Mid-April 2023 Newsletter
Hello, and a mighty astounding Mid-April to you!
Eyestrain is mental strain
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue is about eyestrain being mental strain.
When your eyes are tired or sore, your mind is probably pushing you to see well enough to complete whatever task is in front of you. This could be deciphering the bills,
or finding your way easily when driving in sub-optimal conditions. Remember those times when it was a pleasure to see, to gratefully let in the images of that
Nature scene while walking outdoors, or the face of that beloved child in your life. Your brain is peaceful, not needing to struggle and strain and force your vision to
perform. Your mind and eyes are free to relax and receive.
When I first started learning it was possible to improve my vision, I mistakenly thought doing practices like
would cure my high myopia. I was missing the point -- no amount of palming would relax my eyes if my mind and emotions remained tense and anxious. I experienced a
lot of frustration and discouragement when I only did the vision practices without doing anything to calm and focus my brain. My measure of whether I was improving
was the state of my eyesight, which fluctuated a lot, while others seemed to improve more or less steadily. What was I overlooking?
Although I'm a bit annoyed at myself that I didn't realize my high level of physical and emotional tension was a key factor contributing to my strained eyesight, we don't know
what we don't know, until we learn better. Once I started addressing this tension, while continuing to do vision improvement practices, I finally started to make consistent
progress. I imagined myself seeing more clearly on the eye chart and out in the world, and that dream was gradually becoming my reality.
One of my early vision teachers, Peter Grunwald who is known for his Eyebody Method, taught that the brain leads, then our body and eyes follow. That is, something piques our interest, so we turn
toward it, then move our gaze in that direction to examine it further. I believe this principle applies emotionally as well as physically. If we're feeling resentful or frightened, when we look
at a scene it will not be with ease and appreciation. Some part of us will be resisting, trying to see yet not see too fully, unwilling to completely let in the view. This is strain.
Think about how it feels to be eager, anticipating the experiences coming toward you, welcoming the sights along the way. Your life feels like a grand adventure. With this attitude, there is no
reason to strain, either mentally, emotionally, or visually. Picture a child going to a friend's birthday party, or starting the first day of school or camp, where there will be lots of games and fun and learning
and new friends. Yet how often do we approach our day with this mindset as adults?
When you strain, you're fighting yourself, trying to do something or be something you don't fully embrace. Eyestrain can be trying to see, and not see at the same time. What you don't want to see could be an unpleasant
situation or person you feel you can't change. This inner tension is not healthy for you, or for your visual system. As the saying goes, change what you can, accept what you can't change, and be wise enough to
recognize the difference. You deserve peace of mind, a rich fulfilling life, and countless pleasant scenes in front of your eyes, as much as anyone does.
To read about being too comfortable with strain,
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You're helping many other people!
Enjoy the second half of this A-plus month of April.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!