Sensing What is Present & the Stuck Exercise

Image by  @brianandreas

Image by @brianandreas

How do we get to what we don’t know we don’t know? One way to peek into that vast realm is the Stuck Exercise. As Arawana Hayashi, creator of Social Presencing Theater, says, “Everybody has a stuck.”

Everybody can pick a “stuck” in their life, a place where things are not moving forward, and use it to explore the body-based awareness practice we are bringing to this month’s Listening Lab. The Stuck Exercise takes us away from our thinking process about an experience and into our “body-knowing” – the wisdom of the felt experience.

The practice comes from the field of Social Presencing Theater, a methodology of the Presencing Institute. If we suspend judgment and open up our minds and hearts by slowing down our mental chatter and go into stillness, if only for the blink of an eye, we can redirect our attention to the direct perception our body is offering us of the experience we are having.

The felt experience contains so much meaning, understanding, and direct knowing, but we so often don’t pay attention to it. We are trained by modern life to immediately dampen it with our thoughts and the mental reactions that assign a head-based meaning to it. But we can rediscover this “space of awareness” in just a few moments of practicing how to pay attention differently.

When we use our bodies to explore our “stuck” experience, we receive intimate and profound information about the situation. Through listening to the way our body is aware of it and lives through it, we often realize the body, amazingly, has insights and suggestions to offer us about ways to get unstuck.

This experience can make us better at listening. The “space of awareness” we access while focusing on the “stuck” and “unstuck” teaches us about ways to suspend judgment, pause for a short moment, and open up a door to what is present. On the other side of the door is something different trying to touch us. Even microscopic amounts of this change us, little by little, into deeper listeners.

You’re invited to join us for a Listening Lab on February 20, 2019 where we’ll explore this exercise. Practicing it at the same time as others, and as part of a simultaneous exploration of this quite magical world of our bodies’ wisdom, adds an incredible depth to the experience.

You can also watch videos about the exercise by the Presencing Institute.