Ask Your Other Hand…
I love to shift my brain from its routine analytical march through life to the wide-open playground where my creative potential resides. One of my favorite ways to get out of linear “in-the-box” thinking and access fresh ideas is to write with my non-dominant hand. In my years of practicing with this tool, I’ve noticed that writing with my other hand supports me to open to my intuition and childlike innocence. But most fun of all, it helps me to uncover some “out-of-the box” weird (in a good way) ideas and perceptions.
How can you use this tool?
Let’s say you have a problem or you’re in a funk and you don’t know what step to take next…ask your other hand! Your under-appreciated other hand will give an answer that might surprise you and offer new insights. Or, let’s say your inner critic is blocking you from finding a creative solution (like what to write for the first pages of your book, what to cook for dinner, how to start that massive project, or even how to get along better with your partner). Try asking your non-dominant hand to write a poem or paragraph about it. Your other hand will help you find a doorway you never knew existed.
For certain, writing with the other hand is not easy—it takes a long time to scratch out a few lines, it’s often illegible, and it can be frustrating when your thoughts move faster than your pen. I encourage you to persevere. The very act of slowing down your speedy brain is the key that opens the door to the wondrous creative solutions that await you. The images and ideas that come from the other hand are often dream or childlike and have a sweet innocence to them. That is a bonus, because children don’t typically have the creativity squashing sensors that we adults carry. Your other hand may even appear to have a personality quite distinct from your rational side. Enjoy this new found part of yourself!
So step out of your way and let your other hand play! Start by taking a nice slow breath, and begin with this simple writing prompt: “What does my other hand have to say?
Here’s what my left hand wants you to know…
If you want to take this technique deeper, I highly recommend Lucia Capacchione’s book The Power of Your Other Hand: A Course in Channeling the Inner Wisdom of the Right Brain.
Allison Fragakis is a writer, personal poet, speaker on creativity and facilitator of writing workshops in Marin County, CA. She is sporadically found around town clacking out personalized poems on her typewriter and talking to trees and butterflies for creative inspiration. She loves helping others re-ignite their creative fire.