Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the tag “Stroke”

Strokes of Insight

Enduring insights from My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor, because so much has been replaying in my mind (the following should be read as direct ‘quotes’ with some interpretation at points):
– The limbic system places an effect, or emotion, on information streaming in through our senses
– Our higher cortical cells mature …. and gain the ability to take “new pictures” of the present moment. When we compare the new information of our thinking mind with the automatic reactivity of our limbic mind, we can reevaluate the current situation and purposely choose a more mature response
– I allow myself to remember that all of my thoughts are merely fleeting physiology
– it only took 90 seconds for my bichemistry to capture and then release me
– sensory information streams in through our sensory systems and is immediately processed through our limbic system. By the time a message reaches our cerebral cortex for higher thinking, we have already placed a feeling upon how we view that stimulation – is this pain or is this pleasure
– when an incoming situation is perceived as familiar, the amygdala (whose primary job is to scan all incoming stimulation in this immediate moment and determine the level of safety – fear/ rage response) is calm and the adjacently positioned hippocampus (learning and memory) is capable of learning and memorizing new information
– we are feeling creatures that think (rather than thinking creatures that feel)
– when we experience feelings of sadness, joy, anger, frustration or excitement, these are emotions that are generated by the cells of our limbic system

How Things Start to Change When you Attribute True Value to Your Sense of Self

So how does it feel? How does it feel to think that you understand things a bit better? To think that you are a bit more certain about how things work for you and what things mean?

Unsettling is a good way of starting the description. From NLP/ hypnosis/ habit removal experiences I’ve had, it’s a similar awareness of a void. The void is the non-existence of the previous habit.

In my current situation it’s the awareness of the absence of a programme of striving for understanding or meaning in certain areas.

I’m experiencing this change from different perspectives. My interest in the content of a number of previously subscribed blogs has virtually dissipated overnight. I’m not talking here about divine revelations. It’s just a shift in understanding in how the relationship between conscious and other than conscious works. This shift makes me currently feel like I understand more, and have more answers when I look at the subject matter of these other blogs.

My feelings towards other content also feels shifted. My sense of value added by the body of self-help literature is diminished in part because I feel they’re missing the common thread. So many questions postulated without going back to that common denominator of our brains.

We are that common element in all the challenges that we perceive we face in our lives. Yet we don’t start from that psychological perspective of the workings of our brains and the relationship with our construction of ourself.

Just getting stuck into an excellent book, ‘My Stroke of Insight’ by Jill Taylor. A neuroscientist who suffered a stroke and recovered to write about the experience. Excellent, clear explanation of the workings of the brain with a description of a right hemisphere-led view of the world that takes you out of your comfort zone and then mugs everything you previously thought to be true.

Already, what this is telling me is that our approach to many personal development matters are too left hemisphere-led (thinking, rationalizing and logical detail) and thereby doomed to fail when our feelings and emotions kick-in.

So how does it feel? Invigorating and slightly scary when I look at the absence of some of the previous striving. But ultimately? Bloody marvellous……

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