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Hand Jive, Thrive

A prompt to encourage your practice of creativity this week from Riversider and local author Larry Burns.

Photo by Luis Quintero / Unsplash

Do you need a low stress way to include seven minutes of creative contemplation into your week? Consider this your helpful nudge towards a slightly more creative life. If it helps, come back every week for a quick hit of creative contemplation. Each week I’ll share a new nudge. It will include a Thing (T), a Place (P), and a Sense(S) for your focus, a TPS creative nudge.

Last week we used the imagery and themes of Mother’s Day to tap into our creative potential. Maybe there’s a new drawing in your journal, or you discovered meaningful milestones along your morning commute. Even if you just took a moment to appreciate the many mothers of your creative existence, you’re bringing more positive moments into your life.

Your creative nudge this week: tap into how you interact with the world through the use of your non-dominant hand. Consider it your own personal opposite day. Try unlocking your phone or writing a note or brushing your teeth with your opposite hand. Throw that purse over the other shoulder today. If nothing else, this practice will deactivate your autopilot and give you a chance to interact with the world in a real way.

Who’s more creative, lefties or righties? What if you’re ambidextrous? I’m sure there are sillier ways to sort people! Like many popular myths, the truth is even more interesting, and relevant to giving you more creative moments like this.

Thank goodness we don’t force lefties to become righties anymore – common practice across the 20thcentury. But that’s what you get when you let right handers run the world, right?

As you embark on this exercise, you may encounter a sense of unfamiliarity and lack of precision. Embrace these sensations and view them as an opportunity. Notice the subtle differences in texture, pressure, and sensations transmitted by unpracticed fingertips. Allow yourself to be fully present in the tactile experience.

To further engage creatively, consider these activities:

  1. Doodle or draw: Use your non-dominant hand to create abstract sketches or doodle. Try embracing imperfections or unconventional lines that emerge.
  2. Handwriting: Practice writing with your non-dominant hand, experimenting with different writing styles or write two sides of a simple argument and switch hands for each POV.
  3. Sensory exploration: Take a moment within the allotted timeframe to touch and explore various objects in a drawer with your eyes closed.
  4. Be a detective: call friends until you find someone born left-handed but raised rightie. Listen to that story. Practice empathy.

Observe any newfound insights or discoveries that arose during this focused engagement with your entry into the world, your hands. As you continue with your day, carry this newfound awareness with you. Acknowledge the untapped reservoir of creativity residing within your other hand and the potential it holds to unlock fresh perspectives and artistic expression.

Remember, creativity knows no boundaries, and by embracing the unfamiliar you open yourself up to experiencing them. Embrace the journey, unleash your dormant creative skills as you discover the artistry that resides within every part of you.

Note: portions of this prompt created using the tool ChatGPT.