January and February were “eye opening” months for many of the women in my Conscious Movements, Fit and Flexible classes. At least a half dozen of the regulars were gone for cataract surgery. As the end of February rolled around and the women started returning to class, the buzz of conversations before class was about who their doctors were, how they chose their doctors, how the procedure went, how their eyes healed, how they felt about the procedure on the second eye versus the first. I also heard acknowledgements from others that they had still to decide if they were going to go through the process.
When 9:00 rolled around, I had to tear this lovely cohort of “new visionaries” away from their conversations in order to start class.
Although their conversations focused on the physical process, I couldn’t help but think about the spiritual practice of what it means to replace a “clouded lens” of life with one that is clear, crisp and joyful. For that is exactly what the physical procedure entails: replacing a clouded lens for a new, clear one.
In his book Falling Upwards, A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, Richard Rohr talks about this very issue. The second half (or even the final third) of life allows us opportunities to awaken internally and spiritually in order to discover what is important to us and what it means to see life more clearly. For everyone, this internal process will be different, for each of us must address something deeply personal.
But just as all of the women who had clouded lenses had to decide if they were willing to go through the entire process of cataract surgery, we too must decide whether we are willing to go through the internal process of seeing more clearly and joyfully.
On the road to deciding, here are some questions we might contemplate:
- Are we willing to replace the “clouded lens” with which we have been living with a “clear lens” that allows us a newer vision of our life and purpose?
- Are we willing to replace dissatisfaction with gratitude?
- Are we willing to replace self-centeredness with care and compassion?
- Are we willing to replace our denials and blind spots with the ability to face the truth about ourselves, our relationships, and our needs?
- Are we willing to replace our anxiety and fear with contentment and fearlessness?
- Are we willing to replace relationships that no longer serve and uplift us with ones that nourish and sustain us?
If we can answer yes to even one of these questions, we have begun the process.
But of course, there is a catch: this internal process is definitely not a one day, out-patient procedure. Instead, it is a process that continues for the remainder of our lives. But also one that offers us great contentment, love and gratitude for this life we’ve been given.
So if you are interested, here are some ideas about where to start:
First, Start Small and choose just One aspect of your life that you would like to transform or re-vision. Maybe it’s your anxiety or lack of confidence. Maybe it’s your resentment towards a family member or former partner. Whatever you want to transform try this:
- Admit that it is a “clouded lens” through which you go about your day. Then jot down what the new you would be like if you were seeing through a “new lens.”
- Read authors such as Mark Nepo, Pema Chodron, Richard Rohr, Carolyn Myss, Jon Kabot-Zinn, Anita Moorjani, Parker Palmer, Eckhart Tolle, Christianne Northrup and any others that you are drawn to.
- Listen to Hay House Radio or Sounds True and learn from the many master teachers/trainers through their workshops and on-line classes.
- Explore experienced Reiki Masters and treat yourself to a session. See if any insights come through.
- If you are in the Denver area, join our monthly Women’s Circles to explore ways to awaken to your spirit and spirituality with a group of supportive women.
- Choose one thing you can do each day and practice looking through that “new lens.” When you wake up and when you go to bed, bring to mind that one thing you can do to feel transformed because of your new lens.
Remember, we are all on this journey together and in the end, we are all “just walking each other home” (Ram Dass).
If you have questions or comments, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org