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Blind Spots posted 6 July 2017

As drivers we are warned to be aware of blind spots in a variety of ways.  We must not overtake another vehicle or in any way cross the centreline when there is a bend in the road or a rise in the road that obscures our vision ahead.  When changing lanes or pulling out from the side of the road we must check over our shoulder to ensure we have a complete view of what may be coming from behind us.  When reversing we must be conscious of any areas where our vision is obscured.  The stakes are high and a failure to be aware of what is in our blind spot can be catastrophic.

So it is in other aspects of our lives.  I know of someone who once said “I can’t live without my white bread”.  Shortly thereafter they experienced a diabetic shock and part of the health regime diagnosed for their recovery and maintenance of good health was the elimination of white bread from their diet.

A lawyer was representing a client who had injured a cyclist by entering an intersection and colliding with the on-coming cyclist.  It was after dark and the cyclist did not have a light on their bicycle.  The lawyer, however, frankly accepted on their client’s behalf that the cyclist “was there to be seen”.  In the case of the diabetic, the adverse effect of too much white bread was there to be seen but nevertheless the person concerned was blind to that effect.

We see this sort of effect all the time.  One example is of someone who is absolutely, resolutely committed to a particular form of activity (let us say running) and they repeatedly appear with an injury of one form or another from their chosen activity.  Yoga practice is, often, a last resort for such a person and is commenced with the intention of allowing them to return to their chosen activity.  Achilles problems, plantar fasciitis, torn hamstrings, low back compression and pain, labral tears in their hips, knee imbalances and cartilage or meniscus problems, excessively tight ilio-tibial tracts, sciatic pain and so forth are all injuries that stare runners in the face but they remain blind to the adverse effect their chosen activity is having upon their bodies.

It is no different to the way we see ourselves and others or, more importantly, the lack of awareness we have to our patterns of thought and behaviour.  A woman Margo used to swim with had a black toe nail that would not repair itself.  The woman concerned was encouraged at one point to stop smoking.  In the period that she was not smoking the toe nail gradually recovered and the blackness disappeared.  However, the woman lost her commitment and resumed her smoking habit.  Her toe went black again.  For whatever reason she was drawn to smoking and was oblivious to the evidence that the habit was killing the cells of her body.

One of the students who recently trained with us in our Step into your Power programme was asked to complete an exercise in the January portion of the training and had difficulty answering the questions involved.  The same exercise was repeated in April.  The student said they had been reflecting on those questions in the intervening period and had been struck by the answers.  The student had clarity and certainty about the answers when the exercise was repeated in April.  The answers were there to be seen but, no matter how important and significant, they had been in the student’s blind spot.

Once the student allowed their own truth and patterns of thought to reach their awareness they gained power in respect of a pattern of thought that had been hurting them.

In my own case, I spent many years of my life going out of my way to dislike and disparage other people.  In February 2010 during a teacher training with Baron Baptiste the matter that had been in my blind spot was revealed to me.  It was not that I disliked others.  The issue was that I disliked myself!

A world of possibility opened itself up to me in that moment.  If I could like myself and forgive myself for the way I had been, I would have no need to disparage and sneer at other people.  That technique was simply a means by which I sought to put others down in order to put myself up.  From the standpoint of liking myself I could value and appreciate others, celebrate their accomplishments, drop resentment at their successes and have compassion for their trials.  Immediately, the world seemed a brighter place.

This is true power in the sense of being able to be and to let be.  I am a long way from the state of contentment I seek and I slip often but overall there is progress in my way of seeing myself and, therefore, my way of seeing the whole world.

What is right before your eyes but is nevertheless in your blind spot?  What can you be free of if only you will allow yourself to acknowledge it?  What is possible if you come to terms with the elephant in your own mental living room?  Forget the splinter in the other person’s eye.  What about the log in your own?  From my experience and from witnessing other people realise what inhibiting, limiting and disempowering thoughts and behaviours lie in their blind spot, I can only emphasise the value of getting to awareness now.

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