When you’re engaged in a task, is your mind sometimes a million miles away? Let’s say your name is Sue — do you often hear your friends calling “Earth to Sue! Earth to Sue!”, hoping to get you to focus on the present moment? If your gaze is apparently on one thing, yet your attention is elsewhere, you’re not really taking in the visual information being presented. You may be missing something important. Think about the person peering at a cell phone held up to his face, about to step out into the street in front of an oncoming car. Onlookers will scream “Watch where you’re going!”.
When I started vision improvement years ago, one of my first big sobering realizations about my habits was that I often wasn’t looking at what I was doing. I’d take a quick mental picture of the scene in front of me to comfortably examine in my mind, rather than continuously scanning my environment. Then something would change, like a new person walking into view, and I’d be startled. I’d say “I didn’t see you!”, even though she was right in front of my eyes. If I don’t look, I won’t see!
As I started actively practicing looking at my surroundings, I discovered a lot about myself. I was often afraid to look, for no obvious reason! I can’t even tell you what I was afraid of, just that something would appear that I couldn’t handle. And obviously, (thinking like an adult now and not a frightened child), the more I see, the more I can cope with what’s there in a sensible way. I did a lot of personal emotional work with energy tools like meditation, EFT, and journalling to reduce those childish fears of being overwhelmed. I began to feel safer looking more, then to really enjoy it. There is so much to see!
A key piece of vision improvement new students often misunderstand is looking at details. I did this wrong myself, peering at letters on the eye chart trying to force them into clarity, with more and more strain. I hate to admit how long it took me to know that my vision will do the right thing without being forced, that pushing myself to see better will actually make my vision blurry! If I let my eyes easily travel over a scene, zeroing in on what interests me, looking for more and more detail there in a relaxed way, I’ll see more.
Our other senses work this way too. Appreciating the details makes the experience richer, whether it’s picking out the sound of the piccolo or the clarinet in the orchestral music (hearing), or the flavor of nutmeg or hint of mint in the dessert (taste). Put your attention on a detail, and energy will move in that direction to deepen the sensation or learning or emotion the detail has for you. If “Energy flows where attention goes”, why not train your attention on the positive, the uplifting, the fascinating? I want your life to be as full of energy, visual and every other kind, as possible.