Unfocus to Focus
At one time I had about an hour drive one-way to work. I can remember one spring that all the sudden everything was green and the trees were full of leaves. Even though I drove this route every day I did not notice the slow gradual process of winter turning into spring.
The problem arose, because I was focused on getting to work, planning what I was going to do that day, or just zonking out and listening to the radio as the miles blurringly slipped by. My focus was not on focusing.
As I started exploring my natural surroundings by hiking and reading about nature, I come across Tom Brown’s book Nature Observation and Tracking. It was there that I was first introduced to a term called “splatter vision”. This technique is the process of letting your eyes unfocus and trying to see to the very edges of your vision. It is an interesting technique and you can do it now at your computer to see what I am trying to describe.
First, look straight ahead to and imagined horizon line.
Second, do not focus what is directly in front of you.
Third, look to the edges of your vision to what is on your left and right without moving your eyes.
Congrats! You have just experienced “splatter vision” or as I like to call it the “art of unfocusing”.
This works even better if you can find a quiet place to try it out in nature. You will start to notice a whole range of movements. The neat thing is you can quickly hone on to that movement by focusing intently and then going back into the state of being unfocused.
The “art of unfocusing” can be used not only with vision, but unfocusing your mind. When you do this thoughts and ideas will come into your mind. You can quickly get rid of the unfruitful ideas and focus tightly in on those AHA! moments. These moments can come fast and fade fast, so remember to come back to those times when you unfocus to focus.