The Art of Being a Stress-Free Mom

Our Girls Night Out mural was a ton of fun to paint and we ‘auctioned’ it off to raise money for Women for Women’s creativity project in Nigeria.

So apparently it’s not enough to work out five days a week.  It seems that in addition to building my muscles, I also need to exercise my brain. Specifically, the right side of my brain is in desperate need of attention. According to my creativity mentor, Whitney Ferre, my left brain has been doing all the heavy lifting for the last 30 years or more and I’m becoming lopsided. In an effort to correct this horrible disfigurement, I hosted Whitney in my home earlier this month for a Girls Night Out party in which she taught me and my friends how to become creatively fit!

Here’s how Whitney describes my imbalanced brain. My left brain is like an overloaded switchboard operator, working tirelessly all day long to answer the many incoming calls.

• Pay the bills – left brain.

• Buy the groceries – left brain.

• Help with homework – left brain.

• Meet with clients – left brain.

• Research on the internet – left brain.

• Arrange carpool for three kids involved in nine activities – left brain.

• Make decisions – left brain.

No wonder I can be easily over-stressed and tightly wound! Much of my day is filled with activities and tasks that engage my logical left-brain. And my neglected right brain switchboard operator sits around all day just waiting to receive a call. Nobody seems to be dialing my right brain operator and asking me to daydream, meditate, imagine, create or pretend. I know what you’re thinking: there’s no time for that! Who has time for such luxuries? Well, I for one, intend to create time for it. Because beautiful things happen when I exercise my right brain.

When I am in my right brain, I’m a better mom. I have more patience. I am filled with gratitude. When I’m exercising my right brain, I’m a better entrepreneur. I have a unique perspective. I possess confidence, compassion and clarity. I am less stressed and more productive. I don’t hold firm to the belief that my way is the only way. I am filled with awareness and can easily identify areas for improvement. After a good right-brain workout, I am a better friend. I am a good listener. I am not judgmental of myself or others. I don’t explode, implode or melt down. I am open to signs from the Universe. I am able to hear God’s call. It’s a wonderful place to be.

How do you access your right brain?

The encouraging news is that it’s surprisingly simple to dial your right brain operator. You can scribble, doodle, cut, paste and color. You can garden, cook or knit. There are countless ways you can tap into your right brain and give it a little workout. And you only need to do it for 10-15 minutes to experience the benefits. The key is to do it regularly and build up you right brain over time with consistent attention. And if you make it a party, it’s even more fun! Whitney showed my Girls Night Out friends how to dial up our right brains with an amazing and creative painted mural project. Check out the owl we pained! When’s the last time you painted? (Not including your fingernails.) Before I met Whitney it had been years since I painted. Decades, in fact, since I experienced the bliss of getting lost in the stroke of a brush. There is something incredibly peaceful and melodic about coloring a canvas.

The difficult part is giving yourself permission to spend the time engaging your right brain. Trust me, for the first five to ten minutes of my “creative workouts” my inner critic is reciting a litany of reasons why I am wasting my time. I could be cleaning the house, doing the laundry, working on that proposal, calling my mother, reading the report that’s been on my desk for a week, etc. Now that I’m getting more comfortable with the habit of creative exercise, I allow myself to ruminate a bit knowing that I need to move through that phase and my obnoxious left brain will eventually shut up so I can begin to create change. That’s when the bliss begins to set in. My mind goes blank. I don’t hear the phone, the kids, the jets flying overhead. My mouth opens slightly and I temporarily lose all awareness of my physical being. Ahhhhhh….how relaxing.

In case you need me to spell it out for you in a more artful manner, take a look at these photos from my recent visit to d’Art Center in Norfolk.

This is my Left Brain.

This is my Right Brain.

Any questions?

What are you doing to tap into your right brain? Please share your secrets to being creatively fit!

 

Like this article? Get free updates!
Name 
Email  

  • http://www.creativelyfit.com Whitney Ferre

    Theresa, It is so wonderful to hear how your creativity workouts are “paying off” (to use left brain terms–it’s all about balance! LOL). You are encouraging so many others. I have no doubt the day will come when everyone is just as concerned with creative fitness as they are with physical fitness–it is about our soul, our spirit…. You have got to check out Deepak’s new book, Reinventing Your Life, Resurrecting Your Soul…How to Create a New You. Wow! It is totally aligned with Creatively Fit! Peace & Creativity. Whitney

  • http://summerlandpaintings.blogspot.com/ Sally Stafford

    Great post, Theresa…explained perfectly and with photos for the visual learners like me!
    Thank you.

  • http://www.bestlaidscheme.com Glad

    Loved the visuals. My right brain was tickled!

    I tweeted this, too!

  • http://www.beesharp.us Wynn

    Loved the photos! Really made the whole message come together.
    I find that riding my bike really opens up my brain- not sure if it’s really my creative right, but it certainly does get my thoughts moving.

    • http://www.writetohealth.com Theresa

      Thanks, Wynn! And yes, I am a bike rider too and I get all my creative ideas on a morning ride (or a run!)…we must be kinesthetic learners too:-)

  • Jennifer

    Love it. I write, cook and color with my three-year old. The most amazing thing is watching my daughter live in her right brain. She dances, makes up songs, draws and just plays with absolute right-brain joy. I really watch her so that I can catch just a bit of her freedom and also to protect it from the harshness of the left-brain world. I had a tough time of it tonight at dinner, her dad and I just wanted to her eat and she just wanted to make us laugh. Thanks for reminding me of the beauty of living in the “right” brain.

    • http://www.writetohealth.com Theresa

      We learn so much from out children, don’t we Jennifer? Another advantage of sitting down for a meal together!

  • http://www.InnerResourceCenter.com Linda Pucci

    I really like your discussion of right brain/left brain in terms of being lop-sided. As an entrepreneur I sure know what that is like! Loved the inspiration to take time to balance them, the same way we give time to physical fitness.

  • Jaime Isaacson

    Theresa,
    I’m not a mom, but I do manage to overload my left brain as well with pure complexity of everyday life. This blog is such a great reminder to tap into my first love of creativity. So, thanks to you and Whitney:)

    • http://www.writetohealth.com Theresa

      Jaime, I do believe you exercise both sides of your brain regularly! You are the most incredibly balanced person I know!

  • http://buildingconfidentleaders.com/ Jeff Brunson

    Theresa,

    I love your claim to us that exercising our right brain gives us more patience! And you have a wonderful creativity mentor in Whitney.
    Thanks,
    Jeff

    • http://www.writetohealth.com Theresa

      Thanks, Jeff. Whitney is the best:-)

  • http://www.pechmanncoaching.com Gregg Pechmann

    I really like the comments on using the right brain equals more gratitude and a better entrepreneur. A lot of people have this concept completely backwards

    • http://www.writetohealth.com Theresa

      Thanks, Gregg. It’s congruent with how we are raised and educated…goal oriented…focused on earning degrees, awards, distinctions, money. I’m trying to paint a more balanced picture for my kids. In fact, my quote of the day yesterday was when I told my 8 year old daughter who was in tears over a grade, “Your grades do not define you.” I’m sure her teachers don’t like that, but I have a feeling I’m going to pull it out again!

  • http://www.confidentmarketer.com Sue Painter

    As a bodyworker, I learned never to work just one side of the body, as it literally leaves a person energetically and physically lopsided. I love that you talk about this in terms of our brains. Most of my work is left brained, too. I love stopping for 15 minutes of playing with my paper arts stuff, making a card, whatever, just to give my brain some refreshment. Interesting post!
    Sue P.

  • http://marketingmel.com Mary Ellen Miller

    Great visuals Theresa. I find that it’s important to force myself to exercise my less dominant side of the brain. I suppose that’s in part why as a communicator (right brain) I went back to school and got my MBA. Sometimes it’s just good to sit in stat’s and accounting classes and work out that left-brain muscle for a change!

  • Pingback: Five Daily Practices for Conquering Overwhelm

  • Pingback: Developing Right Brain Thinking | STE[+a]M

  • Pingback: How to Turn Your Life Verse into a Spiritual Vision Board

  • Pingback: How To Turn Your Life Verse Into a Spiritual Vision Board

  • Pingback: Top Ten Mother’s Day Gift Ideas for Mompreneurs | International Christian Mompreneur Network

  • Pingback: 8 Family Gratitude Projects - Mom it Forward