This week I begin a new series of LifeTrek Provisions that I call: “Ten Simple Things You Can Do To Change Your Life.” Over the next 10 weeks we will explore each one in detail. None of them requires an enormous amount of effort but they all have the potential to make an enormous amount of difference. How’s this for a simple one? Change your handwriting.
I was introduced to this concept last month at the annual meeting of the International Coach Federation in Orlando, Florida. There I attended a breakout session on GraphAerobics by Ron Scott. As my own coach observed, that was a curious choice. It was certainly not the most popular breakout session. But I’m glad I had the opportunity to hear what Ron had to say.
He started out by making two seemingly obvious points:
- The conscious mind impacts what we write, the content.
- The unconscious mind impacts how we write, the form.
So far there’s little to argue with. When you sit down to write (whether at a keyboard or with a real pen and paper), you think about what you’re going to write; you don’t think about how you’re going to find the keys or form the letters. That part, you might say, is on autopilot. It has become so much a matter of habit that you can literally do it without thinking. The analogy to riding a bike comes immediately to mind.
Ron went on to make a third point that I had never considered, even though it seems just as obvious. The connection between handwriting and the unconscious mind, he asserted, is a two way street. If the unconscious mind impacts how we write, then changing how we write impacts the unconscious mind.
This assertion explains his trademark term, and book by the same name, GraphAerobics.
Changing how we write is aerobic exercise for the unconscious mind. Some find it to be as taxing as running a marathon (which I intend to do tomorrow at a Boston qualifying pace). Nevertheless, with practice it can become positively therapeutic.
Ron suggests that we practice GraphAerobics when we first get up and then again before we fall off to sleep. At these times the unconscious mind is closest to the surface and most impressionable.
So what changes should you make? It depends on who you are. For example:
- Want to be more optimistic? Consider writing uphill on unlined paper.
- Want to have more self-esteem? Consider raising and lengthening the cross bars on your lower case t.
- Want to be more confident? Consider forming your lower case t and d without loops.
- Want to be more empathic? Consider writing with more of a right-hand slant (whether you are right or left handed).
- Want to be more romantic? Consider forming your lower case g, y, j, z and p with large open loops.
- Want to be less inhibited? Consider expanding the space between the humps in your upper and lower case m and n.
- Want to be more decisive? Consider writing your lower case a, c, o, and m with blunt final strokes.
These are just a few of Ron’s many recommendations. Remember, content doesn’t matter. The point is to change the form. If you want work on your self-esteem, a random sentence with lots of lower case t’s will work just as well as a meaningful one. For example: “I heard the pitter-patter of the little kitten’s feet” would be a great GraphAerobic sentence. Write that 10 or 20 times every morning and night, with high and long t bars, and you’ll end up with more self-esteem in no time.
For more information contact Ron Scott , H.C. 3 Box 512-C, Payson, AZ 85541.
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May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
Immediate Past President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
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