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Getting to know the elephant

February 18th, 2012 | Posted by Brian Pearson in Emotions | Focusing

In the last post the Elephant was a metophor used to describe our emotional side, or our feelings, that can motivate yet so easily overwhelm us. Focusing is an elegant way to befriend the elephant – to learn about it, and moreover, to use it for our benefit. This post was contributed by Focusing instructor, Joya D’Cruz. Here it is:

We are affected in small or big ways by every single experience we have.  We incorporate what we learn and transform constantly… most often unconsciously.  Sometimes we find ourselves in some form of discomfort or dissatisfaction. This could manifest in a physical or emotional way; it may affect our relationships or our work.  We are unable to access what we need to be happy or free. We may need to let go of a habit or an ineffective interactional pattern. We may long for help in a particular life situation or to ‘unblock’ a creative process. We may be suffering from the shadow of guilt, anger or grief. In all these instances, we just do not know HOW to do what we want to.

Focusing is a gentle and powerful way to listen to yourself, to access that ‘knowing’ and to find the inner resources to go where your life is leading you. Through the guidance of a Focusing trainer, you can engage with yourself and your issues and even realize the particular kind of help you need without merely following what the media, recent research, professionals, and loved ones suggest for you.  Practicing Focusing can feel like developing an emotional muscle, an inner sensor, or an intimate relationship with yourself.

When we adults maintain this connection to ourselves, we are better able to listen to our children’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, to what they say and to what they have no words for. Through simple suggestions and the use of language we can help them to develop their ability to know themselves better and to engage with their emotions through this inner body-sense in effective ways.  An organic change in behavior often arises when children learn to listen inwardly. In teaching children how to access their own resources, we not only give them the most reliable life tools, but we have an easier and more rewarding  experience as parents, educators and guides.

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