Taking charge of how we experience life

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

6 thoughts on “Taking charge of how we experience life

  1. She also describe what it was like with the left hemisphere took four hours to shut down. She would go from her left judgmental brain to the right side where dialogue and words did not exist. Phone numbers were pixels to her right side.

    She described it as euphoric, expansive and impossible to fit back in to her tiny head.

    it was the universe revealed to her. her mother was a teacher and used her skills to bring her daughter back.

    What do you think about the odds that a brain doctor would have this experience and live to come back and use the wisdom?

  2. I have experienced that our circumstances and surroundings also have a huge impact on how we look at our life’s events; both good and bad. My friend suffered a personal tragedy a couple of years ago. She was shattered and lost her life’s direction. But the support of her family helped her get back to a normal life. They talked about that tragic incident with her, discussed it’s affects on her life and eventually the impact it had on those around her. She was made to realise that her lifestyle, actions and behavior was getting in the way of her kid’s normal/ happy upbringing. I agree that it is the individual who needs to take the lead but sometimes a swift push and a lot of support can change their perspective immensely.

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