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The photo is from Louise Hay’s classic, “You Can Heal Your Body”, citing underlying emotional patterns connected to physical problems. Of course I have it open to the page about eyes and vision. Myopia, which is off the page, is “fear of the future, not trusting what is ahead”. This is much more my past state than my present one, thankfully.

As a child I loved to read, like many people who grew up with introverted near-sighted habits and behaviors. I was more comfortable immersed in a book than interacting with a real live person! I’m half-convinced I taught myself to read at a very young age by sitting on my father’s lap, following his moving finger as he pointed out the words he was reading aloud from the Sunday comics.

When I was 5 years old I got glasses, which I wore all the time, even when reading, which I know now was not a good idea. I read compulsively, the cereal boxes at the breakfast table, the license plates on family road trips, trying to turn those unrelated 3 letters into an acronym, playing with words even back then.

Still today I get great enjoyment from reading, taking in the letters and words and ideas and making them part of my being. Reading seemed like magic when I discovered it, and I’ve never lost that feeling.

In a vision workshop a few years ago Peter Grunwald talked about reading the meaning behind the text, not just a syllable-by-syllable translation of the letters and words to speech or mind chatter. A man who bragged about being a very fast reader demonstrated for us, and his rote reading was technically correct but had no “soul”. Listeners were bored, like you might be hearing a pedantic professor who’s given the same lecture countless times. Plus this reader admitted he often forgot what he had read! When I’m absorbed in reading something, reading the meaning and not just the words like Peter recommended, I remember it because I’m interested in what I’m reading!

So all this thought about loving reading made me wonder how I could use this to love looking at things farther away than normal reading distance. Could I learn to “read” my surroundings, like a native Indian tracker? I once had a brief dream of a big eye chart in the sky, quite far away, which I thought was trying to tell me distance doesn’t matter, that the same vision skills I use to see close so well, with such interest and enthusiasm, can be applied to distant vision too. I naturally focus on details up close (I have to do that to be able to read) — I now want to extend that skill to looking at details in the distance.

People talk about seeing with the eyes of a child, with wonder and curiosity and fascination. I’ve always felt this way about reading, nourishing myself with story or knowledge. I’d love to regain that childhood excitement of what my eyes can deliver to me by “reading” my surroundings, both far as well as near. In primary school I got major praise for being an excellent reader, with great comprehension. Yet, sadly, my glasses kept getting thicker and stronger. I’m reclaiming that past label of “excellent reader” more fully now, expanding it to include learning to read what’s happening around me in the world.


  • Printable PDF Files
  • 20 ft, 10 ft, and Near Vision Charts
  • Letters Calibrated to Correct Printed Size


Author: Nancy

I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, from age 5 into my 40s. While making many mistakes, eventually l learned how to improve the way I use my eyes and to see in a more relaxed, healthy manner. It is my pleasure to coach others to do the same. Visit me at https://NancyLNeff.com.

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