Look Me In The Left Eye.

Via on Nov 18, 2011

In general, we tend to think that the right hemisphere and the left hemisphere of the brain process information in different ways. Generally speaking, the left-brain is literal, linear, and methodical, it organizes and relates new information to what it already knows and assigns language. It processes in a sequential and logical order, while the right-brain is more artistic, creative, non-verbal, emotional, visual, and processes intuitively and holistically.

For the vast majority of us, the left side of the body is said to be ‘wired’ to the right side of the brain and thus the right side of the body is wired to the left side of the brain – the two sides communicating via the corpus collosum. An example of this communication: the right-brain sees a car, your left-brain will say, ‘that is my parent’s car.’ Most people seem to have a dominant side of the brain, which is not conclusive, but a matter of preference in terms of how they prefer to learn. Can you guess which side you are? Are you right-handed or left-handed?

According to Scientific America 70-95% of us are right-handed, not only in the United States, but in the World. Being right-handed could hypothesize that we are left-brain dominant. Does this mean that the human inhabitants of the world are typically learning, seeing, comprehending and communicating from a first and foremost logical and categorical point of view and not necessarily balanced with an artistic, emotional or intuitive point of view? Perhaps it does.

It may also mean that if we are left-brain dominate, we could have a hard time really ‘understanding the big picture’ or even the ‘picture’ at all. In the fast-paced lifestyle of the West, the narrative described by the left-brain is often a quick assignment – this assignment can very well stem from a place that is not one’s own, nor from one’s own intuition, but someone else’s opinion: the media, television, and so on and so forth. How much truth comes from these sources?

The jury is still out as to if we are born with this dominance or if it is attributed via our DNA or something learned through our experiences and external environment. Another interesting finding is that the right-brain seems to develop before the left-brain, so perhaps this could lead to conclusions to ‘how’ this preference is developed. It is also important to note that no one is necessarily entirely either left-brained or right-brained, but that it is quite common that we have a dominant side of the brain just like we have a dominant hand, foot and eye.

We notice when we practice yoga that there are typically different sensations in either side of the body – perhaps one side is tighter while the other more relaxed. Over time we can experience equanimity, a balancing of the body, and the mind. We create symmetry and we tend to become more open to new ‘definitions’, expressions and outlooks. Could it be because both sides of the brain are working more harmoniously together, one not dominating the other?

Some say that it is our left-brain dominancy that gives us the feeling of being separate from one another. It is the ‘I am’ and the clinging to the past, logic and definitions, while it is the right-brain that connects and attunes us to one another presently, intuitively and non-verbally.

We can all agree that brains are quite complex phenomena. We can always speculate, but to really experience our inner workings, we can invite ourselves to recognize and become aware of what is truly happening within ourselves in the present moment.

This is a mere tiny drop of water within a giant sea of possibilities, but interesting to think, that by looking into my left eye, maybe, just maybe, you are seeing a different side of me.

Image by me, Tanya Lee Markul.

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About Tanya Lee Markul

Luring the magic of what is natural back into our daily lives, Tanya Markul is a freer of creativity, of inner beauty + power, and an enthusiastic igniter of the wild spirit! She re-writing the wild flower sutras, and offers a refreshing & badass view on spirituality, wellness & authentic living. Sensitivity is her tree trunk, flower stem, and nucleus. It is her belly, and her heart. Tanya is an artist of life, a faery of trees, a wanderer of the dark, a writer of heart, a misfit yogini, and an Urban Priestess apprentice. She believes in the power of your personal weird, quirky, magic, and that only path toward inner freedom & light, is through the dark — eyes closed, heart open. Tanya is the creator of The Urban Howl, Yoga Write Now & Waking Wild. Join her free forum for monthly yoga & writing practices here. Join her free forum for 30 days of exercise for 30 days here. Join her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & get her free weekly & quirky newsletter here.

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Comments

35 Responses to “Look Me In The Left Eye.”

  1. Robert says:

    Tanya — I love this article. You have put into words exactly what I have begun to embrace, equanimity.
    Having always been categorized as right brain/artistic/creative, etc…. I felt something was lost, missing, unresolved and I began to train myself to use my mind full spectrum from mathematics/excel sheets to abstract expressionism. It has made me achieve a balance I had never known existed and I feel more creative and sharper than ever, as they compliment each other immensely.

  2. Such a thought-provoking post Tanya. Love it!

  3. Thank you for inviting us to contemplate the way our perspectives in life might have neurological origins we can train to balance out! Personally, I have always felt myself to be more of an intuitive, than a linear person. I have always appreciated this about myself, but the problem is that the world is more organized to accommodate the left brainers! Even when us artistic personalities bend to fit into society, society still demands we loose most of our creativity and imagination. It seems that in order for a balanced communication to occur within us, we also need to employ the effort to destroy and reconstruct the exterior, lest we end up with having to favor imbalance again (logic over intuition), just to be productive in today's modern societies. Of course, there is that ever-alluring alternative of going off the social map altogether. But WHERE can we find entire societies that honor the sense of equilibrium and oneness you highlight in your article? How beautiful our world would be if we could create such peaceful synergy! Thank you for a stimulating piece. And yes, let me peek into your left eye dear! You are lovely!

  4. Well said, T. I always enjoy your posts, and look forward to more. Xoxo, ~T

  5. jmc says:

    Great post! I have been a left brain dominant person most of my life. Math and computers were my main interests and the focal areas of my career. However, the more asana, pranayam and meditation I do, the more open I feel in my right brain. It helps me unleash my creativity, feelings, intuition and people connection.
    Try this. Take 2 pictures of your face, one being your actual face, the other being an inverse, say from a mirror image. Cut them both in half. Paste both actual right sides together to make a new face. Then past both left sides for another.
    Look at the difference of each new face. While it's typically not a "pretty" site, you'll see your two different brains in a "whole" other perspective!! Namaste- J

  6. Margaret says:

    I have always been ambidexterous. Do you believe that the preponderance of the right-handed in our world has anything to do with the suppression of the feminine? Your article is very timely, as I found my self wondering about this very thing yesterday during a massage.

  7. Love this Tanya! My dad used to do brain dominance research in the 80's with Herman Brain Dominance Institute…it's always fascinated me! I love the idea seeing different parts of each other by looking in one eye versus the other…poetic…but maybe true too!

  8. Valerie Carruthers Valerie Carruthers says:

    Fantastic article, Tanya! Can't wait to see more from you on this topic as your research progresses.

  9. Interesting article, Tanya. In kindergarten, I still remember trying to use my left hand but being forced to use my right. I'm definitely a right brainer.

  10. Joe Sparks says:

    We must set a goal of total function for all humans. We must reject any cultural standards of norm and assume that human beings have the capacity to flower and flourish far beyond any presently observable models. We must assume that the outstanding abilities which show up in some human beings are latent in everyone. We must set the goal of complete flowering of every human, not simply adjusting to a particular environment or society.
    Apparently if any one of us could preserve in operating condition a very large portion of the flexible intelligence that each of us possesses inherently, the one who did so would be accurately described as an "all 'round genius" by the current standards of our culture.

  11. Christie says:

    Re: your title and "the jury still out…"

    In a work training last year it was said that when a baby is held in the crook of the left arm (which is common even for left-handed moms, I'm told) it is the right brain being fed by eye contact, which is happening mostly through the left eye. So maybe some of our culture's imbalance is due to mainstream impatience with holding infants to feed them, etc. Also, even though there is usually a preferred "side" in breastfeeding, it makes sense that breastfeeding balances brain development, another statement made in the training.

  12. Except…. the eyes are cross linked to both halves of the brain. They are the exception. Each hemisphere receives input from both eyes.

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