Sunday, April 15, 2012

Living on the Right Side of the Brain


As you may have heard, the brain is divided into two parts, the left and the right sides.  Basically, the left side is the logical side and the right side is the intuitive side.  Although we all use both sides of the brain in our daily lives, one side tends to be dominate in each person.

A few characteristics of those that are more left-brained are: They tend to be better at reasoning, math, and speech.  They like to do things in a planned, orderly fashion. And, they tend to be dog-lovers.  Some of their preferred professions are law, banking, mathematics, and non-fiction writing.

On the other hand, right-brained people are creative, imaginative, and philosophical.  They love cats.  A few of their preferred professions are art, athletics, acting, politics, and creative writing.

Although the left side of the brain is overwhelmingly emphasized in the school system, actually, the right side of the brain, in some circles, is now thought to be just as important or even superior in many ways.  For instance, making a decision based on intuition or gut feeling supposedly can give a better outcome than one just based on logic alone.  (Also, contrary to popular belief, people who are right-brained are not stupid just because they are not as good at remembering facts or doing math as are their left-brained brothers and sisters.  Their strengths just lie in other areas.)

In any case, most of us do not get to use the right side of our brains nearly enough.

If someone wanted to practice using the right side of his or her brain more, regardless of which side is more dominant, that person could:

Work on some type of art or craft.  (Don't worry about trying to be perfect.  Just enjoy the experience.)

However, if you really want to learn how to draw better, one good book I used with my art students was Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain  by Betty Edwards.

Try the exercise (found in magazines or even in whole books) which shows two pictures and asks, "What is the difference between these two pictures?"  This exercise is a great alternative to so many of the left-brained puzzles like crosswords, (although any kind of puzzle is, of course, good training for the brain).

Having fun is good for the right side of the brain. An easy, convenient way to have fun can be playing with your pet.  Your dog or cat, etc. should also benefit from the extra attention.

                        You might want to watch you fingers.  Things can get pretty wild!

Everyone has her own idea on what is fun.  I have a "fun list" which I try to consult once a day to make sure I don't take everything too seriously.

Make up a story and write it down, or just tell your own bedtime story instead of reading one from a story book.  Bet your child would love it!

And, the list goes on!  Do research, be creative.  See what right-brained activities you might come up with.

My grandmother was a very creative cook.  She used to put jelly on top of her meat loaf, and it was good!  (I haven't attempted that one yet!)

Sometimes creativity comes from necessity.  For instance, a few days ago, I didn't have enough macaroni for the dish I was preparing, so I decided to use rotini to make up for the macaroni I lacked, and it was fine!

Recently, several of us attended an impressive pre-Easter service.  A highlight was the minister's daughter performing a lovely interpretive dance.  Afterwards, I told the minister how much we'd enjoyed his talented daughter's performance, and I asked him where she'd gotten her training. Much to my surprise, he answered that she'd just made up the dance on her own!  She was just using her God-given gift, doing something she apparently enjoyed.

Seeing her performance reminded me of myself when I was about her age and older.  I used to love putting on beautiful music and dancing to my heart's content, creating my routine as I went. 

Being creative can bring real joy into your life, and it can also bring joy into the lives of others, if you decide to share your creativity with them.

If nothing else, its great to be outside in nature, maybe looking for interesting shapes in the clouds, or just daydreaming.

And, the next time someone tells you to "go fly a kite," you just might decide that's a pretty darn good idea!

Positive thought: Have fun! Life was meant to be enjoyed!
Thanks for visiting!  Until next time on a Sunday, Becky

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