This was originally posted to the Notes section of my personal Facebook account on 5/12/2009
Several years ago, I was driving a young lady to an appointment. She and I were friends. Or friendly co-workers. Ex-co-workers at that point, I think.
At any rate, as we were nearing our destination, she informed me that before we got there, we needed to find a “bippy boppy.”
That’s what I almost said too, but I really didn’t want to look like a dunce in front of her.
It only took maybe half a second for the logical, verbal, left side of my brain to return a brief “Your query returned zero results.” The more artistic, non-verbal, right side of my brain continued to chew on the phrase “bippy boppy” trying to turn it into something that made sense or was at least recognizable. I almost had a Twilight Zone feeling of there being something that made sense to everyone else, but not to me.
After a few seconds, her head snapped around toward me, and she caught her breath. She started giggling (probably at the look on my face trying to figure out the phrase), and she explained that “bippy boppy” is a phrase that her family used for what the rest of the world called an ATM. We had a chuckle over it and several other things that happened that night involving communication.
I think that the reason that has stuck in my mind is that, as I have come to understand the workings of the brain a bit more, I remember how it felt for my conscious, articulate left hemisphere to check out and allow the subliminal, instinctive, right hemisphere to work on the problem. I recognize that more and more as I get older.
Have you played the Bubble Shooter game online? My kids think I’m wasting time when I play that at my desk late into the evening. It’s a meditative practice, though. When I first found the game, I’d try to make the best shots to pop the most bubbles. I got pretty good at it (and I was admittedly wasting time). But I found that if I stopped thinking (left brain) and played the game instinctively (right brain), I performed much, much better.
Meditation, like Bubble Shooter, is a function of the right side of the brain. Many people find it hard to meditate because they don’t know how to quiet their minds. The secret, really, is getting the left brain to shut off and allowing the right brain to play. Painters do this instinctively. My dad does it when he’s working on cars. I do it when I’m working on websites or other complicated problems on the computer. Writers must do it, but like mechanics, there has to be some left brain involvement because there is a logical format to follow.
Feel free to use the comment section and tell me how you get out of your left brain and into your “right mind.”