Wednesday, June 8, 2011

5 Tips for Finding Your Blindspots on Your Spiritual Path

Blindspots. We all have them. It's part of living our lives. There are simply some parts of us that we can't clearly see, and there are some aspects of ourselves that are completely invisible. We can only see them with someone else's help or by expanding our own vision. It's a powerful thing, especially when we've been taught to only see within such narrow confines. The stories of how we're supposed to be and act sexually, physically, psychologically, emotionally, intellectually, and so forth become tiny tunnels with narrow focuses. It's hard to see much of anything. And then one day, you get blindsided and realize that it's time to open up your vision.


Friends, Family, and Enemies: Plenty of Mirrors and Reflections to See With
The great thing about life is that you're surrounded by countless mirrors unless you're living in a hole somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Every person that comes into your life is a mirror. Someone comes and reflects a lot of happiness, and you want them to stay. Someone else comes and reflects a lot of your anger, and you want them to go. They all show you different aspects of yourself.

This is always a great line that I hear from people, "Why do I always attract jerks for dating?" Ah. Well, you've brought a powerful mirror to you to show you all the things you don't like about yourself. Being able to see how their traits reflect you in some way is a powerful thing. It's not great for dating, but it is definitely illuminating. Because if you're attracting a lot of hard-hearted people, you may have to consider how you're being with your heart. Perhaps you'll have to open up more to allow kinder people to connect with you. Or perhaps, it's a reflection that you need to set up more boundaries with whom you interact. There are a lot of ways to slice this one up. It's up to you to develop a practice to figure it out.

Tools, Techniques, and Overly Practical Advice That Probably Doesn't Sound Very Spiritual
This is another reality-check: real spirituality is practical. It's about living your everyday life in integrity. Okay? I just like to remind people what it's all about before you're like, "This is more advice my parents told me, and I wanna get some juicy cool yoga back bend to fix my life." That does sound fun to me too. Let me know if you find one.

  1. Journaling. A lot of the tools that I'm going to mention will involve other people, but the journal is--as always--a great way to begin writing down the "reflections" (i.e. the people who are attracted to you). What are they like? Why do you like them? Why do you hate them? What traits do they possess? If you're attracting angry people, do you have undealt with angry? It really is time to stop blaming life for sending you what you don't want and owning your piece of the puzzle in creating your life (and that's a really big piece, btw).
  2. Talking to Close Friends. Close friends are great because they can be the next level out from your journal. You can use what you've discovered in your journal to ask your friends about what they notice about you. Keep in mind that blindspots aren't necessarily bad things. Many times, a lot of us don't realize some of our biggest talents. So as you talk with close friends--some of your closest reflections of yourself--keep in mind that while you'll hear some stuff that you may not like, you also may learn some really cool stuff about yourself as well.
  3. Connecting with Family. This is always a tricky one because you most likely share a lot of the same issues. So if you ask your Dad about a blindspot, and he says that you need to stand up for yourself more, you may feel activated. You may be like, "But you never stood up for yourself." This is potentially the trickiest technique to use, but it also can be the most rewarding. You can watch a lot of your activations and see how you get upset about something. And as I said before, you may learn more about some of your amazing gifts and things that you do naturally, but simply don't notice.
  4. Finding a Support Group/Spiritual Group. There are plenty of amazing groups to connect with, and a lot of them are formed around specific issues. So, connecting with a group of people working on codependency can become a powerful tool to see other reflections of that issue. You may start to notice where you've had the same behavior. Much like driving behind a car with it's backlight out, it's so much easier to see an else on someone else's rear bumper than on your own.
  5. Connecting with a Spiritual Teacher, Counselor, or Healer. Connecting with a spiritual teacher is always a powerful thing. I'm amazed at all of the people who are taking up this work, so I imagine that if you're ready and go looking, then you'll find one. The thing here is that you really need to be ready to dedicate yourself to shifting how you live your life. You will likely have some profound reflections come back to you. Plus, you don't necessarily need to find someone with the "spiritual" title. There are amazing psychiatrists, psychologists, and others who are dedicated to helping people see more elements of themselves.
Recovering From Temporary Blindness
Spiritual awakening is like turning all the lights on at once. It's a ton of information, but gradually your eyes adjust. While there's a short period of blindness with that, it does help to have other people to care for you as you transition out of the more permanent blindness you've been living in. Truly, most of humanity has been living in the dark. We've been crashing into all kinds of crap and generally making a mess of things (wars, genocides, environmental destruction, the list goes on). It is time to open our eyes, and it is time to find out where we are blind. Because what we don't know, does hurt us, and sometimes, what we don't know also includes some of greatest talents.
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