Sometimes new vision clients come to me full of anxiety about their deteriorating vision. I’ve heard from many of them “I just don’t want it to get any worse!”, as they almost wail in desperation. Talking about vision exercises at this point, even those that promote relaxation like the Long Swing, is of limited use. We first need to relax the mind.
When the person is calm enough to think more clearly, we can talk about going without eyeglasses or contacts when it’s safe, and just noticing. Look how much you can see, rather than being obsessed with what you can’t. Also, going without artificial correction helps you start to tune into the normal, natural variations in how well you see. Sometimes the world looks pretty clear. Sometimes it’s more blurry. When you’re wearing glasses or contacts, your eyes aren’t taking such an active role in seeing, and you’re not as aware of the subtle nuances of eyesight.
The next step in loosening this limited mindset of “My vision is getting worse!” is to notice the times when it is better, even momentarily, and how you’re using your eyes and mind then. And also notice when it seems to be worse, and what you’re doing — are you peering too intently, or angry, or distracted? All this is great feedback to help you move to more relaxed healthy attention or seeing habits, and to clearer vision.
I’ve worked with clients for whom the thought of their vision improving was fantasy, as likely as sprouting wings and being able to fly. Yet over time they learned to relax their looking and do many activities without any correction. Some are still progressing, and functioning most or all of the time without any “eye cages” seems utterly doable. A few have told me they never wear glasses in their dreams! I encourage them to remember that scene in as much detail as they can — this dream could very well come true.
In many different areas of my life, whether it be career or academia or fitness or a relationship, I’ve held a mental image of that Big Goal, in this case to function fully without eyeglasses. At the same time I take small steps toward my goal, and congratulate myself heartily for any progress. The first time I drove without glasses I was in my driveway hardly going 1 mph, and I was so exultant you’d think I’d climbed Mt. Everest while carrying someone else on my back!
Please don’t limit yourself unnecessarily, with your vision or anything else. If you get injured, the body can heal. If you are hurt emotionally, the human spirit can heal. If you decided there was danger in seeing and limited your sight, even unconsciously because you just couldn’t deal with Reality back then any other way, you can learn the world is safe now. If you developed poor visual habits, you can replace them with healthier ones. Take baby steps toward that big goal of clear vibrant sight. You deserve no less.
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