As the holidays approach, many of us may experience the early stirrings of seasonal stress. And with our country suffering from both political discord and a pandemic, this stress can mulitply exponentially. Wouldn’t it be great to discover a way to reduce these feelings and, instead, fill our minds and hearts with a big dose of inspiration? Well… read on!
The woman below is both famous and inspirational. You may know her from Oprah or any number of other media appearances because she had a bestselling book a number of years back. Although her message has been around for a while, with the stresses of today, it certainly bears repeating.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor was leading a successful life by any standards. She holds a Ph.D. and, as a neuroanatomist (expert on brain structure), worked as a teacher and researcher at Harvard’s Laboratory for Structural Neuroscience. That is until December 10, 1996 when, at the age of thirty-seven, Dr. Taylor experienced a life-altering event. The brain scientist suffered a rare form of stroke that caused a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain. It changed her life and, believe it or not, it changed it for the better.
It took eight long years of concentrated work and effort to regain all of her brain functions. The patient and loving care of her mother brought her through the first critical stages of recovery. Her mother’s instincts were right but some of her other caregivers weren’t so in tuned to her needs, so Dr. Taylor writes about how best to care for a stroke patient in her book, My Stroke of Insight. She also writes of her stroke from the unique perspective of being a neuroscientist.
As the stroke affected her left hemisphere where language, sequencing, and ego reside, Dr. Taylor chronicles how these parts of her personality began to leave her as her right brain took over. The logical left-brain gave way to the intuitive right hemisphere where she experienced inner peace, nirvana, and a sense of wholeness with the universe and all of life.
My Stroke of Insight, puts the emphasis on insight. Dr. Taylor writes how her perception shifted as she began to treasure the gifts of her right brain. As she recovered, Dr. Taylor made a conscious decision not to bring back parts of her former self. She realized that feelings such as anger, sadness, resentment, and stress made her body feel bad. However, due to her training and the insight she gained through her stroke, Dr. Taylor realized that these uncomfortable emotions were merely connections in her brain, repeating circuitries she no longer desired, and did not deserve her attention.
The #1 takeaway? We can all choose to monitor and master what runs through our minds! I wrote about about Dr. Taylor’s 90-second rule and many other fascinating aspects of our amazing brains and nervous system. Plus, here is a link to her TED talk which is definitely worth your time.
As women over fifty, we’ve seen and heard a lot but Dr. Taylor’s story is truly one of a kind—PREPARE TO BE INSPIRED!