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Are You Right-Brain Or Left-Brain?

Dissolving the right-brain / left-brain divide

"Are you a right-brainer or a left-brainer?"

The world's greatest thinkers are at a loss when it comes to answering that simple question.

Just as we admire an athlete who is able to swing a baseball bat or throw a javelin with either arm, we should emulate thinkers who engage fully in all kinds of activities without regard to whether or not it suits their specified brain orientation.

Labeling yourself as either a right-brain or left-brain thinker is extremely limiting. Once we've established an idea about our preferences, we tend to move in that direction every chance we get. We strengthen the image of ourselves as creative or analytical by repeatedly choosing activities that reinforce our concept of who we are. We forget that our possibilities are really infinite.

Perhaps you've had this very common dream: You're roaming around your house and suddenly discover a whole room you never knew existed. The thrill of learning about this brand new space to explore, decorate, and enjoy is palpable - especially if you live in a smallish house with four teenagers, as I do! It's disappointing to wake up and realize we don't really have that extra room. We become resigned to staying within the known walls of our home.

We experience something similar when it comes to the "rooms" in our mind. We close off the math, computer, science, investing and research rooms. We seal the doorways to the painting, drawing, poetry, design and music rooms. We lock up entire wings, believing that we can't really "go there", and before we know it, we forget the spaces were there at all.

We all know people who amaze us with their seemingly disparate skills - an accountant who paints beautiful landscapes, a chemical engineer who writes daring poetry, a surgeon with a passion for songwriting. We find it surprising only because we've put people in boxes based on their work. It's tempting to label ourselves and others according to our jobs, but one facet of our lives can never tell the whole story.

Be glad. Be very glad.

We love to see people making dramatic career changes in order to explore a newly discovered talent. It helps us believe that we have the potential to do something that will astound us.

Well, believe it. You are the one locking yourself into that mental image of yourself as a left-brain or right-brain person. The rest of us believe in your limitless talents, so why don't you?

My hero, Leonardo Da Vinci, was fortunate that nobody pegged him early on as an accountant (he planned to become one, but alas, as an illegitimate child, he was not considered suitable for that career).

It's lucky for all of us that Leonardo ended up dabbling... in art, engineering, geology, music and everything else he encountered. He was free to dive into many subjects because he never labeled himself as a certain type.

Keep in mind that thoughts become things. Whatever you tell yourself you can't do, you won't be able to do - either because you have convinced yourself you have no skill or because you never give yourself the opportunity to try. You?ve put deadbolts on your own doors!

Go seamless. Erase that line between left-brain and right-brain. Visualize wholeness and all that it implies. Stop with the labels, and start with the lessons, the rekindled interests, the tentative new directions.

Explore those rooms in your mind, and you'll be on your way to becoming the fully integrated human you were born to be.

About the Author:

Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse whose work has inspired thinkers in more than seventy countries around the world. She serves up a satisfying blend of clarity, comfort and comic relief in her free weekly ezine, the Friday Mind Massage. To subscribe, visit http://www.real-worldmindfulness.com/.

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