process of slowing down, pausing, listening to what is beneath the level of our usual thinking and emotions. We go to a wider place, to the meaning that is being carried in the body.
What does a Focusing session involve?
Focusing can be practised sitting, standing or lying down. You are taken through a slowing down process where you become aware of your body and how it is, moment by moment. This slowing down makes space for a felt sense to form allowing you to engage in the Focusing process. Jo offers one-on-one sessions, in person or over the phone, and series of classes. For more information on workshops, please click here or call Jo on 0418 141 870 to organise a session.