1. The What’s Wrong Attention
In this video I discuss our tendency to focus on what’s wrong, why we are oriented that way, and I will give you a brief exercise to help a client get out of it during a session: the ‘Veggie Sandwich,’ a concept we teach in the HEARTraining®. It is a useful practice for all of us.
This short video is the first of a teaching series of three. Each video contains a short teaching and an exercise you can do with your clients. Start with “The What’s Wrong Attention,” then “Orientation & Stabilization,” and finally “Organismic Microclimates.”
In this video I discuss our tendency to focus on what’s wrong, why we are oriented that way, and I will give you a brief exercise to help a client get out of it during a session: the “Veggie Sandwich,” a concept we teach in the HEARTraining®. It is a useful practice for all of us.
The organization that comes from nervous system processes is built on some initial conditions. We’ll discuss two of those initial conditions here. The first one is orientation. Orientation is getting your attention into the external environment. That really takes some practice. The second one is the access to positive feelings or a more positive sensation. These feelings are what we call “Blue” within the context of OI, and in terms of the polarities of Red & Blue.
The initial conditions for getting system stabilization are in turn necessary because of what we call the “What’s Wrong Attention.” Our systems get disorganized through contact with civilization, and trauma, early developmental disturbance, etc. As a consequence the attention will be more involved with what is wrong. That is partly caused by a brain stem function of the amygdala’s over-activation. It begins to direct the attention towards what is wrong, or towards what is too intense, or conversely trying to get away from what is too intense and trying to keep things settled.
We are having to compensate in some ways for this “What’s Wrong Attention.” Orientation and what we call the Stabilizing Blue, stabilize the attention. Adherence to positive affect is a really important initial condition.
I want to encourage you to continue to work in that direction: start with orientation, and practice to come back to your senses, getting the attention into your seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and the tactile sense — touch. It is really important for you to hone these skills and to bring your attention to the senses. And then, to practice bringing the attention to sensation, only through positive feeling at first. Practically what that will look like in an exercise is as follows: get the attention into the world, the outside world, and see where positive feeling inside arises. Try to find this positive feeling in sensation, and then come back into the world again.
In the HEARTraining® we call that the “Veggie Sandwich:” we are going outside, then inside positive, and then back outside again. Practicing that process is key. Try that as often as possible.
This video is part of the OI Expert Master Class Program. I’m making it public to give you an idea of the teaching format we apply. Develop clinical excellence by mastering the art of Organic Intelligence®. OI Expert is open to all Somatic Experiencing® Practitioners, Sensorimotor, Hakomi, and HEARTraining® graduates. Learn more about OI Expert >