Whole Brain Living is Jill Bolte’s latest book, written since Jills TED TALK video that took us through the day she was experiencing a major left brain stroke. The story of the minute-by-minute happening, from her inside her mind thoughts the day of her stroke. Her TED Talk, Stroke of Genius is the top-watched TED Talk ever. Viewed 27.9 MILLION times.
Both her TED Talk and now her new anticipated book, Whole Brain Living have drastically changed what we have been taught about our brains and human psychology. Whole Brain Living is truly a game-changing, paradigm shift of thinking of the complexity and power of the human brain.
I have studied philosophy, metaphysics, and science for forty years. From Taoism to ancient Indian mystics, Greeks, the Stoicis down to today’s philosophers like Nietzsche and Carl Jung. But, to me, Whole Brain Living is a first-time-ever actual science-based and personal experience explanation, versus philosophical-based theories on how we create our lives.
If you seek peace. If you seek Joy. If you seek Nirvana on earth you will enjoy and be fulfilled by immersing yourself in “Whole Brain Living”. I also highly recommend her first book “Stroke of Insight”.
Four Brain Thinking
My personal journey with a Left Brain Stroke
This year I had a left-brain stroke as Jill had. Actually, I had three left-brain strokes. Somewhat ironically I experienced these string of strokes while deep in my left brain Type A personality; producing my own TEDx live event for 2021. With the first stroke, my left side thinking area brain was destroyed. From these strokes, [ three in a time period of three months] I experienced, and still experience today, many of the same right and left brain experiences Jill writes about.
When I experienced each stroke I had no pain. But in an instant, I was changed.Stephen Monahan
Although I lost sight in one eye, lost my speech, and had memory gaps, But, I was still alive. I could still walk. Considering all the trauma to my brain and body I oddly was not down. I was feeling joyful, serene, and unbelievably blessed.
With the calming of my usual incessant Type A mind I was in a serene peace beyond words. With my thinking brain partially shut down, my physical sense of my body started to feel strangely erased at the edges, however. My body became somewhat light and vague. I could dream while totally awake. The “I AM” ego aspect of me was still conscious, aware, and alive. Most of my circuits were shorted yet I felt calm and serene experiencing an awakened sense of wonder and awe.
I have been an avid seeker of knowledge so since my stroke, I have been reading to learn and understand what happened to me and how to hopefully remake myself. In my search, I came across and read both of Jill Bolte’s amazing books. Her new book, Whole Brain Living is a wonderful and insightful read. It is an inspiring, upbeat, and easy to grasp guide for everyone, who has had a major stroke, or who is on a path of self-improvement.
Whether we know it or not we humans naturally search for happiness and joy and an end to unhappiness or suffering. To find meaning, and purpose in our lives and perhaps find the way to Nirvana on earth. We all seek to get back home.
Totally confused at the time of my stroke, and in the months since I did not understand or know what was happening to me. Secretly I thought I was going mad or having an emotional breakdown. Fifteen years earlier I had open heart surgery and also the removal of the outside of my heart. While the 12 hours of surgery was difficult, life-threatening, and took time to heal I knew what to expect and just pushed through it all. A physical operation is common and we pretty much know what to expect and the prognosis for healing and eventual return to normalcy.
Four Brain Thinking
Nothing prepares us for the loss of our thinking brain and mind. On the outside people see us as healed or normal. But in the inside of our head, brain and mind we are totally confused, uncertain, and somewhat lost on our own. As an example, I dreaded going to sleep at night. Most every night I was trapped in a constant dream of being lost in an unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar people and no way to get home. Yet in the morning I would wake up with joy in my heart, peace in my mind, and a love for life stronger than I had ever experienced before the stroke.
Every morning I now step outside, do simple yoga stretches, talk to the birds, touch the flowers, and stroke the leaves, thanking them for being alive, greeting me, and being with me on this beautiful morning.Steven Monahan
After watching Jills TED Talk and then reading her story of what she experienced and what happens to some people with a left-brain stroke I now understand what was happening to my mind and brain. But, while I was living this nightmare I had no words to explain it. But now because of her stroke and explaining the workings of our four brains I have the words and understanding. My stroke has been a priceless gift. A gift of a new life. A gift of awakening to the ability to traverse two totally opposite ways of living on earth. Bringing with it joy, peace of mind, and total understanding.
Dying to your old way of thinking
Eckhard Tolle in his best-selling book, the Power of Now shares that the secret to living a new life worth living is to die to your way of thinking before you die. When I read that passage I did not rationally understand how that could happen. How do we die, before we die? But, since experiencing my three brain strokes I now understand. That morning my thinking died when my left brain and the full opening up of my right brain stopped. The right expansive, collective, holistic, and all-understanding right brain, opened and I was a new person.
As I heal these past months I notice that my left hemisphere, number one, thinking brain gets heavier, and active again as I become more in the world again. To stay in balance I only spend three hours in thinking working mode. Frankly, I prefer my new right brain, and now consciously only use my left brain only to navigate this earthly plane and mentor and work. But with simple mind full meditation and the resultant slowing of the brain waves of my left logical number one brain my Nirvana and creating number three brain seamlessly comes back to life.
When we let our left organizing and doing brain go offline our right hemisphere creative brain number three takes over. It is then that we are totally different beings. Our thinking and thoughts are of an almost different person. We are in a place of perfect peace and happiness. Hinduism and Buddhism, call it Nirvana. The highest state of consciousness and knowledge that one can attain while still in a body.