When I was a kid, my grandfather taught my sister and me how to paddle and steer our red canoe. He had just one condition: if we wanted to venture out of his sight, we had to capsize the canoe then figure out how to get it back to the dock.

His big worry was drowning, but I had my own reasons to avoid going overboard: I dreaded the horrible things I knew were lurking under the deep water, waiting to grab an ankle or bite off a toe.

Nevertheless, we did it: we capsized the canoe and plunged into the water. I felt panic rise as I hurried to get myself back into the boat before the demons of the deep could strike. The trip back was laborious as the waterlogged canoe didn’t steer well. We had to paddle slowly and I was cold and soggy.

But all of it felt manageable to me. I knew I’d be OK. Why?

Because my sister was there. 

Let’s face it: you can handle a capsized canoe or an overwhelming emotion by yourself if you have to. But the right kind of company makes it so much easier.

No wonder sensitive people love focusing with a partner. Solo focusing can be helpful, but like paddling a swamped canoe, it’s much easier with company. Here’s why:

12 reasons sensitive people love Focusing…and LOVE Focusing partnership:

  1. Focusing empowers you to feel comfortable with your emotions, even the most intense ones. Focusing in partnership makes it even easier.
  2. You don’t have to worry about overwhelming your companion. The structure of Focusing partnership protects against this.
  3. Focusing empowers you as a sensitive person by helping you accept, value, and act on your own needs.
  4. When you lose touch with your own feelings because you are trying to sense other people’s moods and needs, Focusing brings you back to your body.
  5. Focusing helps you make decisions.
  6. Focusing gives you all the tools you need to find the right “in/out” balance in your life.
  7. In Focusing partnership you can have deep connection AND maintain control over your level of stimulation, which is often a “missing experience” for sensitive people.
  8. Your Focusing partner will never tell you that you are “too serious” or “too intense.”
  9. Focusing gets you out of your head when you get trapped in your thoughts. But it respects your thoughts too and doesn’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
  10. Focusing is a creative playground for sensitive people…partnership even more so.
  11. When you Focus, you re-connect to the pull of your “true north” so you can live with depth, meaning, and authenticity.
  12. Focusing is an elegant and economical way to meet your needs for support and connection: once you’ve learned the skills, partnership is is free for life.

Paddle out of the bay, into the richness of the unknown

Once you learn to Focus, you can move from rough waters that threaten to flood your boat to a place of calm in which you can clearly sense your “right next step.” You can also sense inner ripples so subtle you might not have noticed them before: the “tug on your sleeve” of something quiet but important.

You are confident you can paddle back to home waters, whatever the waves or weather…and this liberates you to explore enticing new horizons, just as my sister and I did in our red canoe.

Focusing is fun and easy to learn in a class that allows you to add and practice skills over a period of weeks. And because you Focus with a different classmate each week, it is a great way to meet new Focusing partners. I still focus with a partner I met in my very first Focusing class eight years ago. Our partnership is a wonderful source of support for both of us.

Photo: Rodrigo Amorim, Creative Commons license: Sinking Boat