Almost two years ago I was badly burned in a kitchen accident, and while I was hospitalized had plenty of time to reflect about what had happened and what I was meant to learn from it.
Today, I was looking back through my journal from that time and reread some passages that were particularly powerful. To get clarity when I was grappling to find a positive message for what I went through, I used an approach that I had never used before when journaling – writing questions with my dominant hand and writing responses with my non-dominant hand.
Most of us primarily process using our intellect. And that’s great, but sometimes when we need to access our intuitive wisdom, it’s so deeply buried or out of use that there’s a echoing silence instead of the voice our souls speaking to us. Sometimes there’s the confusion of different messages vying for your attention and it’s hard to know what to listen to.
A way to bypass the intellectual and perfectionist left brain and get in touch with your intuition (which I call the voice of the soul) is to write using your non-dominant hand, which connects to your right brain. The right brain is intuitive and creative.
This is what I did in the hospital. When I used the alternate hand writing, I was deeply touched by the messages of self-love and concern for self-care that emerged, messages that helped me to keep the first things first and recognize what the first things were.
After rereading these notes today, I decided to use the process again to get clarity on some of the thoughts that have been swirling around in my mind the last couple of days that are related to my teaching and consulting. Why should I wait for a major trauma to unlock the wisdom and clarity right inside of me?
My question today was, what should I be focusing on right now?
The answers I’ve gotten using non-dominant hand writing haven’t been the answers I’ve expected or gone in the direction I would have anticipated! It’s fascinating to see answers emerge that get to the heart of an issue while sometimes seeming not to directly address the issue at all.
Here’s an answer to the question above: “Focus on what brings you joy. Remember that self-care takes time and energy, and leave time for that. You will always be dutiful but do what makes your soul feel alive. Friends are important. Nature and sunlight and greenery are important. Sleep. Remember you are enough as you are and give yourself time to relax and have margin without feeling guilty….”
This was amazingly centering for me. I went on to write other questions that were more targeted to some specific things I was thinking about. It was really interesting to notice my entire mental state shifting when writing. It takes a long time for me to write using my non-dominant hand and all of my energy is focused on that. It’s hard for me to explain the state I shifted into when using this process – I was in a completely different zone. By the time I finished, I was exhausted but had a deep feeling of clarity and calm and knowingness.
To do this, it’s pretty easy to get started. The main thing is not to think when you write with your non-dominant hand – write whatever comes into your mind and let whatever comes out, come out.
If you’ve used this technique, I’d love to hear what your experience was like!