This is kind of a long post. You might want a cup of tea. =)
The book you see at your right is written by my friend and hero, Katy Bowman – she’s a biomechanist who is on a mission to help us all take control of our own health by using our bodies in the way they were intended to be used. Her book, Alignment Matters, helps you troubleshoot issues from head to toe, and honestly I can’t stop reading it.
(Full disclosure: I also wrote the quote that appears on the cover of the book, and I am so excited about this fact I could just squeal, but really, the contents of the book are what have got me hooked. Not that my name is on the cover. Promise.)
Last night, it was the entry on eyes that had me hooked.
“Myopia is the medical term for nearsightedness. Myopia could also be called muscles in the eye that are too short—but that doesn’t sound as smartypants as myopia…
The rate of myopia is steadily increasing. Tension in the eye comes from the failure to use our eyes in their relaxed, long-muscle orientation. Looking at faraway places or gazing at layers of trees upon hill all utilize different muscle patters than looking at computers and books and iPhones and Kindles.”
Which made me think of those 3D picture-books that look like patterns of colorful blobs until all of a sudden, something in your eyes clicks in to place and boom, you see a dragon or a train or a kite popping off the page. And then it made me think, hmmm, I want to get some of those to have on hand for the kids. Plus, it strengthened my resolve to get the kids out hiking most weekends.
But then, after I put the book down, turned out the light, and lay there for about 45 seconds before I fell asleep, I thought how our metaphorical sight gets just as tight and squinty when we’re looking at what’s going on with us as our literal sight gets when we’re staring full-bore at a computer screen.
You know what I mean. The company you were having a great series of interviews with all of a sudden doesn’t call you back for a week. Why is this happening? Where did I go wrong? What will I do now? When really, it’s life looking out for you, either keeping you open for that other, better opportunity, or nudging you to do things a little different and follow up with them instead of simply waiting for the call.
Whenever we’re resisting our experience—or, as one of my clients calls it, “throwing a tantrum”—we’ve got tension in the metaphorical eye.
It’s understandable that one little thing goes wrong and we want to throw our bottle: Our short-view muscles are way, way overworked. And our long-view muscles can’t kick in until we relax those shorties.
FACT: What we focus on grows. (Click to Tweet!)
When all you allow yourself to see is problems, guess what? You get more problems. When you can relax your view enough to see challenges as opportunities, whaddya get? More opportunities! Yes.
SO, how do you coax yourself into using those long-view muscles, and see the opportunities that lie hidden within what appears to be a problem when you look at it too closely?
Good question! And the answer lies in an another question:
Here’s what I ask myself, my husband, my clients—anyone I encounter who’s going through something that just doesn’t seem to be resolving quickly or nicely enough:
What are you going to say about this moment when you look back on it in 20 years? Fill in these blanks: “That’s when I finally got _______________________ and it made me ready for ____________________.”
In the job interviewing scenario, that really groovy-sounding company not calling you back is when you finally get that you can’t sit around, waiting to be picked and it made you ready to summon up your courage to put together a video of your work highlights and send it to your contact, unsolicited.
In my own life, last week I read an excerpt of this really groovy new book, E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality, all about the universal principles that shape our experience (a la the Law of Attraction), and it starts off by suggesting that you write a note to the universe and tell It that you are ready to receive proof that there is a benevolent force at work—you want a miracle, and you want it within 48 hours.
Hey, I want a miracle! So I did it. (I was secretly hoping it would be a check with five figures.) Here’s what I received in those next 48 hours:
Perfect weather – bright blue skies and highs in the mid-70s. Pretty cool. Thanks!
A fortuitous meeting at a networking event for my husband. Awesome. Thank you. Keep ‘em coming.
A sweet exchange by the kids: “Teddy, when you’re done with that, could I use it?” “Sure!” Total music to my ears, thank you. What else you got?
An unexpected $800 refund check from the state of RI. Roll me over in the clover!
Two retreat sign-ups and a direct deposit hitting my bank account within 2 minutes of each other. Can I get an amen?!
OK, nothing had five figures. Nothing made my jaw drop with its sheer immensity and awesomeness. But what I saw during that little experiment is that really, miraculous things happen every day. Like, seriously. Every. Day. All day. We just don’t pay them much mind. The day we got the $800 check we also got a $12 parking ticket. It would have been very easy to forget about the check and stew about the ticket.
And that is just so bass-ackwards. =)
What do you see when you let your eyes go a little soft?