Pausefully: Focusing on what matters, moment by moment
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In this page's title, the word "focusing" is not used in its usual, everyday sense. It refers to a process of inner awareness that was originally identified, explored, and developed by Eugene Gendlin. Since then, a worldwide community of Focusers has been carrying this process forward.
As Eugene Gendlin was researching the process of psychotherapy, he noticed that the best predictor of a successful outcome was the client’s ability to stop in their tracks for an aha moment. He went on to study this natural process in order to make it possible for people to make more use of it, in therapy as well as in any other context. He came up with the name "Focusing" to describe the process that allows a felt sense to form and progressively come into focus, much as an image comes into focus when you adjust the lens of a Single Lens Reflex camera, or binoculars.
Now, take a moment to check what you remember about the paragraph that was right above the picture.
You probably remember something about people getting an aha moment. Also something that has to do with the sense of focusing a lens. But do you remember the bit about the client’s ability to stop in their tracks? What makes a difference is the client's ability to stop in their tracks, to pause, as opposed to continuing on automatic pilot. And that is what makes it possible to have the aha moment.
Of course, the pause is not the only thing. There are many ways to enhance this natural process. But nothing will happen if you don't pause.
More often than not, it's just a small pause. It feels like a natural part of the conversation, so you may not notice it, and others may not notice it. But it is the pause that breaks the flow of automatic pilot. The following is a 2-minute demo of what such a pause sounds like in real life.
If you see this text instead of the image of a sound player, click on the link below to play the file from your computer.
See also: Demystifying Mindfulness: Active Pause®
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