Jill Taylor is a brain scientist who had a stroke and lived to talk about it. What she says is “mind blowing”.
Here it is:
Thanks to “Spirit Lights the Way” for telling me about Jill Taylor, her TED talk and her book.
Synopsis of the book from Amazon:
“On the morning of December 10, 1996, Jill Bolte Taylor, a thirty-seven-year-old Harvard-trained brain scientist, experienced a massive stroke when a blood vessel exploded in the left side of her brain.
A neuroanatomist by profession, she observed her own mind completely deteriorate to the point that she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life, all within the space of four brief hours. As the damaged left side of her brain ~ the rational, grounded, detail- and time-oriented side ~ swung in and out of function, Taylor alternated between two distinct and opposite realties: the euphoric nirvana of the intuitive and kinesthetic right brain, in which she felt a sense of complete well-being and peace; and the logical, sequential left brain, which recognized Jill was having a stroke, and enabled her to seek help before she was lost completely.
In My Stroke of Insight, Taylor shares her unique perspective on the brain and its capacity for recovery, and the sense of omniscient understanding she gained from this unusual and inspiring voyage out of the abyss of a wounded brain.
It would take eight years for Taylor to heal completely. Because of her knowledge of how the brain works, her respect for the cells composing her human form, and most of all an amazing mother, Taylor completely repaired her mind and recalibrated her understanding of the world according to the insights gained from her right brain that morning of December 10th.
Today Taylor is convinced that the stroke was the best thing that could have happened to her.
It has taught her that the feeling of nirvana is never more than a mere thought away. By stepping to the right of our left brains, we can all uncover the feelings of well-being and peace that are so often sidelined by our own brain chatter.
A fascinating journey into the mechanics of the human mind, My Stroke of Insight is both a valuable recovery guide for anyone touched by a brain injury, and an emotionally stirring testimony that deep internal peace truly is accessible to anyone, at any time.”
My take on the synopsis and the talk:
This TED talk fascinated me as a neurosurgery nurse and also as a Course in Miracle student.
As a neurosurgery nurse and because I nursed many patients with strokes, (but don’t know of many that made a full recovery) this talk explained what some of my patients were going through. It of course matters where in the brain the stroke was as to what kind of symptoms the patient was having but for someone to have made this kind of recovery is beyond wonderful. In the TED talk she said all of us can make the choice to be in our left brain or right brain, to be separated or be as “one” and that as more people would step into their right brain and do this we would have peace on earth. This in itself is “mind blowing”. And doubly so because that is also what we learn as students of A Course in Miracles.
As a student, the nirvana Jill spoke about is reminiscent of the “right mind” and the separateness from God we run away from is the “little mind” or the ego. A Course In Miracles teaches us that we are all One. What Jill talks about experiencing sounds like she ‘woke up’ to that reality.
For me this book sounds like one not to be missed. And I want to read the book because of that last sentence in the synopses; ”My Stroke of Insight is both a valuable recovery guide for anyone touched by a brain injury, and an emotionally stirring testimony that deep internal peace truly is accessible to anyone, at any time.” I will order my copy now.
I’m interested in hearing what you think. Please leave a comment