A conversation: The Focusing Skills Course Level 1-5 in 2021

with Jennifer Jourdan, student in my 2021 Focusing course


Can you tell me what value Focusing brings to you?

This Focusing course has given me fresh eyes.
I’m seeing a prism, it has added another dimension to the relationship with myself and everyone else, and it has somehow changed how I move in this world. I feel more alive, authentic, life-filled, vibrant.

For example, when I have a fight with someone, there’s a new natural way for me to be with it instead of always avoiding it. We have – I have – so many defense mechanisms of how I am with life and if I unconsciously apply these mechanisms to every situation, that really shields me from deeply being with life. Now I can be with all the things that I have suppressed, that I was embarrassed by or ashamed about. Somehow I’m keeping that company within myself, and when being in the course I receive this kind of company from others who have a similar orientation. That’s where the real everyday magical place happens.

The powerful part of Focusing for me is that it allows me to uncover the wisdom that’s already in me and all around me, it helps me to see it. This makes me feel more connected to myself and everything that surrounds me. It’s like, I learn to really trust myself, being an active participant. Hmmmm, but strangely, there’s nothing to do, it’s more like an active “BE-er”.

To summarize, it connects me to the essence that we all yearn for, to live a fully expressive life, in touch with all of my emotions, to engage more deeply with who I really am, with all the facets. And the funny thing is, it has all been here already, Focusing has just been a way that opened that up.

How do you experience this course specifically?

I like how you are approaching what you teach in many different ways, you offer different frameworks, with very clear steps and a lot of experiential learning. Even though it’s a zoom online course, I feel you have the gift of offering it as an embodied feeling. It’s a feeling that something different is happening in the interaction during the course with you compared to how it is with a lot of other people, there’s a genuineness, a curiousness, a clarity.

And I like the way that you have organized it, it is a good amount of information and definitions, and there is some philosophy, but not too cerebral. It’s in balance with a lot of open experiential learning.
There’s always more to learn and yet at the same time one kind of knows it already, the course just gives you the vocabulary and the foundation.

You offer authenticity and a lot of compassion, very much open to what the moment brings, and whatever feels uncomfortable it’s just an invitation to go deeper within. Getting to Focus with you, it’s like: “Wow, what just happened?” this depth is rarely accessible in everyday life.

Besides the course and partner practice, I can incorporate it into my everyday life and practice as much as I want with myself. However, I have to say when things get really hard, I’m challenged to be in that Focusing space, but I still know it’s there, and I’m orienting toward it, I’m working toward it.

Can you name one specific thing that you learned?

I really needed to learn to be in my body. This course is helping me to remember to drop into my body. And also it’s just this experience of being deeply listened to. I do not know in how many spaces I have ever experienced that, and it’s even learning the deep listening to myself.
There is an incredible exchange that happens that I have been starving for, and this course has offered that. To be seen, to be understood, to be listened to. This is a really interesting interconnectedness, it is just mind-blowing.

Are there any specific changes in your life from being in this course?

My life isn’t any different from before the course but at the same time, it feels so different. At times, it’s just “wow”. Nothing tangible is different, but there is somehow a new way of inquiry within and without, and this inquiry feels more alive. For example, I am noticing at this very moment, I am questioning “How I would normally have answered these questions?”
Right now, I’m really looking at all the parts in me, it is a different way of engaging somehow, it is really respecting myself. I am waiting for things to arise, they do not show themselves in brief and concise ways, and that’s not only accepted but is also valued. And also, there is a voice in me saying that I am being unclear, but I am just having that voice, noticing it, without letting it take over nor asking it to shut up. Kind of just saying hello to it.

It feels really amazing to pinpoint how this course changed my life, it sounds like a cliché, but everything shifted and opened up. It feels like Focusing naturally fits for me, with who I am, with all my experiences and stuff. I could keep talking…

Thank you (-: