I don't feel it in my body... Am I Focusing?


Sometimes it is hard to know if we are Focusing? Especially early on when we are perhaps newer to the practice. An image I heard many years ago that describes it well is that Focusing is like tuning into a new language, at first the sounds make no sense, then gradually as you become accustomed to it, you begin to hear words and then phrases.. and then it makes sense. The language of the body takes time to learn and what can make it more difficult is that each of our bodies has a different way of "speaking"... and also that we can easily have expectations that obscure what is actually happening. One such expectation is about "feeling it in the body" but do we always feel it in the body, or what is it we feel in the body? And if not - then how do we know we are doing it? Well, here are three signs that might help.
1. We are sensing something that is hard to put into words . Or at least at first it is... As you explore and describe your direct experience, and try and put it onto words, you might notice that these words or symbols don't fit or "catch" the actual felt quality of what we are with. What we feel is on the tip of our tongue... or there but impossible to describe. If we have anything like this, then we are Focusing. If not then look out for it! It's a doorway to deeper change.

2. Something new and surprising comes. This is a wonderful hallmark of Focusing, and real sign we have opened up to something more than intellectual understanding. It might be an image or an insight, some new emotion or just a sense of deeper empathy with some previously rejected part... anything new and surprising is a sign.

3. When something fits — we feel it for certain. And here is an interesting point. For many people this is where we feel something in the body. The sense of "ahh-yes" that fits is very usually bodily. It is certainly unmistakable. It can be a sense of release, or dropping, it can bring tears and relief, it can be subtle or very obvious.
And for me it's the compass by which I navigate the process, and more broadly navigate my life.

For me , living a focusing led life, you could say an holistic bodily led life — is about looking out for this sense of fitting... more than anything these days.
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