May 2023 Newsletter
Hello, and a merry merry May to you!
A physical injury reminds me of eyestrain
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is on how a physical injury reminded me of eyestrain.
Over a month ago, in the last hurrah of winter here, we had almost a foot of heavy wet snow. In retrospect (my hindsight is 20/20!), I was too aggressive about
shoveling it. Although I tried to do the work in a balanced way, turning to the left then over to the right, I did not take enough breaks, and the strain of overdoing showed up in my right knee.
I've long been aware of my body pattern of twisting to the left and putting more weight on the left leg, and this brought it to the surface so I was forced to deal with it.
Although I wouldn't have chosen this "lesson", since it was painful and I had to move around more slowly and deliberately, it has taught me a lot. As I focus on proper alignment of my right foot and leg, and equal balance between my right and left sides, I need
to be more present and focused in the moment, until my new pattern becomes automatic. As I monitor my locomotion and how the knee responds, I'm noticing quite a few parallels to eyestrain and vision
First and most obvious, pushing myself past my limits, ignoring my body's cry for a break or to slow down my strenuous activity, doesn't usually go well. Working out in the gym with poor form,
or my recent intense snow shoveling, can lead to an injury. Similarly, staying at the computer screen too long, or reading for hours in my strong distance glasses as a child, wasn't doing my vision any favors either. Back then I was told "put your glasses on or you'll
ruin your eyes!", when taking them off and going outdoors would have been better for me, and more relaxing too.
When I wore glasses, then contacts, it always felt like the prescription was forcing my seeing into stark clarity, whether I wanted to receive the view that fully or not. So I've learned not to force myself
so much, or to force my eyes to "perform", especially if they want to rest, or to look at something other than a screen for a while. As I learn better healthier habits of using my eyes, it's like learning better posture and a more
aligned way of standing and moving. With both I want to be gentle with myself if I slip back into old habits. Blaming myself doesn't lead to improvement. Noticing what I'm doing right, then getting back on the path when I momentarily slip off, helps me more.
As the knee started to heal and the flexibility of my right leg improved, I made sure to note and appreciate every minor gain. I could walk across the room without favoring the stronger leg, or leaning on the wall
occasionally for support. Woo hoo! I can walk outdoors now with longer surer steps. Hurray! When I began to improve my vision years ago, I did not wait until I could see most things clearly without my glasses to celebrate.
Driving without glasses, going a few miles an hour through a construction zone, was a big victory. (In that transition period, I put the glasses back over my eyes when the traffic sped up.) I hold the image constantly of
walking and moving and seeing confidently, knowing I am getting better every day.
The youngster flying freely and joyfully reminds me of the feeling of the easy seeing of "the eyes of a child", or the unfettered scampering of a healthy youthful body. Vision, and movement, and all of our physical human experiences,
are meant to be fun, not work or struggle. This intention guides me now, to welcome the situations coming toward me, to learn and grow from everything I face, and most of all, to enjoy Life as much as possible. Let it be easy!
To read about how being forced to see made my vision resist,
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Enjoy the start of this mind-blowing month of May.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!