How to Use Your Whole Brain

wholeness Jul 20, 2021

This is a summary of my latest video.  If you’d rather watch that, you can do it here.

Do you use your whole brain?  Don’t laugh.  I’m serious.  In our society, we are raised almost exclusively to use our rational, logical brain.  And that is important.  After all, its job is to keep us alive, safe, and exactly where we are right now.  There are few people who ignore that and mostly use their intuitive, creative brain.  These people are our artists, musicians, and some writers, and you might call many of them free spirits.  That’s important, too.  Its job is to give us the life we want, lose ourselves in what we love with no sense of time, and sense things we shouldn’t even know.  You know, that gut feeling that causes an instant connection with someone you’ve just met or tells you to get the heck out of Dodge, because something is not right in a particular situation.

You may have been asked whether you’re “left-brained” or “right-brained”.  That’s what I’m talking about here.  Do you tend to go with logic in making decisions, or do you go with your gut?

My journey to whole-brain thinking started about 13 years ago, when a former boss suggested that I might like yoga.  I’d done it a little bit over my lifetime, but when he said I had the personality to really go all-in with yoga, it got my attention.  I would’ve described my then-self as a Type A overachiever.  While I come from a very musical family and LOVED to sing and play piano, I thought my value came in my rational, logical thought.  I have always been a critical thinker, and I didn’t see myself as a yogi — with good reason.  I’ve been a registered yoga teacher for over two years now, and I am only a yoga practitioner.  And, by the way, that’s the only term I will use to describe my yoga-self.  Back then, I did logic problems or sudoku for fun, and those are pretty left-brained.  So, I did what any rational human being would do.  I began looking for right-brain exercises.  Over the next few years, I found that painting absolutely lights me up, journaling is a non-negotiable for me, and yoga calms my mind and my spirit.  

In fact, you could say the pendulum swung very far in the opposite direction for me.  It was only when I decided to become the best coach I could to my team of IT professionals in corporate world, that I began to understand the importance of both sides — the logical and the creative, the rational and the instinctual, the intellectual and the intuitive.  Without using your whole brain, our rational mind would tell us that we’re only thinking with half a brain, right?  Our creative mind might tell us that it doesn’t really matter.  So, we need both sides.

Next time, you’re trying to make a decision, keep using that old faithful pros and cons list, but then stop for a few minutes.  How does the potential decision feel in your body?  Is there tension somewhere that’s saying “don’t do it”?  Or, are there butterflies and excitement that cannot wait to go do this?  You may find that the two sides are leading you in the same direction.  But, you may find that a perfectly logical decision from the “normal” point-of-view is just not okay with your body.  Once you use your whole brain, you can make a fully informed decision.

I’d love to hear how this goes for you.  Did you discover a new passion?  Did you avoid a situation that could’ve been negative?  Or, did you find you were already using your whole brain?

You already have the answers you need, so the next step is to find those answers and decide whether or not to use them.  I can help you do that by introducing you to the tools I use to find my own.  One of those tools is journaling, and I’ve created thirty days of prompts to help you start your own practice.  Click here to learn more and download your free copy today. 

All my life, no matter what change I’ve experienced, I’ve been able to use journaling to remember who I am, begin to understand what I can learn from this change, and how my experience can help other people going through something similar.  Get my free prompts, “Journaling for Answers,” and start finding your own answers within.

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