Isn’t it wonderful when someone gives you a perfect present – and one that you didn’t know existed?

My daughter knows I like books, and she knows I like words, and the book she gave me recently is perfect. For a start, it has a beautiful cover – in blue, turquoise and gold, the paper is smooth and a creamy white, and it’s a good size to fit in my handbag . It’s called “The Greeks had a Word for it” by Andrew Taylor and it’s full of words that “you never knew you can’t do without”.

This is a book to savour – no rushing through. Andrew Taylor enjoys these words, and enjoys giving us the background as well as the definition – and some evocation of how the word is used in its national context.

There’s one word which links well with Focusing. It is dadirri, a word from Australia’s Northern Territory Ngangikurungkurr language meaning “contemplation of one’s place in the world involving wonder and humility”.

“Dadirri is a “single word that draws together much of [people’s] affinity with the natural world. It is generally translated into English as ‘contemplation’, but it has a much richer and more spiritual meaning than that. Another translation is ‘deep listening’, which catches more of the sense of quiet, stillness and attention than the word suggests”. Dadirri “focuses attention on both the vastness of the external world of time and space, and on the inner thoughts and emotions of the individual as a part of that greater whole… How much better to be aware of oneself not just in the present moment but in the context of hundreds or thousands of years of history. Several Aboriginal writers and thinkers have suggested that dadirri could be the gift of their peoples to modern Australia – an idea and a word whose time has come”.

New Year’s Resolutions

Going forward

Have you made New Year’s Resolutions?

Have you avoided making New Year’s resolutions?

At this time of year there is a lot of talk of resolutions, what we should and shouldn’t be doing, and whether we will be keep to them. It’s hard to keep to them, isn’t it? When we resolve to improve our fitness, lose weight, stop smoking, learn a language, or get a new job, we really do mean it. However, often a few weeks or a month into the year we find it’s been difficult, so difficult that we not keep to the diet or exercise regime, or give up the language class. We may even avoid talking about our resolutions again.

And then when we seek advice, often we’re told ‘You ought to do it this way’, or ‘You should be doing that’.

What if we were to think differently? What if, instead, we were to say to ourselves something like:

    • I would like to enjoy communicating with people from different cultures
    • I would like to feel comfortable in my body
    • I would like to feel free from habits that don’t serve me well
    • I would like to feel valued for the work I do

How does this sound now? Does it sound a bit more achievable?

And how could we approach this in a Focusing way?

We can start by spending some time settling into how we are feeling right now – noticing our surroundings, and how our bodies inhabit the space we’re in. (I will soon include an audio file to help you with this – look out for it in the Free Resources section).

And I invite us all to be kind to those parts of us that seem to think we are not good enough, and that we ‘need’ to change, and notice how that feels to us in this moment. Let’s spend some time with this and notice what it’s telling us about the whole thing around ‘resolutions’.

Then we can notice how the intention feels for us – how would it feel right now to be free of smoking (for example)? We can stay with the feeling, and be curious about it. We might find that we know more about this issue than we thought we did. Sometimes words, metaphors or images help us sense more deeply – about what we really want, or don’t want.

And often with that, we can sense a forward step, something that feels right and that we may not have been aware of before. That step may include seeking advice from someone else – this time, though, we would be more certain if it is a right step for us. Or it may be something else entirely. With Focusing we know we can trust this feeling, as it feels true and authentic for ourselves.

Approaching New Year’s Intentions in this way has made me feel much more positive, and more likely to explore my intentions in ways that suit me better, rather than methods suggested or prescribed by others, however well meaning.

Have you used Focusing to explore your New Year’s resolutions? I’d love to hear from you if you have.

Do you have a questions about Focusing? Please contact me using this link.