Last week at a meeting with my staff I evoked a lot of intense feelings! When someone on my staff gets frustrated with me I pay close attention. Am I listening with full attention? Am I not following through? It takes self-reflection for me to seek the grain of truth or mountain of truth in their reactivity. Yep, it was true, I was sloppy in a really important area. I worked hard the following week to stay on point and not be sloppy. A wonderfully productive week ensued. I have a great staff! They have the courage to point out my blind spots and I have to courage to tolerate the intense feelings that arise in me and listen to what they have to say while maintaining my leadership.
Here are a few ways I practice seeing my blind spot:
Problem! Pay close attention to the reactions I evoke in others. Do you evoke frustration? Jealousy? Withdraw? Curiosity? Laughter? Warmth? Respect? If so, what do you have to maneuver inside yourself to tolerate the sensations in order to stay present and connected even if it's uncomfortable?
Solution: Notice your emotional reactivity with an attitude of curiosity and wonder. Take a step back and observe your body, your breathing and your emotions. It can be helpful to detach by writing down what you feel.
Problem! Go in to the stuck place and find movement there. If I feel locked in a situation with no way out and feel trapped - instead of resisting it, I look for wiggle room within it. If you have a piano with only 3 working keys, there’s still a way to make music. There are some work days that are so demanding, I must be careful with my thoughts. Instead of internally complaining, whatever the limitation, instead of fighting it, I look to find new possibilities that live within it.
Solution: Take 2 minute meditation break. If driving somewhere and traffic is awful, pull to the side of the road for 60 seconds and deep breathe and pray. If I’m too tired to complete a project and I don’t have enough time to rest, I’ll force myself to take a long bathroom break and make it include a walk around the block with deep breathing. I’ll feel a shift inside so that my inner traffic can flow even if the outer traffic is a mess!
Problem! Notice the qualities I have no tolerance for in others. If I don’t like someone’s attitude, I’ll work on my own. I used to have a client who was consistently late. It would evoke great irritation in me. I learned to use those opportunities to find the places where I am late. This was tough because I have a lot of pride about ‘never’ being late and yet, there is one friend who I am consistently late for any time we schedule together. Hmmmm. When I look at that more deeply, I feel this person has a subtle way of ‘pulling’ at me that I find myself wanting to pull away from.
Solution: Give my full respect to those I feel intolerant of and look for direct ways to set boundaries. When I communicate clearly about how much time I can give (before I reach my emotional limit), our communication is more clear and clean.
Problem! Expect a knee jerk of denial about having a blind spot. This is due to shame. Shame is one of the most rejectable hidden human emotions. It’s connected directly to our essential self. The pure goodness of our essential self may look like: being spontaneously creative, expressing love toward someone or something. When our essential self learned to feel rejected (typically tracking back to early childhood), we experienced deep shame. Shame is often covered by fear. Fear often evokes procrastination. Procrastination sucks the life force right out of us.
Solution: Make a bee line toward fear. When faced with confrontations and uncomfortable feelings, I’m still shaking in my shoes while making a bee line toward the fear. I’ve learned I won’t die from emotional feelings, they are just sensations. I’ve gotten comfortable with being uncomfortable.
It's an art and skill to learn to tolerate the energy of certain emotional sensations. The good news is this can be learned. If you'd like to learn How to Use Energy Healing To Release Emotional Blocks you can read more HERE. We're never too old to learn something new!