What's in Your Blind Spot?
By Sulana Stone/SedonaVisionQuest.com
We frantically search for our "lost" keys that are lying in plain
sight on the kitchen counter. We don't see the keys. Why not? Because we
already decided "the keys are not there." And once we make that
decision, we create a blind spot in our awareness. The result is that we
don't see the keys where we don't expect them to be.
If we miss seeing keys out in the open because we decide the keys
aren't there, what else could we be missing because we decide it's not
there? Could we be "blind" to other possibilities and opportunities that
are right under our nose?
What's New, Pussycat?
A mind-blowing scientific experiment reveals how the early physical
environment of kittens determines what they are able to see-and not
see-as they grow up. Two-week-old
kittens are placed in a room with
walls painted with vertical stripes and kept there as they mature.
Almost from the moment they are able to see, the kittens live in an
environment of vertical stripes. Later, the cats' world changes. They're
removed from their vertically striped surroundings and placed in a room
painted with horizontal stripes. Surprisingly, our furry felines don't
see the horizontal stripes. Bang! They run right smack into the walls
painted with horizontal stripes, time and time again. Why? Scientists
discovered that because the cats don't have horizontal stripes in their
environment as they grow up, the brains of the cats don't develop the
neurons that recognize horizontal stripes. So when elements they've
never been exposed to appear in the cats' world, their brains don't
register the new elements in their environment. Yikes! Could we be
unable to recognize elements in our current environment because those
elements were missing when we grew up? Yes, we could! But before we look
for aspects of life we might not be seeing, let's look
for aspects we might not be hearing as well.
What'd You Say?
Studies with babies reveal how the early auditory environment of
babies determines what they are able to hear-and not hear-as they grow
up. Research shows that young babies have the ability to hear the full
range of vocal sounds produced by the speech of all the human languages
in the world. But then, babies are raised hearing only the narrow range
of speech sounds within their social environment. Eventually, because
they hear solely the speech sounds found within one culture, babies lose
their ability to distinguish the full range of vocal sounds found in all
This explains why Japanese children are unable to pronounce the
English "r" sound that does not exist in their native language. "The
common result," according to a researcher at the University of
California, "is essentially that if perceptual experience is limited,
one will not be able to perceive things outside that experience." This
is why, in everyday life, we're not able to recognize-or "hear"-concepts
that we weren't exposed to in our upbringing.
Casting a Spell of Limitations
We all grow up in families and societies where we are only exposed to
a limited view of life-like kittens only viewing vertical stripes and
babies only hearing speech sounds from their social environment. Our
"stripes" consist of a limited range of cultural patterns of sights and
sounds. These cultural patterns give signals to the brain that tell us
"the way life is" within that limited environment. And the brain
mistakenly "thinks" it knows "the way life is" outside of that
Growing up in a limited environment has a comparable effect to being
hypnotized. For example, when people are hypnotized, they can be told
that certain elements exist or don't exist in their environment. With
hypnotic suggestion, a person can be told that there are no red books in
a bookstore. And, even though many of the books are red, the person
won't see any red books. The hypnotic suggestion creates a blind spot,
or filter, in the person's perception of the world.
Similarly, we're hypnotized by our parents and society to see certain
aspects of reality-and not to see other aspects of reality. Then, as
adults, we only see the range of possibilities that we were exposed to
as we grew up. We don't recognize any alternatives outside of the range
of viewpoints presented to us in our youth. Options and opportunities
that we weren't exposed to don't even register with the brain.
By the very nature of how we're raised, we develop blind spots. And
these blind spots often prevent us from seeing-and taking advantage
of-options that are life-enriching and valuable to us. To what degree do
these blind spots limit the abundance in our lives? What kinds of
options could we be missing? Let's "see."
On the first day of a four-day workshop I was attending, Martin
complained that he didn't have a way to get back and forth to the
workshop everyday. He had camped several miles outside of town down a
narrow, rough dirt road. Our disgruntled camper talked on and on about
his dilemma. Martin had decided that there was no way to get to the
workshop other than to walk. He couldn't see any other options. He felt
hopeless and discouraged. So, when someone in the group offered to give
Martin a ride every day, Martin didn't even hear the proposal. He was
totally hypnotized by his belief that "there is no solution other than
walking." The person offered the ride several more times, yet the
unexpected proposal continued to fall on Martin's deaf ears. Finally,
several people in the group yelled at Martin that he was not hearing the
offer of a ride. This group outburst snapped Martin out of his
hypnotized state, his blind spot. Only then
was Martin able to recognize that his transportation issue was resolved.
Julia's dream was to move out of her cramped apartment and buy her
own home. Since she didn't have enough money for a down payment, she was
busily doing everything she could to earn more income. When someone
heard about Julia wanting a home to live in, they offered to give her
their home for a year rent-free while they went overseas. Julia turned
down the invitation. She didn't recognize her good fortune because the
opportunity didn't appear in the form she expected. Julia was fixated on
the idea that to get the living situation she wanted, she had to own the
house. She was hypnotized by her belief that "I don't have enough money
to buy my own house." Her blind spot prevented her from seeing another
solution to her problem. It didn't register to her that her need had
been fulfilled. She rejected an offer that would have allowed her to
move out of her tiny apartment. If she'd accepted the gift, Julia would
have enjoyed living in a spacious home right away. And she would have
saved enough money during that year to reach her ultimate goal-to make a
down payment on her own home.
"The Way Life Is?"
When we're young, we learn a lot about "the way life is" by observing
the adults in our lives. And, these adults can, for the most part,
only pass along their limited views of life.
For example, did you grow up being instilled with the viewpoint
that "people work at jobs they don't like to pay the bills?" If
you were exposed solely to this narrow perspective about work, you might
not recognize the available option that
"people work at jobs they love that also pay the bills." When you were
young, perhaps you noticed that "many adults compromise and sacrifice in
order to make a relationship work." Spell-bound by watching this model
of how partnerships function, you might not
be able to see another viable alternative
in which "adults find ways for relationships to be easy, fun and
mutual." If all you saw as a child was that "people become more stubborn
and opinionated as they grow older," then you wouldn't have it in your
realm of possibilities that "people become more flexible and allowing as
they grow older."
When our role models demonstrate that it's "normal" to have jobs
without passion or relationships without mutuality, we don't see other
options when we become adults. When our elders aren't open and
adaptable, we find ourselves accepting rigidity and narrow-mindedness as
Unfortunately, the cats keep bumping
into horizontal stripes for the rest of their lives. Likewise, many of
us keep bumping into our personal "invisible" limits for the rest of our
lives. But we don't have to.
Intuition Saves the Day
There's a way out of this conundrum! There's a way around the fact
that our mind is programmed with limitations. We've got intuition! Using
intuition, it doesn't matter that our brain doesn't see or hear new life
opportunities. Only the mind is restricted by the narrow options of
childhood. Only the mind is hypnotized. Our intuition doesn't have these
Using intuition, we have a natural
ability to see into our blind spots. Although
the brain doesn't develop neurons to
recognize "horizontal stripes," intuition can detect them. Although the
mind is hypnotized not to discern
red books, intuition can discern them.
Not being brainwashed with limitations, intuition can see options
the mind doesn't see. Intuition can lead us to options that didn't exist
in our childhood environment.
If we truly desire to discover fresh options, our intuition will
guide us all the way. There are lots of other fulfilling
alternatives out there. We just don't see them. The more we stop
looking with our minds and start looking with our intuition, the more
opportunities we'll see for happiness and prosperity. Our intuition will
help us find the harmonious and loving future
we dreamed of when we couldn't wait to grow up!
For information on the kitten and baby
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Sulana Stone, personal life coach, vision quest guide and animal
communicator, assists people to create what they want in life through
private sessions and workshops. For free up-to-date tips and articles
that will help you express your life purpose more successfully, sign up
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