Initially, I was a creative kid, a bit of a dreamer who loved painting and making up stories. That all changed when I started school. I was one of those left-handed children who was bullied by the teacher into using my right hand to write with.
Almost overnight, I went from being a creative kid to an intellectual one. Now I was more interested in reading other peoples stories rather than making up my own. I no longer painted as reading had become my main interest. I was often praised for my reading abilities but not for my art.
When I grew up I worked in an office, spending most of my day on the computer. I had no creative abilities or interests apart from cooking. My hobbies were more of the intellectual variety, studying naturopathy, astrology and psychology etc. Interestingly, most of my friends were arty, creative or musically inclined but alas, I was not.
One fine day, I left the office to buy lunch and I saw a new store called Bead World had opened. Something bubbled up and erupted in me, an intense itch that needed to be scratched. A creative force was unleashed in me and it wanted to make jewellery! On impulse I went inside and found myself immersed in another world made of beautiful colours and pretty beads. I spent up big, on tools, beads and all the other paraphernalia required to make earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
My colleagues were curious when I returned to work (late, oops) and showed them my goodies. A few days later my work mates gave me a gift – a book on how to make your own jewellery with beads.
Armed with their encouragement I set to work and soon I was wearing my creations to the office and receiving lots of lovely compliments. I started getting requests from friends and colleagues to make items for them and now I was earning a nice little income on the side. It was a wonderful boost to my self esteem, people actually liked my stuff and wanted to give me money for it – amazing! Finally, I was good at something creative. From there I developed an interest in photography and scrapbooking and other paper crafts.
About a year later I was marvelling at this sudden change in me – how and why did I suddenly become so creative? Then I remembered a conversation I’d had with my Osteopath. He commented that I was too right side dominant and that my posture would benefit if I practised some left sided activities.
I took his advice and trained myself to use my left hand to operate my mouse instead of my right. It took a week or so before I became as dexterous with my left hand as I had been with my right. From then on, I aways used the mouse in my left hand, in fact it became so natural that if I was working on someone else’s computer and used my right hand to operate their mouse it felt really awkward.
This happened approximately six weeks before I had my creativity re-birth. Seemed plausible to me that there was a correlation between the two events. Perhaps, by using my left hand I had stimulated my right brain and woken up my dormant creative abilities.
Fast forward five years and my creativity was still going strong. Then I left my office job, I no longer worked at a computer five days a week. Six months after that I realised I had not been at all creative for the past four months. I no longer got down and dirty with the glue, the scissors or the pliers and beads. However, I had returned to reading a lot and started writing book reviews on Amazon. Very weird, as I never had any interest in writing before. Clearly my left brain was reasserting itself.
So I draw the following conclusions;
Right-handed people who want to be more creative could profit from using their left hand more often to stimulate their right brain, the creative side of the brain.
Left-handed people, particularly aspiring writers who are having difficulty in organising and articulating their story ideas may gain some benefit from using the right hand more often to stimulate their left brain, the logical side of the brain.
Give it a try and let me know if it works for you!
I wonder, if I had been allowed to write with my left hand when I was a child, would I have turned out differently? Had a different personality or occupation perhaps? I suspect so.
May all beings be encouraged in their creative pursuits!
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden via Unsplash