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We're getting there.
You have a Nose Paintbrush glued to your nose. And you know what to do with it. You're starting to see the Principles of natural vision in action... Centralizing, Movement, and keeping Relaxed, loose, and fluid in your Sketching.
We've covered the main Principles behind natural vision.
And we've been exploring the Habits of good eyesight. The first Habit being Sketching. We've been Sketching in every lesson in this course. And we're going to continue Sketching... because that's what we do.
If you've missed the previous lessons, you can find them here... Sketch, Breathe, and Blink mini-course
However, the next two Habits help with the subtleties of Relaxation.
Remember, relaxation is a sensation. It's a feeling. And relaxation comes, in part, from remembering and realizing you don't have to do anything to see clearly.
You don't have to reach out and span any kind of distance. The image you are Sketching happens in your mind. There's no sense to strain your eyes if it's in your brain... There's no sense in brain strain!
You can let go of straining to see something "out there."
Use your imagination, as much as you want, to paint the picture you want to see in your mind, because that's where it happens. That's where Sketching and Movement happen - in your mind.
The next two Habits further empower your sense of Relaxation. Remember, that is why we're here... to bring Relaxation to your visual system.
And, Relaxation is often the most subtle Principle to get. Often, it takes time to cultivate. But, by practicing better and better everyday, the Habits of good eyesight will bring a sense of ease and well-being to your visual system.
After Sketching, the next two Habits are Breathing and Blinking.
People with poor eyesight chronically hold their breath. People with poor eyesight tighten their shoulders, lock their necks, and hold their breath.
And the beauty of the Nose Paintbrush is that your neck and shoulders have to release and relax in order to move fluidly, right?
Now, adding the Habit of full natural Breathing makes it that much easier to stay relaxed.
Have you ever noticed when you get angry, or when you're trying really hard at something, or when you are stressed...
When you're concentrating hard on something, you hold your breath?
And we all know that holding your breath creates tension. And you want to release tension. So, it only makes sense to breathe fully and naturally. You do not have to practice deep breathing, but you do want to practice full, natural breathing.
Don't discount the importance of breathing when it comes to improving eyesight and having natural clear vision again.
Here's how it happens...
You decide you want to see something "out there" in the world.
You look up at your eye chart, or hold the menu out at arm's length, or glance to see a face in the dark... and you want to see it clearly.
So, you try really hard to see it.
But concentration and trying hard defeats itself when it comes to vision. That's when you end up staring. Your eyes lock and you have no movement. With staring eyes, you end up trying to see too large of an area at once, and you lose centralization.
In those moments, when you are concentrating and trying, you're also holding your breath.
If you can remember to breathe naturally and fully, and practice Sketching...
You can look with ease, instead of trying hard to see.
So, make it a point to breathe fully and naturally when you're practicing with your Nose Paintbrush.
Let your breath engage your belly, your diaphragm, and even your chest and back. Full natural breathing involves it's own sense of Movement throughout your body.
And right there, hand in hand with breathing, is another Habit that has it's own sense of Movement and Relaxation. One that keeps your organs of sight lubed up, moving, and rested.
Which we will get to next...
Peace,Jason "Big Belly Breathing" StuckVision Improvement Coach
p.s. Pop Quiz:
How often should you blink for effective natural eyesight?
A short hike with my family recently had us exploring one of my favorite places on planet earth.
It was also a special occasion.
It was Mother's Day. And we were celebrating the Mothers in our lives.
There's a perfect mountain stream cutting through a canyon not far from where we live.
My kids and I packed a lunch, complete with desserts of homemade chocolate icing for graham cracker chocolate sandwiches, and headed off into the canyon with... Moms we love... and Moms we love that we carried in our hearts who weren't there with us physically.
We had simple, yet profound goals... Our main goal was to celebrate and recognize our Mothers... eat good food in a shady glade next to a trout river... and while we're there, we might as well throw out our fishing lines.
Remember, I promised to tell you about butterflies, fishing lines, and Mother's Day hikes in the last lesson. Which you can find here if you missed it...
Anyway, the vision improvement aha's showed up only 5 minutes into leaving the parking lot with our backpacks full of snacks and sandwiches.
It was an experience that fits right into where we're at in our mini-course so far.
To recap, we've discovered the nose paintbrush as a tool to keep us practicing good vision habits.
And we also know the vision habits are based on sound Principles of eyesight.
We've covered the Principle of Central Fixation. Which is - You see best where you are looking. And it's a small spot in the center of your visual field.
We know the Principle of Movement. Remember that all perception relies on Movement.
Alas, your trusty nose paintbrush keeps you centered and moving.
The third principle...
The one that showed up on our Mother's Day hike. And the one that had me dancing and singing like Tom Bombadil (read all the way through if you don't know ole' Tom Bombadil,) is the crux of the whole thing.
The third Principle is often the hardest to grasp, but it is the most simple. In fact, it's the opposite of grasping.
Your entire vision improvement journey hinges upon... Relaxation.
Relaxation of the visual system.
It's so important that I'm going to say it again... Your entire vision improvement journey hinges upon Relaxation of your visual system.
Yes... Centralizing and Moving your nose paintbrush cultivates relaxation.
But vision is not just about the eyes. It's about the eyes and the mind. And it is a whole body experience.
5 minutes into the hike, the kids were running ahead, bouncing from flower to cliffside, and my 72 year old mother-in-law, slow and steady, hiked along with hiking poles.
By the time we caught our breath, and up to the kids, the trail opened up to a meadow overlooking the river below. And that's when it showed up.
A curious little critter who seemed to want to be a part of our crew and celebration.
He, or she... I think she was a she.
She flitted about us, taking turns landing on each one of us in kind.
Gently flying circles around us in her distinctive bouncing flight pattern that seemed... effortless.
Once, when she landed on my daughter Juniper's shoulder, it hit me.
Resting, the butterfly's wings would every so often open and close. Automatically. Gently. Like a whisper, or a kiss.
Or rather, like the blinking of an eye.
She followed us down the trail for a long while. The day was bright. The smell of spring flowers on the breeze. Good company. The butterfly "blinking" it's wings and floating down the trail with us.
The mood was easy, relaxed, and full of wonder.
Breathing and Blinking are part of the whole body experience of vision. And keeping our bodies, and vision, relaxed.
We've spent a lot of time on Sketching, and it's important. But before we wrap up our Sketch, Breathe, and Blink mini-course...
It's important to know how to keep your nose paintbrush moving with Relaxation.
And proper Breathing and Blinking will keep you relaxed and at ease as you practice sketching the world.
So, next up...
A little more for the all important Relaxation for better vision.
Peace,Jason "Growing my beard like Tom Bombadil" StuckVision Improvement Coach
P.S. Tom Bombadil. "Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow. Bright Blue is his jacket, and his boots are yellow."
Tom Bombadil is a master of the forest in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. He helps Frodo and his companions when they're lost in the forest. He's jolly. Defeats dark forces with song. Dances along. And often sings non-sensical rhymes as he goes about his merry way. A friend of the forest, the birds, the animals... and I'm sure, the butterflies.
If I had to guess... he sees pretty darn good with natural eyesight.
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