Bicameral Brain Conversation or Writing With My Other Hand

left hand writing
From: The 4-Day Win by Martha Beck

Phase 1 ~ Pre-Contemplation ~ Thinking about Thinking

Our brain, like the rest of our anatomy, is made up of two halves, a left brainright brain. There’s a big fold that goes from front to back in our brain, essentially dividing it into two distinct and separate parts. Well, almost separate. They are connected to each other by a thick cable of nerves at the base of each brain. This sole link between the two giant processors is called the corpus collosum. Think of it as an Ethernet cable or network connection between two incredibly fast and immensely powerful computer processors, each running different programs from the same input.

The left side of our body is “wired” to the right side of our brain, and vice versa. For whatever reason nature did this cross-over, it applies even to our eyes, which process a majority of their sensory data on opposite sides of the brain.

Our personality can be thought of as a result of the degree to which these left and right brains interact, or, in some cases, do not interact. It is a simplification to identify “left brain” types who are very analytical and orderly. We likewise certainly know of the artistic, unpredictability and creativity of “right brain” types. But each of us draws upon specific sides of our brain for a variety of daily functions, depending on such things as our age, education and life experiences. The choices of which brain is in control of which situations is what forges our personalities and determines our character.

Talking to Yourself

This exercise puts the dominant half of your brain (your computer) in touch with your non-dominant half of your brain (your creature) by having a conversation between your dominant and non-dominant hands. The basic question is “How can I help you feel so good that you won’t even want to eat for comfort?”

The Conversation

Sit down with a notebook and pen and at least 10 minutes of time at your disposal.

Draw a vertical line down the centre of a blank page, dividing it into two columns.

Using your preferred dominant hand, write a message at the top of the left hand column. You are writing to the part of you that overeats. Start with a greeting “How are you?”

Switch the pen to your non-dominant hand and at the top of the right hand column start responding to the question. Don’t censor, judge or control the message – just let it emerge.

Continue back and forth between hands until your non-dominant hand feels like it is willing to cooperate. This may happen almost immediately but in the beginning it may take a while.

Don’t be surprised if you get bad language and abuse from your creature mind to start with ~ e.g. “How are you? Fuck off!” As I’ve already done a lot of work on self acceptance mine isn’t as antagonistic as it might have been.

If you’re playing along, I’d love to hear the first words your non-dominant hand wrote in response to “How are you?”

Writing With My Other Hand (Transcribed from my Notebook)

Friday 25 Dec

How are you?

Doing OK today except for my swollen ankles and unnecessary fat on my belly – it weighs me down. Why do you poison me with junk?

I am so sorry. I obviously don’t think about you as much as I should.

You just need to care for us like a small child. You wouldn’t give your daughter open slather with sugar. There has to be some rules when you are in charge of a precious delicate gift – otherwise you hurt us.

If I have too many rules I freak out and do more damage.

Not rules just better feelings. Shitty food makes us struggle and lowers our physical vibration.

What can I do to make you feel good without relying on food?

Take a hot shower after lunch, watch some TV or read and maybe a nap.

How are we now?

So much better than the starvation but we need to find the middle path. It’s started so keep going. You’ve come a long way in such a short time. We are proud.

Saturday 26 Dec

How are you doing?

Not so great after those dates. I’ve felt anxious all day and now I feel sick.

Why are you anxious?

Overwhelmed with all the stuff that needs doing (packing). Felt like restriction yesterday so we felt hungry and afraid. You haven’t got out of your pyjamas either. Shower before eating might be a good task/habit to try.

What can I do to make you feel good without relying on food?

A bit of relaxation. You’ve been working since 4.30am and food has been your only break. How about some excellent slobbing on the couch. You don’t have to be doing stuff all the time you know. Remember to just be. That includes this stuff too.

OK, I’m on to it.

An Observation

Don’t you think it’s weird how my creature self calls itself “we”. It’s a bit like talking to a non-physical entity … maybe I should ask some other questions one day … hmmmmm

turtle stepTurtle Step

Each day for the next 4 days, I’ll write a conversation between my dominant and non-dominant hand. With my dominant hand I’ll ask for cooperation in healthy eating and I’ll allow my non-dominant hand to respond in any way it wants.

For Fun

Do you see the dancer turning clockwise or anti-clockwise? Can you make her change direction? Try closing your eyes and imagining her going the other way first or look at something else and just see her out of focus with your peripheral vision (incidentally a wonderful example of (a) visualisation and (b) relaxed intent changing your perception).

Click here to find out which side of your brain is most dominant. (Is it just me or can you not stop looking at her nipples?)

clockwise or anti clockwise

→ Related 4-Day Win Posts
→ Additional information : Dan Eden
→ photo : Caitlinator

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing