Jill Bolte Taylor — Stroke of Insight — A Brain Researcher who had a stroke and studied it as it happened — A Must see TED talk

When Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, neuroanatomist (brain researcher) realized she was having a stroke she decided to study the experience. Her talk at the TED conference brings to light the difference between the right and left brain hemispheres and also has surprising correlations with consciousness and ego. She watched and was aware as her ability to talk, decipher speech, use her limbs and recognize things disappeared and experienced what happened when the right side of her brain took over. Her story is a miraculous one and is very in line with a lot of the studies I have been doing the last 18 months on consciousness and being. Please watch the following video — I assure you that you have never heard anything similar and it will stay with you.

Dr. Taylor decided she wanted to study the brain because of her brother who suffers from schizophrenia. She worked in the Harvard Department of Psychiatry and was a also an advocate for NAMI (The National Alliance on Mental Illness). She wanted to know and understand the biological differences between the brains of those who are “normal” as opposed to those diagnosed with schizophrenia and similar illnesses. She was also studying how the cells and the 2 hemispheres of the brain communicated. Through her stroke she was able to experience this first hand.


Her hemorrhage was in the left side of her brain which controls linear and methodical thinking. The left side of your brain uses your past experiences to categorize, it picks out details of your experiences and makes associations and also projects thoughts about the future. The left side will also send you messages as “remember to go shopping” and is your constant mind chatter and self talk. The left side is essentially what Eckhart Tolle calls “the ego” and always makes sure that you know you are “separate from others”.

The right side of your brain is about now, or as Eckhart Tolle calls it “consciousness”. The right side of your brain thinks in pictures and it learns kinesthetically through the movement of our bodies. It is our senses but is NOT our language and our labels on everything. It is silent and is energy and it is what connects us to everyone else.

You have to watch the video and listen to Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s explanation of all she went through to save herself during her stroke. All the realizations she came across and all the distinctions she was able to make. Her profession as a brain researcher allowed her to recognize what was happening each step of the way. It took her 8 years to fully recover from her stroke and now she is spreading her message which is a very important one.

Eckhart Tolle in “A New Earth” talks about the importance of being in the now and quieting the mind chatter. When Jill suffered her stroke her mind chatter was suddenly silenced for her. In “A New Earth” Mr. Tolle talks about trying to observe things but not label them rather just experience them and feel their energy. Jill Taylor lost all perception of where her body ended and the world around her began — she was one with the other energy around her. When you listen to Eckhart Tolle speak you can sense his peacefulness and how present he is. When Dr. Taylor’s left brain hemorrhaged she was thrust into the silence and beauty of being present only through how the right brain perceives the world.

During Dr. Taylor’s eight years of recovery she needed to relearn how to read, walk, talk and write again. She goes into her recovery in detail in her book, “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey“. What stayed with Dr. Taylor was the experience and the importance of the right brain to us all. She points out that we are two very different entities just as Mr. Tolle does. Mr. Tolle talks about the ego and consciousness and she describes it as your left and right brain functions. By reading “A New Earth” and other readings and practicing the methods within you can begin to experience moments where your right brain is in control or “consciousness”. I have experienced moments of this and boy is it beautiful. Dr. Taylor ends her speech by acknowledging we can all decide which side of the brain we want to live out of — the left which is how our ego identifies, labels and separates us or our right which is peace, consciousness, being aware of our senses in the now and our connection with everyone.

By taking the Oprah and Tolle FREE Webinar — you learn about this and about awakening as they take you chapter by chapter through “A New Earth”. The course only has 2 weeks left but they leave all the lessons on the Oprah site for free or you can download them right to your IPOD. I highly recommend listening to this course however you can and joining the millions world wide who have already done so.

Jill Taylor made this amazing talk at the TED conference this year. If you have not visited the TED site or signed up I highly recommend doing so. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design and gathers the top people in these areas to one conference to talk about “An Idea worth Spreading” and they each have 20 minutes to do so. I have seen some of the best speeches in my life by watching talks in the TED library. It is free to sign up and if you like inspirational or thought provoking videos — be warned — you might spend hours mesmerized and unable to leave this incredible site!

I am actively coaching although I have limited time slots available. You can contact me for a free 1/2 hour consultation. I am always available for comments, questions and suggestions either right here or by emailing me at jenny@jennymannion.com. Please share this video with others.