Vision refers to that sense which involves the use of your eyes and helps you avoid bumping into things. The same word can also be used to refer to images you hold in mind to represent how you imagine the unfolding of future events.
So what’s the relationship between your vision and your ‘vision’?
I won’t presume to tell you the answer, but I’d like to offer you a short experiment that might help you feel that relationship. It’s also possible that you may feel a shift in either or both of those types of vision as a result of doing so.
Are you game?
If so, keep reading – but be prepared to pause as you read, because I’ll be asking you to do a few things with your vision besides just reading these words.
Here’s the experiment:
– First, take a few moments to consider some of your key goals for the future. What kind of life do you want to be living a year – or five or ten years from now?
Yes, just a few moments – not minutes. Just see what comes up naturally.
(If you don’t immediately sense one or two things that you are aiming at – well, you’ve already learned something important, haven’t you?)
When you explore your ‘vision’ in this way, do you do so with your eyes open or closed?
– Now, bring one of your hands to rest on your face. Contact your face only on the same side as the hand that you are using (i.e., touch the right side of your face with your right hand or the left side of your face with your left hand). Just leave your hand there and allow it to feel soft, warm and comforting.
Breathe gently while your hand feels your face and your face feels your hand.
– Lower your hand again and spend a short time feeling the echo of how your hand and face were just in relationship
Would you say that this hand now “knows” your face, and your face now “knows” this hand – better than your other hand?
– When you are ready, bring your soft, gentle and curious hand back to your face. Slowly explore the contours of your jawline from your chin to your ear with your fingertips. Don’t poke or prod. Search for the bone beneath your skin, on the underside of your mouth and at places closer to your chin and cheeks.
Can you feel any small bumps or irregularities along the line of that bone?
Did you make this exploration with your eyes open or closed? Did you ‘see’ an image of your jaw as you felt it with your fingers?
– Rest. Breathe.
Feel the relationship between your fingers and your jaw and the space in between them.
– Now, with the same hand, slowly, gently, explore the bone surrounding your eye socket, still on the same side of your face.
Trace the circular path with care, including the side of the bridge of your nose, your forehead above and your cheekbone below. Conclude by resting your entire palm over this eye like a soft pillow. (Don’t put any undue pressure on the front of your eyeball).
Take a moment to breathe. Feel into the space behind your eye.
Feel the unique way that each of your two eyes now sit in your skull. Feel the unique sensation of each hand. Breathe.
Perhaps as you read these instructions, you are also noticing changes in your experience of seeing these words. Are you now more aware of the sensations of your eye movements as they track left to right and hop from the end of one line down to the start of the next?
– Continuing with the same hand, explore your ear on the same side.
Your ear is soft and malleable and has so many interesting surfaces. Without yanking or poking, how many ways can your fingers and your ear come to know each other?
– Softly cover your ear with your hand. Listen deeply into the palm. Listen to its warmth. Listen to its shape. Listen to your heartbeat and imagine the blood pulsing through your veins and arteries.
– Rest. Breathe.
Does it now feel like one ear is more open to the outside world than the other? What happens if you imagine that you could breathe in and out of one of your ears? How is that different if you think of the ear you touched or the one you didn’t touch?
The last thing you will do involves closing both eyes, so I suggest you read the complete instructions, then give it a try . . .
– With both eyes closed, bring to mind again your ‘vision’ of the future – your hopes and dreams, your worries, your predictions, etc.
Don’t try to control it or make it pretty, just ‘see’ what comes.
After you get a basic picture, imagine that you could look further out along that timeline by bringing a telescope to one eye. Take a few moments looking through this imaginary telescope with each eye. See what you see and feel what you feel. If you like, go back and forth between the eyes a few times to clarify what’s different between them.
Notice the relationship between each eye and your forward path.
How do you experience your vision – and your ‘vision’ – now?
As I write these words and imagine you reading them, I’m curious what you just felt and what you might have learned about yourself. An exploration like this one can have many different kinds of results. (Try it again tomorrow and you’ll see!)
What I personally enjoy about it is the combination of elements that are quite literal – like your jawline – with harder-to-pin-down notions like your ‘vision’ of the future. Ultimately, what you discover comes as the result of combining thoughts, actions, sensations and emotions – with a healthy dose of mystery!
By creating a novel experience, paying attention to things you normally don’t think about and asking unusual questions, you might begin to realize that the world you live in can become much more than just what appears “in front of your eyes.”
Experimental creativity has been a life-long source of fascination for Feldenkrais practitioner Seth Dellinger. Walking to school in 2nd grade, he spoke in tongues. Around 2000, while part of a radical musical community in Middletown, CT, centered around the saxophonist/composer/improviser Anthony Braxton, Seth invented his own imaginary language. He led several creative music ensembles before becoming an activist and working in meat factories for nearly a decade. In 2012 Seth discovered Feldenkrais ® and the deep language of movement. In 2021, he began a new practice, enrolling in a year-long training at Guy Sengstock’s Circling Institute.
His website is: sethdellinger.com