How Jill Bolte-Taylor Can Help Your Personal Growth – Davo Show 017
“She gave us this big promise that we could tap into that right part of our brain which gives us that connection and that sense of belonging to the universe, which, frankly we’re missing a lot these days in our modern culture.” -DB
- Jill Bolte-Taylor is a neuroanatomist who suffered from a massive stroke in 1996, but lived to share about her experience.
- Her work has been significant to me for the last decade.
- In her first book, My Stroke of Insight, was a first hand account of what it’s like to live fully in the Right Brain.
- Her second book, Whole Brain Living, details how the Left and Right Brain each have a higher and lower functioning half.
- The lower functioning brain can loosely be understood as “emotional” and protective, in that their main job is to keep us safe.
- The higher functioning Left and Right Brains correspond to rational thought, creativity and spirituality.
- Whole Brain Living, was one of the two books that led me to Coaching, in 2021.
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[0:18] Hey folks, it’s Dave. I’m in the woods hoping to hear the pileated woodpecker again. He’s nearby, so I’m listening.
And besides all the road noise that I hear, which is always pretty, loud, I’ll say it. It’s always pretty loud in the daytime, meaning louder than I wish it were.
I’m hearing road noise, but I started to hear, as I’m listening, the beginning of those insect sounds that you hear in the summer. And I think it’s It’s a cicada, just barely beginning to start the hum.
And it was so subtle that I was not sure what it was.
I thought maybe it was a machine off in the distance, because it does sound like a machine. Like a blower, a little bit.
But then I thought, no, I’m pretty sure that’s a cicada, kind of in the early sounds.
Now, later in the summer it’s going to be super obvious.
[1:47] But it got me thinking about what I’ve been working on with this project, which is going, out in the woods, hearing things, seeing things, commenting on that thing.
And it’s making me think of how the brain works and how it takes in a stimuli like a sound or a sight and it makes meaning out of that based on our experience or based on just how we react.
Like I know, for example, if a snake were nearby, I would have a physical visceral reaction.
My mind would probably kick in after that reaction to say, oh, that’s a harmful snake or a not a harmful snake based on my knowledge.
[2:41] The, ooh, that’s a snake gut, quick, visceral, deep reaction, that’s a deep brain thing. That’s not something that I have to think about.
My brain thinks about it on its own.
And so that got me thinking about some of the work of Jill Bolte-Taylor, who is a woman I’ve learned a lot from, especially two years ago when she wrote her second book called Whole Brain Living, and it talked about that the lower functioning part of our brain.
I already knew that she believes the brain can be divided into left and right halves, because in her first book (My Stroke of Insight) she talked about how the left half of her brain went offline because she had a stroke.
And her experience of that, which spanned several years, of her having the stroke, recovering from the stroke, and becoming her old self again.
That recovery and growth process, which was very arduous and painful, but.
[3:50] She learned from it that there indeed are two parts of the brain, the left hemisphere, the part that had the stroke for her, which put her into this right, hemisphere state where she felt totally connected to everything.
Of course she didn’t know her name, she didn’t know her history, she didn’t know how to speak, she could barely function without medical help.
But her major takeaway was that, these different parts of us, they’re all there and they’re all accessible.
And she, gave us this big promise that we could tap into that right part of our brain which gives us that connection and that sense of belonging to the universe, which, frankly we’re missing a lot these days in our modern culture.
So I was very curious about that. Well, many years later, I don’t know, eight years later, I think the first book was written in 2012 or came out in 2012, and then the second definitely came out in 2022. The whole brain living.
[5:02] That second book was really impactful for me because I wanted to know more about this universal oneness connection she was talking about.
And she did talk about that, but really what she talked about was the wholeness of the brain, and how it’s not just left and right, but how it’s also higher and lower.
And so if you take those two hemispheres and you put them together, you’ve got four parts of the brain. And that was really shocking to me because I happen to have been on a year-long study of looking at a four phase cycle that I’ve come to now call the change cycle.
Which is four parts and those four parts line up, perfectly with the four parts of the brain. Which is to say that so often our, Our logical minds capture a problem and we work on that problem by taking action.
[6:08] We test the problem. We try to find solutions. We do that with our bodies.
We do that through the material world in action. And then, based on that action, we have a result. And we look at that result, and we either integrate it or we reject it.
But if we do integrate it, and we learn from it, then it can…
And that’s our heart, by the way.
The heart part of our brain kicks in, and through the integration and the understanding and the emotional part of it.
If real change occurs, then we can then come into our spirit, which is the fourth section.
So just to keep you posted on where I am, mind, body, heart, and now spirit.
Then we have the entirety of the brain, according to Jill Bolte Taylor.
[7:15] So my point in this, in being outside and listening for birds and looking for snakes and just kind of taking in this stimuli and having it bring up associations and thoughts and trying to make a recording out of all that, it just occurred to me that…
[7:39] I want a life that takes into account all parts of the brain.
And what Jill Bolte Taylor says we need to do for that to happen is to take pause.
[7:53] And ask ourselves, which part of us is at work here? Which part of us, mind, body, heart, and spirit is is best suited to this particular position we find ourselves in.
Now she doesn’t use the words mind, body, heart, and spirit so much. Those are my terms. But I’ve come to understand personal growth. It’s super helpful if you look at it through those four lenses. So I wanted to talk about Jill today.
I wanted to talk about the four parts of the self today, and I wanted to do it out in nature, because that’s always inspiring, and it’s where I feel most connected.
And I’ll just follow up this conversation by saying that that spirit realm is the most, important realm because it’s where we can integrate all four together.
I’ll be talking more about this in relation to spiritual growth.
I’ll be talking more about Joe Bolte Taylor, what I’ve learned from her.
Some big bird just cast a shadow on me and I immediately.
[9:16] Turned around, looked up to see if I could see what it was. And I don’t see it, but I want to see it. I want to know what that bird is.
[9:28] So, my body reacted.
My heart wanted to connect with that nature to, I guess, know if it was dangerous or just to know what it was.
I come out here to connect and to learn.
So, my spirit is just grateful for the experience, and grateful for all of this, just like I’m grateful for you.
If you’re listening to this, I appreciate it, would love to hear from you.
You can find me at DavidBourne.com. My name is David Bourne, and I hope to see you out there. Cheers!
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