Newton’s Third Law also provides an apt metaphor: Every force has an equal but opposite force. The part of you creating a blind spot is missing access to its opposite. Self-change, then, is about moving from eclipse to declipse. It’s a process of balancing the two forces.
Step One: Befriend the Thought – Let’s say that you feel controlled by your desire for smooth sailing, an easier life. The first step is to notice that part of yourself. Create a little distance, a little meta-awareness. Name the issue you’re dealing with. Tell yourself, “Wow! I really need to detach from my need for sunny weather.” Befriend this characteristic, and accept it. Even if it’s causing you problems, it is still a part of you – probably an overworked part of you!
Step Two: Ask the Thought to Move Away – Gently ask this part of you to step aside. Choose a metaphor that works for you. You could send your need for praise on vacation – it could probably use a trip to the beach! If you’re feeling less extravagant, perhaps you could just treat it to a cup of coffee. Find an imaginative way to send the need somewhere else. The declipse can’t happen as long as your desire for praise is eclipsing the wisdom.
Step Three: Enter the Mind’s Inner Sky – Quiet your mind and enter a still place. Like an orchestra conductor, bring all the noise down to silence. Just exist in this blank quietude. You’ve got nothing to do and nowhere to go. I call this space the inner sky.
Step Four: Intuition Reveals Wisdom – After a few moments, your intuition will fill this void with higher wisdom. “choppy seas make a skilled sailor,” it may say. “I welcome the rough days.” The forces inside you will return to their proper balance – the yin and yang. You will be able to recognize that while sunny days are lovely, you grow when the days are choppy. This is the declipse.
Outgrowing growth edges can become an important habit, a vital habit of a transformational leader.