Do you remember when you were a young child, and you loved to paint/draw/build/dress up/pretend to be a super-hero/climb/run/sing/dance/etc. etc. etc.? What you were doing was basking in the joy that’s found in the right-hemisphere of your brain! When you were allowing your imagination to let go of the practical realities of the physical world, you were imagining greater possibilities of who you could be.
Now fast forward to the present time. Are you still allowing yourself to express your right-hemisphere in a way that gives you joy? Or have the practicalities of life separated you from your imagination? The bills, the responsibilities of life—have they overtaken your thought process and limited your potential for fun? You are obviously still the same person as you were when you were a young child, so what changed?
It’s that pesky left-hemisphere that sits next to the right-hemisphere in your brain, telling you to be practical, to deal with the day-to-day realities, to see what needs to be done, what things have to be taken care of, what bills have to be paid. The left-hemisphere is not at odds with the right-hemisphere—it just wants to make sure that your feet are on the ground, that every one of us can be responsible human beings.
But the right-hemisphere in all of us is still available to enable us to imagine great things. It just takes a little longer, as an adult, to receive its possibilities, to realize its expansive perspective. When we stop for a moment—when we resist the logical demands of the left-hemisphere, and allow ourselves, just for a few short moments to breathe slowly, quietly, gently, softening into the peace that exists within each one of us, we can get a glimpse of our own true self, the one we thought we’d left behind many years ago. We can tune into our own true potential, and find ourselves lifted into a tremendous feeling of joy.
This is the creative energy that exists within each of us when we’re ready to tune into it. Some have mastered the art of balancing the left- and right-hemispheres, allowing the creative thoughts of the right- to be more clearly understood in the left-, and then be brought into the world with more clarity, so that we can all benefit from this person or that person’s creative ability. This is how our generation has advanced so far in technology and science: some of us have kept in touch with the right-hemisphere for good purpose.
But when we realize that every single child starts out in life with a powerful imagination, it might seem that the right-hemisphere of so many of them has been restricted and held dormant so that the left-hemisphere could be more dominant. As a society, and as a world, we’ve made the more practical, down-to-earth left-hemisphere the one we rely on because we’ve needed to be pragmatic in order to survive.
The only problem with this is that we’ve hidden away the very best resource we have for solving the social problems that come when we just live life from a purely physical reality. We’ve created an environment where the right-hemisphere of our brains has to struggle to be recognized in our physical world. It’s concealed in our dreams of a brighter tomorrow, when people will one day be more open and free to be their full selves in a way that can enable true peace to exist. We’ve taught our children to put away their toys when they turn 5 or 6 years old, and only have them focus on learning how to read, write, and gain information, which means to shift their thought process from creativity to the physical aspects of life. The truth is they need both perspectives. Diminishing the exercise of the creative mind diminishes the ability to solve problems, to find solutions, to open channels of communication between peoples, and to maintain our instinctive human need to protect our planet.
By not acknowledging the need for encouraging creativity, often seeing it as an incidental extra in our classrooms—when there’s time and money to allow it in the school day—we’ve closed off our greatest human potential.
If we were only born on this planet to exist, to survive, and live life until we die, then we’re doing OK. But if we are here to develop a fine mind, to feel free to express the very depths of our dreams, then something of who we are is seriously missing. The chaos we see in the world, as it builds into extremes that demand our military involvement—whether we want it to or not—is simply the expression of the limited view we have of ourselves. We’ve shut down, and continue to shut down, the very gifts we’ve inherently been given to be able to solve our problems. We’ve removed our strength of imagination, which, when balanced by our practical mind, can open up new pathways of communication between human beings from one tribe, or even one country, to another.
When we’re ready to acknowledge that there’s more to who we are than just our physical reality, we can develop greater respect for our sensibilities and our love. Then we’ll find that our brain’s right-hemisphere is still operational, and can be revived at any moment, to give us a more peaceful, creative perspective, and so help us to solve many of the problems that have arisen.
We are more than we think we are; we have more than we think we have; we simply have to learn how to love our own self and each other more than we think we do.
Love and blessings,
Author of The Way The World Works: A Journey Toward Inner Peace