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, May 30, 2019

Communicating with Animals using the Non-Dominant Hand

Letting your animal speak through your non-dominant hand

Over the years I have received many letters and emails from readers who have used my non-dominant hand writing technique for getting insights into their animals. Many have told me that they unlocked the mystery of a seemingly incurable or chronic condition that one of their pets was suffering with. Veterinarians were unable to correctly diagnose or treat their pet's illness. Using Chapter Eight in my book The Power of Your Other Hand, they wrote out dialogues in which they asked the animal some questions using their dominant hand. The animal answered through their non-dominant hand. The causes of many mysterious maladies have been identified through this method. 

Some animals have complained about living conditions and conflicts with other pets. In other cases the animal was suffering with a digestive reaction to certain foods. In a few instances readers have described emotions that animals were carrying from earlier owners, especially in the case where they had been abused and taken to an animal shelter. The new owner, who found the animal at the shelter and gave it a new home, was able to help heal the trauma that occurred by "listening" to what the animal had to say. It appears that really "hearing" and showing empathy for the abused animal is profoundly healing. Sometimes the specifics of the nature of the abuse were described by the animal "speaking" through the new owner's non-dominant hand.


For me, stories like these are always deeply moving, and the love and compassion shared by these animals lovers has been very touching. I never wrote about becoming an "animal whisperer" using this method because I hadn't really explored the application of the technique. I was very pleased to receive a book in 1997 by Arthur Myers entitled Communicating with Animals: The Spiritual Connection Between People and Animals. On page 24, Myers includes a story by Griffin Kanter of Houston, Texas, who read my book and decided to try the technique with her animals. In a dialogue with her dog Isaac, a poodle-terrier mix, with her right hand she wrote to Isaac that she was going to use this technique for communication. When Isaac started to reply through her left hand writing, she knew that it was indeed her dog speaking. She'd been using the technique for a few months and was used to sensing the subtle energy of whoever was speaking through her non-dominant hand. She felt Isaac's emotions and bodily sensations. Griffin went on to be able to communicate with her animals without writing. She could converse with them mentally, the way many "animal whisperers" do. (Note: my name is misspelled in the book as Catacchinone.)

If you have an animal who is in distress, or are in conflict with a pet or other animal, you can use this technique of dialoguing with both hands to gain insight and empathy into the animal's physical condition and/or emotions. Perhaps you will enhance your understanding of the dynamics between you and the animal as well.

With your dominant (writing) hand ask the animal a question about anything you would like to know regarding the animal's health, behavior, or needs. Then, put a pen in your non-dominant hand (the one you don't normally write with) and allow the animal to answer your question. Continue this dialogue back and forth until you feel you've come to a resolution or a deeper awareness of what the animal has been trying to communicate to you.

If you have a problem with the animal and need to express some emotions, start your dialogue by writing your feelings out with your dominant hand. If the animal has been upsetting you in any way describe what it is the animal has been doing and how it has impacted you. Then put a pen in your non-dominant hand and let the animal respond. Again, continue the dialogue until you feel some kind of resolution. 

An example of the latter type of dialogue came from a woman who reported that her well-trained French poodle suddenly started jumping up on furniture, behaving in an uncharacteristically disruptive manner, and regressing to puppy-like behavior. She found herself getting very annoyed and yelling at the dog all the time. This was very upsetting since she and her pet had a very harmonious connection. After doing a dialogue with the poodle she discovered that the dog walker, who was charged with taking the animal out during the day (when the owner was at work), had been limiting the usual time for outings. When the owner confronted the dog walker, the employee admitted that she had reduced time with the dog without consulting her. They came to an agreement about the minimum amount of time to be spent with the dog out-of-doors, and the pet's behavior cleared up within a week. The owner was once again relieved to return home each day to a happy, contented animal companion.


You too can be an "animal whisperer"! All it takes is paper, two pens and two hands.

Lucia
www.luciac.com
www.visioningcoach.org
Order The Power of Your Other Hand (Conari Press 2019) at Amazon.com

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Yuliia's Story

Yuliia Antonova is currently training in my Creative Journal Expressive Arts International Certification Training. She lives in Ukraine with her husband and two young children, and is sharing my methods through workshops and one-on-one consulting. Before taking the training, Yuliia was already a professional artist, but as you will see from this post, which she contributed, using the non-dominant hand has had a positive impact on her artwork.

Yuliia’s Story

At first my dialogues (using both hands) followed the recommendations and exercises in Lucia’s books: The Power of Your Other Hand and The Art of Emotional Healing. But when I felt how easy it was, I let both hands flow. The dialogues grew from short and abrupt to long three-paged conversations. It took me several months to establish a clear dialogue with my Inner Child, but now we are more than friends.

In October of 2018 I received an order from a woman who liked my paintings, which were presented at a small local art exhibition. My previous paintings were all born from my imagination and created for myself. This one was different. She wanted it to be 1 meter x 1 meter in size. This larger size was quite a challenge, huh? Anyway, I accepted the assignment because the woman gave me only a brief concept of what should be portrayed. The rest of the process was left to my vision and imagination.

Of course, at home I started to procrastinate right away. I did everything but the painting. I got mad at myself and that was when I thought of reaching out for a helping hand from my Creative Child.

My Creative Child was the one who kept me tuned in during my pregnancy period—she learned Spanish with me, she drew pictures with me, and more.

This is the dialogue, which evolved between me and my Creative Child back then in October of 2018:

Note: with my non-dominant hand, which is my left, I write in mirror fashion. Lucia describes this option in her book The Power of Your Other Hand.

Me (with dominant hand):

Hello
again
My sweet
Creative Child!
I missed you
Thank you though
For your help
For an inspiration that you gave me…
That made me Rock!
Now I need you again. I am starting this big piece,
Not yet masterpiece, but… R U there?

Creative Child (with non-dominant hand):

Hey, soul sister!
I am happy to hear that.
I told you then to rely on me.
And now you can and should count on me
As well.
Just give me those brushes and paints, and
Give me good music.
This painting requires good mood.
We should fill it with good vibes.
I will paint it for you.
Turn your brain off, when
I will be painting!
It will be our
masterpiece.
Luv u!
Yuliia's journal entry including mirror writing as recommended in
The Power of Your Other Hand

After this brief dialogue the painting was born. Slowly, piece by piece. And each time I was stuck with something, I’d take a brush into my non-dominant hand and let it flow on a canvas. Each time it’d be like a breath of fresh air. Of course, my non-dominant hand couldn’t draw perfect lines, but painting with my left hand would break the wall so that the right hand could continue its journey.
Yuliia's painting with the help of her Creative Child and non-dominant hand

Yuliia Antonova

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Finding Inner Wisdom through Your Other Hand

Written with Lucia's left hand

Many authors have written to me that they have written books of poetry and inner wisdom that came through their non-dominant hand. The most common description I've heard from these authors is "the book wrote itself."

The words that you see above written with my non-dominant hand, wrote themselves one day when I asked my Inner Wisdom to speak. As usual I had no idea what would appear on the page. When I have asked for guidance from a well of wisdom deep within myself, I have always received nurturing words of comfort as well as insights to apply in my everyday life and work. When I was completing the last chapter of The Power of Your Other Hand, entitled The Hand of God Within, I turned to my other hand, giving it the last word. Here is what it said in my non-dominant hand:

Just say that the deepest
well of inner knowing
and of peace is within
everyone. It can be
reached, in stillness,
in quiet, and in
solitude.

I am here in everyone
and everything and
the glory of being
human is that you
can know and ex-
perience at-one-ment with
me. For we are one.

When you are afraid,
lost, doubting - be
still, go inside and
find your True Self.
I will be there - where
I've always been -
waiting for you to
recognize the truth
of who you really
are.

I will speak through
everything that is so
human in you - your
fellings, your wishes,
your body, your 
relationships.

(Written by my dominant hand)
How do I know I'm not just making you up out of 
my imagination? How do I know that you really exist?

You will know. If you
don't recognize me at
first, eventually you
will. Sometimes when 
you have lost your
way and are far away
from your true Self,
you may doubt that I
exist. That is when you
have forgotten who you
really are. But if you
will speak with me
as you are now, I will
respond. 

Later on
when you read our
conversation, you will
recognize my real-
ness. You will see
your own doubting
mind, and you will
fell my essence
and know it to be
yours. You will see
the difference between
your small, fearful,
anxious self and your
true, beautiful and
peaceful Self. And 
since you have
written both voices,
you'll realize
that they both came
from you. Then you
will see that the
Highest Truth and
Wisdom resides
within you. Everything
else is illusion. You
will see that you've
had it backwards
all these years.

You thought your
self was the little scared,
confused "character"
that doubts and worries
and defends itself. That
is the figment of imagination.
That is the thing you made
up with your mind.

I am the Real You. I
am your True Self
reminding you to
wake up, come home
to the bliss of your
Inner Self.


Lucia
www.luciac.com
www.visioningcoach.org
Order The Power of Your Other Hand (Conari Press 2019) at Amazon.com

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Breaking Through Creative Blocks

I've received hundreds of letters over the years from readers who broke through creative blocks simply by writing with their non-dominant hand. They have discovered a poet within, an inner artist, an inventor, an adventurer and more. Some individuals, like artist Mona Brookes, didn't have a creative block as most people would define it, but she did have a fear of traveling.

After drawing and writing with her non-dominant hand, Mona experienced a chain reaction of creative breakthroughs in all areas of her life. She also did written dialogues using both hands. Many blocks vanished with a speed that is truly amazing. This is not to say that right/left hand writing was solely responsible for the changes in Mona's life. However, she feels it was a big catalyst for these changes.

One of Mona's most immobilizing blocks was a "travel phobia". She had just turned 45 but had never traveled because she was afraid of getting lost, missing planes, or entering new environments. Shortly after she started doing left-hand writing and drawing she worked up the courage to take a car trip from Los Angeles to Santa Fe, New Mexico with a friend. There were many complications on this trip serving to test Mona's "travel phobia." However, in the end, she had a wonderful time. "It was the first vacation I ever enjoyed," she recalled with a big smile. She has since become a confirmed traveler.

One of the rewards of removing blocks is that it builds self-confidence. The breakthrough of the travel experience gave Mona the confidence to overcome other obstacles. She gained faith in her ability to play the piano. She accelerated the dance studies she had recently embarked upon. At first she was extremely self-conscious and shy about dancing in front of others. She later danced with professionals and appeared in a dance-movement video.

Mona also took on new challenges in business. Before founding her own school, called MonArt, she had been a public servant. "I never saw myself as a businesswoman," she said. "I never dreamed that I was capable of going into business for myself. But after doing all these other things I thought I couldn't do, I started expanding my classes and trained many more instructors in my method." Within two years of being introduced to her non-dominant hand, Mona had developed programs in public schools and expanded from three hundred and fifty to more than five thousand students. She later trained teachers from all over the world to establish MonArt schools in their communities. This involved traveling globally to visit her MonArt instructors, proving that her fear of traveling and also of being a businesswoman had been conquered.





Mona's story appears in Chapter Four - Hand in Hand. There are many block buster exercises in The Power of Your Other Hand. No matter what area of your life you feel blocked or stagnant in, there are tools in the book for breaking through to the other side.

Mona is the author of two books featuring her MonArt method:
Drawing With Children: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too
Drawing for Older Children & Teens: A Creative Method for Adult Beginners, Too

Lucia
www.luciac.com
www.visioningcoach.org
Order The Power of Your Other Hand (Conari Press 2019) at Amazon.com

Thursday, May 2, 2019

The Inner Child Speaks through the Non-Dominant Hand

I'm pleased to introduce this week's guest blogger, Chuck Chamberlain, CJEA, a certified practitioner of my Creative Journal Expressive Arts methods living and working in China.

Triggers Are Opportunities
by Chuck Chamberlain

There is an assumption in society that it’s best to avoid triggers. After all, they can lead to destruction at worst, or extreme discomfort at best. But there are good reasons why triggers, despite their discomfort, can be opportunities in disguise. When a prior traumatic experience is triggered, there is a window of opportunity to deal with it effectively. Often, until triggered, those traumatic and incompletely processed experiences remain so far “backstage” it isn’t possible to effectively process them. With the right tools, a trigger opportunity can bring about a lasting change in a person’s life. Sometimes, the right “tool” is a mental health professional, especially if the triggered experience is deemed to be overwhelming or induces an inclination to do harm to self or others. Often, triggers can be processed on your own, and there are tools available to help.

I will share a private, powerful aspect of my life: I was sexually abused and bullied as a child and sexually assaulted as an adult. Perhaps the worst and most pervasive feeling during these incidents was the feeling of being unable to control the situation. Consequently, as an adult, I have often been triggered by anything that even approximates control. For example, I have seldom been able to comfortably allow someone else to drive a car in which I was a passenger. In fact, I’ve even found flying in a commercial aircraft uncomfortable, not because I feared crashing, but because I was not the pilot! I’ve also found myself triggered when my wife would do anything that even smelled like control. She’s often described these experiences as, “walking on eggshells.” Obviously, this is not a condition that is good for relationships.

Living and working in China, where there is so much control held by government officials in every aspect of life, I have experienced triggers due to this issue of control. With so many trigger opportunities, I’ve been able to use CJEA (Creative Journal Expressive Arts) techniques to gain a better understanding and control of my own emotions during these triggering incidents.

CJEA is a brain-science-based method of creative expression developed by Dr. Lucia Capacchione in the 1970’s when she experienced some difficult health issues. It is currently the method of choice for a growing community of certified practitioners working with organizations within the military, schools, corrections departments, courts, public safety departments, corporations, and with individuals, couples and families. CJEA utilizes the power and unique characteristics of both sides of the brain. This is done by expressing one’s self through movement, drawing, sketching or sculpting combined with writing using both the dominant and non-dominant hand.

One day recently, after experiencing a “control issue” trigger that unleashed emotional and physical symptoms (irritability and sudden intestinal cramping), I seized the opportunity to explore more about my control issues using some simple CJEA techniques. Fortunately, I had my Beijing apartment to myself that day. I placed a blank piece of paper on the table and used my dominant hand (right hand, in my case) to write questions to myself, based on the CJEA training I had received. Then, with various colored pencils, I used my left hand to scribble the answers using either text or drawing.

By doing this, I was able to tap into parts of my brain that seemed resistant to connect to my brain’s speech centers, and therefore were not often utilized when trying to talk over my concerns with my wife or anyone else. These parts of me had held onto emotional content that had not been expressed since I was a child. Metaphorically speaking, this abused child within me had been wandering around just off-stage, making trouble. Now I was giving “him” unprecedented access to say what was on his mind. And he did! He expressed terrible feelings and wanted assurances from me (the adult me) that I would be more conscious of him and his concerns. I offered some heartfelt promises, and immediately felt more peaceful.

If this communication with myself sounds bizarre to you, I assure you that you too have various parts of you. Each part has its own energy level and each part experiences life a little differently. During my extensive training with Dr. Capacchione, one of the most intriguing revelations to me was that we all have specific parts within us, doing specific functions. It isn’t mysterious; it’s simply the way we were all built.

It wasn’t necessary, at least during this episode, to re-hash and remember all the abuse. If I had noticed the discussion going in that direction, I might have waited for my wife to be present, or at least in another room. No, I simply needed to communicate and negotiate with a childlike part of me about the feelings of being controlled.

From this experience and many like it, I have learned that I am an excellent therapeutic guide for my own mental health. I do not have a pathology and therefore do not need the help of a certified mental health professional. If that should ever become necessary, I wouldn’t hesitate to make use of that additional resource.

There is no reason to live a life full of misery and frustration. When the “Broadway play” that is life seems to be more chaotic than it should be, there is hope.

For more information about Chuck, contact Chamberlain Leadership Group LLC, 1010 Natalie Lane, Smyrna, GA 30082, visit www.chamberlainleadership.com, or email chuck@chamberlainleadership.com.

Lucia
www.luciac.com
www.visioningcoach.org
Order The Power of Your Other Hand (Conari Press 2019) at Amazon.com