Staying Present To See Better

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Recently I was away from home in a strange environment, which is always a golden opportunity for me to learn more about my vision habits. One morning as I carefully descended some steps I’d used a few times already, I noticed something very interesting. Before I go into that, let me say going down stairs is often challenging for myopes. They tend to be ungrounded, and maybe they can’t see the steps clearly which will make them feel uncomfortable.

On the stairs I realized I had memorized the number of steps, and I was counting in my head as I took each one, instead of looking! ACK! I found out years ago that I had the common bad vision habit of taking a quick glance, like a snapshot, then looking at that in my mind rather than looking at what was in front of my eyes. If the scene is changing moment by moment, obviously I could miss things using (or not using!) my eyes this way. I’ve worked on this a lot, and clearly I need more work.

This post is not about stairs — that’s just one example of how I can practice being connected to my surroundings, or not. I hate to admit it, but for a lot of my life I did not want to be connected to my environment. Give me a book, and let me escape!

Now I do want to be connected to my surroundings and the people in them, very much. This means my visual system is connected as well, and I’m really looking at things. I’ve said before that when I came out from behind my glasses it felt like coming out of a cage to join the rest of Humanity. Of course I want to look at my human family, and at the glories of Mother Earth!

Are you here, now, looking gratefully at your own surroundings? See if you can pay just a bit more attention today, so you don’t miss something special!

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Nancy
I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, for most of my life, starting at age 5. 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 http://NancyLNeff.com.
Nancy

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Nancy

Author: Nancy

I wore strong glasses, then contact lenses, for most of my life, starting at age 5. 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 http://NancyLNeff.com.

2 thoughts on “Staying Present To See Better”

  1. That’s exactly what i’ll do. Just take a snapshot of a scene, and try to remember it in my mind without truly looking at things. It stems from fear; at least for me. It’s just a general uneasy, uncomfortable feeling. I too wanted to escape my environment as well. that’s why i would conjure up a distraction in my mind to distract me from what’s going on. Practically speaking, it’s an unhealthy coping mechanism that i and others have developed. In order to survive long ago, one had to be aware of one’s environment. Come to think of it, i’m kind of viewing this as a screwed up fight-flight reaction to a threat. Instead of taking action, my eyes just freeze up while neither fighting or running away. I would just sit or stand somewhere and look down in shame. This is my behavior when i’m involved in a social interaction or place where many people are present.

    1. AlkalineWater7, the reactions to trauma are fight or flight or FREEZE. Think of animals about to be attacked playing dead. Then if the predator leaves, they shake off the trauma and go on, while we’re told “sit still and don’t move!” as kids. Peter Levine’s “Waking the Tiger” is a classic excellent book about this. I’ve done a lot of work personally to un-freeze my body and my eyes. Thick strong glasses sure didn’t help.

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