If there is one book I think all of you should read this week, this year, this lifetime – it’s the sweet and short New York Times Bestseller My Stroke of Insight by Dr Jill Taylor. This recommendation is not based on the fact that I think it is particularly well written or because it was one of those can’t-put-it-down page-turners. No, its position at the top of my list is due to the fact that it’s just so incredibly interesting and useful for absolutely anyone who has a brain. So if you’re reading this – that means you!
Taylor, a highly skilled neuroscientist, suffered a stroke at the tender age of 38. In the book she walks the reader through her experience of the stroke and also explains how she learned invaluable lessons about the differences between our left and right brains/minds, leading ultimately to her own enlightenment. You can read more about this here and watch her TED Talk here.
Here is one of my favourite passages from the book:
“The more aware we are of when we run our loop of deep inner peace, the easier it is for us to purposely choose to hook into that circuitry. Some of us struggle in our attempts to recognize when we are running this circuitry only because our minds are distracted by other thoughts. This makes sense since our western society honors and rewards the skills of our “doing” left brain much more than our “being” right brain. Thus, if you are having difficulty accessing the consciousness of your right mind circuitry, then it is probably because you have done a stupendous job learning exactly what you were taught while growing up. Congratulate your cells for their successes, and realize that, as my good friend Dr. Kat Domingo proclaims, “ Enlightenment is not a process of learning, it is a process of unlearning” p. 159-160
What I like most about this book, is it refers to concepts that Spiritual leaders the world over have referred to, in particular Eastern gurus of Buddhist and Hindu denomination. But the insights in this book are grounded in scientific facts based on our neural wiring. We do not need gurus, we just need to connect to our selves – our own minds – in order to tap into our own source of spiritual consciousness or inner peace or whatever you want to call it.