Using Both Sides of the Brain

It is often a difficult thing for me to run my life predominately using the left side of my brain.  I am sure it must be for most people but as I have not read or participated in any studies I can’t really say.  All I know is that if I don’t spend enough time in solitude and quiet meditation, my brain reverts to default mode…using my dominate left. I can see some friends and family members shaking their heads and saying this is so not true of me as they think of me as being more of an intuitive, creative dreamer I think.  However, I was raised by parents and teachers who instilled in me that practicality and logic and careful planning are some of the highest of virtues.  Many years later I now embrace my true intuitive, rather creative dreamy self but feel that both left and right brain functioning is important. The difficult thing is that when it comes to making important decisions, I still keep switching to my raised default mode by trying to analyze everything and to weigh out the pros and cons.  Because of this, my brain goes into hyper-chatter and thus I can’t seem to get a sense of my intuition.  Oh, it’s there; it’s still working but my left brain mode then tries to analyze whether or not that truly is my intuition or my ego speaking…ARGH! That is why quiet meditation is the answer …because it switches off the brain chatter freeing you up to sense the truth.

Recently, I watched an interview with Daniel Pink author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers will Rule the Future. In the interview, he mentioned that he attended a workshop that taught Drawing On the Right Side of the Brain which is also a book…which I own but never got around to finishing.  Anyway, he said that after taking the course, he began to view and notice the design of things differently.  He had tapped into using his right brain hemisphere more and saw things in a new way.  Then, this morning I read the following from the book, Things Hidden by Richard Rohr:

Like most spiritual things, it (the cross) cannot be understood with any dualistic or rational mind, but only at the the level of the soul.  It is a transformational image…

This really hit home for me today as I thought about how important it is to operate as a WHOLE person in life.  We need both sides of our brain and we need our soul (or spirit) to see things clearly, to make better, informed decisions.  We need both to analyze an issue and to trust our intuition.  However, when it comes to reading the bible, we need to first read from the level of spirit.  We need to read in grace and faith and allow the Spirit to speak to us and then use our brains to reason it out.  If we try to read and understand logically, we may enter the danger zone of seeing it too literally unless of course, we remind ourselves of the grace and love of God.  Even still, there are things we can only see clearly through our spirit which our minds find difficult to grasp.  There is nothing wrong with literal thinking in general, we need all of our brain to function but we need our spirit to intuit the truths. For instance, have you ever read a passage in the bible which made God seem more like a monster?  The words are in front of you but your spirit says, No way! You may not understand right away why the text is worded that way but your spirit is telling you that God is Love and not that.  The way to go is to first know that God is love and then try to analyze the passage in that context. Try to get a sense of what it is expressing (right-brain) rather than analyzing the words (left-brain).  Read between the lines, like you might do when you are in a conversation with someone.  Know who the narrative is (left) and try to discern (right) where they are coming from.  It is an advantage to learn to read meditatively or  to meditate before and after reading the bible when possible.

Hopefully, I will get around to reading Daniel Pink’s book as it is meant to have some exercises to help tap into your right brain hemisphere.  I am intrigued!  I’ll post a review when I do read it! 🙂

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3 thoughts on “Using Both Sides of the Brain

  1. You would enjoy the book “Anatomy of the Soul” by Curt Thompson. Connects neuroscience with spiritual practices! 🙂 Currently reading it myself!
    Creative Blessings, Jody

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