Years ago when driving home from a long stressful day at my corporate computer job, over-focused on the traffic with tired eyes behind my -10 hard contacts, a male colleague would regularly pass me, apparently. I never saw him! He would tease me the next day, saying he waved and I ignored him. My attention was only on getting home safely, fixated on the narrow area immediately around my small car, my peripheral vision unconsciously restricted.
Once at a vision workshop in a rural setting, soon after I’d started to put some attention on improving my limited eyesight, I was up very early, so went to the kitchen for a cup of tea. The male cook greeted me, pointing outside the window for me to notice a baby deer close by, grazing on the shrubbery. “Oh, I can’t see that far” I replied, before I even looked! Later I realized how this self-limiting attitude was hurting me. What other visual delights was I missing, only because I wasn’t looking?
In the years since, I’ve improved my vision considerably, and am calmer overall. I like to think I’m more observant than I used to be, my visual attention steadier, not darting around like I’m a frightened rabbit. And I can still miss things. A friend just posted a photo of some of us in a shuttle riding to the airport together after an energy workshop, talking happily about what we’d learned. Someone else commented that the shuttle driver had had a good time too, and that he had shouted a cheery “Goodbye Nancy!” as he let me off at my terminal entrance. This was a complete surprise to me! I was already worried about getting through security and finding my gate, not fully present.
I’ve written before about vision and attention, here. The longer I study and practice vision improvement, the more convinced I am that it’s more about the mind than the eyes. It’s a daily and hourly goal of mine now to pay attention to what’s happening right here in front of me. I’m not doing this desperately, like I’m about to fail some big test if I miss something, but in an interested curious way.
Life is made of moments, each one rich with feeling and color and some kind of music, even if it’s only the lawn mower outside the window or the breeze rustling the leaves. I don’t want to miss any of it, after spending my earlier life closed off behind thick eyeglasses, interacting with as few people as possible. Are you paying attention to the simple wonders around you? Your eyes were made to see miracles every day — don’t let your distraction or worry prevent them from doing that. Life is a visual banquet. Eat up!