Recently I was asked for my personal “energy healing story”, the struggles I had and how I overcame them to eventually be able to help others. At first I thought the overall theme would be my vision challenges, wearing those thick glasses so young. I’d fold in the dreaming as I finally started to improve my eyesight decades later, then my still-ongoing energy medicine studies, then the EFT training. It started to feel like I was forcing my story to fit into the vision theme. Vision itself has become less and less of my focus (ha!) in recent years, as I continue to heal myself. This is about more than my visual blur — that’s just the symptom, not the real problem.
Taking a step back and looking at the big picture, is there a more global issue in my life than my formerly poor vision? Bingo — it’s ANXIETY! I said to one of my coaches recently that for most of my life I was a highly-functioning nervous wreck. This was certainly true as a child, when I was in constant fear of being yelled at. I seemed to be perpetually scrambling to complete my endless chores.
Of course I was always nervous going to the eye doctor, afraid I’d “fail” looking at the eye chart, and would need stronger glasses. So that’s usually what happened. No one then knew about “white coat syndrome”, the heightened anxiety in the doctor’s office which can make symptoms like blood pressure or visual acuity appear temporarily worse.
When my vision kept degrading, the eye doctor told my parents if I got contact lenses, it would stabilize. So at age 16 I was given -10 hard contacts (that was the only kind available back then) with an astigmatism correction built in. I tolerated the discomfort — I remember saying I’d put rocks in my eyes if that would help me see. I appreciated that they did not fog up in the cold or the rain like my glasses had, and did not push down heavily on the bridge of my nose. Yet I worried they would pop out and I’d lose them — they were very expensive.
In high school, deep in the marching band huddle before going on the field, someone accidentally poked me in the eye with his music. One contact lens fell to the ground and was crushed underfoot by the time we found the pieces. My spirit was crushed too — I was helpless without those little curved bits of plastic. If I lived in earlier times, I would never survive, I thought. I really felt defective.
My vision history stayed pretty much the same for the next few decades, through college and a short career teaching math and a longer corporate career, as I kept those strong hard contacts. I was still anxious, usually doing more than my share and trying too hard at everything. I had a very limited view of myself, thinking my worth was tied to my accomplishments. I joked that “Anything worth doing is worth over-doing”, at some level recognizing my striving straining tendencies.
Priding myself on my logic (I cringe at this now), I was not acknowledging that I had emotions, let alone dealing with them. So the dreams started coming to wake me up, and made no sense to me. My mother was a Nazi officer? An ex-boyfriend was a thief hiding from the police? I could not write an equation to solve these dreams, so had to begin to learn to deal with and understand my feelings, which I’d ignored most of my life because they were too inconvenient. And I think my thick lenses helped a great deal to suppress my feelings. Always a good student, I gave myself the assignment of writing a daily journal entry starting with “I feel….”, since I knew this uncharted territory was exactly where I needed to go.
I began studying dreams intensively with Robert Moss, a best-selling author who teaches all over the world about dreaming. In his workshops, with people who wanted to hear what I had to say and did not yell at me, I cried and cried. I was embarrassed, but all those stuffed-down feelings had to come up. Someone once told me “Nancy, you make it OK for others to cry!”. This made me feel a lot better.
Next I found my holistic behavioral optometrist Dr. Marc Grossman, who gave me reduced glasses and soft lenses, which I hadn’t known I could wear. Most of all he gave me hope that I could improve my eyesight, which I had never thought was possible. This was a dream come true! On my first visit he told me the good news was that I had a lot of tension in my visual system, and tension can be released. I started finding ways to release that tension then, and am still doing this today.
Soon after this I found Deborah King, my energy medicine teacher, and started diving into that strange world. I have been studying with Deborah for about 5 years, learning to heal myself and others. Probably the biggest single tool I’ve gotten from Deborah is meditation, a daily practice which has reduced my anxiety like nothing else I’d tried before that.
Most recently I’ve practiced and been trained in EFT, Emotional Freedom Technique or “tapping”, by Dr. Carol Look. EFT has been called “acupuncture without the needles”, as we tap with the fingertips on some of the same points on the face and body an acupuncturist uses to insert needles. Like acupuncture, this helps the stuck energy start flowing again. EFT has helped me enormously to feel calmer and safer, lowering my formerly constant anxiety so I can see more clearly, feel more relaxed, have more fun, and help others instead of only worrying about my own problems.
So now I coach and teach people about vision improvement, about what their dreams might be telling them, and about improving their life and health issues. Sometimes we use EFT as a tool to help, sometimes not. I’ve learned to keep my focus on the feelings, whether I’m working on myself or with someone else. If I’m nervous or frightened, I’m focused on survival, not on healing. If I’m calm and optimistic, eager for my next experience, my body and mind and vision will be functioning at their best. Yes, I wish I had known this when I was younger. I am so glad I know it now, and I am so grateful to all my teachers. I never thought Life could be this rewarding.