"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey

One couldn't really invent a more compelling or interesting scenario: a brain scientist has a stroke in her mid-thirties and as the event is happening she realizes the need to pay attention so she can report back her experience for others to learn from it. The left hemisphere of her brain is severely compromised during the stroke, leaving the right hemisphere in charge. What Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor experienced when the right side was in control was near nirvana...a peaceful state of bliss where she was acutely aware of the flow of energy around her and her union with that energy. After eight years of rehabilitation and recovery she believes that her brain is back to "normal" but she now chooses to live her life differently, embracing her insights from the stroke and spending more time in the right side of her brain than she did before.

The book is divided into several sections: before the stroke, during the stroke, care immediately after the stroke, rehabilitation, and finally a new reality in the years since the stroke. I found the information about Taylor's experiences during the stroke to be fascinating. I also appreciated her advice on how we can live differently based on her insights. Here are a few of her thoughts:
Many of us make judgments with our left hemisphere and then are not willing to step to the right (that is, into the consciousness of our right hemisphere) for a file update. For many of us, once we have made a decision, then we are attached to that decision forever. I have found that often the last thing a really dominating left hemisphere wants is to share its limited cranial space with an open-minded right counterpart!
It seems that the more aware I am about how I am influencing the enregies around me, the more say I have in what comes my way. To monitor how things are going in my life, I pay very close attention to how things are flowing, or not flowing in the world around me. Depending on what I am attracting, I take responsibility for how things are going and consciously make adjustments along the way. 
I read the book very quickly, finishing it on a four-hour flight to Nashville. When one of my colleagues commented on that I quipped that I wasn't taking a test over it. But then, one never knows. There is some really practical information in this book that may actually come in handy some day. Maybe I should have slowed down and read it with more care.

As I prepared myself for this review and for the upcoming book club where the book will be discussed I found this TED presentation where Jill Bolte Taylor talks about her experience, her stroke of insight.  The presentation is 18 minutes long. I found it interesting and insightful. You decide if you want to take the time to have a look at it. Jill Bolte Taylor on TED.

30 books this Summer Reading Challenge

10 / 30 books. 33% done!

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