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.
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Hi Nancy, I can relate all this to me. Not only vision practice, i too encountered EFT as a wonderful tool about 2 years ago. Lot of emotional blocks are there but your journey inspires me. I am coming back to your blog to excel my relaxation techniques and learn new one. I am getting wonderful results from last 15 days practice which i resumed now more consistently. You took that path and thats why i am able to leaen in my 30s. I admire your blogs and would love to meet you in person some day
Hello Ajmer, and thanks so much for writing. EFT has been excellent for me and for the clients who have done it. It relaxes the nervous system strain which constricts the whole body, the visual system included. Since I am not consistently at 20/20 yet, I am finding time every day to palm, do some sunning, practice with the eye chart, and yes, do some EFT on whatever is making me anxious currently. These are all wonderful practices, yet they only work if you do them! 🙂 I am so happy for you that you are seeing progress from these simple techniques, and look forward to hearing about further improvements. Keep up the good work!
Wow, I can relate to all of this. I was always worried of ‘failing’ at eye tests and trying to be an achiever, failing and blaming myself. Thank you for all these blogs.
Asha, good for you for your awareness. You deserve to be peaceful and calm, and to see clearly, so be kind to yourself. 🙂
Alivina, hi, Soul Sister! 🙂 Yes, this is the age-old Nature vs. Nurture question, and I have wondered about it for myself. If I was a calmer personality as a child in that stressful environment, would my myopia have been as bad? Or if I was the same Nervous Nancy and had quieter more peaceful surroundings, would I have had better eyesight? I finally decided that while this is interesting to explore, my past made me who I am now, and I kind of like her! And I know now how to deal with both feeling anxious, and being in a noisy setting, so I get the tranquillity I need. It’s all good! And thanks for the question.
Hello, Nancy! Agree with Gwen on soul sisters! Recently I caught myself on the thought that I anticipated your texts. What is your opinion that we were born with inclination to myopia or mostly made myopic thru upbringing?
Good for you, Gwen! There’s something about the natural setting, lakes or mountains or the ocean, with that expansive long view, that seems to really open up the vision. I still remember the first time I saw a sea bird flying overhead, farther and farther away, on a beach, without my glasses. I was thrilled, and felt so empowered!
Nancy I think we mus be soul sisters. I can identify with every single thing you wrote here! These days I use my vision as an emotional barometer. Recently I was on vacation in Nova Scotia and my vision was so clear that I saw whales from a rocky shore. I didn’t need glasses or binoculars at all. I never took my almost-windowpane glasses from the bottom of my luggage. Thanks so much for your shining example!