Monday, November 22, 2010

Left and Right

I've talked before about the different roles of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. (For a primer, see this beautiful presentation by Jill Bolte Taylor.)

But the question can be what to do with this. When one is in the timeless state of pure awareness (the world as seen through the right hemisphere), it can be difficult to even find a sense of self. So the notion of going through your to do list or being more productive may not make a lot of sense.

As we get more familiar with this pure awareness, though, we seem to be drawn to it more and more. And if we train ourselves, if we keep pointing ourselves to this state, it begins to blend more with the logical, list-following left hemisphere. It becomes something we can bring to work.

When this happens, our work lives can change profoundly.

We can be focused, and yet we can set aside our agendas.

The boundaries between ourselves and others begin to dissipate.

There is less to defend, and less need to get credit.

We begin to look at the world as a collective effort, rather than a win-lose negotiation. And whether we are in law, or sales, or dispute resolution, we find that our work gets easier, and we are more effective in it. I call this state, where we can work with both the left and right hemispheres equally, pure presence. And in pure presence, we begin to work with our deepest wisdom, regardless of our narrow personal interests.

Because we see that narrow person is just a construct. Just a thought, like any other.


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