Focusing in Ireland

“How are you experiencing the world right now?”

This was a question that Tom Larkin posed at one of three workshops held in Glasnevin in March as part of the IFN’s first 2023 meet-up. (The first workshop was given by Elaine Goggin and the second by Therese Ryan).

How we experience the world is usually of great interest to us all. Are we happy? Are we suffering? And if we are suffering, it’s easy to spend many hours ruminating over how to stop the pain, or ‘fix’ our lives. But, as part of a guided exercise, Tom invited us to get a feel for this whole question, which brings more than simply thinking.

Tom then invited us to draw from this ‘felt sense’, after placing crayons and paper in the centre of the room. I sensed inwardly, chose some crayons, and let the colours flow. First, came sunny yellow, then carnation pink, and then, to my surprise, thick, dark strokes of black dug deep into the page. Strong, visceral feelings flowed and I enjoyed how powerful they felt in my body. After five years of Focusing, many doors inside that have been tightly-shut are opening. My partner reflected my observations beautifully, and I resolved to buy crayons on the way home.

I haven’t used them since, because of course, it’s not the same on your own. There’s something special about devoting a day to a lovely place - and how lovely the centre in Glasnevin is - and to being with other ‘bodies’ in a room.

For what is Focusing without community? It is not the same. And whilst my deepest experiences have been on my couch, through Zoom, with many partners, I also know that sitting in the same room as others who ‘get’ this Focusing thing, whilst munching biscuits and drinking tea, is something necessary for me. I love hearing others’ take on Focusing - What drew them to it? Who have they studied with? What other practices do they like? I love talking about Focusing and often, the best way is with people in a room.

Thanks so much to the hard-working IFN committee for creating community, and for hosting workshops that stimulate, inform and bring us inside… together.

March Gathering Dublin23 2

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