This is the name of the book by Jill Bolte Taylor (a brain scientist) that we are reading for The Yoga Room’s October book club. As someone who has been doing a lot of self-reflection lately, I am finding parts of this book really interesting.
One of my own insights upon reading the book is how the left side of my brain (the ‘ego,’ judmental, critical, monkey mind) is typically more dominant than my right side (the side that allows me to be present in the moment and be at peace). That is not a completely bad thing, though, because my left brain also allows me to be organized, deal well with finances, run my own business, and be a responsible human being!
Another thing I learned from reading the book is that there are certain limbic system (emotional) programs, like anger, that can be triggered *automatically* within us (in other words, that we can’t control). However, it takes less than 90 seconds for the program to be triggered, surge through our body, and then be completely flushed out of our blood stream. So, if after 90 seconds have passed I remain angry, that is because I have chosen to let that circuit continue to run. In other words, we have a choice to hook into that neurocircuitry, or we can choose to move back over to the right brain, come back to the present moment, and allow the reaction to melt away as “fleeting physiology.”
This is something that I’ve been working with myself for a while now, and it feels so great to have this knowledge validated by an actual brain scientist! Yes, I have a choice about how I choose to perceive situations and can react to them from my left brain or my right brain…I can get hooked into an unpleasant situation, memory, argument, etc. and have my left brain keep obsessing over it or try to ‘win,’ or I can ‘move over’ to my right brain and realize that I can be compassionate and forgiving toward others who hurt me because no one is perfect, I don’t have to take things personally and, instead of obsessing about past situations that will always have the same outcome, I can realign myself with the present moment and find some peace. IT IS A CHOICE.