The book is divided into three sections:
- The morning of the stroke
- The recovery immediately after surgery
- The eight years of recovery that followed
This third section was the most intriguing to me. She explains that as she healed her brain, she chose what aspects of her brain circuitry to nurture and what aspects to avoid.
“I view the garden in my mind as a sacred patch of cosmic real estate that the universe has entrusted me to tend over the years of my lifetime… Regardless of the garden I have inherited, once I consciously take over the responsibility of tending my mind, I choose to nurture those circuits that I want to grow, and consciously prune back those circuits I prefer to live without.” — My Stroke of Insight, Jill Bolte Taylor
This got me thinking. How I could control the less attractive aspects of left brain (anger, impatience, fear-based stories) and shift to the right where I could deliberately live from a place of compassion, love and peace?
Then this oldie but goodie story of how to do just that came to mind…
An old Cherokee Indian was speaking to his grandson:
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil–he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a long minute, then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I was (effing) blessed to be able to practice this today when the stock I sold YESTERDAY skyrocketed TODAY. My left brain began to run it’s goddammitmotherfuckerwhyohwhy?!!?! fear-based story line of judgment, regret and worry.
My bad dog left brain was traipsing around in my garden and that just wouldn’t do. So I stopped after 90 seconds and said aloud:
“Bad dog! Listen left brain. What’s done is done. Take the lessons. Leave the rest. Now shoo!”
He stopped and stared at me. Then I imagined him scampering off, tail between his legs. I got back to tending to the sprouts I want to cultivate in my right brain.
“I think Gandhi was right when he said, “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” I find that my right hemisphere consciousness is eager for us to take that next giant leap for mankind and step to the right so we can evolve this planet into the peaceful and loving place we yearn for it to be.” — My Stroke of Insight, Jill Bolte Taylor