How to See What You Don't See

We all have our blind spots. If we’re attuned, we only are aware that they hold us back. We still may not see how to bring light to our personal darkness. 

Most of us are not taught how to develop our vision.  Luckily, learning to see is easier than you might think.  

I developed my vision after four years living in the rainforest and the Andes. With only cold running water in the tap and no electricity, it was a 90 minute walk home from where the bus dropped me off at the base of the mountain. I often hiked home at night because it was cooler. Although my neighbors were terrified for my safety, I never encountered any big cats.

Even if you wanted to leave everything behind and go to South America for the next few years, you wouldn’t be able to have the same immersion experience that I did. At that time there was no Internet. Now you can be anywhere and still be connected to home.

This change in the world makes it harder to truly get away, but it also presents us with the opportunity to learn how to “tune in” from right where we are.

There are three essential things you can do to help yourself develop vision without leaving home or going to sit on the mountain for a week.

First, turn off the noise. During my years abroad, I stripped away the noise of the world so there were no distractions. In this iPhone world, it takes a real effort to learn to hear and see more deeply. Turn off your iPad, your phone, and your TV. Ignore your newspapers. Learn to sit or walk while observing, breathing, and listening. Become more present.

Second, relax your left brain. Refrain from picking up any books or other reading material. Avoid thinking about things and allow yourself to feel, instead. Be creative ~ pick up an instrument, a loom, a paintbrush, or a carving knife. Take a break from math, science, and anything else that is deeply rational. Spend time in practices you normally don’t allow yourself to explore.

Third, look through the eyes of a child. Give yourself permission to be surprised. Imagine that animals can talk, that clouds are showing you images, that there is a spirit of alive intelligence that fills everything in every moment and that it is speaking to You. Imagine that your act of putting a pebble down “just so” communicates something important to universal intelligence. I know this will be a stretch for many of you. Just play with it. Allow yourself to experience the world through what the Buddhists call “beginner’s mind”.

In a world where we are predominantly rational rather than intuitive, isolated instead of connected, and practical rather than curious you are in no danger of falling off the deep end into irrationality and magical thinking. But by allowing the pendulum to swing in a new direction, you will move closer to balance and integration ~ and in the process, you will hear and see a layer of life that was previously hidden.

To your success,