"I can't seem to get my body to tell me what those feelings are about."
I have a question regarding Focusing. I am new to Focusing and I am able to get feelings, but when I Focus on them, nothing comes up.
What typically happens is, I can be doing other things, and all of a sudden I will feel very sad and/or an intense feeling of heat in my head area. I then sit down and following your other tips, say "Hello" to the feeling. That does make me feel better. But I can't seem to get my body to tell me what those feelings are about (like fear or death of my husband).
When I set down to focus without those feelings present, I usually get a "something" in my heart area but nothing comes from that place to tell me what the actual issue is for me to work on.
Let's appreciate how far you have gotten! You can feel a sad feeling in your body, or "something" in the heart area. So far so good!
The thing is -- as you have discovered -- it usually doesn't work to go directly from the body feeling to asking what it is about. It's quite typical to not be able to get "what it's about" just from the body feeling.
So what do experienced Focusers do? Well, they go through a series of little steps that serve to open up the contact and connection with that inner body sense, so that it reveals what it came to reveal. Baby steps... that seem so small!... increase the inner sense of safety and connection so that the process can open up.
So first -- very important -- is the step of describing. Does it feel sad? OK, so where in your body does it feel sad... the heart? So now stay with the heart, and offer the word "sad." Take some time to sense if the word "sad" is a good description for how it feels there right now. Usually you will sense more... another feeling, or what kind of "sad" it is. "Sad like a wounded animal," for example.
When you sense whether the description fits -- this is sometimes called resonating -- you are in closer contact with the felt sense. You are settling down to get to know it.
Taking baby steps lets you stay connected without pushing.
Next, bring some empathy to that place. If you don't yet sense an emotion, now you might sense what emotion or mood it is feeling. Scared? Worried?
If you already sense its emotion -- let's say "sad" -- then stay with it and sense "what gets it so sad." You might try saying "It is sad for some good reason," and then sense what comes next.
If we try to get it to communicate, it will probably not. But if we sit quietly beside it, interested and curious, we will begin to sense more. IT is already communicating. It has come, and it IS communicating. It just has a different language, the language of feeling and expression.
Do you know how you can tell how a dog is feeling? Dogs don't have to talk; we can see their feelings in their faces and bodies. The same is true of this feeling inside you. It has come for a good reason, it is about something.
But whatever you do, describe first. Describing is what puts you in enough contact with something that you can sense there is more. It's in the "more" that the treasure lies.
(And if you're still not sure, do have a free session with one of our advanced students!)