I always thought that I naturally lean to the right side of my brain. I’ve used it as a happy excuse for my less grounded conduct on countless occasions. Reading Penney Peirce’s feature in the Cygnus Review, though, I began wondering if, somewhere along the lines, I’ve become a bit of a right side ‘wannabe’.
There’s no doubt I drift over to the ‘free-flowing consciousness’ of the right side, particularly when writing – so sending you these emails every week is a great means of prompting my thoughts in this direction (thanks for that!). Recently though, a large chunk of my time is spent grappling with practical matters. I’m looking for more work to pay the bills, trying to get a community project off the ground, searching for the right home because the one I’m renting is on the market … lots of common concerns to keep the left brain in dominance. That’s a majority of my time that I’ve been disregarding the right side of my brain. In sheer panic I’ve replaced my intuition, creative thinking and emotional connection with critical thinking, rigid logic and making plans after plans. And it’s not like this will have been the first time I’ve had to pull up my boot straps and go left. The thing is that I’m not at all what I would expect a left side thinker to be – I’m certainly useless at maths and, although I tend to start out with a plan, I end up flitting about like a fairy!
Now, I’m all for balance and of course the left side of our brain serves us well in practical matters, and much more besides – for example, I am grateful to know that the left side of my brain is up to learning Swedish (job well done! ‘Jättebra’!). And the man I love and enjoy living with is a left side thinker … so it’s not like I’m anti left brain thinking! I simply recognise now how easy it is to get stuck on the left side in this current, demanding way of life we tend to set for ourselves – which can result in us binding ourselves so tightly in pragmatism that we forget to allow for happiness.
Just acknowledging this must have opened up some channels to the right side of my brain because suddenly I noticed one of those signposts that life gifts us with when we’re trying to find our way. The signpost came in the form of an advert for a cottage to let. It’s in an area that I’ve been intensely drawn to, since moving back home to Wales, but I’ve dismissed it because it’s ‘too out of the way and impractical’. I might have approached this signpost with the usual rationalised perception had I not read the Cygnus Review and snapped out of it. Instead, the right side of my brain asked ‘yes but what if …’. Responding with feelings and creative questioning has led me onto great possibilities which could make for a positive redirection in mine and my families life. I have all sorts of light bulbs pinging above my head now, with a new picture of my situation being formed, along with ideas and hope.
I’m going to throw myself into the book Leap of Perception and take a more prolonged walk on the right side. It will be good to have the tools to prevent fear from taking over, and to be able to maintain a balance. It’s a book that goes hand in hand with The Endorphin Effect, especially as the use of the right brain releases endorphins. Cygnus Books think so too which led them to this weeks special offer. If you buy Leap of Perception with the Endorphin Effect book and/or CD, before midnight on 10th July 2013, you don’t have to spend a penny on UK postage. Just quote ‘Right On!’ as a gift voucher when ordering.
Before I go … here’s a really interesting video about how the two sides of the brain work. It’s a talk by neurosurgeon Jill Bolte Taylor who discovered nirvana when a stroke took her way into the right side of her brain. She wrote a book ‘Stroke of Insight‘ and I can see that Cygnus Books have it in their online store. I hope it inspires you as much as it did me.
Watch Jill Talyor