When I was first starting to improve my vision, I met a highly myopic woman at our holistic eye doctor’s office who became a close friend. We quickly found we had many of the same behavior patterns. Even today, many years later, we enjoy exploring our feelings about seeing, or not seeing, and what effect those emotions have on our eyes.
My friend took an intensive vision improvement class with Tom Quackenbush 20 years ago. Tom is the well-known vision teacher and author of “Relearning To See”. So my friend knows all the theory, and does daily vision exercises, yet hasn’t seen much progress in her eyesight. She’s just happy that it hasn’t declined. Like me she’s prone to anxiety and nervousness, putting a lot of pressure on herself. When she leaves her high-stress job in a few months for something more satisfying, I’m looking forward to her vision naturally improving as she relaxes more.
My friend and I recently had a discussion about too much coming at us at once, and wanting to shut down our visual channel to keep from being flooded. I’ve written about this before, here. What interested me this time was our focus, not on blocking sight completely, but on partially blocking it. I heard myself say “It’s like I only wanted to look through a narrow peep-hole before — any more overwhelmed me. Now I’m trying to gently stretch that peep-hole to be wider.”
We talked about narrowing to a pinhole-sized view when overwhelmed, then staying stuck there, especially in glasses where the frames fence in your vision. Seeing less by choice is fine, as long as I retain the ability to see more when I’m ready. All this made me want to focus in a dedicated fashion on retaining my peripheral view, especially in this dark indoor time of year when I can easily get lost in a book for hours.
It’s unlikely I’ll ever lose my ability to focus close and in — this seems to be the way I’m wired. My summary catch-phrase to help me remember to keep opening up my visual landscape is “Pinholes to port-holes to a panorama — I want to see all of Life!”. I’m hoping you do too.