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In last week’s blog, we discussed one method of journaling through anger, a method referred to as “morning pages” by Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way. For this week, we will focus on a second method of journaling, which involves writing with your non-dominant hand (the hand with which you rarely write). This method is described in detail in Lucia Capacchione’s book, The Power of Your Other Hand.

Writing with Your Non-Dominant Hand

Since childhood, just about all of us became comfortable writing with one hand over the other. Sure, a few of us became ambidextrous and could write comfortably with both of their hands, but most of us learned to write with either our right hand or our left. My non-ambidextrous friends—I have a secret. It is a secret I learned while reading Capacchione’s book, one that changed my life, and I believe it will change yours too.

Are you ready for it? Here it is….

Your non-dominant hand has more wisdom, guidance, healing power, and connection to creativity than you ever thought possible. It offers a direct source to your authentic emotions, your inner child, and (for those of you who are spiritually-oriented) a higher, spiritual power.

So, how does this process work?

It’s pretty simple, actually. The next time you feel angry, hurt, or upset, simply grab a sheet of paper, a pencil, colorful pens, markers, and crayons. Starting with your dominant hand, write out a question to your non-dominant hand. The question could be something like the following: “Hi there. How are you feeling right now?” or “Do you want to share what you’re angry about?”

Whatever question you ask, make sure to let your non-dominant hand know that whatever she or he has to say is entirely acceptable. If you promise your non-dominant hand that you will not judge any part of it, then it will feel safe enough to freely express itself. Once you’ve made this agreement between your hands, allow your non-dominant hand to respond to the question posed by your dominant hand.

When you write with your non-dominant hand, your writing will most likely look like a kindergartener’s writing—let it be so! You’ll be amazed by what your non-dominant hand has to say through writing. Hidden emotions, higher wisdom, deeper hurts and wounds…..any and all of these may appear. Consider letting your non-dominant hand write with the medium of its choice; if it wants crayons, pass them over! If it wants markers, go for it! Simply go with the flow of your hands, and let a conversation between both hand ensue. You may even notice the voices change from hand to hand. For example, your non-dominant hand may have started out as the voice of an angry child, but transformed into the voice of a wise sage by the end of the dialogue. That’s perfectly okay! The purpose of this journaling exercise is not to “get it right,” but to let the creative flow guide you toward a place of greater understanding, acceptance, and healing of all parts of yourself. Most of all, enjoy the process—this can be quite fun!

People talk a lot these days about the benefits of journaling. They say that journaling can be highly effective for helping people process their emotions. Seems easy enough, right? Well, simply writing your feelings down on paper can be effective, but to get the most out of the journaling experience, consider experimenting with different methods. In this blog post, we will focus on one particular journaling method, called Morning Pages.

Morning Pages

Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way and many other fabulous books, offers a powerful way to express your feelings through what she named “Morning Pages.” The way it works is simple. In the morning, when you wake up, the very first thing you do is sit down at your desk with pen and paper in hand, and you write. NON STOP. Until you’ve completed four pages.

What?!?! Four pages?!? Why so many? The reason is this: during the first couple of pages or so, you’re practically vomiting all the garbage in your mind onto paper (yes, vomiting!). All the negative thoughts and emotions, misunderstandings, irrational beliefs, complaints, and hurts you carry around with you…they’re usually the first to come up and out on paper. So let it rip!

The trick is to KEEP GOING—by letting it all out, you give yourself the space to get beyond the negativity, and toward the truth.

But don’t stop yet! Once you’ve expressed that part of yourself, you can finally get to the heart of the matter and find out what it is you really want and need. As you keep writing, you may start to feel a shift in your energy. Perhaps you feel a sense of relief, a greater connection to love and joy, or maybe even an insight about yourself and your life. Whatever it may be, the important thing to note is that you keep writing until the negative charge has dissipated. When you experience yourself residing in either a neutral or a positive place, then you know that you’re done journaling.

Congratulate yourself!