When I started vision improvement 15 years ago and thought about my visual habits, I was dismayed to find I wasn’t truly looking at anything. I’d take a big visual gulp of an entire scene, then examine that in my mind like a photograph. I had to learn to really look, in a curious interested way, exploring the various changing details before me. If you don’t look, you won’t see!
The thick glasses I wore as a child separated me from my environment, and my fearful attitude separated me even more. I did not want to connect with anything around me — it didn’t feel safe! I especially did not want to connect with other people.
One of my vision teachers encouraged those of us with a myopic pattern to let our visual energy go all the way out to the blurry object in the distance. Maybe it was a tree across a field. “The tree isn’t blurry out there”, he’d say. “It’s the interpretation in your brain that’s blurry”. He told us to pretend the tree was looking at us too, and to feel that connection.
In looking for a picture to accompany this article, I found many images of mothers connecting with their babies, or lovers gazing into each other’s eyes. We can connect with what or whom we look at, whatever it is, animate or not. Animals and plants and even rocks have their own energy, and when we take the time to look at them we share our energy together.
When I’m distracted and not fully present, I can still fall into that glancing and gulping bad visual habit. Then I have to remind myself to slow down and focus. And when I do, I find a fascinating dynamic world just waiting to connect with me, and delight me.