Open Your Brain Pathways

Anyone can draw. I don’t know about playing an instrument, speaking in multiple languages, acting, doctoring, free speaking, dancing, driving, cooking, stock brokering, card dealing ..but I do know that anyone can draw.

You may not have any desire to draw. But learning to draw doesn’t care if you want to or not.

It only wants you to open up the Right Brain, and give that incessant Left Brain a rest.

It wants you to open your Artist Brain.

So even if you don’t think you care about drawing, you might benefit from the awakening of your artist brain.  Amazement, ultimate gratitude, and inspired creativity will surely follow.

How to Exercise Your Right Brain

With a Drawing Exercise

Materials Needed

Pen or pencil

Piece of paper

Timer

Your hand or something equivalent

Directions

STEP 1

Before you start, a little something to go in with:

Understand first, that drawing is a skill, and it does get better with practice, and it does get augmented by natural talent that we all have.

But before you can even start practicing or exploring your natural talent. You have to really see.

You will know that you are seeing when you look at a simple object that you might normally glance at, but instead could look at forever and ever.

You can look at it forever, because you go from hardly glancing at an object to seeing the shapes, lines and curves, space and negative space, textures, color, shadows, light, and composition components.

If it sounds boring, it’s because your Left Brain is still talking-words like lines and space aren’t for the Right Brain to tell you about in your native language.

No, no. The Right Brain speaks for itself and only in a language your Left Brain refuses to let you in on.

STEP 2

SEE!

Your goal is to SEE your hand and draw it WITHOUT LOOKING at it. You will take ten minutes to do this task. Use a timer to tell you when you are done.

Draw that hand(in any position you can hold for ten minutes), and do not peek with your eyes at what you are drawing.

Instead follow the lines of your hand with your eyes and mentally connect to the hand that is drawing.

Step 3

SAW!

After ten minutes is up, put down your drawing utensil and observe your drawing. Think about where your mind went during that ten minutes. Observe the interaction of your Right and Left Brain; ask yourself when and to what degree did the Right Brain take over? Was there a moment when my hand drawing hand was following exactly what I was seeing? Does the drawing look to be following the hand that is being drawn? What went wrong? Where was my mind when the pen went astray?

Artist: Cowboy

Artist: Cowboy

Attempt 2 By Cowboy

Attempt 2 By Cowboy

Goal of Exercise

Stop thinking and talking.

Listen and let the world do the thinking for you.

(Now, doesn’t that sound fun?)

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Are we Adjusted Yet?

I was looking for the hydrogen peroxide to clean my manicuring tools the other day, and I realized I had organized it all the way downstairs in the cleaning supplies area. Why had I done that? I don’t use it for anything outside of cleaning stuff that I store in the linen closet upstairs. What happened is a classic example of over-zealous new home organizing. When everything is brand new, apparently I feel the need to come up with all new ideas and uses for products. But really, a lot of stuff just stays the same.

Sure, you can start fresh, and perhaps that new path will lead you places you never thought you would go, but it’s always good to nail the basics down. This will help stabilize you in your new life.

As for me, I wouldn’t say I have adjusted completely. I still think of my home in Wisconsin as my home, and this new life in California feels temporary. But I sat in my garden tonight and planted some seedlings while the sun set, and for a moment I felt I could just be. That’s the feeling that comes when I am settled, and I look forward to more moments like that.

Another session in the sauna helped the process. Two days ago I was sick as a dog-nauseated all day. Late in the evening I joined my husband for an evening at the gym. I was sick but I had a feeling the sauna would help me feel better.

Well, the sauna was hot-hotter than it had ever been. My favorite sauna acquaintance was there. She is a lady marred by a car accident involving a texter while driving type. She comes to the gym to work out in the pool, and afterwards shuffles to the sauna with her walker. She is always in pain, and every day is a battle. As we sat together, I let it all out so to say. I told her how I haven’t been feeling good, and how crowded grocery stores and aggressive drivers on the highway make me nervous. I told her how I was frustrated that I couldn’t cook to save my life, that keeping up a house was harder than I thought it would be, and that working out had gone completely by the wayside. I told her I was worried about our new business ventures and that I was scared we would fail. She asked me if I was depressed, and I honestly could say no, I’m not depressed but I was in the habit of thinking like a depressed person. Old habits die hard.

We sweated it out for close to forty minutes and when I got out of there, I was as red as a tomato for at least an hour. That night I went to bed and I had a dream that I had expelled all these toxins from my body. The toxins looked like chunks of raw earth.

When I awoke in the morning, I felt light and free. It was as if a new attitude washed over me, one that was indelibly positive. It occurred to me that if I do the best I can and still fail, then there was nothing to worry about. Any impending failure would be there due to forces I cannot control. I zoomed to the store on the freeway with the windows down and visited the grocery store in the evening only to truly enjoy every moment. Furthermore, I worked on our store with total zeal and found that familiar strength that makes me a powerhouse in the area of business.

I know now that I can do anything I want, and have begun serious plans to go into the fashion business with my sisters.

Last night I drifted into sleep mulling over ideas to write a children’s book, and didn’t let myself fall asleep until I had one good idea to go with the next time I picked up the project.

I am sure the ebb and flow of inspiration will change this state of being, but each time I face my dreams and everyday life as a strong, capable woman, I am able to face the dark days with more wisdom and accomplishment.

Are we adjusted yet? Maybe its a very good thing I’m not.

Just another way to improve your life

Ever find yourself staring at the wall? Or maybe, you have some time between responsibilities, and you just don’t know what to do with yourself, so you turn on the tv or surf mindlessly on the internet… Don’t you wish you could do something productively? But at a time like this, who can think of something productive to do?

Here is an idea that might help you use your time productively, even if its only for a few minutes:

1.Make a list of simple, mindless activities that you know are good for you.

2. Cut out each activity and put them in a hat or box.

3. Keep it on hand and draw from it when you feel a little aimless. Or just draw on your way to your next activity, a few minutes doing something for yourself will do you a world of good.

Here is a list to copy and paste if you want to skip the first step:

10 push-ups

Stretch and be aware of your breath for five minutes

Drink a large glass of water

Eat a piece of fruit

Eat a raw vegetable

25 sit-ups

Plank pose for 3 minutes

Write a letter to someone

Organize a drawer

Memorize a phrase in another language

Vacuum your living room furniture

Clean your make-up brushes

Read a couple of pages in a textbook

Lay flat on the floor without moving for 10 minutes

Water a plant

Smile and remember something you find funny

Give yourself a foot massage for 5 minutes

Brush your hair and massage your scalp for 5 minutes

Brush and floss your teeth

Clean your purse or wallet out

Think of 5 things you can do well

Make plans to try a new recipe

Repair something

 

Beat the Winter Blues

I could feel it coming; that daily blah feeling that relentlessly follows me around. It caught up with me at about 3:30pm today. I looked at a small pile of papers on my desk and a few items seemed to me a mountain of work I could not possibly deal with.  The only thing I could do was stare at the wall and worry that the dullness overtaking my light was permanent.

The only thing to do was do something, but nothing was the only thing I could do.

So I sat, and finally a half an hour before sundown I dredged my way into the kitchen to prepare something to eat…but my legs had other ideas.

They took me to my bike and started cycling around the neighborhood.

 My brain protested:

No.

You are not 10 years old.  No.

You look like a crazy person riding around.

Smile at the lady with the dog…no return smile, she thinks you’re crazy, look away, there’s an orange tree..

…and a lemon tree?

Wow this foliage is not bad at all

And listen to all those birds

Look at how much food there is for the birds, berries, nuts, flowers…

You look like a fool, don’t grin.

You have nothing to live for

Whats the point

Look at that dad putting together a kite with his 7 kids

Theres another dad just home from work tossing a football with his son

And then here’s me, no kid to take along so I don’t look crazy enjoying a sunset cruise in suburbia, CA

The wind is making my eyes water

I’m not crying but my eyes think I am, and it feels pretty good

Rounding the corner…must have been about 20 min or so…home

Feeling better, 100 times better probably

Not jumping for joy or anything, but I’m feeling more logical, like I might have a little inspiration that was too scared to come out and play, but now it must have felt it was safe to come out, even just peek out a little.

Enough to think – You’ve been wanting to write that Beat the Blues article, what better time after you somehow found your way out?

So, I haven’t done my research but after today I can offer a few things that might help you:

1. Exercise: But, don’t even call it that, don’t even think about it again. Just do it the way you drink a glass of water when you’re not even thirsty.  Go outside no matter how cold it is and walk, run, stretch, breathe, whatever.  Just get some fresh air and move your body.

Let your mind go where it will, and eventually maybe, you can just be.

2.  Of course the sun only shines so often, so you must light your flame within.  To do this, you must find something that is just for you.  Recently, I have found this blog which is a pastime that has given me the opportunity to be me, however I want to be. And so, to face the dark as the sun sets on another day, I find my way to the laptop to write something eternal.  I worry not about who will read, who will like, who will comment, but I think of me, and what keeps that flame going.

Find what ignites the light inside of you. Is it as simple as a walk?  Strumming on your guitar?  Taking some pans and buckets and setting up a percussion jam? Reading a good book? Kicking some major butt in your self-defense class at the gym? Drawing pictures that make you laugh? Writing a poem? Baking a loaf of bread or chocolate chip cookies? Mixing beats? Putting together a film?

Whatever it is, remember, that it is something simple that will keep you going.  It’s not something you can buy, no one can sell it to you.  It’s not something to eat, no one can feed it to you.  It is something very simple, very beautiful, and it requires no talent at all.  Its inside of you and every one of us.  It is one of the few things in the world we have choice about; to see the light inside of yourself and let it shine. Let it wash away the worries that weigh you down and make you so tired, you are sure there is nothing that can help.

Or at least put them on hold for a little bit, so you can enjoy life the way its meant to be enjoyed.

Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen.  Keep in the sunlight.

  ~Benjamin Franklin