Brainspeak is practically a required second language at The St. Helena Center for Health where Arlene Taylor’s popular seminar, The Brain Program, is presented quarterly, and where I work as a health educator. Perhaps the Health Center team works so well together because we know something about where (in the brain) each other is coming from.
Many of us, as nurturers and coaches of people in transition, have natural brain leads in the right side of the brain: the basal right mode where people skills and a desire for connection reside, or the frontal right, the source of creative problem solving, humor, and visualization. Thankfully, important strengths from the left modes (e.g. organizing skills, analytic ability, goal setting) are also represented in the staff, providing a functional whole brain among us.
From the seminar, my colleagues and I have gained a greater understanding of other individuals, who may not think as we do, that can benefit us both our professional and personal lives. I can approach relationships with awareness that there are many lenses through which to filter reality and that innate brain lead preferences are a factor in our perceptions.
I understand, too, how my partner and I relate as well as we do. We share similar brain leads, as well as a kinesthetic sensory preference. We have a common framework for relating to each other and the world. Much of my adult life has been focused on the elusive quest for a healthy, supportive intimate relationship. Now that that’s working so effortlessly, I can divert energy to my own personal and spiritual growth.
With the seeds of self-knowledge gleaned in Arlene’s seminar, I cultivated a long latent interest in the creative arts into a graphic design business. The basal right, people-intensive teaching and counseling I’ve done for many years in my health center role is still very rewarding. Yet the frontal right, solitary, inner process of creative design complements it, centers me, and replenishes the well so I can be truly present for clients and loved ones.
It’s difficult to break out of one’s box (or point of view) until one knows that it’s there. And, while labels can be limiting, and analysis runs somewhat counter to my intuitive style, when it comes to understanding the self and others, the ability to clarify who you are and whom you’re dealing with can be positively liberating.