Updated: Oct 14
10.14.23 New Moon
A few weeks ago I traveled to a small gathering of some core partners. One of them mentioned, in passing, his blind spot and how he's learning to work with it. I felt a tingle of curiosity, realizing that I wasn't sure what mine was.
My friend talked about blind spots as areas in our perception -- in our work, relationships. life -- that we consistently do not perceive. Importantly, blind spots live right next to our superpowers, to our strongest gifts of perception. In other words, awareness of a blind spot helps us perceive what we don't see, offering a portal to understanding our personal landscape of perception. (I'm grateful to the disability justice movement for helping me to understand that in physical terms, eyesight is one way that bodies perceive, and that non-eyesight based ways of perception are rich, potent, and systematically undervalued.)
A simple example of a blind spot might be when someone has a gift for sensing other people's potential to do extraordinary things, but is consistently unaware of those people's resistance to change.
On my way home from the gathering I turned the question over and over in my mind: "What is my blind spot?''
Nothing felt obvious to me. (It's a blind spot, after all.). But I kept reflecting.
I started working backwards from what I tend to perceive very well. I know I have a strong capacity for sensing people's emerging powers of agency and self-determination, even (and maybe especially) when they don't.
I also began to list out recent moments where I suspected my blind spot was in play, where I felt uneasy with my actions and the outcomes that had resulted. What was I not perceiving that contributed to those moments?
Some recent examples came to mind, in work, family, and with friends. In each one, I felt sort of under-energized in how I had handled things. I noticed that in each case, I had felt a sensation of having missed something, and had gone back to take a slightly different action.
In these moments, I went back to firmly, honestly, and gently take an action that felt energizing, and felt like what I should have done in the first place.
That's when I caught a glimpse of my blindspot, how it's something around me not sensing, and moving with, my own power.
While I'm good at perceiving other people's power, I'm remarkably unconscious my own agency and self-determination in a given situation. This plays out in very small and sometimes very big ways, and, without consciousness, does not serve my purpose.
Being conscious of a blind spot can help us create ways to embrace it. For example, finding a trusted teammate with strong powers of perception in one's blindspot means that together, both have a fuller view of any situation.
I'm still reflecting on my blind spot, bouncing it off other people, and practicing asking myself, "Where is my power in this moment?" to see what happens.
To be clear, by power I don't mean my ability to control or dominate. I mean my ability to take action -- including the action of thought or intention -- that opens creative and regenerative energy toward purpose and possibility. Expanding my landscape of perception feels crucial for creating generative pathways.
I'm grateful for the portal of my blind spot, and what it's helping me see.
And, of course I need to ask, What is your blind spot?
Ignoring the brutal, systematic, longstanding oppression
of the Palestinian people is an intentionally curated blindspot
spawning unspeakable pain and suffering.
To learn more, please follow Jewish Voice for Peace.
New!! Midwifing Justice Video
I'm so proud to be part of the team that produced our gorgeous new video, Midwifing Justice. Deepest gratitude to the creative team at Sharp As Knives, to Nashira Baril for her vision and determination (and our shared journey through our blind spots), and Marinah V. Farrell for so generously being our voice.
In just five minutes, Midwifing Justice tells the story of the history, power, and wisdom of midwifery and offers a vision of a world where birth centers are the heart of a community birth infrastructure grounded in safety, liberation, and abundance. To see the Spanish version, click here.