This 3-minute video clip is part of the Embodied Mindful Pause video. See transcript below the video.
I talked a little bit about embodied experience in using specific moments like anger, for instance. But, in a more general way, what is fascinating is: Think about holding the ball as embodied experience. Think that what is happening as you are holding the ball, squeezing it, moving it from hand to hand like this (gesture of holding and moving the ball), is actually processing experience.
There are some approaches, for instance Focusing, where clients are encouraged to stay with the murky side. Not immediately name things, but stay with the experience and explore it before putting it into the framework of neatly defined concepts and cogent experiences.
What’s happening is: You’re holding the ball and paying attention to sensation. You have all kinds of thoughts and experiences that you’re trying to make sense of, but you’re not fully into intellectual mode because you also have to accomplish the task of holding the ball and shifting it and squeezing. This helps you stay at a non-cognitive or pre-cognitive level of processing experience.
What’s happening there: In holding the ball works in the same way as a sculptor would shape clay. Think of what is happening there as, in some way, shaping clay that is going to eventually come into shape as insights, thoughts, ways of organizing experience. At that moment, this is what is happening. It’s not embodied experience like what we’re talking about before like: “Oh, this is anger”. It’s something that is more formless. It’s about staying with the formlessness. The process.
Now it’s difficult for most people to follow an instruction such as “Stay with the formlessness”. This is kind of not something we do in everyday life; it’s kind of anxiety provoking. So you don’t tell people: “Stay with the formlessness.” But actually holding this ball, and squeezing it, and shifting it, and paying attention to what happens in the hand, is a way to help you do exactly that: Staying with the formlessness, and making some space for something to come out of it.
* Please note that, at the time the video was made, I was referring to the Embodied Mindful Pause as Active Pause.