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Blog de Carlos Goga

About blindspots: a journaling exercise

11/11/2017 | | cambio, English, experiencias | No hay comentarios

My first reaction regarding “blindspot”, when thinking blindspot, is to refuse talking, or writing, as I easily close the question with this “How I am able to know my blindspots if I am blind to them?”. But meditation has helped me connect with humility and quick journaling has unfold some insights.

First, I will be writing about those blindspots that come from others’ reactions to myself that I find surprising, like if I was not the person who cause the reaction. Then, I will try to focus on those self-discoveries, maybe old “blindspots” I recently acknowledge about myself, which I received as a deeper self-knowledge. Lastly, I will reflect on behaviors flying around which I suspect could be an early reflection of blindspots.

Let me start by focusing on those blindspots that come from others’ reactions to myself that surprises me like if I was not the person who cause the reaction.

I find easy to recognize two physical aspects of myself I am still reluctant to accept, if any.

I never think about me as a handsome and beautiful man. In my childhood, I am not able to remember any compliment at all which could give me a hint. On the contrary, I was so blond that people all ages looked at me with surprise and always made comments which I received as mockery. We have in the family this story of me chasing an old woman with a broom around the plaza of my father’s village because she called me “cano”, which means “white haired” for old man. Additionally, I was grown up listening (and integrating) that beauty was a thing of girls. On the other hand, my son has grown up surrounded by spontaneous recognition of “how handsome, beauty, and good looking he is”. When he was maybe 6 or 7, his aunt invented a game for him. Every time anybody, man or woman, would recognize his beauty, if he responded spontaneously “Like my father!” then he will receive one euro as a prize. It was fun to witness the game, but I felt it was only a child’s game and had nothing to do with reality. As time went on, my son has grown up very handsome and good looking. He even thinks about being a model as a part-time activity. I can easily recognize he is. But from time to time, when people meets him or watches pictures of him, they point out the resemblances they see between him and me, things like “He has your eyes” or “He got his mouth from you”. This I receive always as a surprise that take me to wonder if anytime, maybe in the past or even in the present time, people see me as a handsome man.

Other aspect of myself that gets my attention is my voice. When I was a child, I could not pronounce the phonetics of “l” and “r”, less both of them together. But my name is Carlos, or Ca-rl-os if we point out the disturbing coincidence. So I was the subject of mockery by other children very easily. My father wanted to help me, but without a strong insight of how to. He forced me to record my voice while reading and to listen it back under the ingenious expectation that, by recognizing my bad pronunciation, I will find the way, my way, to correct it. Of course this did not work and I ended up detesting my own voice. On the other hand, my aunts thought this all was due to a malformation in the tissue below my tongue and they wanted to cut it off. This scared me so much that they made an easy joke of it and kept threatening me during all my childhood so as provoking an immediate strong rage response from me. This feeling of detesting my own voice came with me to adulthood. I always thought I had this awful pronunciation and horrible voice. Being a public speaker for big corporations, always presenting to audiences and to media, did not help at all, but to deeply close myself to any feeling and by accepting being the subject of silent mockery by others. It even happened that I started to decrease the tone of the voice until it was very hard for others to listen me. I can easily remember some professional friends asking me to raise my voice because it was being hard for them to follow my talk. Then I received this very first recognition about having a nice and interesting voice. This was Isidro, a film producer who is a good friend of mine. He just stated it straight-forward, without any doubt at all. This allowed me to open myself with all my childhood fears and he simply laughed and said “No way, Carlos, you have a very special voice, so please forget all this history of yours”. Since then, I feel much more comfortable with my voice, but recognitions keep surprising me. This has put me on a path of trying different and using my voice in new ways, even singing mantras (which I did not sing at all) or guiding meditations (which I have been avoiding for a while). In some recent situations, I heard expressions like “You have a voice so deep and present that I gets very easy for people to listen you”, “I will love to follow a guided meditation by you”, “You were so great in that TV show that we could follow you as if I was there listening at your side and you were talking only for me”, or even “I heard you sang and it was really beautiful”. Although they are very explicit, even repetitive, as they talk against my old childhood feeling, they always reach me by surprise. However, nowadays I feel I can accept recognition easier, with a deep smile in my heart, in a process of continuously “dissolving” those old believes.

To this same sphere of things belong my “analytical” capabilities. When I was at the University, everything was about being “executive”. Our business hero was Mario Conde, the most successful business man of our youth, and he embodied all that we could be understood as “being executive”. When I went through some different “personality tests”, both at the business school and at my early companies, results always pointed out my extraordinary “analytical” capabilities. My easy response was to reject them by stressing even more my “executive” behavior. As life has gone on, it has put me in situations where I have being able to unfold my easy, deep understanding of things in front of others. At the beginning, I used to think this was the result of other’s not putting enough attention and to conclude by being extremely demanding on them. Then, life spoke loudly and I became to accept this “analytical” capability as one of my gifts.

As I journal about this, I realized there is a connection between my voice and my analytical being and this other blindspot that comes out also very easily: the difficulties to accept myself as a good “storyteller”. From time to time, I receive spontaneous feedback of how great my sharing was, or even explicit advices about how convenient and beauty it would be if I write the stories I share. Although I have integrated this quite a lot by writing and publishing four books and keeping up a blog for the last years, it always surprises me when this advice appears back.
Being a sporadic writer who does not see himself as a “writer” could be maybe another blindspot. My son was the very first person who recognized me as a writer. When observing our family, he proudly noticed we were a family of artists: his grandfather played guitar and accordion; his uncle played percussion instruments; his aunt was devoted to belly dancing; he was growing as a young actor (this was how he saw himself); and his dad was a writer of books. Then, years later, my father recognized me also by buying me a brand new computer “to support my writing activity” while making some changes in his will to accommodate my situation so as “I could devote myself to write”. Nevertheless, when somebody acknowledges me as the “writer”, I keep receiving it by surprise and I am only able to acknowledge myself when I sync with their point of view.

Now, as a second step, I will go through those self-discoveries, maybe old “blindspots” which I am receiving as a deeper self-knowledge.

I have being practicing yoga kundalini and tantric sexuality starting 2009. I like a lot both practices. I could easily feel what a sweet, strong, and nice energy got inside myself. Nowadays, I could verbalize this different by saying that calm, clarity, strength, and love invades me. These practices have sub-practices attached, and to practice “presence” is part of the game. As soon as I recognized it, I made “presence” part of my routine. This was easy for me, as a natural state of being. Somehow, people started to notice. I was receiving lots of acknowledgments for “transmitting peace, looking healthy, or being smiley”, which of course got me by surprise. Then, they came so frequently that I received them as nice compliments and thanked them. Lastly, this has gone even deeper when people attending the retreats I participate in publicly recognize in me what they seem they are looking for. By self-recognizing it and overcoming what initially was a blindspot, I feel stronger and more focused on my practices. At the same time, I feel more legitimate to help those around me asking for help to start their own practice.

Practicing yoga kundalini and tantric sexuality have also helped me to overcome two big blindspots: my emotional self and my energetic self. As with many others, these experiences of being have been hidden, or denied, all my life. Nowadays I can easily listen my emotions and act with their insight without being easily hijacked by them. Additionally, I can freely choose to act on a masculine or a feminine energy on demand, which I feel helps me to walk life easily and joyfully.

New feelings coming from my practice showed up against my lifestyle so strongly that I freely chose to change. This was such a rational decision that I wrote three rules for my new being. They all pointed in the direction I felt to explore. First rule was to follow the voice of the heart on top of the rational mind, which also meant putting love in front of money in every situation of life. Second rule was to live a simple life by developing gratitude for the things I have, and rejecting anxiety for the things I still do not have. Third and last rule was to redefine my relationship with the feminine and with women, enforcing celibacy for some time. These, when I shared with a good friend, got me in and out of a huge blindspot I was in. She recognized my rules as a modern version of traditional monks. She elaborated on them so as concluding my rules were also the traditional rules of obedience, poverty, and chastity. This I felt contradictory as I chose my rules myself, out of absolute freedom and without a sense of sacrifice, but then I realized that monks could act also with absolute freedom and without the feeling of sacrifice. I was shocked by this similarities as much as I was amused by my silence movement into XXI century monkery. But what I feel actually important is that this self-discovery has allow me to look with renew, open eyes to religious people, especially “professional” religious people, which I ever despised and rejected. Nowadays, I feel myself fully open to approach them and get to know better and deeper with a real interest for their knowledge and their experiences.
My determination to redefine my relationship with the feminine and women also had its fruits. After practicing the feminine energy for some time with a home-made approach, what unfold was as unexpected as surprising: the lightening of the blindspot of the feminine. Of course, it is important to point out this discovery comes from the eyes of a man. By feminine I refer to this combination of releasing the rational thinking and listening intuition; putting care on top of action; choosing flow instead of control; deciding always to open and avoiding to close; defending life and embracing death never mind its origin or size. The whole experience fully opened a way of being and living I could have never thought it was possible, what I easily recognize as the path of the feminine. My experience includes even some odd days where the feminine got me by default and took me to live familiar situations from such a different point of view. As weird as this could be received by others, I can feel so easily the feminine in me that I even chose Isabella as my female name.

Maybe the blindspot that took me more opening to recognize is “my influence on others”. I always felt, and keep feeling, I am always learning, unsecured about what I know and highlighting what I do not know. This feeling, which I already know builds also on my personal history, roots as a profound lack of legitimacy. Situational translation is straight-forward: my (old) reluctance to advise or guide others. And I write this being grateful to life which has put me always in leadership situations and has offered me radical learnings. Only by receiving strong and beautiful recognition from the people I interact with at all levels, never mind if they are followers at social network, readers of my books, students I teach, business people I help, or simply friends I share with, I have been able to self-recognize this “influence” and take full responsibility about it.

This other self-discovery which I called “my two inner wolves” I deeply feel have been life-changing. All my life has passed with sporadic explosions of anger and rage. They were so intense and unexpected that I myself was scared of them. They could come at any time and destroy whatever was in front of me. Of course, my family was also scared of them, or even of me when not having them, just in case. First time I recognized this openly was in front of a group of men during a retreat. I shared that my deepest and most shadowed fear was the violence in me, this hidden black energy that erupted from time to time without any alert and which took me out of control in destruction mode. We were seated around a fire in the mountains. This is a metaphoric destruction, but nevertheless it run over all relationships around. Whatever the situation, this rage possessed me and my behavior was that of the ultimate King Salomon, all fake and cruel “justice”. This fear to our own violence I discovered was shared by most men. We talked about it and even let our bodies experiment in a safe environment. For the first time in my life, I got used to my own rage in such a way that fear vanished. However, eruptions still happened. I connected with my personal story and started to understand better its roots: my intimate fear of being rejected by beloved ones. Rage always comes in advance so as preventing the expected. This understanding helped me in a way that rage attacks were less frequent and more predictable. A couple of episodes occurred in situations that made no sense at all, but the rage took over me. I was lucky when a lovely woman chose to share her love with me. I suddenly calmed down. This I read as a deep insight. “Vow! Love could be the answer!” I connected this new feeling immediately with the story of this old Indian man and his wolves within, a story that surprisingly reached me through my son. When two contrary forces fight within me, I can choose which one will succeed by feeding it. I can feed shadow or I can feed light. What I feed will win. Of course, feeding mainly means adding reinforcing or contradictory thoughts on top of the original ones. Time has gone, and nowadays I can mostly recognize the starting of the rage eruption (the black wolf) and act on it by feeding the opposite (the white wolf). I sincerely feel that overcoming this “blindspot” has improved my life 360 degree.

Lastly, let me reflect on those other behaviors flying around which I suspect could be an early reflection of blindspots which I keep facing in shadow.

My reluctance to devote myself to writing is something I keep rationalizing as a lack of external conditions, call it time, space, or activity. But somehow, I suspect this comes mainly from well-known fears I keep incubating. The fear of not being accepted (or being rejected, what you prefer) in my thoughts, feelings, and experiences. The same fear that speaks loudly when I feel this lack of legitimacy I talked before.

My difficulties with the mathematics of age and the feeling of being too old for some life projects could be also a blindspot that keeps limiting myself. Not conscious at all, when I observe some recent patterns I can easily identify that the age issue is in the middle.

Another blindspot which could be around is to fully recognize that, out of necessity, I made up by myself an “awakening journey”. Let’s call it the lovetopian way. Without specific guidance, with experiences I chose by myself, I feel I have “recreated” something as old as new, an approach that could be of help for the era we are living in. This lovetopian way builds with sex as the axis and gender at the periphery. I feel hard to accept this because otherwise I will publicly expose myself as the “sex” guy with a strong gender proposal, which scares me and shame me at the same time.

Not remembering my childhood could be a symptom of another blindspot. When I look back, I hardly find memories before 10 years old. The ones I have come mainly from old pictures and not real experiences. When I listen other people talk about their memories when they were kids, I always feel the same vacuum. Having an infancy as a mistreated and sexually abused boy, I deeply suspect this is my inner mechanism to protect myself of unneeded pain and suffering. In other words, I could be keeping closed what could be my personal Pandora’s box.

One aspect happening behind the scenes is how spontaneously I close myself when I share something, or I participate in something, which I could anticipate lately that could be read as “bad or weird” and used to refuse me or attack me. This is closely link to “my two inner wolves”. Suddenly, a deep fear builds over. My behavior could be easily understood as “the escapist”. What feels different is that there is no explicit rage, only the prompt to act in ways that make me run away of what I like or love the most. I could merge this with that other blindspot, but I still feel this could happen undercover without my conscious me noticing it.

My reluctance to offer myself in some situations at my fullest, showing all my strength, wisdom, and leadership, could be also a blindspot. I find myself in groups where I implicitly or explicitly downsize, where I hide myself. This downsizing could look like as an open disinterest for the group, as a simple humility cover, or as a lack of agenda. But from time to time I incubate the feeling that I could impact much more than what I was actually doing or committing to. This pattern, which I can recognize from time to time, could be also tied to this fear of having people refuse me or attack me, but not for what I could read as “bad or weird” behavior, but for what could be read as “outstanding” behavior.

The last blindspot I want to talk regards my relationship with women. Whatever the reason, I started related with woman under simple rules like older, single, and/or professional. Following the rule was, I felt, a kind of shield to protect myself. When I realized that those simple rules were stupid rules, life offered me abundance of women whose profile challenged the old rules: younger, married or divorced, or government official. At that moment, I thought I was open and free of limitations to have a new relationship. But on top of these rules, this I suspect, is my experience during my first and unique marriage and the bunch of fears and injuries that it brought. If I should summarize the situation, I would say I maybe still closed to a new relationship due to my difficulties to trust. Being born in the generation of “forever” also does not help. However, as I write this, I deeply feel this has already change.

Etiquetas: amor, cambio, change, love, sexualidad


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