I have written before about Jill Bolte Taylor who suffered a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in 1996. After this stroke she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. It took her eight years to completely recover all of her functions and thinking ability, and in that time she observed closely the action and functioning of her brain. She noticed that it was possible to choose whether to hook into a feeling as it arises in the brain and prolong its presence in my body, or just let it quickly flow right through. As a result she now encourages people to practice this brain development and to “Step to the Right” of their – often judgmental – left hemisphere brain chatter in order to live a more balanced life. This can be done by setting aside time for meditation, yoga or other activities. In this way we can take control over a lot of what passes through the mind and not over-identify with it.
As my left brain became stronger, it seemed natural for me to want to “blame” other people or external events for my feelings or circumstances. But realistically, I knew that no one had the power to make me feel anything, except for me and my brain. Nothing external to me had the power to take away my peace of heart and mind. That was completely up to me. I may not be in total control of what happens to my life, but I certainly am in charge of how I choose to perceive my experience.
Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight