My Stroke of Insight

Jill Bolte Taylor
Sunday, January 24th, 2010
Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor

Jill Bolte Taylor is an incredible woman! She suffered a stroke at the age of 37, underwent major brain surgery and spent eight years recovering. Today she is an author, lecturer and all around amazing person. She credits her mother and her balanced brain with having made such a spectacular recovery and she is very grateful. I am lucky enough to have heard her speak. I attended a conference last week where she spoke for over an hour. Everyone in the audience was riveted by her story. We would have listened longer if she had kept talking.

Some background; Dr. Taylor is a Harvard trained Neuroanatomist who specialized in the postmortem investigation of the human brain as it relates to schizophrenia and the severe mental illnesses. Her interest in brain disorders began with her brother's diagnosis of schizophrenia. In her book My Stroke of Insight she describes what it felt like to have a stroke and watch her brain completely lose its ability to process information and what life has been like since.

Jill takes the complicated science of the brain and talks about it in language that is understandable and down to earth. The science and knowledge of the brain is changing rapidly. Science once believed the brain had no resiliency to grow new neurons. Now we know just the opposite.

We all know the terminology Right Brain and Left Brain - as in "I'm a Right Brain person" or vice versa. Dr. Taylor explains that the right side of our brain is a parallel processor. It thinks in pictures, in the present moment, is compassionate, non-confrontational and joyful. Whereas the left side of the brain is a serial processor. It thinks in language, remembers the past and thinks about the future, seeks difference, is competitive and has a sense of urgency.

The left side of our brain would rather be right than happy and the right side of our brain would rather be happy than right. Dr. Taylor suffered a stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain.

When it comes to the brain, Jill's advice is to strive for balance. Develop both hemispheres of the brain, if one side is affected by an accident, stroke or aging we have the other side to rely on.

She explains her discovery that through the right hemisphere of the brain, the part of her brain not affected by the stroke, inner peace is just a thought away. She encouraged the audience to pay attention to your thinking, and then decide if those thoughts are creating the kind of life you want, and if not, then change your thoughts. It's really that easy.

Her advice: If you have a thought that you want to get rid of - focus on it for 90 seconds, and then let it go.

More on Jill:


The Power of Our Minds to Change Our Lives

Jill Bolte is one of the most amazing and engaging woman I have ever been so captivated by. Her story and shared experiences with stroke are breakthrough learnings. How she closes by encouraging the audience to be present with yourself, with your thinking, and then decide are these thoughts creating the kind of life I want? If not, then change them! Jill is the reason I have become so passionate and fascinated with neuropsychology. I recommend everyone to take a quiet moment and watch her video or read her book. You will not think the same way after wards. Thank you Jill Bolte!

Thanks Karla for the

Thanks Karla for the introduction to Dr. Talyor. I listened to an interview with her on NPR, but it was not until hearing about her at the last GNG meeting that inspired me. This weekend, I checked out the CD of her book from my library. It will be my commuting companion for the next few days.

Thank you

Thank you Karla. Your article is concise and inspiring. And you gave me an easy to understand action step to change my thoughts and positively impact my life.
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