We hear a lot about self in presence in Focusing. This is an article I wrote when I was working through what it means to me.
Me as Self in Presence
Reconciling what self is presence is for me.
I came to focusing as a long time meditator. What attracted me to focusing was the deep sense that focusing is a way of tapping in to your body’s own intelligence. What I discovered is that the felt is sense is something and for me it has become, for now, a very consistent something.
In my early focusing, my body experience was kind of all over the place. The meditation part of me was a part that was willing to fly into what I came to name as “mind consciousness”. I discovered that for me, “mind consciousness” was producing a extension of the meditation experience in focusing but there were also glimpses from my body and as my process deepened this eventually grounded firmly in my body.
Through many focusing sessions I came to know what I, for now, will call “the knowing line”. It’s a line of energy in my body which ignites to let me know that what ever information my body is transmitting, “I” am receiving. There is no clear distinction from the “I” and the “ME”, which is the place I focus from in self in presence. “I” is the part that can see, distinguish and acknowledge all of the parts that we all of come to know and feel in regular focusing sessions.
This is what I have come to know as the “empowered focuser”. A person who can be brought to a place of focusing by either being “lead in” or by self guiding. A person “ME” who can be self in presence and see and feel the difference between parts, have empathy and compassion for the parts, respect them all as you would any focuser when acting as a companion. When I am self in presence I am the empowered companion to all of my inner parts, making “ME” and “I” an empowered companion as well, for myself.
Now. When I enter self in presence, through some of the many exercises we have learned through inner relationship focusing, I can bring all of this gentle “I-ME-beingness” to my individual focusing practice. When good feelings come, I often choose to allow them to be there as fully as they want to be.
In a recent session I had two parts arrive. One part was deep in my heart center, one was a small and vocal part off to one side of my body. The Heart Center was very big, the other part was very small but both were acknowledged and given space to be there with me in self in presence. When I sensed into what wanted my attention it was the larger part, which felt good and was offering some useful information, which when I checked in my body, on my knowing line, felt good in both places which allowed me to really feel into the goodness that space had to offer.
If focusing is about safety and safe places, something that is paramount to me, then the knowing line is, for right now in my process, the safe place, the place I may also referred to as my own truth. Without this definition of truth focusing may not be possible for me right now, because there is a need within me to anchor to something universal, what I might call my own universal truth which informs the ME, who I am , how I operate in the world. This helps me define the decisions I make, how I interact with others and how I bring my life force to the rest of the world.
Recently, I heard a wonderful story which I have been considering.
Imagine holding your breath. You sit there and you say, “I am holding my breath”, you can sit there for one, two, three, maybe even five minutes, but at some point, your body, forces you to breathe. It forces you to take in air, take in a breath and breathe in oxygen to fuel the blood, which pushes the life force through the rest of your body. YOU may have done everything to not breath, YOU may have held your breath, YOU may believe that YOU are in control of all of this, yet at some point something else forced you to breathe and you took in air, the bodies natural life force took over.
So if YOU are not the person in control of your own breathing, then it is very interesting to consider who is,? Who or what forced you to breathe?”
To me, this is the life force we tap into when we focus and to me focusing always means honouring the body. No matter how big the I is or the “self in presence” seems, there are other forces governing much of the process and this needs to be honoured and respected as a “supreme part” because it is the part which controls and affects the body and the life force.
I think it is OK to identify with “that” part, because, it, more than anything else is, it is ME. It is a “oneness” I can connect with. It is my connection to all things and it is all loving and beautiful because it is life and is what keeps me (my body) alive. Without it there is no focusing, but without focusing I may never have discovered it.
This is partly why I feel I can dismiss parts, parts like the something that would want to make me hold my breath are parts interfering with the life force energy, they can be acknowledged but they can also be dismissed if they are not in agreement with the “knowing line” which for now is how my body informs me and guides me.
Bringing this all to a tangle.
We acknowledge a tangle as a place of “stuckness” or something or a series of things enmeshed and interfering with ME or my natural flow of life energy. A tangle is a jumble of parts within us, which through conspiracy control an aspect of the life force. To me this means that, as we weave through a tangle we can acknowledge parts and eliminate them as cause or reason for the tangle. That does not mean being judgmental but it does mean having a preference.
If I approach focusing as a way to “focus” on a way of living a considered life, then that has to include having preferences and determining what is a sense rightness for ME and the gift of my life force, but it also feels like the same rightness that is best for the WHOLE, all things encompassing everything. There is selfishness and generosity at once conspiring for the self and for all living things.
This is why I believe that focusing is so powerful. The techniques being taught could easily save nations and push leaders to a sense of rightness. It could easily and instantly shift thinking to a present, focusing state as a means to bring awareness to any life situation. I have yet to discover a place where focusing does not apply. I hope I never do.