Reading Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s book, My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey, is teaching me so much. At age thirty-seven, Jill suffered a massive stroke, and she shares her courageous experience of recovery in this wonderful book. As healing is the theme of my blog and as I’ve been healing and working to recover from a concussion and whiplash all summer, this story really speaks to me. Here are some of her thoughts as she experienced her stroke:
I felt so detached from my ability to move my body with any oomph that I truly believed I would never be able to get this collection of cells to perform again. Wasn’t it interesting that although I could not walk or talk, understand language, read or write, or even roll my body over, I knew that I was okay? The now offline intellectual mind of my left hemisphere no longer inhibited my innate awareness that I was the miraculous power of life. I knew I was different now–but never once did my right mind indicate that I was “less than” what I had been before. I was simply a being of light radiating life into the world. Regardless of whether or not I had a body or brain that could connect me to the world of others, I saw myself as a cellular masterpiece. In the absence of my left hemisphere’s negative judgments I perceived myself as perfect, whole, and beautiful just the way I was (73-74).
This book is so uplifting! What will truly awe you, however, is Jill’s TED presentation. I have watched this video no less than six times in the last two weeks. The information that she shares about the brain is so clear and the passion with which she delivers what she learned from the experience of having a stroke is so powerfully expressed, you will marvel, cry, and laugh. Jill brings us such gifts. Take the time to receive them.