Many of us who have a tendency towards myopia are over-doers. If a little is good, a lot must be great! “Trying too hard” makes no sense to us — how can you get anything done if you don’t try?
Today I received a question from someone who thinks he is doing everything right to improve his vision, palming for long periods of time, going without his glasses, practicing with the eye chart. Yet he isn’t seeing the improvement he wants, only daily clear flashes. Since I’ve been down this road myself, I have some guesses as to what might help.
First, the attitude with which you do something can be as important as what you’re doing. If you’re not enjoying your vision practice, instead seeing it as drudgery, your progress won’t be as fast, nor as much fun. How about thinking “Wow! I get to palm for a bit, and rest my mind and eyes!”, instead of “Rats! I guess I should do some palming now”, with a deep discouraged sigh.
Second, notice small improvements and celebrate them. I can’t emphasize this strongly enough. The man who wrote to me said he had clear flashes daily! His natural no-eyeglasses vision is trying to reassert itself, starting to come back on-line, and he acts like that’s no big deal. It’s huge!
Third, don’t get too hung up on a specific result you want by a certain time. The wisdom teachers say “Do the right thing, and don’t be attached to the outcome”. They also say “Enjoy the journey!”. Both of these apply to vision improvement.
Fourth, and you’ve heard it before: “See with the eyes of a child”. Pretend everything around you is new, or you are new to the planet and interested in looking at every single thing. “Bored” isn’t even in your vocabulary! I’ve wondered before if some people develop declining vision because looking wasn’t a pleasure any longer, so they stopped looking. If you don’t look, you won’t see!
Finally, focus more on how your eyes feel, than on how they perform. Are your eyes relaxed and happy, and you just know they’re shining and sparkling? Well that’s worth a lot, even if you’re only seeing 20/40 on the eye chart today. In fact, use your feelings as your guide for whether to continue an activity, or to do something else. Don’t tie yourself to a rigid schedule of a specific exercise at a specific time if your heart’s not in it right now.
Practice the healthy principles of good vision, and have fun with it. See if you can incorporate “vision practice” into taking a walk, or playing with your children or grandchildren, or even cleaning the house or doing the dishes. Examine details curiously but not obsessively. Be grateful, maybe even delighted, at how much you can see. How could you see a rainbow, or the stars, or the face of someone you love, without your vision? It’s one of the primary gifts of being in a human body, to me.