"Mind"ful May

Mindfulness, Presence, On the Subject of the Mind, the Brain... this is what May will hold for us!  

The Facebook and social media quizzes are everyone-Are you Right Brain or Left Brain Dominant? What hemisphere may be stronger, which one may be less developed, how does that shows up in our body, how does that shows up in our masculine, feminine, if we spend too much time in our logical brain, if our creative brain is neglected, and so it goes on.  

I love seeing when other worlds intersect with this:  

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The recent Pathways magazine has an article called The Pregnancy Circle by Laurel Bay Connell, MA.  She compares her first pregnancy from more of a left brain approach, to her second with more of a right brain approach.  For her first pregnancy, she spent her time researching, doing the expected things, going to the classes, interviewing doctors and midwives, doing her exercises, etc.-making her left brain strong.  Compared to her second pregnancy, she spent her time preparing her inner self by creating a Pregnancy Circle with other women, providing reflective time, stillness, meditation, listening to her inner wisdom and intuition, using art, creativity and imagination...reconnecting with her right brain.  

"Pregnancy and motherhood is deeply rooted in our instincts, our intuition, our feelings-our right brain.  The right brain is our primal brain, our "old brain." It is the side of our brain that governs our emotions, our creativity, and our intuition.  It is in the present moment."  (Pathways to Family Wellness Issue 41)

It does sound lovely to put the left brain on pause for that amazing time of pregnancy, childbirth and the early parenting days.  While I know that many of our moms still do a lot of the left brain preparations, there is also a big trend towards more women participating in Women's Circles, blessingways, and spending more time actively creating while their body is so hard at work.  

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Not to move to left field (or right field?), but our school recently hosted the teacher Jack Petrash for our annual conference.  I was not in attendance, but our own teacher sent us home with a package of articles.  Coincidentally, partly about the brain.  The article I refer to is called Leading Children Back to the Future in the Waldorf Classroom.  

A question in there-how do we prepare our students/ kids for tomorrow's workplace?  Is it their education?  Learning about technology?  The speaker mentioned in the article answered that education will develop their left brain but "in order to be prepared for the future they needed to develop the right side of their brains as well.  He told them to think art, to think green, to think connectedness."  (Thomas Friedman, NY Times Reporter and Author of The World is Flat)

Author Daniel Pink of A Whole New Mind proposes that in order to prepare our students for the future, we must help them develop new capacities in art, storytelling, play, empathy, finding meaning, and symphonic thinking*.  Computers will be pretty quick to be able to replicate what we can learn and do through left brain education.  

Creativity, play, imagination... characteristics of genius.  

*(What is this symphonic thinking?  Being able to recognize patterns and motifs, to synthesize information, see big picture, and make connections in new ways.)  

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Have I made a full circle back to the start? We can consciously choose how we birth-to support our intuition, connect to the wisdom of the ages, and use the time to create in both our inner and outer world.  We also consciously choose how we raise our children and educate our children.  We can choose both right brain and left brain supporting activities for ourselves and our kids-learning and work balanced by play, imagination and space. 

In our heavy-on-the-left-brain society, it will probably take an effort on your part to help your right brain thrive.  

Welcome to Mindful May!  


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