Sunday, February 14, 2010

Soft Eyes

I have been in a contemplative mood lately, and my blog posts show it! I promise more recipes are soon to come but I have to get this out while it is on my mind.

Today I took a friend cross country skiing for her first time. At one point she said she was frustrated trying to get the tips of her skis to stay where she wanted them. I am really just a beginning skier myself so I didn't have any great ideas on how to specifically help her, I did however pass on an idea I learned when taking horseback riding lessons.

My teacher spent over an hour telling me how to guide the horse; pulling the reins, how to sit in the saddle, where to apply pressure with my feet and legs, how to lean, etc. Then she told me to forget everything I had just learned, sit up straight and look right between the horses ears keeping my eyes ahead of me to the path I wanted the horse to go and the horse would follow.

I shared this with my skiing friend, "don't concentrate on the ski tips, just look ahead at where you want them to be, like in horseback riding". "Oh, soft eyes" she said. I loved the picture that put in my mind, eyes soft, taking in the whole scene, not focused on only one thing. I hope you are still following this all leads to a pertinent thought eventually.

"Soft Eyes" it turns out comes from martial arts, it means to take in the periphery of the scene, "to take in everything but be distracted by nothing". From Urban, "the ability to see the whole thing. If you have hard eyes you're just staring at the tree and missing the forest".

In terms of health and food, it can be easy to develop "hard eyes". Counting calories, exercising a certain number of minutes or hours, eating only raw, plant, animal, or cooked foods. What about the periphery? True health is not only physical but mental and spiritual too. I love this thought it is very applicable to my life in many aspects. Keep your eyes soft, take it all in, don't miss the forest.

1 comment:

  1. I love your writing and photography, so very inspiring...