Saturday, February 13, 2016

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.

I put off reading My Stroke of Insight for a while thinking I wouldn’t like it as much as the other more religious books I’ve read for SDI, but it is awesome how scientific, enthusiastic, joy-filled, and hope-filled it is.  Our brains and bodies are truly amazing creations of God.  

This woman's story is a powerful testimony to the resilience of the human spirit. The power of love, gentleness, compassion, and determination can bring about healing, hope, and wholeness.  I’ve read that we usually only use about 10% of our brains during our lives. (I wonder if my brain looks different because of how many books, articles, and things I read.)

This woman’s spirit and energy very easily come through her writing, attitude, honesty, and vulnerability.  It’s encouraging how she was able to experience a painful, difficult time through the eyes of a scientist as well as a fragile human being.

I could relate to her struggle to overcome challenges that she thought and felt shouldn’t be as much of a project for her to do, but which had become something she had to work up to after her stroke.  I can get so frustrated with myself if I don’t understand something right away or can’t do it properly.  I can’t imagine having to learn to do everything all over again, including walk and talk.   

I wonder what people most often assume or think about me based on my writing, photography, and artwork.  I think of Bishop Robert Barron’s advice to lead with beauty and goodness.  I’m not sure how well I do that in my daily life, but there’s always room for improvement.  I’m encouraged that such tremendous transformation and healing can occur.  

We need people who know and love us, who believe in us, and will go to bat for us when others would prefer to give up on us.  Reading this book made me think of a local Cursillista's story and recovery as well as another friend of mine who suffered significant brain damage when she was in a car accident several years ago.  It’s remarkable how God opens up areas of understanding, wisdom, intuition, and connectivity when we need them. 

I highly recommend reading My Stroke of Insight.  If you're short on time or need additional inspiration to read this true story, check out Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor's TED talk here:

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