contemplating “My Stroke of Insight”

“We are energy beings connected to the energy all around us and we can find Nirvana.”– Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist, stroke survivor.

“We are a life force power of the universe with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds and we have the power to choose moment by moment who we want to be in the world”

brain4This is an extremely interesting story by Jill Bolte Taylor, a brain scientist who had a massive stroke in 1996, and watched as her brain functions – motion, speech, self-awareness all shut down one by one.  She made a full recovery on her own by summing up her power of knowledge and understanding of the human brain – a true stroke of genius.

She lost the left hemisphere of her brain.

On the Brain front: does anyone know their LEFT from their RIGHT?

The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body.  I’m left handed therefore I’m always right!

RIGHT human hemisphere is about using the present moment – right here & right now.   Left handed people (use their right side of the brain) think in pictures.  brain3They use the creative and feeling part of the brain. The side that prefers to be on vacation (well that makes perfect sense).  They’re spontaneous, intuitive. unpredictable, like to dream about things that will probably never happen, but that never hurts to dream I mean.

Our LEFT hemisphere  – makes us think linearly and methodically.  It’s all about the past and the future.  It picks out details, details and more details and categorizes things.brain3 - CopyIt thinks in language. The on-going brain chatter, the little voice that says “remember to pick up groceries on your way home”.  It says “I AM”  – It is separate from the energy flow around us.  A calculating intelligence.

I found out about this book at my Friday morning yoga class when the instructor read an excerpt.  I immediately went home to listen to the Ted Talk (link below).  Our instructor usually takes a moment to read a thought provoking quote.  I love this one by B.K.S. Iyengar:  Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.  I have a lot of practice ahead of me.

Taylor’s TED TALK is so inspiring (it’s just under 20 minutes long and well worth watching):

– I hope it moves you as much as it did me –

stroke book1About the book:

A New York Times Bestseller — Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor was chosen as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2008. Jill Bolte Taylor was a 37-year-old Harvard-trained and published brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain. Through the eyes of a curious neuroanatomist, she watched her mind completely deteriorate whereby she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Because of her understanding of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and an amazing mother, Jill completely recovered her mind, brain and body. In My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, Jill shares with us her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the unique functions of the right and left halves of her brain. In the absence of her left brain’s neural circuitry, her consciousness shifted into present moment thinking whereby she experienced herself “at one with the universe.”