Core Skill: Intuitive Focusing

What is intuitive focusing and how you can use it to solve problems, understand feelings, get past creative blocks or overcome stress or anxiety.

Here are Gendlin’s six steps for use of this inner, meditation-like problem-solving process in a self-help way:

  1. Clearing a Space: Setting aside the jumble of thoughts, opinions, and analysis we all carry in our minds, and making a clear, quiet space inside where something new can come. You can take an “inventory” of all the issues you are carrying inside, setting each aside for later attention, or you can find the way inside through relaxation exercises.
  2. Getting a Felt Sense: Asking an open-ended question like “What is the feel of this whole thing (issue, situation, problem, intuition)?” and, instead of answering with one’s already-known analysis, waiting silently as long as a minute for the subtle, intuitive, “bodily feel” of “the whole thing” to form.
  3. Finding a Handle: carefully looking for some words or an image that begin to capture the “feel of the whole thing,” the Felt Sense, The Creative Edge: “It’s ‘jumpy;’” “It’s scared;” “It’s like the dew of a Spring morning;” “It’s like macaroni and cheese – comforting,” “It’s like jet propulsion! Something new that needs to spring forth!”
  4. Resonating and Checking: taking the Handle words or image and holding them against the Felt Sense, asking “Is this right? Is it ‘jumpy’?”, etc. Finding new words or images if needed until there is a sense of “fit” – “Yes, that’s it. ‘Jumpy.’”
  5. Askingasking open-ended questions like “And what is so hard about that?” or “And why does that have me stuck?” or “What was so beautiful about that moment?” or “And how does this apply to everything else?” and, again, instead of answering with already-known analysis, waiting silently for the whole-body-sense, the Felt Sense, to arise.