Irish Eyes Are Smiling
The cause of my happy eyes isn’t because of St Patrick’s Day this year. A few weeks ago, I discovered the book “The Power Behind Your Eyes.” It talks of the need to rest our eyes, taking periodic time outs from the task of looking, so that we can see more fully those things we may be missing through the unconscious habit of hyper-vigilance.
The corrective suggestions run the gamut from diet changes, exercise, refraining from sugar, alcohol and overindulging in “too”. Too long at the computer, too much reading or television watching and, at the other extreme, too little light, too little sleep and too tedious a hold on our preferred way of perceiving the world around us.
I decided to take on one of the suggestions, the easiest and most appealing one, which is to put the palms of my hands over my eyes while visualizing in my mind’s eye something that is particularly beautiful and energy giving.
The result of doing this simple exercise, whenever I remember, has been rewarding. The predominant experience I have while stopping and resting from my extended interaction with the world around me, is a certain warmth that centers around my eyes. It then extends and deepens into at first a slight, then increasing feeling of sadness that brings a few captured and hidden tears to the surface.
The moisture is warm and soft and little. It doesn’t morph into a downpour but just lets its presence be known as a little gift of unexpressed tenderness and acknowledgement that my eyes have been witness to the fleeting pain, disappointment, tragedy, confusion, frustration, anxiety, fear or exhaustion that is housed in many of the day to day experiences we consistently encounter.
The first time sadness visited it came as a surprise. I didn’t know I was hosting unacknowledged and unexpressed sadness. The second time it surfaced again, bringing a visual remembrance of a tender last moment with a cherished friend who died at 94 two years ago and how much I miss her.
Time and time again sadness has come to visit. I am learning to look forward to the particular quiet and sense of unfilled space that seems to be the welcoming mat for this sensation that I am naming sad. My mind tries to jump in with the too loud and boisterous question “Why are you sad?” that sends sad scurrying undercover like a child in the presence of a thunder storm.
I take a few in and out breaths and disengage from the mental questioning in favor of letting myself sink into the quiet behind my eyes. Sure enough, as I do, I once again sense the slow, gentle warmth that begins to bring moisture and a lessening of pressure, a surrendering into nowhere and nothing, so that I can experience a decided softening into myself and a feeling of rightness and homecoming.
In case you might be thinking that this little flight of fancy might indicate that I have too much time on my hands, instead I suspect I am on the verge of new personal discoveries.
As I court the company of unexpressed tenderness, I feel a gentle but persistent shift happening in my awareness. I can feel an innocence returning to my ability to see. It is a sparkle of enthusiasm and faith in the beauty and magnificence of all aspects of life that constantly surrounds me.
It is an awakening back into the simplicity of clear-sightedness that acknowledges the underpinnings of faith in the basic goodness of my life in all its twists, turns, energy drains and gains.
I feel a new opportunity to embrace contentment and happiness that awaits an opening to deliver its gifts of fullness and richness through the acceptance of the way things are.
Susan McNeal Velasquez is a local author and has been writing and producing personal development seminars over the past 35 years. Reach her at: susanvelasquez.com