thank you for being here, and gifting me with a few minutes of your time.
I have spent an insightful time rereading some of my Focusing* Books and I would like to share something that stuck out.
It is the idea of radical generosity.
We are subjected to many forms of advice these days, motivational posts are flying past our attention in never-ending succession.
And some of them are very good, some of them hit home, when they touch us at the right moment, in the right spot.
But generally, we receive too much information about what would be good for us and what to do to feel good. But do we? In the Focusing tradition, we often speak about the acceptance of emotions, but there is something like a forcefulness to the call.
As I kept reading my thoughts wandered off (as they often do) and I found an inner space, where I received the hint to be more generous with myself. Hmmm, sounds delicious.
Maybe it is because I am working as a life coach that the subject of change is on my mind quite often. It is what most of us deal with, it is what we either want very much or strongly dislike, or even actively avoid.
There are many ways to coach this state of being, but right now I am drawn to generosity.
If we identify too much with our emotions they have a tendency to create fear. And fear, as we well know tightens us up. We feel closed in. Sometimes so much so, that we "become" this fear. It feels like an inseparable part of us. Even if we tried to see it as an integral part of ourselves it might have a lot of energy we have to deal with. We feel mentally and physically trapped.
Or, we just dissociate from this feeling. Pretend it is not there. Like a little kid. But we know too well that this isn´t working, because we feel it rampaging in some parts of our body. In Focusing we often start our journey with this part that is affected the most. It becomes the entrance door to new and wider horizons.
One way to open up toward relief is to be generous. We could try not to approach it with any kind of opinion or expectation, except with open-minded curiosity. We could recognize it to be the ambassador of another time, another section of our life. From this distance, we might really be able to listen to what it wants to tell us. It may be something we have not allowed to be heard.
Mostly we assume what doesn´t show in crystal clear and visible appearance in our emotional life must be a message from some dark zone. Therefore we fear it. We turn away from it. This is an Interesting assumption and hopefully wrong.
Maybe what we experience as stomach clenching is not the content of the message, but simply its attempt to be recognized. "Hear me, please hear me!"
The message could be neutral, good, bad, old, or new. Anything. We do not know until we pay attention. Until we listen.
Creating space for it creates at the same time a distance between its fearful aspects and ourselves.
And this space becomes a neutral zone. There is no room for overwhelm. It just IS.
Meeting your fears and dreaded emotions in this space creates relief. Neutrality. A relationship can begin to bud.
A good relationship with any kind of emotion shows both, a healthy distance (in the sense of not being choked by it) and being connected to it. The message the often frightened fear will receive is this: Let us get to know each other gently. Let us communicate. You, human, listen! I, the emotion, will talk.
Emotions talk in symbols. So in any session, I prepare my clients to not judge any image or word, or sentence that might surface. It could be a prickly pear, it could be an animal, it could be a landscape. Say nothing but "...hello, I am willing to hear you out..." and wait.
As it is in all relationships that have some element of alienation in them, the conversation might start slow.
This is radical generosity.
Even though the process might feel strange to you at first, you still follow along, you grant the other (the emotion)the benefit of the doubt. You are willing to learn its mother tongue.
The rewards are endless. The pain we may have started with will dissolve, the clenching we complained about in the beginning may just disappear and an unknown lightness will settle in.
Be well, be curious, and be open-minded.
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*Der Focusing Prozess lehrt eine Reihe von Veränderungsschritten, in der jeder eine frische Einsicht , körperliche Befreiung und ein Aha- Erlebnis bringt. Focusing vermittelt nicht nur Einsichten, es führt zu neuem Verhalten. Es ist eine Philosophie des Dabei-Seins-und Zulassens.