Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit
Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)
Presence / Mindfulness 4
Mindfulness of Not Being PresentBeing "Tuned Out" or Dissociated
Adapted by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
Keeping our attention on the natural process of breathing, without trying to change it, control it, make it into a goal or an agenda in any way, allows it to simply be what it is. Simply allow, permit and yield to an awareness of your body, specifically how you may NOT be present at this moment, and letting that be all right for right now.
Inattention, when repeated, becomes another habit, something automatic and unconscious. It is just at these times that its emotional charge and subtext gets played out with screaming, sarcasm and emotional reactivity. This "acting out" only alerts us of a hidden emotional "subtext" behind it all. Since everything is purposeful, so is this. Rather curious, something worth exploring. . .
Begin to notice what not being present, being "tuned out' or dissociated is like in your body in this moment. Notice how it feels in your head neck chest arms. . . torso solar plexus hips thighs legs feet. Notice how it feels in your skin, your gut and your heart. Without judging, evaluating or comparing, just notice all of this.
All is purposeful in every moment, including this one, oftentimes bringing something quite valuable to our attention the moment we can be present to it. You can allow yourself to be like a detective-kind of like a Sergeant Friday in the TV program or movie Dragnet-that would say, "Just the facts" when faced with upsetting feelings and situations. Place your awareness into an observing mode, like you are witnessing it all with great kindness and honesty. Just stand back and take a long look at which ego state, self state and feeling state within your personality is not present Just notice. . . Without making anything or any part of you wrong, open yourself to compassionately understand.
You can even inquire and gently ask, "What is difficult in staying present right now?" Then listen. The response will inform you of everything. There may well be much to hear. Being present to what part of you that is seemingly unable or unwilling to be present is most revealing, and an opening for wholeness and healing. See what is necessary to again return to the present here and now. You can do that now if you wish.
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
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