Ingrid told me she has a hectic life, is uncomfortable, and knows she’s probably damaging her health, yet she keeps going because she ‘owes it to other people’ – though she knows she often shortchanges them. Her employer needs everyone to work ﬁfty – to sixty-hour weeks. Her children need her at sporting events and to help with homework. Her husband, her house, her friends, her exercise, and her relaxation time – she wants to do it all. She is exhausted and running on adrenaline but ‘making it work,’ sort of. Ingrid wants to be more spiritual and intuitive, to improve herself, to meditate – but when? She said, ‘When I get a free minute, I’ll think about it.’
Getting off the treadmill
This is so many of us today. Ingrid can’t stop her treadmill routine long enough to get a minute to think about stopping her treadmill routine! She’s so preoccupied with external problems that she can’t drop through the static they create to feel the core issues underneath and decide what to do. One of my entrepreneur friends told me that you have to make time to work ‘on’ your business as well as ‘in’ your business. You have to make time to be quiet so you can penetrate into real issues to ﬁnd the most effective way to proceed. Ingrid is working ‘in’ her life, not ‘on’ her life. If she can take that minute and question her left-brain ‘shoulds’ and ‘yes, buts,’ she’ll discover that developing some right-brain habits like using intuition and meditating are not just extra things to add to the ‘To Do’ list; they are the transformational means that can re-create her life as a win-win-win situation.
Attain the climax of emptiness, preserve the utmost quiet: as myriad things act in concert, I thereby observe the return.
First, Shift from Your Left Brain to Your Right Brain
Are you tolerating a rat-race lifestyle like Ingrid, or putting up with situations that detract from your natural joy or dampen your creativity? If so, your left brain is probably in control of your life. Remember that your left brain is the ﬁnal resting place of each once-vibrant experience, after it’s been analyzed, described in words, ﬁt into a familiar pattern, preserved as a memory, and had judgments made about it.
Your experience is no longer alive, no longer original, no longer connected to your soul. When the left brain becomes dominant, it’s easy to identify with it and think you are the way it is, that life functions the way it functions. You can fall into behaviours, like Ingrid, that exist to control reality, preserve safety, maintain familiarity, and prevent change. This is the small musty room. To leave your left brain is to leave the known physical world and enter the nonphysical world of free-ﬂowing consciousness and energy – that’s what’s immediately beyond the door. It can be a scary shift, this step into the unknown of right-brain perception. You won’t be able to recognize new perception in its entirety until you can make this ﬁrst shift from the isolated, ﬁxed, left-brain worldview to the bright, interactive, ‘anything’s possible’ right-brain experience. You need to recognize that your left brain doesn’t know enough; you need a new leader!
I spoke with a young man recently who had created a successful business designing software for smartphone apps. He wanted to develop his intuition and healing ability but didn’t know how. I gave him tips like ‘use your senses and stop describing your reality’ and ‘feel into an object, merge with it, and become it,’ and he said, poised with his pen to take notes, ‘How do I do that?’ He was as sweet and sincere as could be, but it wasn’t computing. We both had to laugh. He had developed a strong left-brain habit that made him an early success in a competitive technological ﬁeld, and using his right brain – even understanding how to shift to his right brain – was like trying to paint a landscape with a keyboard.
To enter the right brain’s world, it’s best to pull out of the left brain’s world in stages. Pause your engagement with language, and stop your internal self-talk and external speech. Give up interest in deﬁnitions and meaning in favor of the stimulation of your senses. Stop needing to know the steps to doing something and let the next urge come, then trust it and follow it. Allow for surprise. See what arises next to catch your attention.You’re in the moment and don’t need to be anywhere else. You don’t need to know what will happen; just act and see what occurs. Make sure to validate these free-ﬂowing, inspirational experiences when they occur. Your left brain will surely put up a ﬁght, protesting your disloyalty with many good reasons why right-brain perception is ridiculous, or how you’ll fail or be rejected if you trust it: ‘But you can’t ignore paying the rent! You can’t risk losing your job! If you waste time, you’ll fall even further behind! You don’t know enough! You can’t just stop and do nothing!’ When the barrage of logic and fear begins, just say to your left brain,’Thank you for sharing; I’ll get back to you later.’
From Leap of Perception © 2013 by Penney Peirce, published by Beyond Words.