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Life, Death & The Space Between

Jun 17, 2021

“We have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world.”

– Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

“We are not thinking creatures who feel, we are feeling creatures who think.”

– Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor

JILL BOLTE TAYLOR is a Harvard trained and published neuroanatomist. In 1996 she experienced a severe hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain causing her to lose the ability to walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Her memoir, My Stroke of Insight, documenting her experience with stroke and eight-year recovery, spent 63 weeks on the New York Times nonfiction bestseller list and is still routinely the #1 book about stroke on Amazon.


In her groundbreaking new work, Dr. Jill shares how we all have two emotional and two cognitivemodules of cells that underlie four predictable characters: Left and Right Thinking and Left and Right Emotional. WHOLE BRAIN LIVING marries our psychology with our brain's anatomy, giving us the power to choose who and how we want to be in every moment regardless of our external circumstances. 


Dr. Taylor is a dynamic teacher and public speaker who loves educating all age groups, academic levels, as well as corporations about the beauty of our human brain and its ability to recover from trauma. In 2008 she gave the first TED talk that ever went viral on the Internet, which now has well over 26 million views. Her TED talk is in the top 10 TED talks of all time. Also in 2008, Dr. Taylor was chosen as one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” and was the premiere guest on Oprah Winfrey’s “Soul Series” webcast.


I am so excited to have Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor on the show today! We talk about:


  • After her stroke Dr. Bolte Taylor sensed the energy of her surgeon, and said to him, “Please be responsible for the energy you bring into this space.”


  • Although she couldn’t move or speak after her stroke, she could sense people as energy


  • For those who haven’t watched her incredible Ted talk -- her stroke story from the perspective of a neuroscientist.


  • How her book “Whole Brain Living” came to be from the experience of her stroke


  • Her 4 characters, and she encourages you to name yours!


    • Character 1: Left Brain Thinking - rational interaction with the outside world, language, ego center, judgment
    • Character 2: Left Brain Emotional – deep emotions (shame, guilt, blame), past trauma, alarm/alert, likes what is familiar, addiction, stress circuitry
    • Character 3: Right Brain Emotional - interconnectedness of everything, fun loving, joy, enthusiasm, us not me, thrill seeking, comradery/togetherness, present moment experience
    • Character 4: Right Brain Thinking - the portal to the peaceful and beautiful energy of the universe, consciousness of the universe, present moment, meditation, no ego self, supportive, nurturing, connected to all that is, connected to nature, kind, loving, gratitude


  • The “BRAIN Huddle” which Dr. Bolte Taylor says, “is how we own our power by taking full responsibility for who and how we present ourselves to the world, as well as how we choose the let the world influence our emotions, feeling and behavior.” 


  • BRAIN = Breathe to come to the present moment + Recognize which character you are in + Appreciate all four characters + Inquire which character I want step into + Navigate your new reality


  • Division between science and spirituality in our brain