I truly received a gift for Christmas. One of my close friends gave me the book My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph. D. Recently, I had been wanting to live a more stress-free life and the main premise of this quest was answered to a “T” with this book.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a neuroanatomist with the Midwest Radiotherapy Institute in Bloomington, suffered a major hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain in December 1996. It took her eight years to fully recover from this event.
For Taylor, the stroke was a blessing and a revelation. It taught her that by “stepping to the right” of our left dominant brains, we can uncover feelings of wellbeing that are often sidelined by “left brain chatter.” I found My Stroke of Insight to be an inspiring testimony of inner peace that is accessible to anyone.
Western society honors and rewards the skills of our “doing” left brain much more than our “being” right brain. Therefore, “Enlightenment is not a process of learning, it is a process of unlearning.” Says Dr. Kat Domingo. Once you are connected to the circuitry of the present moment, you can train yourself to reactivate that circuitry on demand. Re-mind yourself back into the consciousness and personality of the right here, right now, and peaceful right brain.
Bolte defines responsibility (that’s response-ability) as the ability to choose how we respond to stimulation coming in through our sensory systems at any moment in time. It takes less than 90 seconds for a stimulation to be triggered, surge through our body, and then be completely flushed out of our bloodstream.
The really exciting news about acknowledging your right and left characters is that you always have an alternative way of looking at any situation. If someone approaches you with anger and frustration, then you have the choice to either reflect anger and engage in argument (left brain), or be empathic and approach them with a compassionate heart (right brain). By paying attention to the choices your automatic circuitry is making, you own your power and make choices consciously. You take responsibility for what you attract in life.
Feeling deep inner peace and sharing kindness is always a choice for either of us. Forgiving others and forgiving ourselves is always a choice. Seeing this moment as a perfect moment is always a choice.
Take responsibility for the circumstances in your life. Put yourself in the driver’s seat and own you own power. Work hard to maintain a healthy relationship between what is going on your right and left brains. Be aware of influencing the energies around you. Pay attention to how things are flowing, or not flowing in the world around you. Make adjustments along the way. Be in control of how you choose to think and feel about things.
Paying attention to our self-talk is vitally important for our mental health. Maintaining the decision that internal verbal abuse is not acceptable behavior is the first step to finding deep inner peace. Tend the garden of your mind and keep the cells in check.
Here’s a handy list of three things available to you to channel your consciousness. 1. Remember something you feel fascinating that you would like to ponder more deeply, 2. Think about something that brings you terrific joy, or 3. Think about something you would like to do. You must be willing to consistently and persistently tend the garden of your mind moment by moment, and be willing to make that decision a thousand times a day.
Deep inner peace is just a thought/feeling away. This peace is located in our right brain. This feeling happens in the present moment. Step one to experiencing inner peace is the willingness to be present in the right here, right now.
Become part of that greater structure-an eternal flow of energy. This cosmic flow makes you feel innately safe and experience your heaven on earth. In order to come back to the present moment, we must consciously slow down our minds. Decide you are not in a hurry. Your left brain may be rushing, thinking, deliberating, and analyzing, but your right brain is very mellow.
The secret to hooking into any of these peaceful states is the willingness to stop the cognitive loops of thought, worry, and any ideas that distract us from the kinesthetic and sensory experience of being in the here and now. Our desire for peace must be stronger than our attachment to our misery, our ego, or our need to be right. Or as my friend Derrick Filkins says “You can be Happy or Right, not both.” If it’s a choice, then why would anyone choose anything other than happiness?
“I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be.” Albert Einstein
“We must be the change we want to see in the world.” Gandhi
I encourage you to get a copy of My Stroke of Insight at Amazon.com and live a more stress-free life.