For sticking with me, for sometimes I post, and then suddenly find that, like a souffle, it has deflated. That happened last week. so let’s begin again…
On July 1, 2019, I published a blog post titled “#Check Your Eyeballs,” and somehow people found it and liked it.
Maybe it was the same way Martha Beck’s book Steering by Starlight jumped into my hands at a used book store.
We were meant for each other.
I knew Beck to be a clever, astute and witty psychologist from her column in Oprah Magazine. So, without hesitation, I bought the book.
One of the BEST PURCHASES of my life.
I wanted to throw everything from her book in here, but that wouldn’t be right, for those are her words and her ideas. But when I found her comment that rubbing your hands together and putting them over your eyes benefited the brain. I had to slap myself on the forehead and laugh.
That’s what I had said regarding #The Bates Method of Vision Training mentioned in Check Your Eyeballs.
Don’t you love it when evidence stacks up?
Covering one’s eyes, or “Palming” to use Bates’ term, is a simple meditation, relaxing, comforting ever. Simply lean over, rest your elbows on the table, rub your hands together, and place them over your eyes. Imagine energy penetrating from the palms of your hands, through your face, all the way to the back of your head.
Brain research indicates that Picturing changes your brain state in a beneficial way.
Lovely to hear.
Les Fehmi, Ph.D., a Princeton psychologist who studies brain patterns developed techniques that have had huge mood and physical improvement.
To do it, you begin by focusing your eyes on some object in your immediate vicinity. Then while focusing on that object, begin to notice the things around it. Without moving your eyes, slowly broaden the focus of your visual field to include the grass, the trees, the sky. Then broaden your attention to sense everything in your environment with all five of your senses.
Next notice what’s going on inside your head, your eyes, your nose, your breath. If you notice fear, grasping, anxiety, or pain, pay attention to where it is coming from. Focus your attention on that area, and once again broaden your perception as you did with the blade of grass.
Continue this until you feel a strong relaxation of your muscles.
These exercises have been found to change your brain state from beta waves (anxiety) to alpha waves (calm), and get as much of your brain working in synchronous alpha.
A fascinating aside regarding vision is that Pirates often wore eye-patches. That was not because so many of them had lost an eye, but because they often fought with swords. A rapid sword fight often leads from light (on deck) to darkness (below deck). And since the eyes take a moment to accommodate a change in light level, the patch kept one eye ready for the immediate change. Switch the patch to the other eye, and you see perfectly while your opponent is blinded by darkness.
Remember that chemical “visual purple?” And how walking from sunlight into a darkened movie theater leaves you virtually blind?
Give yourself a few moments in that dark theater, and soon you can see dandruff on the shoulders of the person in front of you.
The pirates prepared one eye for light, and one for dark and they could quickly switch their patch. (I don’t know what the pirates did about the loss of stereoscopic vision when one eye is occluded. Compensated somehow, I guess.)
Perhaps that’s a message on being prepared for light and dark—you know, as in world conditions, or one’s own psychological makeup.
Recently I’ve been promoting self-help, and going for your dream and taming the lizard brain, but I don’t want us to contemplate our own navels so much that we forget that the world needs our attention once in a while.
When I caught Marianne Williamson’s interview on U-tube (Another stumble) where she said that as a woman she ought not to be afraid to speak out, for she belongs to an exclusive 20% of the women of the world that have that freedom, I went, “You go, girl!”
(‘Under the Skin,” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mP4As8FJAc )
A great many women can’t go out of the house without a male escort, or walk into the street without being covered head to foot—what? Why? Lest they tempt the heart of an “honest” man?
By self-help I don’t mean that we are broken, I mean that we want to understand the human condition more, to learn that biases built into us that need to be tamed. We are fear-based, (primitive survival instincts) and therefore need some understanding to give us peace with that. All this requires some inward thinking and work.
If you think it’s too late for you to address the question posed by Mary Oliver, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Remember this: The world is re-created every moment.
“No matter how many years have been stolen from you by your own ignorance, by cruel fate, or by the acts of others, you have a clean, broad slate before you.”–Martha Beck
“Out beyond ideas of right-doing and wrongdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. I’ll be the one lying flat on my back with my earphones on, fast asleep. Jostle me gently to wake me up, because I don’t want to miss the next stage of our adventure.” –Rumi