Two stories from a focusing partnership

The other evening my dear friend and Focusing partner Karin and I had a phone focusing session. We live two hours driving distance and we've been focusig partners for the last four years. ( And friends for 30 years now!)She started focusing and I listened/guided, for about 50 minutes. It was a deep and intense session from which many parts also touched me deeply somewhere inside.Then it was time to change roles.She had been the one that called me and this time she suggested to just stay on the line, since she had just gotten this "no charge" telephone line. Its one of those cheap lines we can use here in Holland- they only charge a starting cost per connection.Something in me said,"Well, I don't know, it seems my system needs a clear change, to really cut myself off for a little while and then start again with me focusing. It seems I'd stay too much attached to your story this way". "Well", she replied, "we can try to just put the phone aside for some minutes, stay on the line, and see how that works. That way you don't have to dial again"."OK, let's see".

So I put the phone aside and kept felt sensing. I noticed something quite big in me stayed connected with her. I kept being attached to her story, wondering about her. After about two minutes we picked the phone up, and I said,"This doesn't work for me. I want to break off the connection for now, take a few minutes and then dial again". So we did as we always do; the focuser dials and we have a couple of minutes break in between the sessions. One can write things down, blow a nose, find some more space or whatever, and then we change roles. I started my session by noticing and acknowledging how much better having done that felt for me. I needed to disconnect myself in the true and whole act of disconnecting the phone line in order to be able to start focusing from my inner world. I needed to take my body through ALL the actions that belong to that little phone ritual; my body, my system and my Self needed it. And I told her how I realized that this must be for people like me, very sensitive, SUCH a thing; being connected to others, to parents and peers, being connected so much of the time, from the day one is born. So much stuff of the other person will come into the system of an open and sensitive person. Knowing how to disconnect and to find one's own inner things, feelings, thoughts. It can be really hard at times. Especially as long as one doesn't know all of this.I very much experienced that that evening; it was a clear lesson in my need to close myself off from another person, disconnect in order to find my own stuff.

The other one

Last evening my friend Karin and I had one of our Partnership Focusing sessions. I started focusing and asked for 20 minutes and told her I felt quite grumpy. I felt I needed no questions, no comments, just listening,m-hmming- and no contradictions. I also told her that I realized I was mostly feeling grumpy, in my body, in my being. So she listened and I told her the many things that had happened that day in my life that made me feel grumpy; struggling with clients' insurance, kids not listening and asking for lots of attention, a husband coming home too tired alsmost to eat... rain all day... feeling the need to create work ( make a better flyer, doing more networking), yet not having the time, etc, etc, etc. Grumpiness is a feeling I usually allow silently inside myself, but won't express in words easily. Or I might snarl at my children. It was a good feeling giving words to it at that point. When she asked "Where do you feel this in your body"? I grumpily answered, "I already told you; all over, in and around, it's in my whole being, and I don't need this question"! We are VERY good friends..we both laughed and were OK with this.

Then she started focusing, after a break. In about five seconds, we acknowledged our doubt, whether I would make a good listener and whether Karin could have her focusing process with me being this way; it was obvious the feeling of grumpiness had not left... yet... After the acknowledgement, she just started her session. And my system made this shift in those same five seconds... really listening, being there for her while she went into a deep process, holding a space for her. It was a process on a deep level, with many vulnerable and new parts, unseen before. I just followed and occasionally guided her, yet was WITH her. She focused for about 45 minutes and when she was done, there was no grumpiness left in me. She thanked me for this wonderful session. Yet I felt I wanted to hank HER; being with her and her way of being with these vulnerable parts brought a shift for me, a shift that felt much better than the way I had ended my session. She had been mostly in Presence, with a soft, accepting, open being with quality. And now so was I! Somehow listening to the listening energy of another person can be contagious.And I had the energy again to do what I had only felt and knew I had to do, to face all those obstacles on my way. Thanks to focusing and a wonderful partnership