This post is an update on the first of 52 weekly mindfulness practices that I will be undertaking in 2012. If you have not done so already, I suggest you visit Use Your Non Dominant Hand before reading the below.
This practice really brought home to me how I tend to barrel through my experience without realising it, particularly when I have an underlying sense of anxiety or impatience with where I am at in any given moment. I noticed this because the incidence of my ‘left-hand use’ declined, tumbled off the cliff in fact, whenever something needed to be done or whenever I felt under pressure in some way. The more intense the pressure or anxiety, the longer I stayed with my dominant hand and the longer it took me to realise that I had reverted to my habituated state.
When I actually ‘stayed with’ the practice, I noticed how much it slowed me down, psychologically as well as physically. The disquiet, the monkey mind, the insistent forward press of wanting to be somewhere where I wasn’t, started to dissipate. I was more grounded, present, considered.
Using my left hand has been salutary for me to the extent that it has shown me how I habitually speed up and rush at things that I perceive to be impediments or unpleasant in some way, as though by getting them out of the way fast, I am bound to stumble on some greener pastures! Moreover, that it is by doing precisely the opposite, by actively trying to slow down with the things that I dislike, that the upward spiral of my anxiety starts to turn a little less insistently.
What insights did you learn or discover from this practice? Please share your experience.
Image courtesy of Planetc1