A stroke of Insight

Approximately ten months ago in February, 2009 I experienced a major brain trauma.  I developed Hydrocephalus which is a rare condition where the spinal fluid that normally flows through the brain is now unable to flow out of the brain and builds up in the venticular nerves.  Such a condition if left untreated causes death.  Along with finding this condition I was also diagnosed with a benign brain tumor on my right side. I underwent two brain surgeries during a three week hospital stay and had to relearn how to walk all over again.  Several months later a new friend, after knowing about my brain incidents, gave me a book titled, My Stroke of Insight  written by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a brilliant brain research scientist who experienced a stroke at the age of 37(www.drjilltaylor.com).   In her book, Dr. Jill details in vivid description what she physically and emotionally experienced as she was going through the stroke.  The stroke destroyed the left hemisphere of her brain.  This is the part of the brain that allows us to learn how to read, write, speak, understand numbers, sequence, organization and all those other life skills we all take for granted as part of a normal existence.  In the process of the bleeding of her left brain she was very aware of how her right brain took over her conciousness.  The right brain allows us to see the big picture, to be creative, to be intuitive and, as Dr. Jill found, to allow us the ability to live with an inner peace most of us only hope to find. 

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and could very deftly identify with a lot of what she pointed out in her hospital experience, as well as, being able to answer the question she now asks of anyone who experiences a brain trauma:  What Did I gain from this?  I know that I certainly felt a major shift in my sense of inner peace.  I got that awareness after being in a “near vegetated” state for two weeks and only found my ability to recall anything of the experience in my last, and third week in the hospital.  I found that I really no longer have a fear of death.  I reasoned that if I was meant to die it would have happened during those first two weeks in the hospital. 

While I would consider myself a very spiritual person before my hospital period, I found that this level of spirituality exemplified to an even greater level since. My spiritual life has always been extremely private to me and not one that I spoke about to many people.  Now I find that I am compelled to share these ideas and practices to everyone and anyone who cares to listen.  Like Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor explains in her book and in her extensive and fascinating interview with Oprah Winfrey http://www.oprah.com/article/spirit/inspiration/pkgoprahssoulserieswebcast/20080512_oaf_oss_jboltetaylor  she has realized that we each are able to tap into our right brain hemisphere to enable ourselves to find a richer deeper life experience.   What I love about this book and Dr. Jill is that she was the epitome of the logical left-brain scientist that for the most part would need to prove the logic behind a miracle before she experienced her stroke.  Now she deeply understands that we are all connected within the universe and that connection is incredibly powerful in allowing us to manifest what we want in our lives.

Dr. Jill’s book is also a wonderful guide for those who may have family members or friends that experience such a life threatening experience as a stroke or living with alzheimers.  She provides great tips on how to important it is to be sensitive to the individual undergoing such a trauma.  The person is still in there even if you can’t communicate in the same manner as you did in the past.  Actually this is a great book for anyone to read.

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