Part I

I remember in the late 60’s when the Beatles were all over the news during their trek to Rishikesh, which sits in the foothills of the Himalayas, to learn meditation. It all seemed so foreign and mysterious, now we call a lot of those principles “new age.” The search for enlightenment seems to impact every generation.

My Mother gave me the answer in the form of a book years ago, the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. (still available by Dr. Betty Edwards, but most people like the original edition -1979 -the best – check your library) I was all over it because I will read pretty much anything about the brain. But this was no new theory or break through to study and accept and or reject, this book was anything but.

This book gave the secret to drawing – practice and concentration. But the practice and learning the skill of concentration taught me much more than how to draw.  It seems that most of us stop trying to draw at the age of about six. So if you drew stick people at six, you very may well continue to draw stick people when you are sixty-six.

At the age of six your brain makes a significant shift from right side dominance to left sided dominance. The right side of the brain is where your arts and touchy feely skills are and your left is your word skills and analytical strengths. So at the age of six when your left side becomes more dominant – your internal voice, the most influential voice in your life, tells the child “You’re no good, your drawing stinks,” and you no longer try. So your ability is stuck at that age.

The beautiful thing about the small child working on a drawing, is seeing them clearly working with the right side of their brain. When you call their name – at first they can’t answer because they are right there, in the right side brain activity. They need to switch to the left side to answer because that is where the language skills are.

Reading that book took me to a drawing class at the local community college for only one semester. Drawing takes time, discipline and concentration. The discipline to give up time, to sit quietly, study lines, shadows, and reflections. But most of all learn how to once again go to that right side of your brain – which is such a full, calm and happy place.

Part II

What does that have to do with the Himalayas?

A Major “Thank You” to all the readers who are recommending this blog on their Facebook and Twitter sites – you are making it grow – God Bless You and Keep You.

Virginia Garberding, R.N.

Director of Education, The Wealshire, Lincolnshire, Illinois

Author: Please Get To Know Me – Aging with Dignity and Relevance

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