To me, the brain is the most fascinating organ we all have. It is complex, asymmetrical, colorful, powerful, resilient, complex, fragile and I am obsessed with learning about it. Little did I know, I would have the opportunity to do more learning about the brain in one of these master’s classes. Long before I had to choose a book for this class I was reading about the brain. The Brain That Changes Itself by Norman Doidge is one of my favorites. He has followed it up with The Brain’s Way of Healing, which I recently started.
I am unable to pinpoint when I became so obsessed with learning about the brain. Perhaps it is because my sister has often said, I’d like to go inside your brain. I’m afraid to ask her what she thinks is going on in there. I imagine it to be a variety of hamsters on different size wheels never stopping. Going through chemotherapy and seeing the changes with my brain which have been reflected in my speech and memory really raised my interest as did watching my father lose his ability to speak due to a Parkinson’s diagnosis. But most likely, like Ned Herrmann, author of The Creative Brain, I wondered if I was okay-was I normal? (Herrmann) Similar comments made to Herrmann had been said to me– “Cece, you’re too sensitive.” and “Cece, you will never be happy anywhere.”
How exciting it was to start reading The Creative Brain and begin to understand not only am I okay, but I am normal too. The focus of Herrmann’s book The Creative Brain is the culmination of his life’s work. He believes the ability to understand the brain can enhance many areas within our lives: creativity, education, competence, communication, relationships, parenting, management style, productivity and self-understanding. (Herrmann) Hermann worked for General Electric for thirty-five years, spent thirty years as an active singer/actor, twenty-four years as a professional artist and eight years as head of his own company. The book is written through the lens of his time spent in both the business world and artistic world. The Creative Brain is the story of Herrmann learning about the physical and mental capacities of the brain and discovering there is specialization within both of those areas. These areas of specialization can be divided into four separate and distinct quadrants; each quadrant has its own language, perception, values, gifts, and ways of knowing and being. (Herrmann) The mix of all the modes within the quadrants is what makes each of us unique. This specialization of the brain is also what eventually affects our behavior. Herrmann will show us with the Whole Brain Model and the four quadrants within the brain how we can increase creativity in not only our work life, but in all of life.
I look forward to sharing his life’s work with you on the brain—by far “the most fascinating organ.”
Herrmann, Ned. The Creative Brain. North Carolina: The Ned Herrmann Group, 2008