For me, this is one of the most entertaining moments of my presentation of Celtic Art Mandalynths. No matter if it's at a fair, festival, or psychotherapy conference, I begin by telling folks to simply, "Pick up a stick and trace any twisting line". Some people just do it. Some people ask for clarification, but I simply repeat my instruction because I want each mind to discover a Mandalynth on its own. Rules cause performance anxiety, and that's not what a Celtic Art Mandalynth is about.
Then comes the fun. As I see a person relax into the tracing experience (and body language tells me everything about a person's state of mind), I then tell them to switch hands. Whether it's a teen or a PhD, the reaction is almost always that "deer in the headlights" look.
Of course Celtic Art Mandalynths are science-based tools, so I know exactly what will happen. However, the individual doesn't. They often resist with an expression of, "I can't do that." I simply smile knowingly and respond with, "Just try it."
Low and behold, the experiment works. Anyone can trace using the non-dominant hand. I first allow an individual to marvel at the moment, and then I reveal the science. Wanna know why it works?
Because the hand does not move when you trace. It does when you write, or perform actions that require fine motor skills, but tracing is not a fine motor skill. The action takes place in the larger muscles of the shoulder. The hand is merely holding on to the stylus, and the fingers hardly move.
Also, tracing does not require accuracy. Sure, you're trying to stay within the pathway of the Celtic knot, but even if you stray a little, there's no notice of it. You're not marking the surface, merely following it with a stylus.
Of course, the benefit to the mind is worth note, because every time you perform an action with the off-hand you exercise different areas of the brain. At shows, I'm fond of saying, "Neuroplasticity is a very fun word." Hey, you hear it all the time in the Lumosity commercials.
There's also an amazing, yet simple, technique that I've discovered for anxiety, stress, and panic. Changing hands makes the brain stop thinking. That is to say, stop ruminating where you're processing the same data over and over until the mind overloads.
Switching hands confuses the brain just a tiny little bit, and because the act of tracing with the non-dominant hand is effortless (really try it), the stress or panic trigger becomes interrupted. The brain gives itself completely to the moment and becomes fully "mindful", allowing an individual to manage the trigger rather than succumb to it.
So, whether you're using a Celtic Art Mandalynth or simply in need of a way to distract your brain, do something simple with your off hand, even if it's only drinking from a cup or reaching for a door handle. Change the "game in the brain", and rethink your situation.
It's a great technique.
Blessings to all,