Welcome!

Thank you for visiting. Here you will find posts based on my book The Power of Your Other Hand: Unlocking creativity and inner wisdom through the right side of your brain (new edition, 2019 Conari Press), featuring excerpts from the book, success stories from readers and students, my own experiences, and drawing and writing prompts using this technique. Enjoy!
~Lucia Capacchione, Phd, ATR

Thursday, March 28, 2019

The Politics of the Hands

In teaching thousands of people to write with their non-dominant hand, I've noticed that the other hand often expresses disowned and oppressed parts of the personality. With profound simplicity the other hand gives voice to powerless, weak, even repressed aspects of ourselves. I think of the non-dominant hand as a "silent partner" with emotions and desires that have been stored in the unconscious. When you think about it, this makes sense. The non-dominant hand is usually the considered the wrong hand for writing. It's the perfect hand, then, for expressing those things in ourselves that we consider wrong or judge in some way.

Writing with the non-dominant hand feels awkward because it is the unschooled hand. I always warn people that it will probably look like a child's scrawl and be barely legible. Getting past the exacting inner "school teacher" who judges your spelling, grammar and penmanship is not an easy task. But if you can get past the critic in your head the inner voices can come out through your other hand.

Just as the handwriting looks childlike, the sentiments that are expressed are often those of a young child. People report primitive and raw emotions coming to the surface. They may feel vulnerable and very sensitive. Beneath the layers of hidden emotions, they often find intuition, creativity and a deep well of inner knowing.

The non-dominant hand accesses the right hemisphere of the brain regardless of which hand the individual writes with. The qualities ascribed to the right brain—creative, emotional, intuitive, spiritual—are exactly the qualities that come out most easily when drawing and writing with the non-dominant hand.

There's no question in my mind that it is easier to express feelings through art and words formed by the non-dominant hand. For that reason it is an excellent therapeutic technique. Scribbling out one's rage, fear, frustrations, sadness and even helplessness, can bring huge relief, both physically and emotionally. This is a wonderful method for reducing stress caused by a buildup of emotions. It's a safe way to let off steam without hurting anyone or anything.

There is energy and life in feelings. Drawing and writing them out is a playful way to dump emotions and release energy that is bottled up. The energy stored in feelings doesn't go away simply because the feelings are denied or stuffed down. Instead, the bottled up energy turns rancid and becomes pain, depression, or disease stored in the body. Thwarted emotions can eventually erupt in verbal outbursts or physical violence. Writing or drawing with the other hand allows feelings to come safely to the surface to be acknowledged and accepted.

Each of us can contribute to a more peaceful world by being responsible for our own feelings, which may include anger and rage. We can diffuse our personal artillery of emotional explosives by drawing and writing them out in a safe place, like a journal. In this way we face our feelings instead of hiding from them. There are many ways to do this safely and productively: play with clay, scribble or draw on large sheets of paper with crayons and fat markers, engage in active physical exercise, dance, drum, sing or chant.

Celebrate all your feelings through your non-dominant hand.

Lucia
www.luciac.com
www.visioningcoach.org
Pre-order The Power of Your Other Hand at Amazon.com

Thursday, March 21, 2019

What IS your other hand?

Human beings have two hands.
One hand is called dominant, the other has no name.
One hand is defined by what it can do, the other by what it cannot do.
One hand is trained and educated, the other is ignored and unschooled.
One hand writes, the other is illiterate.
One hand is skilled, the other is awkward.
One hand is powerful, the other is weak.
No matter which hand is dominant, right or left, the same internal politics exist.
One has the “upper hand,” the other hand is “left out.”


(Chapter Two, The Power of Your Other Hand)

What IS your other hand?

Your other hand is the one you don't normally write with. It's often called the non-dominant hand. It doesn't matter which hand you write with, right or left. For my purposes the non-dominant hand is the one that never learned to write or draw.

You probably think you can't write with this hand. But let me assure you that you can. Over the past 40 years I've taught thousands of people to write (and draw) with their other hand. They've unleashed immense creativity, buried emotions, hidden dreams, and inner wisdom they had no idea was there. They report a sense of liberation and inner peace after writing dialogues between both hands. New talents emerge and a childlike sense of wonder returns to their lives. Often times there is a reduction in stress and improvement in health.

This blog, based on my book The Power of Your Other Hand: Unlocking creativity and inner wisdom through the right side of your brain (new edition, 2019 Conari Press), will feature excerpts from the book, success stories from readers and students, my own experiences, and drawing and writing prompts using this technique.

How my other hand saved my life

I discovered this method while struggling with a life threatening illness that had no cure. I had recently become an avid journal keeper and as an artist I found myself drawing and writing my feelings out. Of course I started out with my dominant (in my case) right hand. One day my left hand grabbed the pen and out came a child who pictured herself with the typical stick figure of a four-year-old. She continued by writing in a barely legible scrawl telling me in no uncertain terms what she wanted and didn't want. Little did I know that this first encounter with my Inner Child who drew and wrote with my other hand would heal me and launch a new life and career as an art and journal therapist. I've since written 22 books, almost all of which feature techniques for writing and drawing with both hands.

Join me in the adventure of discovering YOUR other hand. You can start now by grabbing pen and paper and writing your own name followed by how it feels to be writing with the hand that got left behind.

Let me know what you discover. If you want to go deeper with this technique, the new edition of The Power of Your Other Hand is the perfect guide for you.

Have fun!
Lucia
www.luciac.com
www.visioningcoach.org
Pre-order The Power of Your Other Hand at Amazon.com