148. Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor RERELEASE - My Stroke of Insight
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist and author of the NY Times Bestseller, “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey”. On Dec 10, 1996, Dr. Taylor experienced a brain hemorrhage which impaired the left hemisphere of her brain. On the morning of the hemorrhage, she could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall anything. Her recovery took eight years, and she was left with a deeper understanding about how the different aspects of her brain work to make her who she is, and how she can use that understanding to create the life that serves her best. In this episode we discuss:
- The major differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain and how they process information.
- Practical guidance on how to connect with our right hemisphere throughout the day to tap into its wisdom to deepen our experiences.
-The 90 second rule, and how it can help you become a master of your emotions.
- How to gain back power over your emotions.
- What scientific research has shown happens in the brain during spiritual or mystical experiences.
Watch Dr. Taylor's Ted Talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_my_stroke_of_insight
[00:01:12.270] - Kara
So this episode is a rerelease of my 2020 interview with the legendary Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor. I love this episode so much. I love Dr. Bolte Taylor. She is so insightful. She had an amazing experience that she wrote about in my Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist Personal Journey. So I highly recommend that book.
[00:01:37.860] - Kara
And in this interview, we talk about the differences of the right and left hemispheres of the brain.
[00:01:45.630] - Kara
And then she gives practical guidance on how to connect with the right hemisphere because especially in the west, we tend to be so heavily focused on the left hemisphere. We talk about mastering emotions, and of course, we get into a lot of scientific research. So I hope that you enjoy this episode.
[00:02:08.080] - Kara
If you've heard it before.
[00:02:09.250] - Kara
It'S definitely worth listening to again. There's so much insight in here, and we can never get enough Dr. Jill Bolty Taylor. So without further Ado, Hi, everybody.
[00:02:24.910] - Kara
Thank you for joining me. I am so happy today to welcome Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, who really doesn't need an introduction. Everybody knows who you are, but let's just go through the formality. She is the author of My Stroke of Insight, A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey, which was a New York Times bestseller. And it's just a wonderful, wonderful book that comes up frequently when I teach. And she was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, which is actually where my mom was born. My mom went to Wiley High School, which isn't there anymore. So I have some roots there, too. And she was an IU undergrad like me.
[00:03:16.310] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
[00:03:19.030] - Kara
IU and Bloomington come up fairly regularly in this podcast. I've had several guests who have that heritage, too. She has PhDs and postdoctoral fellowships, and she's Harvard trained. She's a brain researcher, neuroanatomist, just this amazing, beautiful scientific brain. But what's interesting with her book is that she's also like this mystical, amazing right hemisphere, just this beautiful balance of the two worlds. And this is the beauty of this book is that it really brings those two worlds together. And so on December 10, 1996, she experienced brain hemorrhage, and that impacted the left hemisphere of her brain. And I'll let you describe however much of that that you want to. But I do highly encourage, if you for some reason haven't read this book and so many people already have. And also there's a wonderful Ted talk out there, too, which is beautiful with a real brain that she pulls out, which is fun for those of us who don't have access to that stuff as regularly as she does. So she's going through this process of having a stroke and realizing because of her training that she's recognizing what's happening. And it's like, oh, my gosh, this is amazing.
[00:05:00.190] - Kara
I'm having this experience that I've been studying. Anyway, it's such a joy. Thank you so much for being here. And why don't we just start with do you want to tell us a little bit about your story and your journey?
[00:05:17.270] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Sure. Yeah. Thank you. Well, first of all, it's good to be here with another Hoosier.
[00:05:21.830] - Kara
[00:05:22.590] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Always happy to find another Hoosier.
[00:05:24.650] - Kara
[00:05:26.990] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
I grew up to study the brain because I have a brother diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he's the closest thing to me that exists in the universe. And I thought, how is it that we can have the exact same experience but walk away with completely different perceptions of what just happened? And so I became fascinated with the brain, fascinated with a human being, with anatomy. I love teaching gross anatomy, which is whole body cadaver lab, just neuroanatomy the anatomy of the brain. It's all just absolutely beautiful to me. And so I was teaching and performing research at Harvard when I woke up one morning and had this major hemorrhage in the left half of my brain. And inside of the course of 4 hours, I could not walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of my life. I describe myself as being an infant in a woman's body. And then it took eight years for me to completely purposefully recover all those circuits and all those skill sets of my left hemisphere. And it left me with kind of a deeper understanding about what am I as a left brain, what am I as a right brain and what am I as a whole brain human being.
[00:06:49.560] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
So it's been a heck of a journey, and it's been fascinating. So I'm glad other people find it fascinating, too. Yeah.
[00:06:58.320] - Kara
So can you give us you do talk in the book about that right hemisphere and left hemisphere, the wonder between the two because they operate very differently and because the left hemisphere shut down for you, your consciousness just shifted over to the right hemisphere, and it completely changed how you saw the world, how you related to the world. It was very mystical. And so do you want to just explain a little bit about the difference and what your experience is like as you shifted into full right hemisphere operation?
[00:07:37.910] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Sure. The right and the left hemisphere are completely opposite from one another in how they process information. They're both bringing in the same sensory data. But the right hemisphere takes that information and expands it and opens it up and looks at similarities in pattern. And the right hemisphere does not have any boundaries for where we begin and where we end. So the right hemisphere is right here, right now, in the present moment. It's focused on the energetic connection of everything that is. And then the left hemisphere comes in and says, well, that's great, but we've got to be functional human beings. And if I'm going to be a functional human being, I have to have boundaries of where I begin and where I end. So the left parietal region comes in and says, here's a holographic image of what I look like. And so when you look in a mirror, that's how you know where you begin and where you end, because that's defined for you in that left hemisphere. And then the left hemisphere also says, well, we want to be able to communicate with the external world. So we're going to take the ability to create sound dog is a sound dog.
[00:08:53.060] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And then another group of cells in that left hemisphere are going to place meaning on that sound so we can communicate with language. And then the left hemisphere thinks linearly so that it understands A, and then B will happen, and then C will happen. So that's linear thinking and linearity ultimately turn it right side up, and you end up with a hierarchy like you're climbing a ladder. And so when you look at our society, our society is established and built on the structure of that left hemisphere, where socially we have a President and all these other people along those runs, and then the people at the bottom. And then academia is the same way. We have to have structure, we have to have categories, we have to have organization. We have to have details, details and more details about those details in order to be able to function in the external world with one another. But the right hemisphere doesn't have any of that. So if you take that left hemisphere and it goes offline, the boundaries of where we begin and end goes away. If you wipe out that left hemisphere in those language centers, there's a tiny little group of cells about the size of a peanut that says, I am Joe Bolte Taylor.
[00:10:14.390] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
I have a PhD in their own anatomy. I'm 56, blue eyed. So it has that file. And if that file goes offline, then I still exist. But I don't define myself as all those details or inside of that boundary. So we have these two very different ways of experiencing ourselves in the world, one where we are open and expansive, and essentially we become energy in an energetic flow of everything that is connected. And I'm good with that. And then the left hemisphere takes that data and defines it into details, and it defines me as Joe multitaylor it tells me this is the package of where I begin and where I end. And it thinks linearly, and it gives me all these skill sets, and it judges what is right, what is wrong, what is good, what is bad, all of that. So we just have these two different hemispheres that are completely different from one another, and yet we all have them. And it's all inside of your head.
[00:11:25.850] - Kara
Absolutely. It's so interesting. As you were coming through your recovery and you were becoming more engaged with you, and as you said, this was an eight year process of recovery. So your left hemisphere is becoming more and more engaged, but you are very conscious about what you took on because you were experiencing this unity when you were so right brain focused or right hemisphere? Well, really, that was all you had. You were experiencing this oneness and this beauty and this lack of judgment and so many amazing things that people work really hard to master in their lives. Two passages from your book that I just love that really paint this so well. One was in the wisdom of my dementia. I understood my body was like a portal through which the energy of who I am can be beamed into a three dimensional external space. So much in that one sentence. And again, we've through the ages, heard talk like this through from Mystics. But you're just experiencing this because you were completely immersed in the right hemisphere of the brain. And then you also say, my spirit sword free, like a great whale gliding through the sea of silent euphoria.
[00:13:07.430] - Kara
And so there's really just this beautiful experience that was happening in this tragedy. There was such beauty coming from that very difficult upheaval. And one of the main takeaways from your book, as you are reintegrating with the left hemisphere or reintegrating the left hemisphere, was that we can choose who we are moment to moment. We can choose to yield to the right hemisphere of the brain. So I wonder if you have any practical ways that you can share that honor the right hemisphere, because you do go into this a bit in the book, but things that you do to kind of stay connected and to not be too heavily focused on the left hemisphere.
[00:14:08.850] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
I think that the most important thing is to realize that these two ways of perceiving feel different inside of your body. The left brain is in a hurry. It deals with details. It's on an accelerator. It processes a billion bits of data all at the same time. It's in a hurry. It's got a long list of things it's got to do. The driving force, kind of like why we take caffeine. Caffeine helps us get clarity on that straight path. So we do that sugar the same thing. It's this energetic buzz that gets us going at this frequency. The right hemisphere is the hodido. The right hemisphere is the pause the right hemisphere is the breath. The right hemisphere is the distance in the three dimension. It's the movement of the leaves, not the leaves. It's a soft space. It's an ever present space. And in order to get there, first of all, you have to be willing to get there. You have to be willing not just to go there, but you have to be willing to put that left brain aside just for a moment. Just hit the pause button, and it's in a hurry.
[00:15:38.950] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
It's like saying, well, this is a waste of time. I don't want to do this. I got these things that I do. What do you think you're doing? We could get 18 things done in the next hour. You just stop breathing. You have to be willing to pause. You have to be willing to step back because it's as though the left brain focuses on edges and details in that to do list, and everything on that to do list is five things to do. It's never one thing right, and then you finish one thing, and something else pops up, and you got to do that, too. And it's in a hurry. But being present, being actually in the present moment, requires you to say, left brain. That Stuff's not going anywhere. It's right here all the time. I'm just going to set you aside. You can pop back in anytime you feel the need to. But right now, I'm actually going to look into those trees, and instead of looking on the focus, I'm going to not focus. And in not focusing in that three dimension of the depths of those trees, I allow my peripheral vision to expand, and then I just start letting the movement of different depths of the movement enter into my psyche.
[00:16:58.050] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And I become the energy that is moving those leaves, and I become all the dense molecules of what I am expand and open, and I become the space between those atoms. And I have the ability to breathe space into that so that I can actually become no longer at all concerned about the details of that left brain. I just become open to the magnificence. I'm high, and I'm capable of having a present mind. I'm capable of choosing to take my busy left brain and set it aside and shift temporality out of the past or out of the future, out of a cognitive to do list that is somewhere that doesn't exist at all and actually bring my mind here to the present moment and to breathe with that and to be breathed by that.
[00:18:09.170] - Kara
[00:18:09.580] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And then, boom, right back in my left brain.
[00:18:12.590] - Kara
Yeah. So do you make conscious effort throughout the day to not effort. That's the wrong word, but like, an intentional practice throughout the day to give yourself that pause, bring yourself back into that unity and that flow?
[00:18:31.810] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
I do it the other way. I live there, and I consciously choose to bring myself to my left brain detail.
[00:18:41.790] - Kara
[00:18:42.770] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
I do it the other way.
[00:18:46.150] - Kara
Did that take time?
[00:18:47.830] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
So that's what I gained with the strength. That's what I became.
[00:18:53.560] - Kara
[00:18:53.930] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And then anything in the left brain was going to be labor, and it was going to take me somewhere other than right here, right now. And why on Earth would I ever want to be somewhere other than right here, right now? Because if I just pause and I listen, I hear a little Beaver down there gnawing on a piece of wood. I hear the Chittering of birds flirting with one another. I hear squirrels running around. I hear the little footprints of deer as they come down to the water. I hear the breeze as it moves the trees. Why would I leave this to come and talk to you?
[00:19:37.150] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Why would I do that? But that's exactly what I choose to do, and I choose to do that because if I can help you recognize the magnificence of this alternative option that is always right there for you, and you can figure out how to allow yourself to step into this space of peacefulness, then everything will shift for you.
[00:20:03.360] - Kara
[00:20:04.450] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
You exist in a society that pushes and is skewed to the value structure of that left brain. And I stepped out of that, and I'm no longer buying what they're selling.
[00:20:17.300] - Kara
Right. And this was, if I remember correctly, somewhat of a hindrance to your recovery, because you were very determined to recover and you really want to recover. But then, if I remember correctly, there were times where you were like, I don't know, because I know that I gained so much through this expanded perception.
[00:20:46.250] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Yet in order for me to become it was my agreement with myself that I would detach myself from my blissful euphoria just enough for you to perceive me as normal. Because if I didn't have language, I couldn't communicate that's left brain. If I didn't have the ability to be punctual, if I didn't have the ability to define the boundaries of where I began, if I wasn't enough like you, then I couldn't communicate with you. Because when we communicate, we have to go to the person we're communicating with and say, how do you communicate? I have to become more like you in order for us to be able to have an exchange. So I made an agreement with myself that I would recover enough of the skill sets of that left brain, but I would not let that personality, I would not let that character become my boss. She was not going to dominate my life. This character, the new one that I had gained, she will dominate my life. And so I always said that I would never write another book unless I had something really important to say. And over the last ten years, I've had I stopped counting.
[00:22:17.070] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
At $300,000, over 300,000, people write to me and say, how do I find that bliss? How do I find that euphoria? How do I get that? And it was easy for me to tell you how I got from here to there, which is my stroke of insight. How do I help you get from here over to the right hemisphere? That took a lot of work.
[00:22:43.320] - Kara
[00:22:43.990] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And I have finally come up with an understanding about how to help other people find that. And so I'm actually finishing book number two, and it will come out in April of 2021.
[00:22:57.940] - Kara
Oh, wow. Congratulations.
[00:22:59.690] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Yeah. Well, Congratulations to you, because now you can get there.
[00:23:03.670] - Kara
[00:23:05.810] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
There's no tool other than go do meditation for 20 years. And if you're lucky, you're going to catch two glimpses of moments where you actually find that. No, I'm going to help you. And that's because you don't know where you're going. You don't know what does it feel like to be that part of you? Who is that character inside of you, and what do they do? What do they think? What do they feel? What do they represent? How are they in the world? What do they value? Who is that character I need to embody in order to become that part of the circuitry of my own brain so I can experience that divine self. How do I get there? Well, you can't know where you get there if you're here and you're trying to take this personality and stick it in that character when they're completely opposite.
[00:23:58.130] - Kara
Right. So you have practical methods to share?
[00:24:05.310] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
I do. We have two cognitive minds and we have two emotional brains. We have four very different parts of ourselves as cells inside of our brain. And each one of those is so integrated that they actually come up with a character. And if you know who the character is and you know the traits of that character and you can have experiences and see when you are that character, then you can pay attention to what does it feel like inside of my body to be that part of me? And you can go there like that.
[00:24:38.830] - Kara
[00:24:40.230] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
That's my ultimate goal. I want you to go there like that. I want you to be able to move into your pain. I want you to move into your peace. I want you to move into your functional. I want you to move into your playful and curious. I want you to have the power to choose moment by moment, who and how you want to be in the world.
[00:25:01.470] - Kara
It's really profound. And one of the things that was with your recovery as well is that you talked about choosing which emotions that you hook into and which to let flow through. And I love that reference to energy flowing through because I think that there is a delicate balance there between allowing that emotion to flow and not getting hooked versus suppression and resistance. And so I don't know if you have any advice on treading that line between the two? Because the ultimate goal is kind of the same as far as okay, I'm past that. But one is so much more important because you get the processing and you get that, and it flows through you and out of you rather than just being buried.
[00:25:55.170] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
So a lot of us, as soon as we feel any kind of uncomfortable emotion, let's say anxiety. Anxiety is just a group of cells inside of your brain. It's a circuit. It gets triggered. You have thoughts that can stimulate that emotion, and then that emotion stimulates a physiological response. Something dumps into your bloodstream, it flushes through you. You're running energy on this circuit called anxiety. You feel uncomfortable. Your whole body feels uncomfortable. You don't feel safe. You move into dub and gloom. You think, oh, my God, I'm going to die. Oh, my God. This is going to be everything that's going to happen for all eternity. And it's not. It's a group of cells inside of your brain. It is a circuit that you have a thought that has stimulated that circuit, and then you have a physiological response to what you're thinking and what you're feeling. And from the beginning of the trigger to the time, whatever is dumped into your bloodstream, depending on which emotion floods through you, flushes out of you, takes less than 90 seconds. Less than 90 seconds. Your physiology. You are cells and physiology. So whenever I experience anxiety, I know it immediately because it's like a song in your head.
[00:27:10.670] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
It's like a song. And every song starts with a unique note. And I know when I feel that first note of anxiety. I know when I feel that first note of anger. I know when I feel that first note of grief. I know those songs inside of me. They're just circuitry. And I can watch it. I can watch it stimulate and trigger and flush through and flush out of me. In less than 90 seconds, I can say, wow, that is, like, so magnificently beautiful. I am capable of anxiety because anxiety says to me, I don't feel comfortable. I don't feel safe. This is not good. I need to wake up to the present moment, pay attention, and get myself where I'm safe. And when I'm feeling anger, it's because something is not safe, and I need to push myself away from it and create space in order for me to feel safe again. When I feel joy, I mean, a belly laugh doesn't last longer than 90 seconds. So whatever that emotion is, it's just a group of cells. It's a circuit. It's energy running on that circuit. And whatever it is, you can look at it and say, wow, that's part of what I'm programmed to do.
[00:28:33.030] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
I can respect it. I can admire it. I can think. It's like, Holy crap. This most amazing, beautiful thing that is a part of me among I can right now. Say to you, think about a picture in your mind. Stop sign. Boom. There it was, right? You got sales that know how to do that, the exact same thing. Think of something. Think of someone from 20 years ago that every time you think of them, they make you angry. Boom. Most of us have that person, because what we're thinking is linked to what we're feeling now. We don't have to run that anger. Gosh knows we did 20 years ago. We don't have to run the whole circuit, but we can if we want to.
[00:29:17.640] - Kara
And we do, don't we do.
[00:29:20.430] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And then I'm going to tell you about it because it's going to come out of my mouth, which is only going to strengthen it. And then you're going to talk about it with me and you're going to mirror a neuro on me and say, oh, yeah, that's totally bad. What a creep. That one fair. And then we're going to just make that bigger. That was a choice. It's all circuitry is the point here. And if we allow ourselves to admire and respect these powerful circuits that are running through us, we don't have to act on them. We don't have to share them. They are ours. They are personal, they are private. They are the magnificence of what we are and what we can be and the way that our body communicates with us in order to get our attention. And it's like, wow. And when you allow yourself to really admire and really respect the beauty of these different emotions and how delicious they are, oh, my gosh. And then like a wave, they flood through you and they flush out of you and they're gone until you rethink the thought that restimulates the circuit, that restimulates that physiological response.
[00:30:28.110] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And then you're back in the loop. But it cells, it's just cells in your brain.
[00:30:33.630] - Kara
So that unhooking is born by conscious choice. And just like the decision to not engage because you've dealt with it once and every time you bring it up again, that's that choice that you're making because it's run its course. It's flowed through you.
[00:30:57.750] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And it's beautiful. Yeah. If you allow it to be beautiful, it's rich. And eventually, over time, the waves separate themselves with greater time because they're moving through you. Any emotion is simply cells in your brain saying, I need your attention. But once we give it our attention, once we observe it and we acknowledge it and we're thankful for it, then it says, okay, I've been heard. Now let's get back to the present moment and go have fun again. That's not to say that mental illness is not real and that severe depression and chronic depression is not real because it is. That's not to say that schizophrenia or schizoaffective, where the cells are actually having unusual wiring, creating unusual experiences, is not real because it is my brother's ability to experience a delusion is because his cells are wired for that. Mine are not.
[00:32:05.710] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
His cells are wired for visual or auditory hallucination. Mine is not. It's really respecting what's in there, but also what choice do we have? How can we bring our minds and in our mindfulness pay attention to what is going on and what choices do we have then at actually becoming what we want to be?
[00:32:29.910] - Kara
Right. And there's this empowerment that comes with that, too, because another message with your book is that no one has the power to make you feel any way that they can do what they want. But you are making that choice as to how you respond to it, how you feel and how you keep hooking into it and bringing it back, even if there's an initial anger or something. So there's that empowerment piece. There's also a lot of responsibility with that, too. You have to be willing to accept that you are responsible for that.
[00:33:09.850] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
It's really interesting because there are people who say, oh, my God, thank God, and I can find peace. And the number of people who write to me and say, thank you, thank you, thank you. I mean, that's probably the primary message I get is thank you. You gave me an insight I did not have. I did not know I had that power. And then I have other people who say, I don't want that responsibility and you're full of crap. And it's like, yeah.
[00:33:39.710] - Kara
[00:33:41.070] - Kara
I think ultimately we all will get there. Yeah. So another thing that I loved was you cite some research which identified the neuroanatomy underlying our ability to have a religious or spiritual mystical experience. So in this research, they used Tibetan meditators in Franciscan nuns, and they identified this shift in neurological activity in specific regions of the brain. And it really mirrored and just verified your own personal experience. But that was something that kept coming back to me as I was reading your book was like, okay, so how does this relate to what meditators and Mystics, what they're experiencing? And there are certain people who they're born that way. Right. They're born more with the ability to tap into unity and universal life force. It does seem to mirror. I don't know if you want to talk about that research, but I found that really interesting.
[00:34:58.690] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Yeah. Andrew Newberg, a great scientist, great man, wrote a book called Why God Won't Go Away. He's written a few other books, but that's my favorite of those. And he put both the Francescan nuns and the monks into a spec machine and said to the monks, go meditate. And when you find unity took on this line, and I'll start taking some pictures of your brain. And so they did. And then he did the same thing with the nuns. He said, Go pray. And when you find God, essentially tug on this line and I'll take pictures of your brain. And so I think people were kind of thinking they were going to find a God Center. When this part of the brain lights up, there's God. And that would kind of makes sense because in many ways, that's the way cells work in the brain. But what they found instead was that the ability to experience that unity, whether you get there through prayer or mantra or meditation, essentially quiet the left brain language centers. So many people call that monkey mind. It doesn't necessarily become silent, but it sets it aside. So like I said earlier, if you're willing to just set that aside and not focus on that and allow your mind to focus now more energetically on the depth around you and just be the energy around you more that unity connected to divine source.
[00:36:40.220] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
However, you want to call that whatever language you're comfortable with. And that's what they did. They quieted that left hemisphere just enough that it stopped causing inhibition. Those cells stopped inhibiting those cells in the right hemisphere so that they could just do what they do. So we are always connected to Source. We are always connected to that bigger picture part of ourselves. It's like the blue sky is always there, which is that right hemisphere unity, connection to all my divine self. Open, expansive. And then the little left brain comes in with its details, like the clouds. And then there's language, and then there's right and wrong and good and bad, and there's all this. And then it makes for not such a nice day, as I say that it rains so beautiful because it's beautiful, but it's those ways of being. And one group of cells in that left hemisphere reaching over and inhibiting your ability to be your open, expansive self. Because if you're going to be a functional human being in the external world, you need those details. You need that left hemisphere to be able to come online and dominate and focus.
[00:38:07.240] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
But really, what we need is to shift ourselves into being the whole brain beings that we are and allow these two parts of ourselves to balance. Because it is in that open, expansive space where I find the part of me that is most authentic. It's the part of me that as I die and that left brain shuts down and disappears because that's of the external world, and I become more open and expansive as we do when we die, then that's the authentic part of who I am and the best part of me. And it's a part of me that knows my number one job in this whole existence. Our number one job is to love one another.
[00:38:53.430] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And then that left hemisphere comes on and says, but it has to look like this. It has to smell like this. It has to taste like this. It has to sound like this or it's scary. It's different. And it's going to give me anxiety. It's going to give me fear. I'm going to learn to hate it. I'm going to rebel against it, et cetera.
[00:39:14.410] - Kara
So I don't know if this is something that you know the answer to. I don't remember coming across this in the book, but you mentioned love. The core of us is this love. And when in the studies and the experiences that I've had, that really comes from the heart center rather than the brain. But I don't know. Is that love sense? Surely there is a center in the brain that responds to that as well.
[00:39:54.990] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
It's the right hemisphere.
[00:39:56.440] - Kara
[00:39:57.000] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
People give heart consciousness to the heart, but heart consciousness is that right hemisphere. That is the relationship. That is this fluid flow, this expansive, open. Everything is a part of the whole. Everything is one. And yet everything is these magnificent pieces. So our ability to be in the flow, our ability to experience that around us, yes, we have this magnificent heart energy that allows us to be interactive with it. But we also have this incredible bright hemisphere consciousness, which is open to that flow. And that's what it is. It is that connection. It is every ability we have because we have cells that perform that function and our ability to feel that divine connection or those cells of that right hemisphere.
[00:40:52.590] - Kara
I love that. So I know we're getting close to your time. There was one more thing, and we've kind of touched on this, but I wondered if there was a subtlety here that I wanted to just explore. And we talked about how the emotions kind of that being a circuitry thing and the emotions flowing through. You also talk about how you consciously decided which emotional programs you wanted to retain or not. And I don't know if there is a subtlety or if it's the same. I thought there was a little bit of a subtlety.
[00:41:29.450] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
So consider that every emotion is a circuit. And I had circuitry that wanted to come online that didn't feel right inside of my body. Hate feels horrible inside of our body. It is a violation, and it feels like war inside of yourself. If you're sensitive to knowing what you're how can you spew all that venom on another human being or even out into the external world and think that that remotely is good for your body?
[00:42:07.210] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
It's not. It's an external expression of all this vile, ugly horrid which feels terrible. So why on Earth would I want to run my hate circuitry? Why on Earth would I want to run my anger circuitry? Anger is this incredible assault on who we are just at an energetic level. It does not feel good inside of our bodies. And at the same time, it is delicious because it is dictating and controlling and manipulating and in its own weird way, that's delicious. But it's a choice. We still have the choice to observe. How much of that do I want to be? Is that who I want to be? No, probably not very often. Take the power away, maybe have a little spit spat, move on.
[00:43:00.760] - Kara
Yeah. Well, you so wisely say, do you want to be right or do you want to be happy? And that has come up with me a few times because it's right. I mean, I was even just talking about this the other day Where it's like you're probably right. They probably did do it on purpose and they probably weren't thinking they weren't thinking very expansively or very compassionately and they did it anyway, and they knew it was going to make you feel like this. That's probably true. Or it could be true. And so now what.
[00:43:47.410] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Right? You can get riled up in that caught up in that raging that or you can observe it and say, okay, now. Yeah.
[00:43:59.030] - Kara
Well, that was everything that I wanted to explore, and we are towards the end of your time here, but I can't thank you enough. It's such an honor to have you and to talk to you. Thank you so much for everything that you're doing. I mean, you're just this bright light and the niche experience that you've had is so important. It's just that, again, that blending of science with spirit really is just so important, and it adds a depth that a lot of people relate to because we do have a lot. I mean, I am pretty methodical, and I know that my left brain I've tried to ease up on it over time, But I do have a pretty analytical mind.
[00:44:52.130] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
And celebrate that because it's magnificent, but sometimes it's just stay to it. Who else is in here?
[00:44:59.490] - Kara
[00:45:00.040] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
How can I come to the present moment? Because analysis is not right here, right now.
[00:45:04.800] - Kara
[00:45:05.760] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Some circuitry lost somewhere. Come to your present moment and be all of it.
[00:45:12.940] - Kara
[00:45:13.760] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
Just be all of it. Be grateful for what you have and trust there's something more and explore it. Don't be afraid to explore it.
[00:45:22.480] - Kara
It's so beautiful.
[00:45:24.710] - Kara
Thank you so much.
[00:45:26.420] - Dr. Bolte-Taylor
You're welcome. Thank you for reaching out. It's been a pleasure.
[00:45:32.750] - Kara
And thank you so much for joining. Wasn't that fun? She is amazing. What a gift she is. So I hope that you love that as much as I did. And if you were inspired by Dr. Jill Boltz Taylor, please do check out her book, my stroke of insight, and I'm looking forward to her next book, which comes out in April of 2021. And if you know somebody else who would enjoy this content, please do send it on, share it, share it on social media or write a review or rate it. All of that helps to spread the good word and reach more souls. So I appreciate any help in that regard, and thank you again for joining today, and I look forward to the next meditation conversation.
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