Welcome to our website! What you will find here is just the beginning to your journey of making “noticing and nurturing” a daily habit in your life. The information and exercises included in this website are intended as just a preliminary introduction to BioSpiritual Focusing and as an encouragement for you to continue your study and practice of BioSpiritual Focusing in the future.
This site is constructed as an interactive resource that offers three different pathways to your learning about BioSpiritual Focusing. The first pathway, Discovering, is a basic introduction to BioSpiritual Focusing in general. By clicking the blue Discovering button at the bottom of this page, you will be led through a sequence of website pages that will walk you through the BioSpiritual philosophy and steps. Since BioSpiritual Focusing is fundamentally experiential, there will be pages in the sequence dedicated to exercises that you can try out in order to enhance your understanding of the BioSpiritual flow. When you complete your work on a webpage, there will be another blue Discovering link at the bottom of the page that will take you to the next webpage in sequence.
Clicking on the gold Companioning button will take you to the Companioning section of the website. This part of the website is intended as an introduction to the art of Companioning another person in the focusing process. This track will outline the rationale and some of the dynamics of being with a Focuser in a way that is helpful and supportive.
Since this website is only an introduction to BioSpiritual Focusing, it is our hope that you will be motivated to pursue your learning about it. To that end, clicking on the blue Learning button will take you to the Programs section of this website where you will find course descriptions and information about our network centers and the programs they offer.
This website is only the beginning of your journey. The information, exercises and other content within this website are not presented nor should they be interpreted as an alternative to professional psychological or therapeutic care.
2. A New Way of Relating to Yourself
The inward journey you are about to embark upon will draw you forward into a largely unexplored world of hidden links and felt body connections. The opportunity for self-discovery is enormous, but the journey will make certain demands upon you. Chief among these is learning a whole new way of relating to yourself.
The stone carved image on the left comes from Zimbabwe, Africa. The sculptor, named Gift Muza, grew up in a culture not alienated from the “intelligence” of the body.
He described this figure as a person listening to the intelligence (Daba) of the stomach as it tries to speak to the intelligence (Daba) of the head. “Daba-to-Daba,” he called it.
You can see this process well represented by the lowered eyes quietly tuned into the body, as one arm and hand let the Daba of the stomach know that it is being listened to. At the same time, the other arm and hand seem to unite the body with the head’s knowing in a bold and graphic way.
The sculptor went on to say that the Shona people know when they are out of touch with themselves because they can feel it in their bodies. They then take time to notice and nurture what the intelligence of their body, expressed in their feelings, is trying to tell the intelligence of their mind. Their way of putting it is to spend some quiet time in Daba-to-Daba listening, allowing the Daba of the body to tell the Daba of the head whatever it needs to know.
Whenever some word, image, or memory connects with the body’s Daba, and they feel an easing or “shift” come inside, then the body’s Daba can speak to the Daba of the head. New meanings emerge, together with greater clarity about what course of action or behavior is appropriate. You will learn more about this as you proceed through the exercises on this site.
The sculptor’s image speaks of a “caring presence” that respects both the mind’s clear thinking and the body’s more connected way of knowing. The sculpture models for us how we must learn to relate to ourselves.
This is not an image of war and tension between mind and body, but one of cooperating and mutual working together. It expresses an empathic sense for connecting, linking, listening in to the whole of ourselves. Daba-to-Daba represents an underlying theme running throughout the pages you are beginning to explore.
Next to many of the interactive exercises presented on this site, you will find a small Daba-to-Daba image. It is a quiet reminder, placed next to texts where you are instructed to grow quiet, go inside, and be with whatever the exercise leads you to sense inside yourself.
3. Learning Together
WE ENCOURAGE friends, spouses, partners, families, and other communities or groups to consider learning from the website together, sharing their experiences and companioning one another on this inward journey. For example:
- Engaged couples might want to explore this site with one another. It’s a way to get to know each other better and to find areas where you can be a mutual, positive support for one another. If you plan to spend your lives together, then you’ll want to learn something about how to keep growing together.
- We also encourage parents, teachers, and child caregivers to find creative ways for sharing this interactive experience with their children. As the site grows, we will include more resources for families. Our goal is to help parents, children, and teens to find better ways to communicate with one another, and most of all to communicate with themselves.
- We hope this site will grow to become a support for good friends who value their relationship and are open to find further ways of supporting one another on their personal and spiritual journeys.
- Finally, we encourage counselors, retreat guides, therapists and their clients to look upon this site as one more possible resource to be shared with one another. Often, experiences discovered during a quiet time going through the exercises on this site may be carried further forward in a counseling session. If considered appropriate, exercises on this site may be a fruitful additional support for the times when client and counselor are together.
4. Some Helpful Homework!
IF YOU ARE UNACCUSTOMED to being with your feelings, allow time while going through this website just to “notice” that you have feelings, and where you carry them in your body. Also, take time to notice if they feel like they have a hidden story in them. Instead of rushing on to the next exercise, try to carry the body sense of what you’re learning about yourself throughout each day.
Give yourself a week or so to savor each of the various stages in this learning experience. They will tell you something more and, perhaps, even new about what is going on inside you. Allow time to sense the body-feel of further possibilities, directions, unexplored paths, and unopened doors that may gradually unfold. Make room for this kind of day-to-day “living homework” as you work your way through the material on this site.
5. Growing in your own Faith Tradition
Throughout this website, we plan to share insights, information and links that have formed over the years for us – links that connect our own experience of the daily “habit of noticing and nurturing important feelings” with our own growing Christian faith.
We do not present this content as the teaching of any particular Christian denomination, nor to proselytize, because such links are gifts that flesh out each person’s unique life-call and story. By their very nature, gifts of this kind are not meant to be imposed upon anyone or by any faith tradition.
Rather, we share such experiences and learnings for whatever value they may have to inspire you to be faithful to your own gift of faith, whether it be Christian or not, so this may blossom and enrich life around you, especially within the children in your life.