Small steps from wholeness

Following on from my other posts on decisions (what the body knows and voting with my body) I wanted to end the series with a post on how we can make small steps towards our goal - and in a way that works.

I have just returned from two weeks holiday. I loved it in so many ways, and having two weeks away from my emails and phone was just wonderful! Life was spacious again. I did not miss them at all. I say this because before I went I found myself regularly checking my emails on my phone or getting involved in apps and online shopping with my phone at all times of the day. I would even switch it on when I woke up at 6am. Quite rightly my three year old son sometimes shouts “put away the phone, no phone!” (see my previous post on this here with a funny and insightful clip from US comedian Louis CK)

In a Focusing session recently, I sensed how good that spaciousness I felt on holiday was for me. I sensed a deep wanting for more time like this and what it brings for me (in particular a deeper connection to others, to life and “the bigger picture”) and found myself coming up with a simple and small next step to have more of that in my current life. Don’t turn on your phone before I start work! When I checked inside if that would work, there were no alarm bells or rebellions. Sure, it is not a lot in some ways, it does not create everything that I wish for! but is it a step and it will bring something. And it has so far. I like being more present to my son and wife in that precious part of the day. I feel more present to what is there - less in planning or obsessing mode.

So here are some simple tips for finding a small next step with a decision or change you want to make:

A. From a Focusing space, from what we can call “self-in-presence” invite a small manageable step that would help with your situation (be it a decision or some change you want to make)
B. Check inside - Do all parts agree? Is there anything that says “NO!” or even whispers “i am not sure” take time to listen to that place. Don’t override it.
C. Check also, is this step good for whole situation: For me this means how does this step impact on my family life. After all, we don’t live in isolation. We live in a context and our actions are part of that. This is actually part of the knowing of the felt sense. Hopefully the step you come up with already includes this implicit or explicitly. That is the wonderful thing about what the body knows.

D. When you make the small step, check again how it went. Keep in touch with yourself - does this still feel right or might it need adjusting somehow. Also keep an eye out for what we mistakenly label as “rebels” The parts of us that we may, unknowingly put aside to make a step. Put it this way, If we find ourselves rebelling, then we know we have forgotten something along the way. These parts hold something essential and life serving.

It reminds me, I have made so many attempts to get fit and started jogging and then three weeks later… no jogging! Decisions made from just one side of us always backfire. We all need to be involved.

And the steps can be very small indeed. I remember Gendlin talking about this in his book “Focusing” He gives an example of someone wanting to find a partner… which is a BIG and may scary step for people. He says why not start just by just driving to the place where you meet people (a singles bar in his example) and then don’t go in, just drive past, and see how that feels. Then just pop your head in the door and then leave, and see how that feels, and so on. Lovely

So often, we collapse under the bigness of the change we want to make and therefore don’t make any steps at all. But if we make a small step from the body and then sense for how that has gone, we can make a further step from there which has not yet been brought into life and that we can never really predict. I can guarantee this further step will be more in tune with all of you.

Online decisions course coming soon in 2015
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