It’s true. You blink around 28,000 times per day which amounts to about 10% of your waking hours. (If you sleep for 8 hours, you are awake for the other 16 hours. This means that you spend about 1.6 hours blinking). Life is sending you a message: “Go ahead and blink. When you close your eyes, you open up: your mind will receive a momentary recharge!”
Living with your eyes shut is not the usual advice. I certainly don’t encourage you to close your eyes while driving, while reading or while watching sports. Funny thing, in order to give our life our full attention, we need to close our eyes… A lot.
In a previous article, I wrote:
“The best use of the past is to learn that yesterday’s heights can be today’s starting point.” New things begin in your mind as you dream. The life you live each day is a living out of your identity. And that begins in your dreams, in your imagination.
Closing your eyes is one key to leaving the past behind and living the life you want. But closing your eyes is not just for those who are in recovery. We all need to close our eyes and dream. It’s what we are built for.
Closing your eyes will open your mind
Why don’t you try it right now? Stop reading and just close your eyes. Take a moment and just look into the darkness of your eyelids. Keep your eyes closed for as long as you can.
How was that for you? I lasted about 15 seconds. It’s difficult to keep the lids shut while the day is passing by. What came up for you when you closed your eyes? Awkwardness? Weird sensations? Remember something you have forgotten? Or perhaps an idea? Or maybe all of the above?
Have you heard about mindfulness? Being mindful is only half of the battle, sometimes we need to practice the act of closing our eyes. Because closing your eyes will open your mind.
Most times when I close my eyes, nothing comes up. It’s like staring into a smartphone with its battery at ZERO PERCENT. Closing your eyes during the day is like being awake during a dream. Sometimes your imagination goes wild and other times nothing happens.
Closing your eyes and recovery
I like to take a nap every now and then and every time I lay down, I am anxious for the first 15 seconds after closing my eyes. You probably feel it too. You know, you feel like you have to adjust your pillow and your blanket. Then you close and open your eyes until everything is right. Why do we do this? Because closing your eyes is an act of surrender.
Every day, you are working on little moments of surrender: 28,000 times.
Think about that one. 28,000 moments of surrender. Life opens up when you surrender and trust yourself, trust other people and trust that life can work out even when things are not going your way.
When we close our eyes, we surrender. We let go of the past, and we let go of the moment that is passing by, and we are present. It is at the moment of surrender that you become open. That is when life will give you ideas or dreams. When we surrender, we are stronger.
You may have experienced trauma, pain, relationships loss or a direct violation of your trust. Surrender or trust may feel impossible. Your body is wise and is reminding you that you can reclaim your life. Blinking is a momentary rest, an opportunity for your brain to go “off-line” and process or recuperate. All that you may be able to do is blink. Recovery is possible and may need the help of a recovery group or therapist.
It takes surrender, stopping our effort and our work, to renew our strength. Whether you are in recovery or not, closing your eyes is not avoidance. When you close your eyes you pause, you rehearse, and you prepare.
Blinking is a moment of darkness that can create a lifetime of possibility
Your task today is to close your eyes more often. Be intentional. Take time to blink, to nap or close your eyes and let them rest. Pick one of the following and practice closing your eyes.
- Remember: Don’t walk, don’t run, don’t drive with your eyes shut. Blink normally but please, keep your eyes open when you are doing any of the above.
- When you close your eyes, remember to surrender to the moment. You may be surprised at what comes up for you. Just let it be. Write it down, because it may be important. You may want to tell your sponsor or your therapist.
- Close your eyes and say the words: “I surrender.” Or just think the words.
- Go ahead, if you need permission have a brief nap. Don’t put pressure on the moment to give you ideas or a dream. Just be.
- Look out the window, or go outside and then close your eyes. Feel the sun, feel the wind, feel whatever.
- Just take a moment to close your eyes and just let them rest. Pay attention to the sensations in your eyes.
- You may want to be intentional and close your eyes and imagine. See your goals coming true, imagine being successful in completing a project or leading a meeting, imagine being a better parent or a better spouse, imagine improving your skills in your hobby, or imagine yourself on holidays. Imagine yourself living free from addiction, and living a stable life where your mood supports you to live the life you want.
This article is part of an ongoing series on healing, you can find more articles by clicking here. If you enjoyed this article, you will also enjoy To Heal, You Must Become the Art.
I write articles about wellness, leadership, parenting and personal growth. My hope is to deliver the best content I can to inspire, to inform and to entertain.
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Keep it Real
Previously published by smswaby
Photo by banoootah_qtr