Monday, 15 December 2014

16 million views Ted talk - insights on our brain functioning

Last time I had sent a mail on “Taking responsibility for the Energy you bring into any space” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

It contained a link to a TED Talk by Dr Jill Bolte Taylor. This talk has received more than 16 million views. I found it very insightful so I bought her book: My Stroke of Insight – A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey

Dr Jill is a neuroanalyst. She had a stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain & lost all ability to walk, speak, understand, read etc. It took her 8 years to fully recover. The TED talk and her book are her experiences during those 8 years.

When Jill had her stroke, she lost all function in the part of her brain that distinguishes "self" from "other". She lost the ability to tell where she began and the rest of the world ended. There were no boundaries, no borders. All she could see was pure molecular energy. While she was recovering in the hospital, doctors and nurses would walk in and out of her room all day, and the only thing she could distinguish about them was their energy — the anger, or grace, or kindness, or resentment that each person brought into her presence. Some of that energy was healing and helpful, obviously...some of it was decidedly not.

Her book talks about how since birth, right brain is fully mature, makes us feel connected with the whole, keeps us in the moment and processes in the moment. Probably that explains why young kids, upto 2 or 3 years of age, are blissful. They are still experiencing oneness with the flow. The left brain however, is blank at birth. Kids learn from their surroundings and start installing various applications in the brain: my name, my identity & existence, how I am separate from the others. The left brain allows a person to relate to this world through a shared reality.

It is the right brain that makes us experience love, joy & happiness. Left brain will let us experience winning, ego, analysis, competition, material success.

My father had a stroke in June 2012 on his left hemisphere. This book has helped me in understanding what he might have gone through. I looked at him so far as someone who has lost his speech, walk etc. (judging only by my left brain perspective). Now I know that his right brain is intact and he can still be in the moment.

Another interesting part in the book is on “experience of anger”. Dr Jill says:
“It takes less than 90 seconds for one of these emotional programs to be triggered, surged through our body, and then be completely flushed out of our blood stream. My anger response, for example, is a programmed response that can be set off automatically. Once triggered, the chemicals released by my brain surges through my body and I have a physiological experience. Within 90 seconds from the initial trigger, the chemical component of my anger has completely dissipated from my blood and my automatic response is over. If, however, I remain angry after those 90 seconds have passed, then it is because I have chosen to let that circuit continue to run. Moment my moment, I make the choice to either hook into my neurocircuitry or move back into the present moment, allowing that reaction to melt away as fleeting physiology.”

…” If you approach me with anger and frustration, then I make the choice to either reflect your anger and engage in argument (left brain), or be empathic and approach you with a compassionate heart (right brain). What most of us don’t realize is that we are unconsciously making choices about how we respond all the time. It is so easy to get caught up in the wiring of our pre-programmed reactivity… By paying attention to the choices my automatic circuitry is making, I own my power and make more choices consciously. In the long run, I take responsibility for what I attract into my life... It is liberating to know that I have the ability to choose a peaceful and loving mind (my right mind) whatever my physical or mental circumstances, by deciding to step to the right and bring my thoughts back to the present moment.”

May this video and the book bring a new level of peace & centering within you.

With lots of smiles,