In the quest to know themselves deeply, clients often pose the above question to me during coaching sessions. A person’s blind spots are those areas of limitation they carry within.
At a superficial level, we know they exist but often are stumped when it comes to seeing them clearly. They are long-term habits or patterns deeply nested in our unconscious mind. If we saw our blind spots clearly, meaning at their source, we would then know why they exist and could eradicate them. In essence, we could stop repeating their accompanying and limiting feelings, thoughts and behaviours. Herein lies the paradox — how do we see to the depths of something we are seemingly ‘blind’ to?
As an answer, did your inner voice just shout “Listen!”? For some, what follows might be obvious, but for others, your question may now be, “Listen to what?”
In my case, whenever I feel inner conflict brewing, I know I am on the threshold of revealing a personal blind spot. In such a scenario, my past experience and ego are defending against some new experience, all of which signal that the potential for change is on the horizon. Listening during this occurrence amounts to reminding myself “I need to have this exposure (both the inner battle and the newly emerging experience) in order to grow.”
My inner conflict between what has been, what is and what could be is what flexes my discernment muscle. Listening to my inner experience allows me to enter deeply into why I feel, think and act the way I do. It opens me to ask, “Do I still want to feel, think and act this way?” When the answer is “No”, then stopping the old ways of reacting creates space for new experiences, learning and skills to emerge.
Decluttering by removing the old and unnecessary always marks a new beginning. The new learning and skills that replace the old require discipline, which often means adopting a new practice that allows us to internalize them. For example, if you read my blog last week on inner space, my new learning provided me with two new skills that enhance and expand my inner space. In this way, I am gathering the new knowledge needed to penetrate into the depths of my inner space experience. Eventually and with practice, the effort poured into one’s skill development evolves into a natural rhythm, which becomes effortless.
So, the initial greater learning effort of any new beginning morphs into the great reward — a natural flow of effortless development and growth. We don’t stop there. Beyond the experience of effortlessness lies the realm of genius where we can now tap into and realize our full creative capacity. Thus, once we have knit together or integrated our mind, body and spirit, we evolve to a higher level of consciousness/awareness. In other words, we combine our newly acquired learning, skills and mind-body-spirit integration with life’s emerging experiences. This deep collaboration, both internally with our essence and externally with existence/life, reveals and neutralizes our blind spots, bringing us ever and ever closer to our authentic, creative potential.
That is why Yoga does not bother much about changing the outside world. There is a … saying, “As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.” If you feel bound, you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated. Things outside neither bind nor liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that. Sri Swami Satchidananda
Below is a poem from my latest poetry book that tells a similar story.
A great yearning for intimacy
caused me to fall down rabbit holes
where birthed adventures tore down
internal walls and revealed ancient truths.
Discoveries of ‘all knowledge is self-knowledge’
crystallized the mystery of best-friending myself, and
with each falling-in-love moment, layers peeled away
to reveal an open-concept heart.