Several years ago I took a week-long workshop with Peter Grunwald, the developer of the Eyebody Method, which is based on Alexander Technique principles of body alignment, with Bates practices folded in for vision improvement. One big point Peter kept emphasizing is that when looking at something in the distance which appears blurry, we should still let our visual energy go all the way out to the object, not stop short of it. And as we continue to gently let in the image to our eyes and brain, it often starts clearing on its own.
A related practice is to look at something, say a tree across the lawn, and feel the tree looking at you. Vision is actually an energy exchange between the looker and the object of looking. You can feel this most easily when looking into the eyes of another person, or perhaps into the eyes of a favorite pet. Think of a mother gazing at her baby with overflowing love, and her baby looking back, drinking in the good feelings. Each is feeding the energy of other.
So of course this makes me wonder “What happens when this visual energy exchange doesn’t feel good?”. Maybe I’m angry at the person I’m looking at, or afraid of her. This makes it much more difficult for me to reach out, either with my undefended feelings or with my vision. For me, my emotions and how much I want to reach out and look are very closely connected.
Well, if I want to see everything clearly, I could keep myself in protected situations where I always feel safe, so I can let my gaze travel outward confidently. But this might be a pretty limited life! A better solution is to slowly and continuously raise my level of self-empowerment, which will help me feel safe no matter what the situation. Then I won’t have to pull back my vision, in that unconscious fear reflex, because I’ll know I can handle what arises.
I spent a lot of my early life feeling afraid, basically focused on survival — the last thing I wanted to do was reach out! So it’s no surprise I had very limited vision as a child. My visual system did not feel safe! As I’ve grown and learned and worked with several expert teachers, I’ve found I can relax most of the time. I don’t have to remain in that hyper-alert state, wating for the predator — I want to reach out now. Behind this drive is the desire to share my talents with the world, and also to interact more closely with other people and learn about them. As I connect more with others, my vision improves, and as I see more clearly, people seem drawn to me, without my even trying. I am learning, finally, that sharing my energy with others is extremely satisfying, and fun!