The Divided Brain or Why warriors need a Vision

These days, walking from one year to the other, we are invited to digest the past and imagine the future. Imagining the future activates our right brain. As you may know, neuroscientists today do not confirm our old picture of shared brain responsibilities like the left hemisphere equals to Reason and the right to Emotion. No both are involved in both processes.

I refer to Iain McGilchrist’s animation about the Divided Brain and the Making of the Western world

Luckily there is still a division of tasks, whereas the left hemisphere is taking care of the ‘already known, a narrow sharply focused attention to detail’, the right side is opening up, broad, vigilant … it is the ‘intuitive mind’. Our society tends today to the left side, whereas a balance would be much more ideal.

As Albert Einstein said: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.

My Swedish storyteller friend Jerk Elmen told me some years ago the following story: Iceflowers

Once upon the time, there was a small village that had forgotten all its stories. Imagine long nights in which none of the parents told ‚good night stories’ to the children. There was no celebration, no music, young couples made no plans for their future. The people were extremely bored. And they did not find anything to eat. All nourishing fruits and vegetables around the village were grasped and they had no ideas how to get new ones.

One day, an old woman who normally lived alone in the mountains, came into the village. The villagers asked the old woman for advice. She said: ‚If you get one of the Iceflowers from the very top of the highest mountain, then your village will flourish again’. The Oldest of the village sent out their strongest and bravest warrior. He climbed on the highest mountain, found the iceflower, put it carefully in his basket and climbed back down into the village.

 The whole village welcomed him already at the entrance of the village. When he opened the basket in front of all his curious neighbors  the basket was empty. A dark splash of water was the only thing reminding of the iceflower. In the silence of disappointment, a little girl said: ‚Let me go, I want to try it’. ‚You?’ answered the villagers. ‚You are just a small girl. How should you succeed in what our bravest warrior has not succeeded in?’ But they let her go and followed each of her steps with their eyes until she disappeared in the fog. It was quite late when they saw her coming back. She smiled. Again everybody came together at the entrance of the village. ‚Where is the flower’, they asked. The girl smiled and said: ‚come with me to the fireplace and I will show it to you’.

 When everyone was sitting around the fire, she started to tell her story: ‚It was extremely cold and foggy. I could not see anything. Suddenly the fog cleared up and I could see far down until the ocean. And then I noticed the flowers, the most beautiful flowers I had ever seen directly down at my feet. They shimmered like ice crystal and seemed very tender. I kneed down, sensed their smell, but they started to smelt as soon as my nose came close to them.’ The girl told about the colors  the smells and the sounds she had experienced … and when she ended her story, the whole audience could see the iceflowers and the world until the ocean. The audience felt like they had climbed up themselves and were now standing on the top oft the highest mountain. ‚Imagine…’ started a small girl. ‚Yes, imagine … ‘‚ said some others. And in this night, all of them stayed awake and told each other their dreams, wishes and visions for their future. ‚Imagine …!’

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This story is a wonderful kick off to work on a Vision with a group. You may read it out surrounded with family or friends or starting back in your job with your team or colleagues. Organisations normally are well stuffed with warriors, sometimes tired warriors, sometimes they do not really understand what they are fighting for and sometimes they are just enjoying to slip in the shoes of the child … it allows playfulness, creativity and the intuitive mind entering the room.

And do we not all know ‘tired warriors’ in our busy lives? Is it not the tendency to the left brain who does not leave us enough space for dreaming, playing, seeing the big picture. Perhaps the 31st of december you go yourself on top of the highest mountain. What do you see? Dream high and bring it back to the village 2015!!!‘Imagine …!’

My warrior just whispers and wants me to mention … whenever you want my support to work on vision and its grounding, individually or in group, do not hesitate to contact me, that’s one of my jobs!

brain, creativity, Emotion, hemispheres, Intuition, neuroscience, playfulness, ratio, Reason, Storytelling, Vision, warrior, wisdom

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