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Posts Tagged ‘Jill Bolte Taylor’

I confesss. I did exactly what the author asked the reader NOT to do as I finished chapter one in her book.

In the last paragraph of the first chapter of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor’s “My Stroke of Insight” she said she realized the reader was eager to begin reading her personal account of the morning of her stroke, which would begin in chapter 4.

 But she asked us to not skip over chapters 2 and 3 where she gives a user-friendly scientific and biological areview of the brain so the reader can understand the anatomy underlying her cognitive, physical and spiritual experiences.  

And I must say the cognitive, physical AND spiritual experiences are more than a WOW factor. I know, because, I skipped right over chapters 2 and 3 and read all of the rest of the book before coming back to get my physiology lessons from Dr. Jill. I will be sharing some of those in another post.

But honing in on some of the science she presents in these two chapters, several facts and stats caught my attention and here is one of them.

In the history of the cosmos, she states  “the emergence of life was a most remarkable event.” (italics mine). That is to say, let’s not just take this for granted.  I do remember we had to memorize a lot of biological terms in 10th grade biology class. One of them was the amoeba, the single cell organism from which evolution began as it could divide and multiply into larger cell organisms.

“With the advent of the single-celled organism, a new era of information processing was born at the molecular level….manipulation of atoms and molecules into ADNA and RNA sequences, information became entered, coded and stored for future use.”

“Moments in time no longer came and went without a record, and by interweaving a continuum of sequential moments into a common thread, the life of the cell evolved as a bridge across time.” (italics, hers)

“Before long, cells figured out ways of hanging together and working together, which finally produced you and me.”

As a neuroanatomist professional at the PhD level, she sees Earth’s molecular brain of DNA as a powerful and successful genetic program, not only because it adapts to constant change, but also because it expects, appreciates and takes advantage of opportunities to tranform itself into something even more magnificent.

Dr. Bolte Taylor does not claim that humans are direct descendants from our treeswinging friends, but it does emphasize that the genius of our molecular code is supported by eons of nature’s greatest evolutionary effort. She sees our human code,” not as a random act, but rather that it is better construed as nature’s ever-evolving quest for a body of genetic perfection.”

FACT: “As members of the same human species, you and I share all but 0.01% (1/100th of 1%) of identical genetic sequences. So, biologically, as a species, you and I are virtually identical to one another at the level of our gene (99.99%.

Looking around at the diversity within our human race, it is obvious that 0.01% accounts for a significant difference in how we look, think, and behave.”  (italics, mine)   

Most of my big life lessons have been in how I  “look”, “think” and “behave”.  In the area of discord and angst alone, my acts “behave(iors) come from thoughts (“think”) often misaligned, from perceiving appearances (“look”) in a false reality.  All those things I’ve worked so hard to correct,  like “change your thinking, change your life”, be willing to turn to non-judgment rather than blame over how things look, etc, …There are so many trails I have traveled here, and this statistic tells me it amounts to  0.01%  of how my makeup is different from anyone else’s.  Amazing!

Wouldn’t you think from this, we are DNA destined for peace among all? If our species anatomical sameness amounts to 99.9% of who we are, how is it we don’t seem to have a foothold on a peace pattern that holds strong in our individual lives and spans across the globe  that recognizes human justice and equality of all.

And if this is in our DNA, and evolution is the natural way of seeking species perfection, then it must be true that we will persist and require change on all levels, biological, emotional, spiritual, until we “get there.”

My own brain took an opportunity to change itself into something more magnificent over twenty years ago.  I will give you the quick version.

At an eye exam, I was overdue for, the examining doctor who happened to be my daughter, quickly discovered a stroke had occurred on the back of my retina. I was referred instantly to an opthalmologist who diagnosed the stroke had occurred and the normal treatment was eye surgery, but not possible because of the placement of the stroke.

My vision in that eye went from near 20/20 to 20/200 and he prescribed a prism type eyeglass for that eye and said we would have to rely on the body to heal the eye as much as it could on its own hoping to get back to 20/40 as a best to hope for scenario.

My eye healed over time back to near 20/20 and has presented no problems since.

As a followup and a bigger lump to swallow, my doctor did an MRI as a baseline reading to have from the time of the eye episode. I received a fairly traumatizing result of finding a tumor on the pituitary gland of my brain, near the brain stem. It was heading right into the optic nerve and would cause blindness if not prevented from growing.

So all this gets pretty personal as I study the diagrams in Taylor’s book, and I am whispering many thank you’s to all the parts that went on to show their magnificence.

The crowning glory is that I healed totally and completely, to the disappearance of the tumor itself (shunk itself up and returned to the “nothingness from which it came” as I proclaimed in my active prayer life).

I was one day away from scheduled surgery, when the change in plans happened. The surgery had been postponed for two weeks due to a staph infection they found in pre-op testing. During that time,  a friend alerted me that I had the same type of brain tumor her husband had and she wanted me to see that surgeon before I went ahead. Two other friends did not “advise” me but shared information with me that caused me to listen to my intuitive self (right brain), and go to Ann Arbor to be advised there.

I went and one test they did gave me the chance to delay surgery, use a drug and see if the tumor would shrink without surgery. Everything happened amazingly fast. I took only 1/4 of the amount of drug they wanted me to take, yet continued with Reiki, Reflexology, Holistic Healthy living, changed some stressed-out situations, and they took MRI’s sooner than expected because blood tests showed dramatic changes.

I was soon out of danger and continued MRIs over a couple of years. Eventually,   the specialist wrote on my report, “There is no evidence of the tumor, not even on the floor of the brain. The tumor is gone.”

He, the endocrinologist,  also remarked to me after not having seen me for a year, “You are not the same sick woman who sat here a year ago. There’s nothing I’ve done to explain the difference in you. What have you done?”

I admitted I didn’t have a full answer, told him what I knew I was doing that was good for me. But perhaps it is my magnificent, smart, spectacular bodily cells who should have been proclaiming their awesomeness, their ability and their agreement amongst themselves to “pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and start all over again”  for they surely did.

As Dr. Jill says, ““Before long, cells figured out ways of hanging together and working together.”

 Am I forever grateful? Yes! Do I know in cat terms, I could be on a couple of my extra lives? Yes!  Am I determined to live them with joy rooted deeply in my heart and open to the wonders within and around us? Yes. Yes. Yes!

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