During my pregnancy, I used Focusing in situations where I felt vulnerable or insecure. I was present to the feelings that made me  uncomfortable, but I knew that keeping them company would bring something new and refreshing to my life, and that is how it has been. I also accompanied my feelings in moments of joy and euphoria that made me feel as if I were in a colorful dance.

After the last Focusing session before the birth of my son I wrote this: I feel something trapped in my chest, or between my chest and my stomach. It’s a sensation that combines with the feeling of my child. When I paused, I could name feelings of anxiety, nervousness and happiness. Along with these feelings came an image of children holding hands in a circle, playing, singing, waiting for his birth. I saw myself and my son as one person, living the moment.

Now that he is 23 months old, I am aware of a relationship of respect and empathy with my son. I can get down on the floor with him when something bothers him. I name what I sense he might be feeling and I see how his expression changes or he stops crying, as if he were saying, “Yes, that’s how it is, mama.”

Once when he was sick, he threw himself on the floor crying. I got down on my knees and caressed his back and said, “Yes, my love, you feel bad, you don’t want to feel like that. You feel frustrated. Frustrated.” Little by little he stopped crying and stood up.

–Heazel Martínez, Focusing El Salvador