When people start a vision improvement program, they are often fixated on seeing clearer and clearer every single day, as if it’s a race they have to win. Or they rush to get out of their strong glasses and see just as well without them, even though they’ve worn them for years.
I see 2 problems with this mindset. First, the emphasis on getting to 20/20 clarity as fast as possible is often unrealistic, and can lead to disappointment and giving up completely. Second, you’re ignoring all the other aspects of a healthy visual system, where you can often observe faster progress than by only measuring the clarity of the eye chart.
If you start wearing a weaker prescription which lets you see 20/30 or 20/40 so you can drive safely, you may immediately notice your eyes and face relaxing. You’re not being forced to look at the world with that stark artificial super-clarity, which makes you want to back away. You can exhale fully now and let the tension go, tension you didn’t even know you were carrying.
Along this same line, if you do what you can without your glasses, as long as you feel safe, you may notice your overall feeling of ease growing, in both your body and your mind. Please make sure you are legal when driving! Yet we often don’t need our full correction when going for a walk, or cleaning the house. When I first started doing simple safe tasks without my strong -10 contact lenses, I felt so free! It’s like you’d let me out of a cage I hadn’t realized was around me.
As you observe your world with more alive eyes, pay attention to color. Many people report colors are more vivid, and subtle shades more distinct. This is a great game to play with children who don’t know their letters yet so can’t use an eye chart, identifying the different hues of red and pink and orange. Spring flowers are a good place to practice. Which buds look ready to pop, and which are still branch-brown or pale yellowish, and which are vibrant bright ready-to-burst-any-minute shamrock green?
What can you see now which was a problem before? I used to be afraid that if I dropped something small, like a vitamin pill or an earring, I’d never find it. It was like it had been swallowed up by a black hole! I had no confidence in my ability to see something unless it was big. Now I don’t even think about it, much less worry about it and criticize myself for being defective. If I drop something, I reach down and pick it up, then go on with my life.
Another aspect of healthy vision which is fun to notice is depth. Like color, you’ll find more places to play with this outdoors. Notice the differing depths in the houses in your neighborhood, one set a bit back from another, the steps projecting out in front, the air conditioner poking out above a window. A teacher of mine, Peter Grunwald who developed the Eyebody Method of vision improvement, taught that one of the main practices to help near-sighted people improve is focusing on depth. You can read an old post about the intention to see depth here.
So appreciate the signs that you’re improving your vision, at your own pace and on your own schedule. Your eyes and mind are happier and more relaxed, and you get fewer headaches. You’ll see greater clarity on the eye chart in time, especially if you don’t chase it, instead let it come to you. Like the child in the photo, one baby step at a time will eventually get you there. Baby steps are better than no steps!
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