Physical Activation Prompt – Sensing Form

Physical Activation Exploration

For this one you are going to move your body, just an ounce, or a huge amount – and then explore the reverberations of that little-or-big activation.

An example of a small activation might be to put your hands over your eyes or belly or curl yourself into a child’s pose. If you have a little more experience in this sort of work, you might try just rehearsing a movement in your mind a few times, without actually moving your body in a visible way.

For bigger movements you might try pushing against the floor or wall as hard as you possibly can, doing 10 jumping jacks, shouting/singing loud as you might, or shaking or dancing like nobody’s looking.

I find physical activation to be beyond especially helpful for my mental-emotional health. If you find that something has an effect that you enjoy, remember it! Add it to your toolkit, so that you can use it again, later.

1. Be sure to read the advisory notes about the sensing form before you begin (2 min read).

2. Take a moment to figure out what sorta thing you want to do.

3. It is often helpful to set a timer. Pick a time to do that sounds doable/easy for you to do the activation you chose. 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, etc. As you fill out the sensing form you might chose to set yourself another timer. If only 1 minute feel doable/easy, you can allow yourself to leave some questions unanswered for this particular session.

Set your timer.
Begin doing your thing.


Set your timer.
Fill in your sensing form:

Sensing Form.
1. Location
Where/do you notice a sensation(s) that is ‘speaking up a bit louder’ than other areas?

For example, is it near your spine? On your skin? Behind you? In your belly area? Your brow area? A foot in front of you? Etc. Draw/Fill-in the location that seems to be closest to where you felt/feel this sensation.


2. Direction
Is this feeling staying perfectly still? Or is it moving just a little bit, or a lot – in this or that direction?
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to the directionality of your feeling:
zig zag — upward — downward — every direction — spiraling — towards my center — away from my body — hovering in one place — …


3. Tempo/Speed
If this feeling is moving/vibrating, what speed does it move, on a scale of 0 = absence of movement – to – 10 = fastest movement you can imagine:
0   1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to the speed of your feeling:
frozen lake — old TV static — deer in headlights — gentle stream — storm winds/electric storm — dead or sleeping body — plants buds in spring — like a snail moves — pouring molasses — …


4. Other qualities of this movement/vibration?
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
elevator — bike ride on bumpy street — stop-and-go traffic — ice skating — flopping — floating — lightening bolt — bungie jump — like falling boulders — person getting an electric shock — stubborn donkey — ‘good’-tingly — hum/buzz — rhythmic/arrhythmic — …


5. If you imagine/touch-feel this feeling or lean your weight on it, what is it like?
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
plastic — concrete — mud — sandpaper — fog — elastic — wood — brittle — moist soil — fleshy — soft — coral-like — sparkling — fragile — solid –…


6. Flavor
If you could taste/imagine what it might taste like,
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
bitter — mellow — moldy — chocolate — metallic — warm — acidic — round –…


7. Color
Was there an element of color present in the feeling you are investigating?

Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
glitter-sparkling — like sunlight — black but with swirling streaks — like a shadow — red –…


8. Temperature
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
sauna — warm blanket — ice — refreshing/cool –…


9. Sounds/Words
Are/were there any internal sounds, words, or thoughts which seem to be related?
Circle, cross out, or add any words that apply to your feeling:
oh! — noooooo! — erghhhh! — closer. — sigh. — yes! — shwooooooosh! — that way! — …


10. More?
Did you find any new realizations or did any remembered-realizations pop up for you?
Is there anything you found that feels important to remember (for today, this week, this month, etc)?
Did anything shift in how you understand/feel how your emotions-body-thoughts relate to each other?
Anything more?



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To share this material with students/clients – in teaching, therapeutic or all other purposes: include erin bell in citation + buy me a coffee, or send $1 or more via Paypal. A coffee here and there helps me try to earn a sustainable income and it helps keep these tools freely accessible to others.



Try other prompts here. To talk with others about this, share some part of your experience, or what-have-you: Sensing Form Forum.

A similar style exercise to these Sensing Form Prompts – and a resource that has deeply helped me in my life and inspired my work – is E. Gendlin’s Six Steps/Focusing.