Stroke of Insight
Written on June 30, 2009 by Dr. Laurie
The right hemisphere is about connection and dissolving boundaries. Dr. Taylor describes peace, serenity, unity, bliss. She felt universally related — a part of everything and everyone.
I want to share a fantastic story that, while not related specifically to arthritis, is related to the struggle we all have to be our best human selves.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor was a 37-year-old neuroanatomist working for Harvard Medical School doing brain research, when she suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage (otherwise known as a stroke) and, as she puts it, "became an infant in a woman's body."
It took her nine years to recover.
The story for which she wanted to live — in order to tell — was about her amazing experience of having the left side of her brain shut down, while maintaining full processing on the right side.
It was a very different sensation. The right hemisphere is about connection and dissolving boundaries. Dr. Taylor describes peace, serenity, unity, bliss. She felt universally related — a part of everything and everyone.
If you have a moment, watch this fascinating video below of Dr. Taylor discussing her ordeal and her life's work:
NOTE: You can download audio, video and iTunes versions of Dr. Taylor's talk at the following link:
Dr. Taylor's recovery was intense and she reflects in her book, My Stroke of Insight (Kindle Edition), what a journey it is to motivate one's self to do things that are painful and very, very difficult. This part of her story is inspiring as she recounts her rehabilitation and slow progress — and how she stayed motivated to continue.
Most compelling to me is her determination that we should all experience the right side of our consciousness, and find ways to "run that circuitry" on a regular basis, rather than solely relying on our left hemisphere to captain our destiny.
In an upcoming CreakyJoints podcast, Seth describes one way to access that feeling. He did some stretching that aligned his mind with his body — and he felt clear and open.
For some people it's their creativity that connects them with universal flow. For some it's a willingness to give. And for others this happens with mediation, prayer, music, worship, or nature walks.
Whatever opens those circuits for you, I urge you to do what Dr. Taylor suggests — spend some time relaxing and allowing your right brain to dominate your consciousness. You will be more peaceful and, through that, you will share that peace with those around you.
This can change the world.