Go big or go home! we’re told. Or Super-Size me!, as if a normal-sized portion could never be enough. What happened to savoring Life’s rich experiences, rather than being gluttons, cramming in every speck we can possibly hold? I have to wonder if this greedy mindset is why I see so many obese people now.
When I started vision improvement and examined my looking habits, it was clear to me that I had been a visual glutton. When I read Aldous Huxley’s classic “Art Of Seeing”, where he described unhealthy patterns of sight and the “greedy end-gainer”, I was stung — this was me! I was gobbling the words on every page I read, as fast as I could. You’d think I was in a race!
When I began wearing weaker glasses, then eventually none, I found I could no longer gulp my visual input. Nor did I want to! I needed a little more time to process what was coming in, yes, and as my lifelong anxiety lessened, I was not in such a frantic rush about every single thing. I could take the time to really look at whatever was in front of my eyes, to examine the details and appreciate the richness of it. I did not want to rush to see.
You’ve probably seen a little kid carefully examine a blade of grass, or a leaf, like a curious intent junior scientist. His visual system is taking in more information the longer he looks, painting the corresponding picture in his brain with ever more detail. I’m glad I finally learned to look with the “eyes of a child” too. Like the song says, everything is beautiful, and fascinating.
I’ve wondered if my old habit of grabbing at visual input came from a scarcity mentality, maybe having to see everything right now because it might not be here later, or perhaps feeling someone else will get it and there won’t be enough for me. I can feel the desperation under this behavior, the “I’m not safe!” feeling, the urgency to hurry. It feels anything but calm.
Years ago in a dream workshop I spent some time with a dear woman who is a psychologist. She introduced me to the mind/body healing tool of EFT, or “tapping”. You can read a brief description of EFT here. She worked with me on my need to rush, saying in a soothing voice “We have all the time in the world”. I thought “What? No we don’t!”. I wasn’t ready to let this idea in yet. it was too big of a change for me.
Today I go about my chores more peacefully and gently. I’m not grabbing at Life any longer, nor at the visual data coming my way every moment. I’ve learned to appreciate the nuances and subtleties, not needing a brass band or fireworks to feel like I have enough stimulation. A Sippy Cup can give me plenty of nourishment. I don’t need a Big Gulp to be satisfied.