From Fear to Self-Authoring

Bridging Between Bodywork and Focusing Part II:
From Fear to Self-Authoring
Taught by Anastasia Brencick & Jack Blackburn
Saturday Sunday January 23-24 (9am-6pm) $280

Click here to register

Hi there! We want to welcome you to take one of our Focusing and Bodywork Bridging classes/series if:

  • You feel something more is wanting to emerge in your practice with clients that includes realms of emotional content and/or spiritual growth using touch and non-touch approaches, but you don’t know what that would look like
  • You want to find a language to support and encourage the integration of mind/body/spirit and the client’s own inner process in a natural, non-formulaic way
  • You know bodywork and verbal interaction have so much more to offer; something fresh and not yet done before, and you have a sense of how you might be a part of it. Anastasia and Jack

From Jack: Dear Ones, Since last August Anastasia and I have been exploring the different connections between professional touch and Focusing. We both taught at the international Focusing Conference in Seattle last summer. We wanted to create a forum where non-touch therapists and bodyworkers could exchange processes together to see how much both groups could learn from each other. Both Anastasia and I have been teaching elements of Focusing to bodyworkers to help them with verbal interaction with their clients. Over the past ten years or so non-touch therapists have been exploring somatics and proprioceptive interactions with their clients along with such body sensing techniques as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). At the same time bodyworkers have been exploring connections between conscious awareness, proprioception, somatic or sensory awareness and fascial connective tissue as a profound communication system distributed throughout the whole body. These explorations by both groups are moving us towards a final mind-body solution in which we can realistically posit a direct connection between thoughts, actions, emotional states and bodily health.


A thought passes….

As bodyworkers we are now aware of various signs and symptoms of what we might call fear in the body. We can feel the direct inhibitory effects of fearful states in the body and mind as a direct experience of our clients’ and our own growing edges. So part of this second class in our series is first to explore the effects of fear in our own bodies; where is the fear; what does it feel like; how is fear related to pain and discomfort; what are the patterns of interaction in other parts of the body; and what other thoughts and memories are generated in the mind? We will then discuss what bodyNOWpresencing is so that we can use it in those fear-imbued body parts and notice the effects of presencing on pain and fear. We will practice on ourselves, with partners, and have a discussion about fear in general: what are the effects of chronic fear in our bodies; what fears have been passed down through our own family lines; what parts of our lives have been inhibited by fear; What would we do differently if we were not living fearfully; Do we sense that we have much more fulfilling life to live; Are our fears realistic or are they products of the fact that we humans are the only species that live in fear of one another; Are our fears of one another intrinsic or are they extrinsic; What role can bodyworkers and Focusers play in relieving ourselves and our clients of fears?

unnamedJoseph Campbell: “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”
ACIM Quote: “I am responsible for what I see.
I choose the feelings I experience, and I decide upon the goals I would achieve.
And everything that seems to happen to me
I ask for, and receive as I have asked.”
If we are creating our own experiences – What are the implications? What does it feel like to be meaningfully alive?

Considering the above quotations as true means that when we realize that we have a role in creating the life we are experiencing, we can then choose to play that role actively or passively. Does life happen to me? Does life happen through me? We can then learn the ways to play that role, starting by assuming responsibility forour own thoughts, and their effects.. What do we mean by responsibility?


Using Focusing during a bodywork session: The Dialogue of Touch

In this part of the class we will measure our experience when we use the steps of Focusing and bodyNOWpresencing to go deeply into our conditions of pain and fear both individually and with partners. If we discover that we really can transform fears into useful and non-stressful actions then perhaps we can consider authoring our lives differently. Certainly it is worth a try to apprise our fears and our actions more knowingly; testing the bases of our fears. As we spend more time using our body sensory systems to train ourselves to dwell in presence, we become more open to the following effects of presencing: In presence we notice the difference between our fearfully conditioned thought patterns, where we search our memory banks for causes of our fearful state, and using these conditioned thoughts to assess our present situation. Instead we have the option to focus on a process that unfoldsas we use the tool of bodyNOWpresencing in order to enter a state in which the eternal now opens us up to all possibilities. As we IN-form ourselves with the effects of now-processing we are freeing our minds and bodies from the fearful conditioning of the past, which we explored earlier in the class. We are also opening ourselves to a non-reactive state of being in which we are free to choose our directions free from inner or outer coercion.

How can we develop self-authoring? Basic practices:

  • Authoring my day using Focusing and/or presencing
  • Co-creating with deep Self, practicing and learning throughout day
  • Learning to invite Inner Being to help/teach me my specific role in creation
  • Reviewing my day and giving thanks
  • Participating in making life better
  • Pausing for meaning
  • Participating in Presence – gifts and signs of presence
  • Active inner life – watching/feeling my reactions and sensations throughout the day

Healing work – As I learn self-authoring I pass it on. With these new-found possibilities we can start to become aware of the following effects of bodyNOWpresencing in our lives: We start to become aware of the signs and gifts of presencing. We also become much more aware of our ego-based feelings of guilt, shame, blame, and competition that attend our machinations. On the other hand we are more and more attentive to inner guidance that produces states of peacefulness, clarity, a sense of destiny and mission, to become co-creative with all of life and especially in reversing our human fear of one another and our distrust of life.


Here is a quote: from Thích Nhất Hạnh echoing he Buddha’s teachings in his book No Death, No Fear,

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only doors through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”

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