Contact Us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right. 

           

123 Street Avenue, City Town, 99999

(123) 555-6789

email@address.com

 

You can set your address, phone number, email and site description in the settings tab.
Link to read me page with more information.

Articles

What is Soul Focusing?

gina cenciose

Soul Focusing is a synthesis of the different areas of study and practice that Gina Cenciose has been on for many years. This includes:

Concepts from Inner Relationship Focusing/wholebody Focusing

Nonviolent Communication

Nature and Soul reconnection work

Shamanistic practices/ceremony/

Trauma Release work and Psychotherapy/Energy healing/Spirituality in many forms

 

 

 

Our minds possess astonishing resources, untapped potentials and depths that we might not

even know exist until we discover how to access them, cultivate their powers, and eventually

integrate them into our everyday lives.  Soul Focusing is an amazing process that opens up our

psyche and helps us in three ways:

 

1. Deep emotional integration and healing of our core childhood wounds and trauma

and to our many selves that need our attention (subpersonalites or parts)

 

2. To help connect us to our being (Inner Presence) and bring that forward into the world

 

3. To help re establish our connection to our own soul, and live from our integrity

wholeness and truth.

 

Rather than attempt to eliminate our partial selves or sub-personalities (which is not

possible) or to repress them into submission, we will practice being present with all that is

arising, learning to follow the golden thread of awareness, to deep and deeper truths, inside

of ourselves, that will change the way we hold, see and relate to all other beings, day by day.

 

We will put our attention on:

 

• Partial selves (or subpersonalities) that supported you in childhood and adolescence

to adapt to the challenges of family and social life, but ultimately became barriers to your full and authentic humanity (more about parts below)

 

•  learning and integrating practices and guidelines for cultivating relationships between the Self and yourparts (or subpersonalities), enabling you to heal your subpersonalities, discover their gifts, and

foster Self-actualization

 

• how the radical transformation of personal identity happens naturally and organically, with the right helpers, and then flows into our full embodiment, living as a conscious and contributing person in this world.

 

 

We’ll explore the landscape of the psyche through an in depth study of Inner Relationship

Focusing in solo exercises, and with partners, in circles and in nature. We also use song and

movement, and deep sharing in these retreats. Using the framework of Nonviolent

Communication premises and radical way of bringing presence into the world, we will delve

into relationships and their deep meaning, using everything to return to the wholeness of life,

and how needs are compasses to aid us in returning to truth within.

 

What are subpersonalites or parts?

 

 (This is written by Jay Earley, PhD)

 

 The concept of parts in many therapeutic models corresponds to ideas from other forms of psychotherapy—for example, defenses, psychic forces, self-images, introjects, and schemas. However, these concepts are normally seen as just mechanical or biological descriptions of how the psyche operates. Parts (or subpersonalities) may operate in similar ways, but they are alive and personal. They do what they do for reasons of their own, and they have relationships with you and with each other. For example, suppose you are using the defense of repression, which makes a certain memory unconscious. We recognizes that a protective part is purposely excluding that memory from your awareness for a reason. Perhaps it is afraid that the memory would cause you to be overwhelmed by pain.

 

Parts are entities of their own, with their own feelings, beliefs, motivations, and memories. It is especially important to understand that parts have motivations for everything they do. Nothing is just done out of habit. Nothing is just a pattern of thinking or behavior you learned. Everything (except for purely physiological reactions) is done by a part for a reason, even though that reason may be unconscious. For example, if you get distracted at a certain point while exploring yourself in therapy, this is probably not an accident. A part wants to distract you because it is seeking to avoid something.

 

Understanding the psyche in this way gives you a great deal of power to help your clients change their inner worlds for the better. Since parts are like little people inside us, we can make contact with them, get to know them, negotiate with them, encourage them to trust us, help them communicate with each other, and give them what they need to heal. This gives you an enormously increased capacity for understanding and transforming your client’s psyche—for achieving wholeness.

 

You may treat the idea of subpersonalities as simply a useful metaphor for viewing the psyche, which it is. But it is much more than that. If you treat the components of the psyche as real entities that you can interact with, they will respond to you in that way, which gives you tremendous power for transformation.

 

 

 DEFINITION OF SOUL & SPIRIT

 

I am not a writer by any means, so I have borrowed one of my favorite author’s definitions here (From his book “Soulcraft” by Bill Plotkin)

 

 

What is SOUL?

The vital, mysterious, and wild core of our individual selves, an essence unique to each person, qualities found in layers of the self much deeper than our personalities. The concept of soul embraces the essence of our particular individuality. This individuality reflects our unique and deepest personal characteristics, the core and enduring qualities that define our personhood, the true self, the “real me”.

Soul is what is most wild and natural within us.

Our human souls are embodied (i.e. made visible in the world) through our core powers, our deepest and most enduring powers, those central to our character and necessary to manifest our soul-level uniqueness. Our core powers can be divided into our most central values, abilities, and knowledge. Our core values are the ideals for which we would be willing to die, and for which we in fact live. Our core abilities are the natural talents or gifts indispensable for performing our soul work; these abilities are developed effortlessly or are capable of being honed to exceptional levels.

 

What is SPIRIT or BEING?

The single, great, and eternal mystery that permeates and animates everything in the universe and yet transcends all.  In contrast to soul, the concept of spirit points to what all people, all things, have in common, our shared membership in a single cosmos, each of us a facet of the ONE BEING that contains all. Sprit both transcends all things and is immanent in all things. Spirit, in other words, can be thought of as something majestic “out there”, something removed from ordinary life; but spirit is simultaneously that which infuses all and everything- the land, the air, the animals, all peoples, our human creations, our own bodies and selves.

 

 

Ultimately, each soul exists as an agent for spirit. Soul embraces and calls us toward what is most unique in us. Spirit encompasses and draws us toward what is most universal and shared.

 

COMING BACK TO LIFE

gina cenciose

The paradigm we’re currently living in makes assumptions that most of us consciously and unconsciously live from.  Some of these are beliefs in scarcity and lack, that someone needs to lose for us to win, that we have to use coercion, convincing, manipulation or people pleasing to meet our needs and feel happy and fulfilled. These largely unconscious ways of seeing and living in the world inform every aspect of our lives and how we are interacting with ourselves, our families & friends and the larger systems that we are embedded in.

 

I want to use my energy to transform my own self, of course, and that work gives me the energy to want to share my inner freedom with others and the systems we interact with and pay for everyday.  In my experience, the support of a group of like-minded individuals or  a whole community is a precious asset in going about transforming our automatic responses to responses based on choice and inner wisdom. Learning to have real authentic dialogues based on mutual needs, rather than using my power unconsciously to try and meet needs, is a whole other way of living that creates clarity and deeper understanding between people.

 

In the practice of NVC, dialogues based on needs is one of the ways that we transform our relationship with unconscious relating patterns and move more fully into what serves us and the world more directly. We also work with core belief inquiry and transformation to help us look at the root cause of our suffering which is often in our thinking and stems from unconscious assumptions or beliefs. There are different ways to go about this: one approach is transformative role-plays to access parts of ourselves that are holding pain in relation to a specific relationship or event in the past.

 

The healing and movement forward that takes place is not only for my benefit, it is obviously inter connected with my presence in the family, community and society as a whole. So we engage in conscious dialogue about making clear agreeements that serve the relationship, community, group of any kind, in order to meet more human needs in that system.  I have found within my own life that I naturally gravitate

towards community, instead of isolation, because of my natural impulse to celebrate and interact with others has come back to life.

 

The practice of Nonviolent Communication has helped me to look at my relationships and the conflicts I am having as sources of precious information about my beliefs and  thinking that is based in win/lose scarcity and fear based mentality.

 

Using this as a guide to show me where there is wounding, confusion and projection, I have transformed many of my relationships through taking full responsibility for the impact of this way of being on others….The two wings of NVC to me are total self responsibility and the practice of being in loving-kindness and acceptance of myself and others…..  Only by taking full responsibility for our conflicts and using them to go deeper into the cause of our suffering do we really have the power to transform chunks of our thinking that are contributing to inner and outer shame, depression rage and helplessness.

 

In NVC, one of the ways we use our power is by taking action to meet needs.  Being able to take effective action entails having the belief that we can transform our lives and have access to that transformation. That is why looking deeply at our belief systems and our unconscious thinking (which also entails looking at needs) will often offer us insights into our current limited strategies and provide us the opportunity to stretch into what we envision. We also often hold grief, fear or other emotions somewhere inside of ourselves that are blocking us from taking full effective action.

 

Miriam Greenspan, from her book Healing Through The Dark Emotions says :

“As much as it has taught us about our feelings, conventional psychology bears a large share of responsibility for what keeps the dark emotions pathologized, privatized and disempowered. With the increasingly popularization of a post-Freudian view of the psyche, the inner child,

 

whose sorrow, fear, and despair can be cured psychiatrically has become an accepted idea in the culture. Emotional pain is increasingly seen as a disorder that can and should be treated, if not though traditional talk therapy, then by swallowing a pill. This orientation has made it difficult, if not impossible, to see how the dark emotions we feel are shared throughout the human family, what they tell us about our relationship with the world, and how to heal ourselves through more collective means. Most of the therapist I know have worked for many years with the victims of terrible injustices such as incest, child abuse, and domestic violence are aware that many seemingly private wounds are rooted in a damaged and damaging social environment. This is true for all of our emotional wounds, but not always in obvious ways. Therapy alone is not enough for those most damaged by the world. Being heard and held in community is something even the best therapist cannot offer. Yet the lack of such community is a source of wounding to us all. In the deep structure of emotion, there is an inescapable link between the self and the world.”

 

In living and applying Nonviolent Communication, Focusing, Circle Work and other practices for coming back to life,  we can  experience what is naturally ours – an intimate relationship with the natural world, our bodies wisdom, our psyche, and with the many aspects of being human.  

 

Taking a  deep dive into RELATIONSHIPS in all of its forms (interpersonal, group relationships, family relationships, and how we relate to systems in the world),  we may  learn to source our leadership from a new depth of connection with our own  deep wisdom and intuitive knowing,  staying attuned to the patterns in our lives,  creating a new level of effectiveness and awareness in all of our relationships - coming together in community  to co create how we want to live in the world, on the Earth and with each other.

 

Establishing learning communities is an invitation to remember our natural inheritance as an intricate part of the larger unfolding web of life.  The opportunity is to begin to shift our center of gravity: out of what is conditioned and separate into what is ever becoming and connected to all life.  Through intimate and conscious encounters – with each other, our own depth of body wisdom, the known and unknown aspects of ourselves and with the larger earth community that awaits – we will learn to listen and respond to the way life continually evokes us forward.  By re-remembering our place within the unfolding fabric, we support our ability to live in a more conscious and mutually enhancing way with all life.

 

Realizing and having direct experiences with our own INNER TRUE NATURE through commitment to practicing the INNER RELATIONSHIP, we will come to know in our bodies, hearts and minds that we are not separate from nature but are beings in process, evolving side by side with the rhythms and cycles of the rest of life.  Weaving group process, inner transformation practices and nature immersion, each experience will inform and guide the next step, supporting us in staying attuned to the unique movement that seeks to express through each of us.

 

We also lean into building communities of PRACTICE in learning new ways of being together by engaging in social transformation projects that resonate in our body heart and soul (for example : a group that works to clean up  rivers, to provide empathic listening to children,  to create opportunities for circle work to enter a system, to create a practice group for Restorative Circles, Nonviolent Communication and/or Focusing, to create a support group for people or a café for conversations).

 

Here are some of the ways we have learned to come back to life together, as parents, life partners, friends,  and colleagues :

 

Nature Connection :

Enjoyment, like praise, is one of the most beneficially healing and naturally occurring states.  You only have to watch a child or an animal to find that out!  Having relationships with non- human beings is an important part of life.  Being in tune with all the aspects of the life around us is deeply nourishing and invigorating.  All of the basic life healing practices in wisdom traditions, such as Native American life practice and Traditional Chinese Medicine,  have a solid link and grounded practice in nature connection.  Nature is always present and we have an easy way of being present and relaxed and happy if we tune into it!  This is a way of being and doing that pervades everyday life.  Enjoyment, like praise, is one of the most beneficially healing and naturally occurring states.  We  aim to come back to more aliveness in nature, experiencing the present moment alone and in group setttings outside, beside a brook or a fire.  It has been a huge part of our personal healing.

 

 Mentoring and Communities of Practice

In healthy, traditional cultures, mentoring is the primary method of facilitating learning and connection - everyone is a mentor, everyone has many mentors - for the length of life's journey.  The mentoring model is a universal heritage;  we respond quickly to its loving touch.  This wing of the program provides you with opportunities for individual mentoring and communities of practice mentoring.

 Communities of people who learn together from engaging in shared inquiries into issues of their shared practice is as old as humanity itself.  It is just that now we are becoming conscious of it.  Developing new individual and collective capabilities together, we also develop friendships that, in turn, provide the emotional energy of sustained and generous attention to one another.  When that attention is there, the joy of shared discovery and understanding flows freely among friends and through the community.

 

Group Life Practices :

begins with the exploration of the benefits of being in circle with other human beings.  From there we explore different ways of relating together in groups, participatory leadership models, and using NVC consciousness and skills to aim towards living as fully in consideration of everyone as we can while still meeting needs for effectiveness and prioritizing of energy. Some of the practices we have been exploring for some years now are :

Open space, world cafés, NVC group decision making, consensus and transformational conflict practices such as Restorative Circles, Empathy circles, etc.

 

Inner Life Practices

To really transform our selves and society ,  I believe personal inner work and work towards societal change go hand in hand. If I am learning to embrace and transform my inner wounds, and transforming my thinking into a more life serving one,  I naturally have more energy and motivation to contribute that energy to the structures that I live within. If I am  looking at myself  as disconnected from the whole, with my own unique brand of personal dysfunction instead of looking at the bigger picture of myself  as part of the whole and as my individual symptoms as a sign of a much larger societal dysfunction, then I  believe I have more inquiry and empathy to discover and experience.  My experience is that when I look deeply at my thinking and my actions, I can see where I am still living from the cultural beliefs that I was raised with, and then have a choice whether those beliefs are still serving me and the world. Some of them are based on fear, shame and scarcity and don’t seem to serve anymore.  When I notice myself justifying my actions or words, when I see myself abandoning my inner integrity to distract myself from suffering, when I see myself drift into my old habits of  seeking comfort and security, I now know to inquire deeply into what I am assuming in the moment and feel grateful to move into a closer intimacy with the parts of my experience that I am fencing off.

 In  exploring, defining and developing  our relationship with our inner world - the conscious and especially the unconscious - we have been surprised at how many unquestioned beliefs about being a human being in this world are lying beneath all of the choices we are making.  We have been practicing every day Focusing, Insight Meditation and other inner life practices and really value the deep insight and change from living from the inside out. We believe that change is only possible by being the change.

THE BASIS OF OUR YEAR LONG PROGRAMS

gina cenciose

Nature Connection :

Enjoyment, like praise, is one of the most beneficially healing and naturally occurring states.  You only have to watch a child or an animal to find that out!  Having relationships with non- human beings is an important part of life. Being in tune with all the aspects of the life around us is deeply nourishing and invigorating.   All of the basic life healing practices in wisdom traditions,  such as Native American life practice and Traditional Chinese Medicine, have a solid link and grounded practice in nature connection.  Nature is always present and we have an easy way of being present and relaxed and happy if we tune into it!  This is a way of being and doing that pervades everyday life.  Enjoyment, like praise, is one of the most beneficially healing and naturally occurring states.  We will aim to come back to more aliveness in nature, experiencing the present moment alone and in group setttings  outside, beside a brook or a fire. It has been a huge part of our personal healing.

 Renewing creativity :

In our experience, relating inside of ourselves and with others in ways other than just speaking, using other forms of expression,  is a nourishing and healing way of connection to our nature.  The full expression of our creativity can also include many things such as: film making, different forms of visual art, theatre, creating rituals, etc. We will be exploring singing, music, dance and drawing more specifically, as Gina has many years experience in leading peace dances, sharing different dance forms, and in creating living circles of chant, weaving song and voice with drums in community. We may also explore how to celebrate and offer our great fullness to all that is within and around us, through experiential exercises sometimes referred to as rituals.

 Mentoring and Communities of Practice

In healthy, traditional cultures, mentoring is the primary method of facilitating learning and connection – everyone is a mentor, everyone has many mentors – for the length of life’s journey.  The mentoring model is a universal heritage; we respond quickly to its loving touch.  This wing of the program provides you with opportunities for individual mentoring and communities of practice mentoring.

Communities of people who learn together from engaging in shared inquiries into issues of their shared practice is as old as humanity itself. It is just that now we are becoming conscious of it.

Developing new individual and collective capabilities together, we also develop friendships that, in turn, provide the emotional energy of sustained and generous attention to one another.  When that attention is there, the joy of shared discovery and understanding flows freely among friends and through the community.

Group Life Practices :

This wing of the program begins with the exploration of the benefits of being in circle with other human beings.  From there we will explore different ways of relating together in groups, participatory leadership models, and using NVC consciousness and skills to aim towards living as fully in consideration of everyone as we can, while still meeting needs for effectiveness and prioritizing energy.  Some of the practices we will explore will be:

Open space, world cafés, NVC group decision making, consensus and transformational conflict practices such as Restorative Circles. RC will be a big part of our program, and we will have our own RC learning community, with teachings, practice, and live circles.

Inner Life Practices

In this wing  of our program you will explore, define and develop your relationship with your inner world – the conscious and especially the unconscious.  You will be provided the tools and containers to gather the various ingredients of your whole self so that you can begin to create and live life from the consciousness and fullness of your whole being.

The specific practices we will use are:

  • NVC Consciousness and Self-Empathy
  • Inner Relationship Focusing
  • Whole Body Focusing
  • Byron Katie’s « The Work »
  • Presences Practices

RETURNING TO TRUE NATURE NVC & FOCUSING PROGRAM

gina cenciose

- Discover your true gifts, passions and vision. 

- Develop new skills and behaviours that are aligned with this vision.
- Create a way of living and leading that moves you toward your dreams for yourself and the world.
- Design and implement a self-inspired project, giving you the opportunity to practice new leadership skills while making a difference in your community
- Explore your patterns of belief, behaviour and thought and determine which ones serve you and which can be released and ‘composted’.
- Receive structured coaching, inspiration and support from your peers between workshops
- Adopt practices that help you embody your TRUE NATURE and your ideals, moment by moment.
- Nurture a regional leadership circle that will continue to serve and support you on your leadership journey after the formal component of the program ends.

Are you ready to build a more meaningful relationship with the earth, your community and yourself?

The Returning to True Nature Program is an advanced 12-month to 24-month program (the 2nd year is optional and highly encouraged!) based in NVC consciousness and skills that focuses on shared leadership, deep transformation of habitual ways of showing up in the world and in having moment to moment access to our inner True Nature and to the fullness of the Natural world.

Through this program you will experience what is naturally yours – an intimate relationship with the natural world, your bodies wisdom, your psyche, and with the many aspects of being human. We will take a deep dive into RELATIONSHIPS in all of its forms. You will learn to source your leadership from this connection and stay attuned to the patterns in your own life, creating a new level of effectiveness and awareness in your leadership, your relationships and your life. We are coming together to co create how we want to live in the world, on the Earth and with each other.

This learning community is an invitation to remember our natural inheritance as an intricate part of the larger unfolding web of life. The opportunity is to begin to shift our center of gravity: out of what is conditioned and separate into what is ever becoming and connected to all life. Through intimate and conscious encounters – with each other, our own depth of body wisdom, the known and unknown aspects of ourselves and with the larger earth community that awaits – we will learn to listen and respond to the way life continually evokes us forward. By re-remembering our place within the unfolding fabric, we support our ability to live in a more conscious and mutually enhancing way with all life.

Realizing and having direct experiences with our own INNER TRUE NATURE through commitment to practicing the INNER RELATIONSHIP, we will come to know in our bodies heart and minds that we are not separate from nature but are beings in process, evolving side by side with the rhythms and cycles of the rest of life. Weaving group process, inner transformation practices and nature immersion, each experience will inform and guide the next step, supporting us in staying attuned to the unique movement that seeks to express through each of us.

The opportunity of this yearlong (to 2 year) program is to support the sustained and embodied shift necessary to meet the next step into movement forward, as individuals and as living systems. We will come together in 3 5-day sessions each year. Between our gatherings, you will be invited to ground and deepen all that is unfolding by creating and working with core routines and practices, through regular check-ins with a transformation buddy and group tele-classes.   Additional Individual Guidance sessions will be available on the different themes or practices of our program for those who wish to sign up separately.

Mentoring and Collaboration

During the second year of your journey, we invite you to choose a specific area of focus within the options available. Within this framework we invite you to help co create the teachings of the 2nd year around that specific area of concentration, to mentor new participants in their learning journeys, and to take on more leadership roles. During the second year we also encourage you to start your own groups back home, building communities of PRACTICE in learning new ways of being together. This could be a social change project, an empathy group, a place to practice facilitation of circle styles, a practice group for Restorative Circles, Nonviolent Communication, Inner Relationship Focusing, a support group for people, a café for conversations, the sky is the limit! That is why we encourage you, wherever it is possible to come with someone from your area.

For the first and second years, we will have a Buddy System with peers who will coach and mentor each other to build a deep container of inspiration, creativity and collaboration- supporting.

NVC & FOCUSING PROGRAMS II

gina cenciose

Our personalities are based on a certain set of beliefs about ourselves and a  certain worldview. Identifying with the parts of our personalities keeps us bound to a limited way of experiencing the world and ourselves. By identifying, clearly seeing,  and accompanying the parts of ourselves that hold these beliefs and these worldviews we begin have space and freedom from them. Working with and seeing through the self-images and identifications from the past helps us to understand these beliefs and their origin and uncover their actual, essential nature.  That is the whole practice of Inner Relationship and whole-body focusing, which are the main practices of self-transformation in these programs.

We also use body sensing practices (like Inner relationship Focusing and other forms of inquiry) in reconnecting and aligning the self with the qualities of our true nature. Open-ended inquiry into our personal, in-the-moment experience is the main practice of this path. We encourage our participants to be curious, open, non-judgmental and without preference about their experience, and to sense into and explore their experience in the present moment. A willingness to explore whatever arises, not knowing how or where it will unfold from moment to moment, is the true spirit of inquiry. 

We will combine specific NVC dialogue practices, with this work of inquiry, practicing the key processes of NVC to help us bring our inner healing states to our relationships. In the programs that we offer based on NVC and Inquiry, we will also employ other experiential offerings, song and movement to our inner work of learning to embody our values and live from trust, surrender and presence.

Returning  to True  Nature

With Gina Cenciose

Meister Eckhart
Love Poems from God

WHEN I WAS THE FOREST

When I was the stream, when I was the forest, when I was still the field, when I was every hoof, every foot, fin and wing, when I was the sky itself, no one ever asked me did I have a purpose,
no one ever wondered was there anything I might need,
for there was nothing I could not love.
It was when I left all we once were, that the agony began, the fear and questions came, and I wept, I wept.
And tears I had never known before.
So I returned to the river, I returned to the mountains.
I asked for their hand in marriage again, I begged-I begged to wed every object and creature, and when they accepted, God was ever present in my arms.
And he did not say, “where have you been?”
For then I knew my soul-every soul-has always held him.

The Returning to True Nature NVC program consists of 2 areas of concentration:

– Practices for Whole Hearted Living (coming back to life) inside of oneself –

    • includes different NVC practices
    • Inner Relationship and Whole Body Focusing
    • Meditative Inquiry
    • Belief work (including Byron Katie’s The Work)
    • Reconnecting with Nature
    • Singing and movement.

– Practices for Whole Hearted Living (coming back to life) with others includes –

    • Dialogue Circles and councils
    • Collaborative Leadership Processes
    • Conflict Transformation with Restorative Circles
    • Group Facilitation and Decision Making Skills with NVC Developing a deeper relation to Nature is an important part of Coming back to life in this program