We CAN Read With Our Eyes Shut
I’m going to go against the grain and against the wisdom of my children’s patron saint of literature, Dr. Suess. I’m going to invite you to “read with your eyes shut…” or at least to close them.
Close your eyes.
Really! If you want, you may stop reading this for all of a few seconds and close them.
Now, would you join me in taking a deep breath?
As you’re breathing, you can direct your attention to let all the tension out of your shoulders. Stretch your neck, side to side and around. Breathe again.
We’re so used to being plugged in that we sometimes need the reminders to unplug. To check out. To close our eyes. To breathe. To simply be.
Most likely, you are reading this right now on a screen.
From the pixels, from the page, I want to remind you that you are ALIVE.
You are living. Breathing. A human being. WOW!
If you’re anything like me, we can get caught up in taking in all the information so that we are being and becoming our best self, yet we can lose that inspired and embodied best of ourselves in scrolling, in clicking, in scanning with our eyes back-and-forth and up-and-down.
Would you close your eyes with me, one more time?
If you’re reading this next line, close them again for a solid three breaths, please.
Thank you, and welcome back.
Our brains are ever on the hunt for information. For input. For stimuli. Even in writing this, it was almost as if my eyes were fighting to remain open, my brain wanting to be involved and yet, as I’m writing this, my eyes are closed. My heart is open. Oh wait, gotta fix that typo. There, that’s better.
As I was saying, our brains are on the hunt for information…
But there is so much information available beyond our one sense of sight, or whatever your dominant sense is. There is so much more to our embodied existence beyond the skill of reading and processing information through our neocortex, helpful though this is.
Our dominant sense becomes our crutch, our strong suit, our over-utilized skill. For me, it is my eyes.
I use my eyes to see how people react. I use my eyes to recognize the presence of someone and to cue my acknowledgment of them. I use my eyes to scan for sharp objects as I run. I use my eyes for my various screens, for work and for play, for observation and for focus. My eyes are amazing. I love my eyes. My eyes are tired.
I take conscious breaks for the sake of my eyes and my whole being to close them. I use this time to tune into my other senses that I have trained my brain to tune out while being laser focused with my vision. With my eyes being so highly in demand and so connected to certain programmed ways of being, creating the interruption (and the break) of having my eyes closed is a welcome invitation.
If you haven’t already, consider for a moment, what is your dominant sense?
What does this sense connect to in your brain? What ways of being do you traffic in?
How can you give this sense a rest and cultivate awareness of other senses?
One of the reasons I run barefoot is to trust my other senses to tell me what I need to know. I have built such a dependency on my eyes, but there are other ways to see and know where I am in space, and even vision has its limits.
My eyes don’t necessarily deceive me, but I have recognized how my brain is used to processing what I see in a certain way and I create certain expectations, actions, and postures with my customary use of sight.
What can you read with your eyes shut? Your intuition, your pulse, attuning your awareness to your breath and bodily presence can all happen with an open “heart” and closed eyes. Join me and “read” with your eyes shut, and enjoy unplugging from our eye-dominant norms in your moments of solace.