If you like listening, this is the 12-minute raw voice note that lead to this article, a more personal reflection on the experience at the Hakomi conference and how being with and witnessing in loving presence, even if there are no words can unlock a new layer of understanding. For the digested version, read on.

I recently returned from a two-week trip to Mexico, where I attended the International Hakomi Conference. Hakomi is a groundbreaking modality in psychotherapy that can be described as mindfulness-based self-discovery. Over four days and many workshops, I practised with an incredibly diverse group of people from all over the world, many of them seasoned practitioners, teachers, and trainers of Hakomi. We were hosted by the Institute for Gestalt Psychology in Mexico City and guided by the legacy holders of Hakomi, who have worked closely with founder Ron Kurtz to refine and spread the method across languages, countries, and contexts.

The conference was an opportunity for the community to reunite after years of separation due to Covid, celebrate Ron's life and double down on a commitment to preserve his legacy, and an opportunity to reconnect or make new friends who share a passion for Hakomi. This passion for finding a felt sense and working with deeply rooted emotions and feelings that might not even have words yet. The conference was an invitation to play, to learn new things, to witness and be witnessed, and to try something that we haven't tried yet.

We experienced different ways of running Hakomi experiments and adopting different frames and mindsets. One memorable example that I still remember fondly was reframing conflict as an opportunity, quoting a North American native tribe who say that conflict is merely an opportunity to learn about somebody else's needs that we don't know about yet, and then build a new future based on a mutual understanding of each other's needs. Taking that reframe to go into an experience where we were feeling into a conflict of our own, something that we're holding close, already changed everything. Sitting with it and being in this felt sense, being in a little focusing session to gently tune into what that conflict might offer us was incredibly powerful.

Other workshops explored healing in community, feeling held emotionally and physically by the group, and asking for the support we need. We had so many rich experiences and ways of getting in touch with our ideas and feelings, too many to describe here.

Something that stood out for me is the idea of fuzzy attention, an open and welcoming awareness that allows things to emerge, even if they’re shy or hard to put into words at first. Hakomi practitioners say over and over again that everything is welcome. This quality of attention, that fuzziness and softness, allows us to find words for things we might not have had words for before.

This concept of fuzzy attention reminds me of the transformer architecture, a key enabler of the AI revolution. Before transformers, AI was fairly slow and specialised, having to compute many possibilities until it found a solution. With transformers, AI has gained fuzzy attention on everything and only does detailed calculations once it identifies the relevant parts.

I wonder how we can honour both human and AI forms of fuzzy attention. What if we could delegate some of our thinking to machines like GPT or CLAUDE and return to feeling and sensing in our bodies? How might that change how we pay attention, process, and think?

A standout takeaway from the Hakomi conference is the value of taking a moment to sit, close my eyes, and ask what needs my attention right now. Simply being with what's there - feelings, sensations, gut instincts - allows things to subtly take shape. Feelings become words, words become ideas and connections. Maybe this allows us to process things in a different way, to open our eyes and take that felt sense into our work. It starts with feeling, with being, and only then can we create.

If we don't honour the way our biology works, it's very hard to move forward. It's easy to get stuck in loops of reacting to everything that comes at us. It's so important for us to simply be with what is, be with our feelings and with each other. Giving ourselves permission to be seen and held. Maybe even without words, just two or more beings sitting together, co-regulating, and sharing space. Or how we say in Hakomi, witnessing each other in loving presence. Allowing that to calm our nervous systems, letting things process and bubble up, and then taking that back into our day-to-day lives and moving forward, integrating and processing on a conceptual level.

The tightly packed schedule of the conference left me with an even bigger appreciation for my coaching education at the Somatic School: framing deep, intense somatic experiences, like focusing and other Hakomi experiments, in a safely held container. A coaching container with a start and an end. This allows people not just to feel and experience, but also to make sense, conceptually integrate, and take things forward. In today's world, we're very focused on the mind. Our culture and technology have made us very good at thinking, explaining, analysing, and documenting. Sometimes that can get overwhelming. Somatic practices mean getting out of the mind and into the body - moving, feeling, and sensing. Radical change - change that starts at the root of our stories, beliefs, feelings, and sensations - is change that lasts. Integrating the Somatic Intelligence of the body with a Conceptual Intelligence of the mind is a great way to create radical change.

If you're curious about exploring somatic coaching, I invite you to reach out and sign up for a session. As your coach, I'm your partner on your journey of self-discovery. I'll create a safe space for you to explore big and small questions you might not have asked yourself in a long time. I'm here to support you and help you read the map, but you are always in control of where you're going.

Send me a message, or Book a free intro call. I'd love to chat!

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