by Kira Cook . May 2019
Last year I decided to embark on a journey, not knowing the outcome but willing to give it a solid go.
I had started to notice that yet again my eyes were getting worse. I wasn’t seeing as clearly with my glasses as I had been. My eyes were also more tired than usual and I could feel building stress around them, particularly around the left eye. Obviously I had to make a choice….either continue down the path I had been and drag myself to an eye doctor for a stronger prescription, or finally embark on a much scarier and unknown journey towards improving my vision naturally.
Luckily through friends I found the right holistic eye doctor…albeit in America, but nevertheless there he was…Dr Sam Berne. www.drsamberne.com
He has a very informative website, lots of online practices, pod casts and a huge following. He is the real deal. Being myself a yoga practitioner since 20 years I was excited at his systemic approach. The eyes being an extension of the brain, affected by what we eat, how we feel and think, traumas we have experienced in our lives, and by environmental pollutants and toxins. An embodied method and continually evolving, his motivated patients have had remarkable results.
If I went down the normal medical trail I would be told that improving my eye sight is not possible and I would be definitely advised to get my measured prescription. A Band-Aid approach….fixing the symptoms yet not the cause. Intuitively I always felt this, yet didn’t have the right information nor the confidence to start digging down a rabbit hole.
Finally last year something changed – it was the deal breaker. I sat back, looked at my two choices and decided I would dig down that rabbit hole once and for all…after all everything about myself was resisting the same path (the repetitive pattern) I had been on since 15 years old.
Scary? You bet ya. Because I was going against the current. Would I drown? Maybe. Go blind? That did enter my mind. Would I be laughed at? Would most people doubt me and the method? I very quickly discovered who I could talk to, and who I couldn’t. When we decide to make a major change in our life and try something different to the norm, its imperative to know who will be there, encourage us, and believe in the process. For big changes need positive vibes. If someone out there doesn’t believe in what you are doing, it may be best to consciously choose to not talk to them about it. You also don’t need to convince them otherwise – it is simply a waste of your energy. You might find that one day the results talk for themselves.
I had the best ´eye test´ ever when I had a lovely hour long skype chat with Dr Berne. I talked about my life, my goals with my eyes and we played around a bit with some of his suggested eye practices. I choose not to call them exercises, as this may suggest a process of doing, rather than a process of investigation. With his method there is an invitation to re-think ones perception. How do we see and live life through the lenses of our whole body and not just the eyes?
Dr Berne suggested that I `surrender into the blur´. Oh ok, thought my yogic mind….`Just let be, don’t try to see clearly. Accept the blur and the door towards transformation will slowly open´. This of course goes against our human desire to be perfect and in control ALL the time. If we don’t see properly, how can we get things done? How can we function? One method is to simply sit with our anxiety and fear ( for it is pretty scary to move around in the dark) and learn to gently navigate how this emotion feels in the body, and skilfully ride the fear wave until it dissipates. This generally leaves one feeling lighter and perhaps wiser.
`Surrendering into the blur´ is easier said than done…for belief gets in the way of actual first hand experience. We need to have that distinct ` a- hhhh moment´ to fully understand at a cellular level what one suggests. Its an on going process and requires some honest looking in at ones otherwise very convincing mind.
Unknown to many, for this past year I’ve been living in more or less constant blur. To be exact, a reduced prescription, with the same strength in both eyes without any astigmatism. I have been teaching with these lenses, going for walks with them on, and into town. Please forgive me if I didn’t wave back to you….or recognise you….i simply didn’t see you! I have had to re-wire my relationship with seeing over and over again. There have been things I have had to avoid….like going to the movies. I didn’t want to have to put on a stronger prescription just so I could see better. Some might say this is extreme – but I feel comfortable with it…after all I can watch Netflix at home on my computer anytime. I don’t miss out, I am simply paving a new path that needs a little tending to. There are certain triggers that create stress with not seeing as clearly as I would like to. For example going into large shopping centres, or supermarkets. The old Kira with her strong prescription glasses would have had her chin high up and far ahead of her shoulders to try to see everything all at once. The adapted Kira is learning to settle into my immediate surroundings without needing to seeing everything. In some ways my world has become smaller, in other ways so much more alive and connected. I have learnt through many years of studying yoga to play with my edge… physically, mentally and emotionally. There is still a lot of resistance to work through, yet motivation is the key ingredient and boosts me when the going gets tough.
I can now walk around my house without my reduced prescription glasses on and not get anxious. The other night I even chopped my vegetables with a Japanese knife without glasses for the first time. Actually I didn’t even realise I wasn’t wearing them for a while!!! My favourite practice is to walk in nature without them. Here I can soften most comfortably into the blur.
In fact through my practices although I don’t yet see clearly, I SEE better. I feel more connected to my surroundings without my glasses on, my depth perception has greatly improved and my eyes are much more relaxed. Many of Dr Berne´s practices are on his website, free for all to learn. The ones I love to practice daily are designed to help the eyes relax. Stress and tension around the eyes contributes to blurred vision.
A couple of days ago I tentatively tried my old glasses back on. I was blown away. They were way too strong and the whole room moved when I moved my head. After 3 seconds I took them off. I did this twice, the second time as a confirmation, `Really? Seriously? Am I sure´? Yep! I felt immediately nauseous too. I literally couldn’t wear them. The repelling sensation was physical, mental and emotional. Every part of my being no longer needed these. My journey still has a long way to go…yet it is a testament to my dedication. We know that deep change needs time.
I now no longer keep my old glasses as a safety net, but rather as an affirmation of what can be achieved when one truly believes at a cellular level that change for the better is possible.