It’s a cliché that the eyes are the windows to the soul, a view to our inner being. What were my eyes showing about me when I was a child, trapped behind strong thick glasses? I was not happy, and was trying too hard at everything. So my eyes probably showed a lot of tension and strain, and some sadness at not being good enough (or so I thought). Nothing like the bright-eyed boy in the photo!
If vision problems arise from strain, as Dr. Bates taught and I believe, healthy eyes are relaxed and aware. Several of my teachers, especially my energy medicine teacher Deborah King, emphasize how important self-care is to a healthy mind and body. This includes simple practices like getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, and getting regular exercise. All this applies to the eyes as well as to the rest of the body. It occurred to me recently that the eyes may not only be a window to one’s soul or feelings, but also to one’s level of self-care, or to the lack of it!
Last weekend I attended an EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or “tapping”) workshop, with my beloved teacher Dr. Carol Look, in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts. We ate delicious organic food, with someone else doing the cooking and washing the dishes! We spent the workshop time sharing painful events, then clearing our stuck emotions around these with EFT so healing could start. As always happens at these events, I was struck by the commonality of the Human Condition. One person’s grief about the father who died when she was a little girl was similar to the pain of the grieving widow, and tapping on “I still miss him every day, even though it’s been years!” moved the energy along and helped both women heal.
When a workshop participant shed some grief or anger or self-blame, or some other painful emotion, I could see the difference in her eyes right away. She looked more alert, more “here”, with more energy, more “juice”, more joy. Several times I thought to myself “Self-care for vision has a lot to do with caring for your emotions!”.
After Saturday’s long day of emotional work and deep sharing, with some crying and a lot of laughing, I spent time alone going over what we’d done, and how it had affected me personally. Sitting on my dorm room bed and writing, I could see the lit red numbers of a room-mate’s alarm clock against the far wall. I watched as they drifted in and out of clarity: clearer, blurry, clear enough to read (!), blurry. I wondered if my vision was clearer than usual from all the emotional clearing we’d been doing all day. It’s an EFT truism that if you tap along with someone’s else’s process, even though the exact issue isn’t yours, you’ll “borrow the benefits” for yourself.
So I encourage you to take a look at where in your life your self-care could use a boost. Look in the mirror and ask your eyes what they’d like you to do better for them, and for the rest of your body. If you’re honest with yourself, you know what you need. And if you’re like me, it may be honoring your feelings and giving them “air time”. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if clearing your emotions also helped clear your vision?