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The Focusing Institute takes as a core value the principle that the practice of Focusing, how it is taught by certified Focusing teachers, and its applications in different fields will not be standardized. Diversity of approaches will be protected. (Diversity Statement 2009)
December 8, 2009
Dear Focusing Community:
Sometimes I feel concerned about getting Focusing out into the world and about surviving financially. Most of the time I feel excited, hopeful and impressed by the quality of what we offer.
It feels to me that the Seeds we have all worked to plant are sprouting, faster than we can keep up with, which is a good thing. Every day there are new appearances of Focusing in many fields and in many countries.
What is most exciting to me is that the green shoots are not isolated individuals! A spontaneous cross connecting is going on. For example, The Focusing Institute (TFI) now has 175 reciprocal links to members’ websites. This is a very substantial network, and now members are cross-linking their sites to each other, too. In addition, members are forming "functional wholes1" to establish sites at the local, national and regional levels, which in turn are linked into the TFI site and to other members’ sites. This sense of layers of overlapping structures provides a resilient, supportive matrix from which Focusing can further develop. The future of Focusing does not depend on any one individual or group.
The Ecuador story is a good example of the value of overlapping structures. TFI received an email inquiry from the executive director of a development organization in Ecuador . Their mission is "to improve in a sustainable manner, the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups in Ecuador ." They were interested in training in our Community Wellness Focusing model, and requested communication in Spanish. We connected them to TFI Certifying Coordinators Edgardo Riveros in Chile and to Elena Frezza in Argentina . Within a month training began in Ecuador for a group of nine counselors. The director came to the Second Iberian America Focusing Summit in Chile and has just attended our First World Conference on Focusing-Oriented Psychotherapy and The Advanced and Certification Weeklong. It was a great pleasure to meet William, to see his excellent slide show, and to know that we will have a productive collaboration for many years.
Edgardo says in his report from the Summit, "William and his group presented a great work at The Second Iberian American Focusing Summit. Most of the people finished crying at their presentation. He and his team talked about how people in different communities and families changed their self-conceptualization after the focusing interaction with them. We are not poor people; we just do not have material things. William spoke with humility, without realizing at all about the immense impact he was having. People cried because they were touched by how focusing was inside William’s body, because how our dream called focusing has been in an alive interaction with people, how our focusing was doing a miracle with the poor people so they experience that really they are PEOPLE and not poor individuals without dignity. William said that poverty is a frozen process of the soul, and Focusing gets it unfrozen".
William’s journey took him through several of our linked structures. It went from Ecuador to TFI, to training by Certifying Coordinators from Chile and Argentina, to the Summit in Chile and now to the USA . Because we have developed a diversity of structures, which overlap, they are available to hold and support such a passage.
To see how much we have grown and accomplished over the last year, please read some of The Focusing Institute (TFI) highlights from the past year.
However, TFI needs your financial support in order to continue.
Sometimes people think we are a big organization with lots of money. In fact, we have a small staff, with a very limited budget and we run the organization out of our home offices to keep overhead expenses down. Our existence depends on membership dues and individual donations. We check the bank balance daily, and we worry. We are a not-for-profit institution and we have no funding from government or corporate sources. This fact makes our income base vulnerable. Voluntary contributions can be the first to disappear.
Running an International organization with two full time staff and four part time people on a shoestring budget is very challenging. We need to raise money for a project manager and at least one more staff person. We also need to do long term planning, which includes planning for succession and having more than a one-year budget. We welcome your input into this planning process.
It is hard to ask for money but we must:
Please take a moment to check inside and sit with your sense of this Focusing work. I hope you will feel that you want to support it. This is our annual appeal to you for donations. We need to raise $75,000. Of that amount $35,000 will help us cover the shortfall we anticipate for the end of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, $15,000 will fund a part time Director of International Programs. The remaining $25,000 will allow us to respond to small grant requests. By making a donation today, you are supporting the teaching of Focusing to people and in places where it is so badly needed—whether in an inner city project with teens, or in a war zone like Afghanistan, or the markets of San Salvador . Through your donations you are supporting the work of this international organization.
Please think with us how we are going to raise the needed money. Perhaps you might think of a friend, a parent, a grown son or daughter who might be happy to support something you care about. We hope you will contribute an amount that is affordable to you, maybe through smaller monthly payments. If you are interested in including us in your estate planning, please contact Melinda at Melinda@focusing.org
Please give as generously as possible. Every contribution counts. If 100 members give $100, 100 members give $200 and 45 members give $1,000 or more, we would meet our goal.
You can easily make your donation in one of the following ways:
1. On our website: www.focusing.org/donations
2. Mail a check or money order in US dollars only to: The Focusing Institute, 34 East Lane, Spring Valley, NY 10977
3. Wire: Chase Bank, Route 202, Pacesetter Mall, Pomona, NY 10970 Phone:845-362-5222, Swift No. CHASU33 or Routing No. 021 00021 Acct No. 650-0654858-65
4. Fax 845-704-0461 (Please include the credit card number, expiration date)
5. Call 845-362-5222 with credit card information
Come shop in our on-line store: http://www.focusing.org/store during the holiday season, give a friend or loved one a "gift of Focusing."
You can inquire whether your employer offers a matching donation program. If you wish to contribute appreciated stock or include us in your estate planning, please call or email Melinda Darer at: 845-362-5222 or Melinda@focusing.org
Marion Hendricks-Gendlin, Ph.D.
Director, The Focusing Institute
1 A functional whole exists when a team of people come together around a specific goal or function. It lasts as long as the function is needed. People may be part of more than one functional whole so there is a cross fertilization between wholes.
The Focusing Institute 2009 Highlights
In February this statement was approved by the Board of Directors
TFI Diversity Statement
Focusing is a practice that honors what arises freshly in the moment. Frozen structures of any kind are antithetical to the ethic of Focusing. Therefore, the Focusing Institute takes as a core value the principle that the practice of Focusing, how it is taught by certified Focusing teachers, and its application in different fields will not be standardized. Diversity of approaches will be protected. Constructive critiques among Focusing Trainers or between TFI and individuals presenting or applying Focusing are welcome and should be offered by means of open, respectful communication. TFI itself will seek to honor the values of non-standardization in its operations while recognizing that tension can arise between maximum diversity and the need for effectiveness and efficiency in meeting its goals.
During 2009 TFI:
TFI sponsored workshops 2009:
"This is the first time in my life I have ever felt love for all of me through interaction with others"
"I am very impressed by this community and by the depth of what the Summer School allows to unfold"
New Books and translations:
Community Wellness Projects: