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.
Pre-order The Power of Your Other Hand at Amazon.com