Ambidexterity

Are you ambidextrous?  No???  Really?  I bet you can write with your non-dominant hand.  Yeah, I bet you can; don’t shake your head no.  It may not be nice and neat but you can do this.

What is one recommendation on the development of human potential?  When asked that question, Professor Raymond Dart, anatomist and anthropologist, said “Balance the body, balance the brain.  The future lies with the ambidextrous human!”  Coordinating the two sides of the body, in essence, should promote the coherence and balance of the two hemispheres of the brain then.  Easily said, huh?  Lol.  Well, Leonardo da Vinci believed it and astounded people watching him paint when he regularly switched hands while painting the Sistine Chapel.  So how do you become ambidextrous?  You practice, of course!

Start doing things that you normally do with your dominant hand with your non-dominant hand.  Open doors, brush your teeth, and eat with the “other” hand.  Interlock your fingers and cross your arms and legs in reverse of your normal way.  Wink your non-dominant eye.  It may feel strange for a while but you can get used to it.

Write your name with your non-dominant hand on a piece of paper.  Can’t do it?  Does it look crappy?  Try writing it on a whiteboard instead and write rather large.  Is it readable?  It may not be but it should be easier to read than the writing on the paper.  Why?  Because it is easier for us to control our larger muscles than our smaller ones.  Writing on paper uses the smaller muscles in your hand.  Writing large on a whiteboard typically uses your arm muscles instead and they should be easier to control.

Now write your name with both hands at the same time.  Yeah, that’s more difficult but it can be done.  You can also learn to write simultaneously, the dominant hand writing normally and the other hand writing in mirror image.  That is actually easier to do than you might think.  Concentrate on your dominant hand and just let the other hand follow along in the opposite direction.  It really does work but it takes some practice.

Now look at what your other hand just wrote.  That’s a mirror image of your name.  Don’t believe me?  Hold a mirror up beside it and you can read your name.  Once you get used to reading in mirror image, then you can start writing with your dominant hand in mirror image.  Here’s an example that I did last year.

Mirror-Image Writing

This is the way that Leonardo da Vinci wrote his journals.  Why?  Who knows!  Some say it was a privacy issue but others say that it was just easier for him since he was left-handed.  Being right-handed, I have no idea.  I just know that it’s pretty fun to do.  I can do it now easily on a whiteboard but I have yet to try writing mirror-image on paper.  I’ll get to it one day.  Meanwhile, here’s the same picture flipped.

Flipped Mirror-Image Writing

Now it’s your turn.  Have fun and send me a picture!

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