Last month, I introduced you to two of my favourite characters (created and illustrated by Nick Seluk of The Awkward Yeti)
If you read that blog, then you know that they represent two halves of the same brain.
If you didn't read the blog, then buckle your seat belt because I'm going to bring you up to speed in 25 words or less.
We've allowed Left Brain Processes to dominate and inhibit Right Brain Processes—creating an unhealthy IMBALANCE in ourselves and our world.
In fact, we're so off-kilter that most of us completely identify with the voice in our head.
We actually believe we're the part that's thinking our thoughts!
Which means we've lost touch with an important part of our intelligence.
Jill Bolte Taylor, calls this part "the Seat of the Divine Mind".
Eckhart Tolle calls it Presence.
Martha Beck calls it the Essential Self.
To make this easier to understand, I've borrowed Heart and Brain from the Awkward Yeti and laid it out for you like this:
You know that saying, "a picture is worth a thousand words?"
Well, LEFT Brain is the thousand words. It's that voice in our head.
RIGHT Brain, on the other hand, is the picture. It's the silence beneath all the noise.
It's also the gateway to our Higher Self.
But there's a catch. It doesn't communicate in a way that we're used to. Instead of verbal language, it uses WORDLESSNESS.
a deeper knowing, intuition
conscious awareness that arises from silence
Unfortunately, our society tends to roll it's eyes at this touchy-feely stuff.
It's seen what the LEFT Brain can accomplish and has rewarded its skills, while sidelining (and even mocking) the valuable skills and wisdom of the RIGHT Brain.
A separation of the mind from the BODY.
Please pause a moment to take this in.
If you've got a busy life, you may be tempted to shrug this off. Because . . . who cares? The mind is the star of the show. The body's just a pack mule, here to get us from meeting to meeting.
This was my attitude for a very long time.
If it's yours too, I'd like you to consider something.
The body is the container of your emotions and physical sensations which carry vital information about every aspect of YOU.
It tells you what's glitching out and what needs to be repaired. It rings the alarm bells every time you head in a direction that's out of integrity with your essential self.
Think of it as a personal GPS with the co-ordinates to your true purpose.
Cutting yourself off from this wisdom is a great way to keep yourself from living your fullest potential and happiest, healthiest life.
This "mind-body" stuff is more important than most of us realize.
Which is why I want you to stare at this next diagram for a moment.
What you're looking at is a WHOLE Brain that's fully engaged with its inner council.
As you know, LEFT Brain is really great at mental processes, but it doesn't understand the inner messages of the body (or the guidance our emotions provide) because it doesn't speak their language.
Thankfully, RIGHT Brain does!
RIGHT Brain can hear and understand the cells of the body that communicate through gut feelings. It's also fluent in the language of the HEART.
If you scroll up again, you'll notice that HEART is in it's rightful place as a key advisor in the communication network of the BODY.
You'll also notice other organs that are a part of this network. They "speak" to us through tension, contraction, urgency, expansion or relief.
If our focus is only on mental processes, this communication gets blocked out.
The diagram above is a snapshot of the current status quo.
We live in a world of NOISE and mental turbulence.
In the hands of the ego, the brilliance of the LEFT Brain has been turned into a factory of productivity and accomplishment.
And the quotas in the factory just keep increasing.
Somewhere along the way to adulthood, we began to de-value rest and play, and time to just BE.
That's a problem.
Because RIGHT Brain processes can't operate properly if we're running at break-neck speed.
The voice of intuition and inner peace can't be heard unless we slow things down long enough to breathe.
If something doesn't change, LEFT Brain will keep itself stuck in a sweat shop of DO DO DO.
Have you noticed that when the body protests, the mind tries to push harder?
That's because renewal, regeneration, and recovery are seen as WEAK or LAZY or SELFISH.
This isn't intelligence, dear one. It's actually a form of mental illness.
LEFT Brain was never designed to do all the work on its own.
If we only value DOING—then the mental processes of thinking, analyzing, judging, and comparing, will begin to take over.
Some people applaud this.
LEFT Brain processes have led to remarkable achievements.
But when LEFT Brain uses RIGHT Brain's creativity without honouring the needs of the body and spirit, the cost to humanity is extremely high.
That's why we have work places that don't acknowledge the natural rhythms of human beings (the sleep-cycle, the menstrual cycle, and the life cycle).
LEFT Brain may be great at math, but it's not so great at compassion and empathy. It doesn't factor in the elements of connection that make life worth living.
It forgets about child-care, and elderly care and SELF care. It forgets about the environment and our place in the complex orchestration and our relationship to the whole.
Without the balance of RIGHT Brain processes, LEFT Brain becomes rigid, dictatorial, and separate.
That's when the alarm bells really start to ring.
mental disturbances (spin cycle)
LEFT Brain needs our help, dear one.
It needs guidance from our TRUE SELF.
I'm talking about the Observer inside each of us—the part of our mind that is listening to the thoughts, not creating them.
We can choose to lead our Thinking Brain, or we can choose to be led by it.
LEFT Brain becomes happy and healthy when it's fully supported by RIGHT Brain activities that are grounded in WORDLESSNESS.
Take a walk in nature.
Or just go outside and stand there for a moment.
Bake some banana bread.
Wash the floors by hand.
Work in the garden.
Paint your nails.
Paint a picture or your dog.
Paint your bedroom.
Jump up and down.
Move your body.
Sit and breathe.
Look at pictures.
Cuddle with an animal (even if it's your husband).
Meditate - even if it's just for 5 minutes.
Just DON'T try to force silence onto your mind.
Peace doesn't come from fixing, or controlling or wrestling with thoughts. (These are LEFT Brain processes and will only increase the volume.)
Peace comes from accessing the PRESENT MOMENT.
Allow the chatter to be there. Then direct your focus to the aliveness in your body.
Make this a constant practice.
It's hard, I know.
But we've got to try.
The world needs balanced human BEINGS more than ever.
Which means re-connecting to an intelligence that goes beyond thought.
Are you with me?
Then here's a few Help-Sheets to tide you over until the next blog.
Sending you so much love,
PS. It's important to understand that the Left and Right Hemispheres can't be turned on and off like a light switch. (You can't separate one from the other without surgery.)
The Left Brain and Right Brain always work together. The issue is where we put our focus. Since we devalue many of the Right Brain processes, we tend to overuse Left Brain Thinking and bring too much analysis, logic, and linear thinking to situations where they are not helpful.
Increased mental chatter can hook us into story loops that aren't even true, which creates suffering on many levels.
Engaging in activities that are rooted in wordlessness, will help us regain balance so we can hear the voice of our inner wisdom.
PSS. It's also important not to use binary thinking when it comes to this information. The Right Brain may hold the keys to inner peace, but it should never be seen as a saviour, or superior to the Left Brain.
Left Brain is NOT a villain. The two halves need each other. Any extreme is unhealthy. Left Brain and Right Brain are two halves of ONE Brain and are designed to work together.
PSSS. I'm well aware that there's growing evidence discounting the left/right brain concept. I know about Triune Brain Theory (the human brain is really three brains in one) and I know that the brain is not actually divided into two spheres (although the Neocortex is)
I'm using the Right/Left Brain concept because this is the way that Jill Bolte Taylor presents her work. And since I believe her message is vitally important to the human race, I've made a decision to use the same language that she uses in her book, My Stroke of Insight.
If you find this confusing, just use the terms Social Self and Essential Self instead.
My Stroke Of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor.
A Whole New Mind by Daniel H. Pink
Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck
The Language of Emotions by Karla McLaren
Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards