My stack of seed catalogs was piling up and getting in the way. Normally, like many gardeners, I enjoy taking time to cozy up to these catalogs with a mug of hot tea on a cold, rainy morning or evening. This year has been different. Winter has only dropped in briefly, and I’m more inclined to want to be outdoors enjoying this Southern California-style “winter” weather than staying indoors, so I wasn’t getting to the seed catalogs and orders.
Then photoreading entered my repertoire of skills. Photoreading is a “whole mind system”. It’s a system that celebrates the fact that we are much more that a brain attached to a body, more than a rational, linear, analytical mind that also happens to have emotions. It’s a totally useful and practical tool for getting through your reading in the time you have available, while at the same time building greater neural connectivity as well as greater connection between the conscious and not-so-conscious mind. This translates as side effects of enhanced memory and intuition.
I’m still very new to this system, but the seed catalog miracle tells me I’ve only begun to tap the potential. My average time with a seed catalog is roughly one hour spent perusing, imagining, deliberating, and finally deciding what seeds I want. Several evenings ago I took the catalog on top of the stack – my favorite one – and photoread it. This means I got myself quite relaxed yet alert (“entered the state”), diffused my eyes to take in the open pages at once with my peripheral vision expanded, and flipped through the catalog turning a page every second or two.
Let me assure you – nothing gets read with the conscious mind at that speed.
The recommended “incubation” time is 20 minutes, but I decided I’d just take 5 minutes right away and flip through the catalog for a peek at what attracted my attention. Ten minutes later I had my entire seed order marked out with a certainty and decisiveness that startled me. In looking at each page, I felt completely clear on what would be useful and what would be redundant or inappropriate for my circumstances.
My experience with the rest of the seed catalogs was similar, and it’s clear to me that the skills taught in photoreading extend way beyond the realm of words and reading. I’m looking forward to playing with some of these skills and techniques and ideas in the garden itself.
***For those who are interested in pursuing this on their own: Photoreading was developed by Paul Scheele of Learning Strategies Corporation in Minneapolis. I purchased the Basic Self-Study course and have used it for 3 weeks now. There is also a deluxe version. Weekend seminars are offered. Alas, I’m not getting any kickbacks for this.