Conversations with my body – Part 2 – Learning to use my left hand

By Dianne Trussell, BSc Hons, Goonellabah, NSW

It is possible to tune in to a particular part of the body to find out what is going on there and what is needed. Science confirms that all the cells of our body communicate with each other in various ways, and we can consciously access those messages.

I had a most striking experience of this while preparing for shoulder surgery late last year. I knew this would render my right (dominant) arm unusable in a sling for a couple of months and relatively useless for a couple more. Thus two weeks before the surgery I began training my left hand to clean my teeth, so that at least there would be something I could do for my own hygiene while in a sling. At first it was like trying to poke holes in my own face, as you can imagine! But it did improve and in 2 weeks I could do a fair job of tooth cleaning with my left hand. This is all very normal and expected – that one can, with time and repetition, train a part of the brain to co-ordinate an activity and muscles to carry it out when they are not used to doing it.

However something else happened in this left hand training story, which was quite a myth-busting surprise to me. One morning before the surgery I was lying on a mat doing my yoga, and there’s a move consisting of gently rotating my arms outwards until my palms face up, then back in again until my palms face down. I found that at a certain point in the rotation, my left hand moved in a series of little jerks, while my right produced a smooth movement. Makes sense – the left is not as ‘trained’ to make such fine movements as the right, right? When my right was going to be in a sling I wanted my left hand and arm to be able to do all the jobs the right normally did. In ‘neuroscience belief mode’, I thought it would be just a matter of ‘training’, i.e. doing the same move repeatedly every day. But that made no difference to the jerkiness. None! So what was going on there?

Then I had the inspiration to ‘ask’ my left arm what the problem was. And immediately got the answer: that I was expecting my left arm to be able to move in the same way as my right and it was trying to oblige, which it could not do. “OK, left arm, here’s what we’ll do…” This sounds hilarious, I know, however you could try talking to your own body sometime… very illuminating! I gave my left arm permission to do the move its own way, infinitely slowly, and claim or consolidate each successful increment without jerking before moving on. When I say slow, I mean SLOW. It felt lovely – a very deep, still connection with my body.

But here’s the cool and surprising bit. Just 24 hours later, ALL the unaccustomed movements I made with my left arm and hand were vastly, incomparably smoother and more competent. This was no muscle/nerve training exercise that takes weeks or months – this was a quantum jump. It applied not just to left-handed tooth cleaning but to brushing my hair, using the computer mouse, opening jars and slicing vegetables one-handed, drawing and writing, you name it. Our conventional anatomical and physiological explanations don’t cut it here. A quantum jump like this has to be sought in energy first, with matter following the lead and reconfiguring itself accordingly. It shows several things: the power of consciousness as an energy that can alter material reality, the responsiveness of the body to energy and consciousness, the wisdom and knowing of the body itself and its ability to communicate what it knows.

However there’s more to this story. After my right arm was free of the sling and could begin to resume normal activities, I chose to keep using my left hand equally. One day I was using the computer mouse left-handed and did a fast, complex series of moves very accurately. My left hand still felt awkward, ‘unco’. But hang on a minute! Didn’t my left hand just perform that complex series of moves fast and perfectly? So why do I think it feels ‘awkward’? Then I had an ‘aha’ moment: ‘awkward’ is a judgment, a belief, a label and a habit programmed in by the ‘association cortex’ of the brain. It is a label for the feeling in my body of using my left hand for anything normally done by the right. Labelling it as ‘awkward’ is no longer relevant or appropriate; it’s just different, and the perceived awkwardness is just an old association from when the left hand was previously uncoordinated in its movements. So I let go of associating that feeling with being awkward, and am learning to accept it as merely different, merely the way the left hand feels when it’s working at tasks that are relatively new to it. Way to go, leftie!

I look forward to the next ‘conversation’ with my body or part thereof, when something comes up that needs attention!

 

Read more on listening to your body’s wisdom:

  1. Your body tells the truth
  2. The body is the marker of all truth

 

727 thoughts on “Conversations with my body – Part 2 – Learning to use my left hand

  1. The intelligence and magic of the body is just astounding when we get ourselves out of the way and listen to what it is saying and work with this … something I am continually learning. I loved just how much love and care you have for yourself that you were preparing your body so that it could truly support you after your operation … simply gorgeous.

    1. I agree Vicky, it’s getting ourselves out of the way, education does not provide us with the foundation to understand the intelligence of the body, only the intelligence of the mind, so it can take some time to be open to and aware of 95% of ourselves we ignore for “thinking”!

  2. What a great insight into the simplicity of science and our inner knowing. Trusting and coming from the body is by far the most powerful research we could every tap into. Thank your for writing a blog that does this so well for all to read and appreciate.

  3. Thanks Dianne, you have inspired me to converse in a new way with my body once again. This is not my first read and I can feel each time I come to this blog how different my relationship is with my body. I feel so much more connected now and able to listen more deeply to my body. There is also a level of respect that grows because the intellect of the mind is given all the focus for our source of intelligence, and we don’t normally equate the body as having intelligence, so it can take time to be open to the body.

  4. What I love about this blog is the way we are offered the opportunity to not be directed by certain ideals and beliefs that come from our knowledge. To come to an awareness that the body is all knowing and when we give this vehicle the permission to express, it does offer us simplicity and gold at the same moment.

  5. Your blog Dianne is a great inspiration for us to tune into, and listen to, the profound wisdom in our bodies. A fun and informative blog, thank you.

  6. A beautiful exploration and discovery Dianne, and such a pleasure for my body to read! as you bring the point that judgement of a body part is stifling, and therefore there is no full acceptance of our selves until we simply allow the body to move in its natural way.

  7. A very cool sharing that transpires ideals and beliefs. The body is there to show us and support us. What’s cool is the way you cared and prepared you body. It is very much our responsibility to care for ourselves in the recovery period.

  8. We are so conditioned to be directed by information and knowledge that we are fed from the world outside of us, from societies ideals and beliefs, that we have as a result relinquished our ability, our innate power, to be guided by the great communication offered to each and every one of us through our whole-body intelligence, which delivers us direct access to our innate wisdom and inner-knowingness.

  9. This is fascinating Dianne and I can’t wait to try talking to a body part to clock the potential you are telling us about here to connect with it on a completely different level to that which we think we can. All proof that we are far more than the physical being we assume ourselves to be.

  10. Asking our body what it needs at the time can be invaluable – knowing that this too can change from day to day – moment to moment. We have so learned to ignore what our body asks for – even when it is screaming at us – to maybe stop and rest. Actually asking what is required is something we should all be taught from a young age. Would we then start smoking, drinking alcohol etc, if our body said to us ‘please don’t do this to me’!

  11. Timely blog that made me smile! Typing with left little finger as broke right wrist Friday! Already discovering how amazing my left hand is and to think I have ignored it all these years! Thanks Dianne😊

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