Right-Brained Girl in a Left-Brained World

photo“We are right-brained girls functioning in a left-brained world.” My eldest sister and I say that to each other all the time. Since I have reached the empty-nest stage, my aim is to do something about it. I want to unleash my right-brained, creative self. She’s been dying to get out for years.

Somehow my sister and I compromised our creativity. Maybe you have too. In our society, we place the most value on practical left-brainers who work with details, invoices, numbers, formulas and statistics. We can easily grasp left-brain ideas. They are logical, don’t take as much effort to sell and quickly find supporters. We have bought into the notion that our left-brain pays the bills. We are conditioned to believe that if we behave like a left-brainer we fit in. We belong.

I bought into that idea wholeheartedly. In my business world, any creativity was structured and limited by the goals of my employer. As a result I suppressed my true creative self and it has taken 2 years of mining to see glimpses of her. And I like her. She feels so real. But she is so fragile. She dips her toe in the water and jumps back to the shore. To thoughts of rejoining the business world. To safety. My creative self is in constant negotiations with my practical self over creative time.

Sometimes I fear that she won’t make it. Two steps forward, one step back. It’s a struggle. Practical self is already liked and accepted. No one knows this creative self and what she’s capable of. Including me. So the battle continues.

Every morning, my creative self dances with my practical self before committing to the purpose of the day.  Lately, creative self asserts herself and gets to the keyboard. She gets quiet with her thoughts and connects with something bigger than herself. She hopes to produce authentic art that engages her and ultimately her readers.  But there are days when she gives in and returns to the comfortable old world of left-brain activity. It is easier but much less fulfilling.

I regret that I have ignored my creative side.  And I am surprised at what a struggle it is to let my creative self shine.  I love it when she rules.

Here is what I believe  –

Everyone has a creative side.

Think back to your youth. If you wanted your sky to be red, you coloured it red. You wrote a ridiculous fairy tale. Spontaneity prevailed. You played. You imagined. You dreamed. You danced.

The world needs our creativity.

Self-expression of any kind is liberating. Your creativity draws interest, elicits opinions, inspires lively dialogue and encourages connection.

Creativity brings validation.

Your expression of creativity leads you to your truth and your people.

Creativity released is happiness.

Happiness is peace.

Can you see us here?

Can you see us here?

We are in this together: you, my sister and me. I wish you could all be my neighbours at my cabin on the lake. We could meet on my deck and talk creativity over coffee. We could encourage and validate each other. We could create together. And really know each other, like no one has known us before.

But, I am here and you are there.

What are you creating today? Embrace it. Share it.

4 thoughts on “Right-Brained Girl in a Left-Brained World

  1. I can relate completely to your blog this morning. Somehow I have felt guilty about showing that right brained self to the world. Probably because I have been trained since childhood that hard work doesn’t equal creativity. As a child I was constantly teased for my wild imagination, for daydreaming, and for asking questions other children didn’t. All signs of a very right brained person. Today I still feel like I should be doing other things when all I really want to do is sit down and paint, or write, or sew, or?? Now I need to let myself off the hook and, like you, enjoy who I really am – a right brained, creative person. Thanks for a great post!

    • Yes, I think it is time to be proud of who we really are. I was at a writing retreat once where I was asked why I liked to write. I said, “It is fun and that’s the problem!” What? Why is having fun a problem? We are so conditioned to see creative time as an unproductive indulgence. Time to put that notion aside and have some fun!! Come and see me on my deck 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Heather.

  2. This is such a sweet post…wish we could meet for coffee at that cabin. About creativity, I wrote nonfiction and said I wasn’t creative enough to write fiction. Well…working on book three now and two are with an agent. So, if I can do it, anyone can.

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