Right Brain, Left Brain

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I’ve been listening to some of Oprah’s Soul Series Webcasts, and the latest one I finished is of a brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, who suffered a massive stroke but somehow remained conscious throughout and has memories of her whole experience. She’s written a book about it, called My Stroke of Insight, which I’m going to order at some point.
It’s so interesting! Her left brain was affected, and one of the first things to change was her perception of the world – her senses became hyper-sensitive to the point where regular room noise was overwhelmingly painful. Because her language centre was affected, she couldn’t understand any noises as words and even lost her internal mental voice that thinks in words, too. So communicating was out of the question. Besides that, her perception of her body went all out of whack. Not like many people’s distorted body view, thinking they are ugly when they aren’t. This was about the boundaries of her body – she had no perception of where her body began or ended. This is something I had never really thought about, so it intrigued me. She felt boundless, humungous, like she spanned the entire universe. That gets me thinking about how much of my reality is just a perception – what my brain thinks is true. If my brain worked differently, or certain parts were damaged, I wouldn’t be who I am. So I am the sum of my parts, but only as my brain sees it.
So can I change what my brain thinks? Of course! A new idea is just a new thought away! So lately, I’ve been trying to imagine how Jill Bolte Taylor felt when she was boundless. I am trying to shut down my left brain a little, analyze the world less, slow down the language centre, and use my big-picture right brain. And I think it’s working – I have had inklings of being connected to the universe, just feeling things, not trying to understand or analyze things. I think I am going to keep doing this throughout July and I’ll let you know how this experiment goes!
The other thing I want to keep doing more and more is living in the moment. Sometimes I get frustrated, frazzled, or feel rushed (I am working a new second job, and am getting quite busy!) and I realize that I feel that way because I’m not staying in the present. I am trying to rush through it to get to some “better” moment, somewhere I need to be, would rather be, or something I need to do. Not good! I end up getting overwhelmed, and lately I realize that I am breathing very shallowly and have all sorts of tension in my body. I guess that’s what happens when we try to time travel! 🙂 But as soon as I remember to be present in the moment, I feel much better and the anxiety fades. So that is my focus for July… it’s going to be a great month!


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