In the past several years, especially since I’ve been studying energy medicine with Deborah King, I’ve been focusing on being present, fully engaged in the activity at hand, whether it be a weight workout or washing the dishes. I don’t want to have part of my attention on fretting about the future or on bemoaning the past. Proceeding at a steady methodical pace goes along with this. I actually get more done when I’m not desperately rushing — this just leads to making mistakes. Yet I’ve been slow to apply these more mindful habits to my vision.
I’ve always been an over-achiever, completing a task as fast as possible before plunging into the next one, doing my homework the day it’s assigned, paying bills the day they arrive. Yet when I was younger this was often in a frantic and driven way. It was as if I was trying to avoid punishment, rather than savour the good feeling of a job well done. I’m sorry to say that when I started studying vision improvement, I swallowed book after book about it like I was cramming for an exam, desperately seeking The Answer to my lifelong restricted eyesight.
Once I thought I had a good grasp of the principles, I spent a few frustrating years doing vision exercises, straining so much I gave myself headaches, and more than once ended up in tears. I did the Long Swing so vigorously I lost my balance. Right after a session of palming, I’d test my vision on the eye chart, like a child asking his parents every 5 minutes on a long trip “Are we there yet?”. No wonder I didn’t make very fast progress!
Over time I’ve learned the value of going forward gently, taking enough time that I don’t get upset, getting things done without speeding though them. No stern teacher is standing over me, tapping her foot impatiently. And I’ve finally gotten that internalized teacher out of my own head enough that I can go at my own pace.
Since I got glasses at age 5, they shaped the way I saw the world and how I behaved. When I imagine putting glasses on my face now, I feel anxious, like I am supposed to perform and may not do as well as is expected. I probably was already developing the tendency to hurry through things at that age, since I had so much to do at home, and I think glasses just cemented that habit. When I observe people wearing glasses now, they often look nervous to me, and seem to be apologizing more than is necessary.
Just this morning I was in the grocery store, when a man in front of me made a sudden U-turn and slammed his cart right into mine! Sure enough, he had thick glasses, and apologized profusely. This anecdotal evidence does not prove glasses make you prone to rushing, of course, though I do think there’s a relationship.
We know eyeglasses teach our visual system to see in a way that corresponds to the prescription. Get stronger glasses and “your eyes will get used to them”, the eye doctor tells you, when you say they’re uncomfortable. Lower your prescription a little and your eyes will get used to that too. What if along with the visual constriction, there’s a corresponding energetic nervous system constriction? And this leads to wanting to hurry — you have to avoid the predator!
Experiment with going more slowly and see how you feel. Are you afraid you’re being lazy, or “goofing off”? Go for a walk without your glasses in a place where you’re safe, and let yourself meander instead of striding briskly along. Look at that breathtaking Nature scene a little longer, exploring the details and colors. There’s plenty of time to see what you need to see. What’s the rush?