My energy medicine teacher Deborah King has a weekly radio show. She often asks the callers who are seeking her help with a problem whether they have a meditation practice. Many times they answer “I’ve been thinking about meditating” or “I meditate once in a while”, and I can just hear Deborah’s students all over the world groaning at this. Meditation doesn’t give you any benefits unless you actually do it!
We’ve all heard “Practice makes perfect”, or about the famous basketball pro who still spends countless hours practicing free throws. Well, that’s how he got so good at it! I have a personal fitness routine, some exercises I do every day and others I do a few times a week. When I’m away from home, I still do a bit, even if it’s just push-ups in the morning in my hotel room. And yet I am always dismayed when I get back home after being gone only a week, to find the normal weights I use to work out are so heavy! “If you don’t use it, you lose it”.
So what does all this have to do with vision improvement? People have dismissed the Bates Method with “Oh, I tried that, and it didn’t work”. To me, there are 2 main reasons for this. First, the person may have misunderstood what they were to do, and so practiced something which wasn’t helpful. (A common flavor of this is going without glasses, yet still looking in a straining effort-full manner.) The second reason is the topic of this post: the person was not consistent in applying the principles of the Bates Method, only doing it occasionally.
I admit I am not as consistent in my own vision practice as I would like to be, so I’m writing this partly for myself! Just this morning in a dimly lit corner of the kitchen (I don’t turn the lights on unless I really need them), I reached over the dish drainer with a water glass in my hand. I jarred both myself and the glass by bumping it, hard, into the protruding handle of the little iron skillet which was propped up to dry in the drainer! Ouch! Feeling very glad I didn’t break the glass, I reminded myself once again to look before I reach, not to just assume I know what is there. Yes, it was darker than usual in the kitchen, but if I had been looking I would have seen the skillet. If I don’t look, I won’t see!
In additon to ongoing looking with attention, I’d also like to be more regular about my vision chart practice. I am noticing quicker clearing of the letters when doing this, and less double vision, plus those very gratifying deeper black sharper letters. Yet I am probably only getting in a session of a half-hour or more 3 to 4 days a week. Yes, this is better than not at all, but I’d prefer it was nearly every day.
I’ve written before about my struggles with the eye chart, how I used to avoid it because it just showed me how poor my vision was. I’m largely over this, and yes I’m aware how illogical that is, like waiting until you’re in better shape to go to the gym! I do want my vision to keep improving, and it’s time to align my actions with that intention now. Like in the fable of the tortoise and the hare, slow and steady wins the race — if I keep at it, my vision will keep getting better. What goal do you have that might need some additional focus?