Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kinesthetic Intelligence

On Monday, night I was at the pottery studio. My friend has joined me for this term of pottery. It's her first time at the wheel, and she's experiencing the frustration and challenge of learning something new as an adult. The reality that you can't cognitively learn to throw, you have to have your hands learn.

She said something on our walk home that stuck with me: "I'm frustrated because I'm usually really good with making things."

I feel that way, too. I have a very vivid memory from kindergarten when I realized that I was good at making things. It's something that I absolutely know about myself, and has been a source of confidence throughout my life. So it was so interesting to hear Erin also voice this understanding of herself. I'm good at making things.

I spent this morning searching the internet for more on this idea, and I finally came up with a word for it... kinesthetic intelligence.

"Kinesthesia is our movement sense. It simply refers to an awareness of changes in momentum, balance, pressure and body position in general. It tells us all about how we are moving our bodies. Kinesthetic intelligence includes control of the bodily motions, the ability to handle objects skillfully and the gift for using whole body motions...This sort of high kinesthetic intelligence is what creates scientists, writers, artists, musicians, dancers, performers and other creative people that allow their minds and hands to move without any pre-planned format. While some are blessed with athletic abilities, others are gifted in fine-motor skills, such as drawing and crafts."

Discovering this word for me is like discovering the word dyslexia or feminist. It rings so loud and resonates so clearly. I feel like it's what I have been searching for writing this blog. Why designing on a computer feels like phone sex to me... totally distant and unsatisfying. Why I get my best ideas while running or swimming. Why making anything... dinner, a pair of clogs, or a new dress makes my brain light up and feel happy.

The Kinesthesic: we are the dancers, the builders, the surgeons, the yogis, the knitters, the engineers, the naturalists, the tailors, the cobblers, the cooks. Are you one too?

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