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Dr Jill Bolte Taylor is an extraordinary scientist. It is no wonder she was named as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential in the World for 2008.

On the morning of 10 December 1996 she awoke to a pounding pain behind her left eye due to a blood vessel exploding in the left half of her brain.

Oh my gosh, I’m having a stroke! I’m having a stroke! And the next thing my brain says to me is wow this is so cool, this is so cool! How many brain scientists have the opportunity to study the brain from the inside out. But it crosses my mind that I’m a very busy woman. I don’t have time for a stroke.

Within four hours she was no longer able to walk, talk, read, or write. In this TED talk she describes this experience and the impact this has had on her.

Jill encourages everyone to purposely choose to step into the consciousness of the right half of their brain. She believes the more time we choose to do this the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be. She thought this was an idea worth spreading and I agree with her. I found this an awe inspiring lecture. I sat there stunned the first time I watched it. I have seen it a number of times since then and I still feel the same depth of emotion each time.

Jill is yet another example of a person who has chosen to use the challenges life has thrust upon her as a way of learning and growing. As a part of this process she has also made a difference to the rest of us through her courage and her willingness to share what this experience has meant to her. This is a personal story from the heart which we can all learn something from. Exploring the ‘other’ half of our brains is an experience worthy of our time. It could transform our entire lives as it has done for Jill. The difference is that we are fortunate because we don’t have to wait to have a stroke to be able to learn this lesson.

The following images are from TED BigViz and they are a visual representation of this lecture – a very right brain thing to do!

TED lecture by Jill Bolte Taylor on February 2008

TED lecture by Jill Bolte Taylor on February 2008

TED lecture by Jill Bolte Taylor on February 2008

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3 Responses to “Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight”

  1. on 23 May 2008 at 12:41 am Fawne

    I’ve been recommending “My Stroke of Insight” to everyone I know. It’s the best book I’ve read all year! You can get Jill’s book from Amazon for a good discount.
    Here’s the link: My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.

  2. on 01 Jun 2008 at 12:07 am Joetta

    I read “My Stroke of Insight” in one sitting – I couldn’t put it down. I laughed. I cried. It was a fantastic book (I heard it’s a NYTimes Bestseller and I can see why!), but I also think it will be the start of a new, transformative Movement! No one wants to have a stroke as Jill Bolte Taylor did, but her experience can teach us all how to live better lives. Her TED.com speech was one of the most incredibly moving, stimulating, wonderful videos I’ve ever seen. Her Oprah Soul Series interviews were fascinating. They should make a movie of her life so everyone sees it. This is the Real Deal and gives me hope for humanity.

  3. on 01 Jun 2008 at 7:51 am Marica

    Thank you so much for your comments Joetta and Fawne. I can’t wait to read the book and am eagerly awaiting its arrival from Amazon. Since I live in New Zealand it takes a lot longer than a couple of days to get to me!

    I believe everyone needs to be reminded that our brains consist of two halves. We need to connect to the power of both halves (that is if we are physically able to). I struggle living in a world where hatred is so dominant. Haven’t we learnt anything from history? What will it take to bring peaceful coexistence where being different is celebrated. We can all learn from one another to enrich our own lives and make our time here on earth fulfilling and meaningful.

    Thank you again for taking the time to comment and to visit my blog.

    Peace and love to all of you,

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