I am re-reading this book I bought a long time ago (it’s copyrighted 1988, but I think it was probably the early 1990s when I got it) called “The Power of Your Other Hand” by Lucia Capacchione. It seems to have been revised, and the only image of the book I have that I could find is the one in my header. This is the edition I have. The link is to the Goodreads page on it.
Anyway, this is not so much a book review as it is my experiences with the content and exercises in the book. She does a very good job of reviewing the physiological, sociological, biological, social constructs on handedness, and why the left hand is often maligned. She also outlines the benefits of using your Other Hand, and gives a lot of personal experience from her own practice. The exercises are very interesting, although I had some problems with a couple of them. I didn’t find it as difficult to write with my left hand after I made some adjustments. I discovered that my left hand has a very definite way it wants to write, and her exercises to write using both hands simultaneously, and to draw using both hands at the same time, did not work for me. She didn’t really address this issue, I discovered to my dismay.
My left hand wants to write backwards and from right to left. It doesn’t like to use cursive, doesn’t like to use a pen, and doesn’t like small letters (they don’t come out well in marker). I found writing from left to right with my left hand felt “wrong”…I was covering up my words, which made the formation of some letters difficult for some reason. Angling the paper helped a bit, but then the slant of some of the letters got funky. I just naturally started writing from right to left when I left the other hand (the Inner Child?) to its own devices, and soon discovered that I was mirror writing! It just comes naturally for me it seems! My Inner Child thinks this is cool! LOL I guess this is supposedly really hard to do, and few can do it naturally. Supposedly it is hard for our minds to visualize the letters backwards. Well…not for my left hand/right brain! I can also read it well enough too. That’s supposed to be difficult as well. Gee…aren’t I special? LOL 😉
Now the problem with the exercise of trying to write with both hands at the same time was that one hand is going left to right in cursive, and the other hand is trying to go right to left in capital letters. The left hand kept stopping and getting confused…I often wound up with just lines and squiggles and dots for some reason. It was trying to follow the right hand, to no avail. They just do things differently. I had somewhat better results by paying attention to what the left hand was doing and trying to copy it with the right hand, but it still left me feeling like I was stuttering on paper!
And…there is no way I can think and write down thoughts doing it this way. Maybe I need to practice more, but I want to use the left hand to talk with my inner child and access inner guidance and such. So… some of the exercises just aren’t valuable to me at this point. But man, is it an interesting way to kill time and learn a lot about yourself! You can really spend a lot of time trying to carefully form letters with your other non-dominant hand – getting it legible is a lot of intense concentration. It’s really rather meditative!
I don’t remember what I thought of this process when I read it back in the early 90s, but I did have a couple of pages of left-handed writing inside the pages. Boy was it bad! I suspect that I gave it up because I just wasn’t able to get it legible. And I wasn’t interested in Inner Child work, and since I have absolutely no problem accessing my inner artist, writer, healer or teacher, that wasn’t an issue to confront. I have often been told I would make a great teacher, and as an empath, healing comes naturally. I am very artistic and creative, and have no problems writing, hence the blog. I guess I felt that the left hand writing wouldn’t help me much. I’m still not sure it’s going to make a great impact in my life, but it seems like a valuable tool for accessing my inner child.
The fact that my left hand seems to know how it wants to write makes me wonder if I was once a leftie. I know that when I was a kid, being a leftie was actively discouraged, with the teacher tying down the hand and forcing the kid to use his right. I don’t remember this being done to me though. But I am rather ambidextrous in a lot of things already, so I wonder if I just trained myself early rather than be subjected to such abuse by the teacher. I remember I always hated my handwriting…it wasn’t very nice, very sloppy and childlike. I remember I consciously chose to improve my cursive writing by copying the letters of other people’s that I liked. It makes me think that the handwriting of my left hand is probably closer to my original, natural handwriting.
Anyway, the point of this post was to note that I’m having fun playing with left handed writing, but I don’t know how much I’m accessing my Inner Child, since I’m still very focused on writing legibly. Although I found an interesting thing happened when I switched from the marker to a pen…my Inner Child got crabby and irritable. The pen doesn’t work well for some reason…I think the way I hold the pen in my left hand makes the ink not flow properly. I feel like I am scratching the paper, and there are gaps in the ink flow in the words. This was part of the crabbiness that was coming out; but the other part was I realized I was accessing a different age. This Inner Child was more like 9 or 10 years old, not the 6 or 7 year old that comes through with the markers. Yeah…I’m thinking that this Inner Child has healing to do. sigh. But we don’t like using a pen! bleah Now to figure out how to access this older Inner Child without using a pen like a grownup….maybe a pencil? Hmmmm….guess where I am off to??? LOL