The brain is an amazing thing. Our bodies, our cells, our neurons, the way it all works together is amazing. Over the weekend I read a fascinating book that made me aware of all of this, My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD.
It’s a short read, but an amazing story of the author’s personal journey through a stroke at age 37 and her recovery. As an accomplished brain scientist, she has a very unique point of view. There is much important information in her book, about understanding and helping those who have suffered strokes; about the plasticity and flexibility of our brains to adapt. But what she learned about how our thoughts work as her brain came back “online” is the most important, I think.
We have a choice in our thoughts. We have a choice to engage in the negative patterns of our brain and react to the emotions we feel in our body, or not. We can “step to the right” as she calls it, out of our left-brain, rigid thinking into the wholeness and peacefulness of our “right” mind.
Her stroke of insight: “peace is only a thought away, and all we have to do to access it is silence the voice of our dominating left mind.” Later in the book she discusses the different “characters” that come from the two sides of our brain, and how “we can take a more balanced-brain approach to how we lead our lives.”
I so resonate with her message.
It’s as if she experienced from the inside out what I’ve been struggling with the last few years. This idea of balancing the “doing” and the “being.” Balancing the coexistence of the logical, goal-oriented left-brain me with the creative, spiritual right-brain me. There are both there. They both have their place in creating a whole life.
Photography and writing are the things that help me “step to the right” as she puts it. For many of us, I’m sure that’s true. While I’ve known the benefits of a creative practice for a while now, reading this book helped to put it in a new frame of reference with the physiology of our bodies and our brains. Why we might do the things we do and think the thoughts we think, but also the choice we continually have to change our thoughts and subsequently change our whole perspective on life.
Today I’m honoring my body and my brain. Thanking them for the work they do all of the time. Dr. Taylor has made me very aware of how amazing our physiology is, and, more importantly, my role as the consciousness in this body. I get to choose.
I chose this image from San Francisco for today because of the optical illusion I perceive in it. I love how it looks flat! I composed it to look that way and processed it to enhance that perception. Even though our left brain may understand the reality of what we are looking at, we can move ourselves into the right brain and alter that reality by how we frame the world through our cameras. Fun, huh?