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My Stroke of Insight

Jill Taylor was a 37 year old Harvard trained brain scientist when a blood vessel exploded in her brain Through the eyes of a curious scientist she watched her mind deteriorate whereby she could not walk talk read write or recall any of her life Because of her understanding of the brain her respect for Jill Bolte Tayor was a 37 year old neuroanatomist when she experienced a massive stroke that severely damaged the left hemisphere of her brain My Stroke of Insight is her account of what happened that day her subseuent 8 year recovery and how these events changed her life for the betterThe most interesting part of the book for me was Bolte Taylor’s discussion of what happened to her on that morning in 1996 With her scientific background Bolte Taylor was in a uniue position to observe the progressive breakdown of her own functioning as the blood from her burst AVM spread throughout her brain As new areas were affected different functions were lost and reading about her experience is a strange kind of real world brain anatomy lessonA significant portion of this book is devoted to the process of Bolte Taylor’s recovery She realized early on that the attitude and pacing of her caregivers made a big difference in how willing and able she was to respond and she speaks in detail about what she personally found was most effective in helping her heal There is some useful information in this section for those involved in stroke victim careWhat has catapulted this book onto the bestseller list however is the spiritual message underlying Bolte Taylor’s experience When the language processing areas of her brain shut down Bolte Taylor found herself bathed in a kind of peace and bliss that was previously unknown to her With the section of her brain that controls physical boundaries offline she felt fluid open and one with everything around herBolte Taylor considers these experiences to be the result of her right brain suddenly being given the chance to run the show while her left brain was incapacitated She speaks uite a bit about how she made a conscious decision during her recovery to retain access to these states and to keep these pathways open as she brought her left brain back online In the latter section of the book she offers a list of techniues she feels anyone can use to help open up pathways to the expanded capacities of their own right brainsI learned a number of interesting things while reading this book and there is no uestion that Bolte Taylor’s story is a very inspiring one Ultimately however I was disappointed by a number of things about this book To start it would have benefited from better editing Some sections are highly repetitive I was confused about certain aspects of her level of functioning and recovery and the flow of the narrative was very uneven Hers is a great story and good editing would have made that even obviousMy main criticism of this book however there is a very sloppy blending of hard scientific information about the brain with Bolte Taylor’s anecdotal experience and personal theories about what happened to her It was not always obvious which was which and I suspect many readers will be confused and assume her personal theories are scientifically grounded than they actually are Though Bolte Taylor does not specifically mention religion in the book her numerous allusions to prayer visualization energy and oneness make it clear that she subscribes to a certain kind of belief system that her experiences are filtered through While this is to be expected her inability to see the contradictions in her beliefs was frustrating to me For example she speaks about how after the stroke she floated in a place of bliss at one with everything Yet just a few paragraphs earlier she refers to a harried inexperienced medical student as an “energy vampire” She does not address why her feelings of being at one with and connected to everything did not extend to this person In addition she is critical of how the judgmental function of the left brain keeps us shut down from the expanded perspective of the right brain yet doesn’t seem to notice her own preference for right brain dominated experiences seems well kind of judgmentalI’ve had personal experiences of peace and bliss that are similar to what Bolte Taylor describes so I can certainly understand her preference for them I also think she gives some good advice to help people find those states themselves without having to have a stroke to get there But I think this book would have been much valuable had Bolte Taylor used her scientifically trained left brain to clearly separate her anecdotal experience and beliefs what science actually tells us about our fascinating brains

FREE READ ↠ THISISWHYYOUREFESTIVE.CO.UK ï Jill Bolte Taylor

Rmal reality where she felt at one with the universe Taylor helps others not only rebuild their brains from trauma but helps those of us with normal brains better understand how we can consciously influence the neural circuitry underlying what we think how we feel and how we react to life's circumstanc This book wasn't what I was expecting I expected to read a memoir of sorts Maybe a before and after or even a during the process what was happening And JBT does write lightly about those things But mainly she is writing a self help book that seeks to influence the rest of us to embrace the right side of our brains As a brain scientist she has a stroke then discovers she is one with the universe Her brain and her cells are beautiful Oh how lovely the world and everyone in it The information in this book could have been stopped at phamplet size Instead we have to read chapter after chapter of 4th grade happy talk I can imagine most people aren't as masochistic as I and will uit mid book on this one

Jill Bolte Taylor ï 1 DOWNLOAD

The cells in her body and an amazing mother Jill completely recovered In My Stroke of Insight she shares her recommendations for recovery and the insight she gained into the uniue functions of the two halves of her brain When she lost the skills of her left brain her consciousness shifted away from no I read this years ago still own it I thought the insights were amazing and a fascinating story Emotional tooThis was a woman's 'life'Interesting how books pop into our space when we are meeting new friends on GoodreadsBrings back memories of books we read A treasure in itself make a new friend re visit books we have readnice deal


10 thoughts on “My Stroke of Insight

  1. says:

    Jill Bolte Tayor was a 37 year old neuroanatomist when she experienced a massive stroke that severely damaged the left hemisphere of her brain My Stroke of Insight is her account of what happened that day her subseuent 8 year recovery and how these events changed her life for the betterThe most interesting part of the book for me was Bolte Taylor’s discussion of what happened to her on that morning in 1996 With her scientific background Bolte Taylor was in a uniue position to observe the progressive breakdown of her own functioning as the blood from her burst AVM spread throughout her brain As new areas were affected different functions were lost and reading about her experience is a strange kind of real world brain anatomy lessonA significant portion of this book is devoted to the process of Bolte Taylor’s recovery She realized early on that the attitude and pacing of her caregivers made a big difference in how willing and able she was to respond and she speaks in detail about what she personally found was most effective in helping her heal There is some useful information in this section for those involved in stroke victim careWhat has catapulted this book onto the bestseller list however is the spiritual message underlying Bolte Taylor’s experience When the language processing areas of her brain shut down Bolte Taylor found herself bathed in a kind of peace and bliss that was previously unknown to her With the section of her brain that controls physical boundaries offline she felt fluid open and one with everything around herBolte Taylor considers these experiences to be the result of her right brain suddenly being given the chance to run the show while her left brain was incapacitated She speaks uite a bit about how she made a conscious decision during her recovery to retain access to these states and to keep these pathways open as she brought her left brain back online In the latter section of the book she offers a list of techniues she feels anyone can use to help open up pathways to the expanded capacities of their own right brainsI learned a number of interesting things while reading this book and there is no uestion that Bolte Taylor’s story is a very inspiring one Ultimately however I was disappointed by a number of things about this book To start it would have benefited from better editing Some sections are highly repetitive I was confused about certain aspects of her level of functioning and recovery and the flow of the narrative was very uneven Hers is a great story and good editing would have made that even obviousMy main criticism of this book however there is a very sloppy blending of hard scientific information about the brain with Bolte Taylor’s anecdotal experience and personal theories about what happened to her It was not always obvious which was which and I suspect many readers will be confused and assume her personal theories are scientifically grounded than they actually are Though Bolte Taylor does not specifically mention religion in the book her numerous allusions to prayer visualization energy and oneness make it clear that she subscribes to a certain kind of belief system that her experiences are filtered through While this is to be expected her inability to see the contradictions in her beliefs was frustrating to me For example she speaks about how after the stroke she floated in a place of bliss at one with everything Yet just a few paragraphs earlier she refers to a harried inexperienced medical student as an “energy vampire” She does not address why her feelings of being at one with and connected to everything did not extend to this person In addition she is critical of how the judgmental function of the left brain keeps us shut down from the expanded perspective of the right brain yet doesn’t seem to notice her own preference for right brain dominated experiences seems well kind of judgmentalI’ve had personal experiences of peace and bliss that are similar to what Bolte Taylor describes so I can certainly understand her preference for them I also think she gives some good advice to help people find those states themselves without having to have a stroke to get there But I think this book would have been much valuable had Bolte Taylor used her scientifically trained left brain to clearly separate her anecdotal experience and beliefs what science actually tells us about our fascinating brains


  2. says:

    I closed this book today with such a sense of relief This is in essence a self help book marked by the author's inflated with due reason I know sense of self and a few interesting tidbits about brain chemistryLet's get a few things straight1 I love reading about the brain2 I was really really wanting to love this book3 I like the author believe that in most cases happiness and peacefulness can be choices for every person and that our brain can become wired to react positively to the worldWhat I didn't like was the author's toneattitude her need to italicize the word one whenever she used it as in I was one with the universe a sentiment repeated seventy six times each chapter and the way she skimmed over information about the brain as if she were approaching third graders Maybe I'll have to stay about this book once I have a book club meeting about it in a couple of weeks Or else I'll just put it out of my head forever and sell my copy onlineHere's what I wrote a few days agoI'm halfway through and the woman is driving me batty Batty I sayI hope to change my mind especially since I brought this up as a book club suggestion and now at least five other people are reading it because of me


  3. says:

    The author an accomplished neuroanatomist suffers a massive CVA at the age of 37 She takes the reader through the events of her stroke and the recovery 8 long years of recovery She gives basic brain science for understanding and speaks from the heart The grouch in me wanted to poo poo the whole book when she started in with how she uses angel cards to start her day I ignored the alarm in my head screaming New age kook Abort Abort But it was too late I was suckered in And really if those cards help her start her day with a clear intention and bring her comfort and peace power to her Maybe of us need to do thatOr notAnyway this book gets 5 stars alone for Appendix B in the back The list of forty things I needed the most should be printed out and handed to family and friends of strokebrain injury patients Heck maybe it should be mandatory reading material for all medical professionals as well you know respect that the patient is wounded not dumb Don't treat them as if they are deaf unless they are Protect them but don't stand in the way of progress My favorite on the list is #23 Trust that my brain can always continue to learnBecause they canAnd doJill Bolte Taylor is living proof18 min video of Jill speaking Thanks D2


  4. says:

    I read this years ago still own it I thought the insights were amazing and a fascinating story Emotional tooThis was a woman's 'life'Interesting how books pop into our space when we are meeting new friends on GoodreadsBrings back memories of books we read A treasure in itself make a new friend re visit books we have readnice deal


  5. says:

    I wanted to like this book than I actually did I wanted this book to be several other books than the one it actually was I found it alternately fascinating and incredibly irritating Taylor is a brain scientist who had a stroke and recovered enough to write about it The chance to learn about what that experience was like seemed compelling enough to me to start reading the book When her left brain went offline due to the stroke she experienced only living in her right brain what she describes as a blissful nirvana She's spent years getting her left brain back and as a result has a uniue perspective on the relationship of the two halvesI stuck with the book because I'm sympathetic to at much of what she was saying that if you can turn down the volume on the ego's chatter to attain a sense of calm your life is better off It's just that most of us approach that goal through meditation yoga spiritual practice or philosophy Her writing resolutely avoids any such discussion So it was kind of like reading a book about God written by an autistic person it seemed incredibly flat devoid of emotion even when she was talking about feelings I suspect that this book is the result of divided intentions about its goals and audience perhaps between the author and her editor or between the author's two brain halves I don't know It's one part pop science 1 part survival memoir 1 part oddly cold narcissism and 1 part new age metaphysics The audiences for these things are really different and to successfully blend them would take a much compelling writing style than Taylor's It's unfortunate that a book that should be the demonstration of her recovery kept making me wonder whether she was expressing herself so badly because of her brain injuryThere are grains of interesting stuff in here and it's a uick read It's definitely been on my mind for the past few days despite my irritation with it I've heard from friends that audio interviews with Taylor are very warm and charming which is the exact opposite of my impression from reading the book Maybe that would be a better place to start if you're curious


  6. says:

    whoa i probably should have paid attention to the little tagline under her name that proudly proclaims the singin' scientist and put it down immediately but that wasn't how it workedsee the author is a brain scientist who had a stroke i heard her speak on NPR and she was insightful and funny and had very interesting things to say about the brain so i put the book on hold at the library and a eagerly picked it up a few days ago i loved the section of the book that gave us an intro course on the science of the brain it was well written and engaging AND it totally fooled me into thinking that the rest of the book would be of the samenot so i felt invested after reading the first 30 or so pages of brain science and then her minute by minute description of what was happening when she suffered a stroke which is the only somewhat logical reason that i didn't actually throw this book across the room it was her sappy polyanna and ridiculously one dimensional tale of recovery that made me actually hate this book her insanely upbeat self narrative was too much for me in the words of another reviewer on this site The information in this book could have been stopped at phamplet size Instead we have to read chapter after chapter of 4th grade happy talkyep only now YOU know so you don't have to


  7. says:

    I'm a neurologist so I approached this book from a different angle than most readers I imagineIn short it was not what I expected Although she was a neuroanatomist prior to the stroke the book is not science y at all That is both good and badThe goodA first hand account of being afflicted by a brain bleed with aphasia or inability to produce language and other losses of function is priceless In medicine we have a great deal to learn from knowing what our patients are going through She describes her route fantastically well including her frustrations with the medical field Her insights into how she feels and what functions she lost and gained from her stroke are excellentThe badUnfortunately intertwined with her narrative is an explanation of how the brain works that is suspect to be sure She compartmentalizes right brain left brain in a way that isn't accurate She teaches a this is what I felt so this is what must be true kind of doctrine which is the kind of thing that can be incredibly misleading She gets very metaphysical and to me it seems like she takes her internal sensations as facts Granted she attests to not being particularly scientific any after her stroke and this shines throughAll in all I'd like to hear accounts of other left brain stroke survivors to see if they had similar experiences to her I am curious whether all would have similarly nirvana like extrasensory perseptory left brain is evil ideas and experiences


  8. says:

    Oh gag Yes really I'm glad the author used her stroke to find nirvana but honestly stroke just ain't this prettyThe first half of this book or less was a page turner and I was fascinated Dr Taylor was a successful 37 year old neuroanatomist who suffered a hemorrhagic stroke as a result of a congenital condition called arteriovenous malformation AVM Partly because of her training and knowledge and partly I suspect because of the way the stroke's effects developed and progressed she was able to observe herself and analyze the process as it was happening and somehow remembered or recovered this information later which seems to me the amazing part perhaps a little too amazing? She was functioning enough barely to be able to call for help when she realized she was having a stroke I would guess this is highly atypical The book is about the events of that day as well as Dr Taylor's slow recovery with her damaged brain I particularly liked the earlier chapters and Taylor's recounting of what she experienced when the stroke occurred she was alone in her apartment and the immediate aftermath the progressive loss of function There's also a great deal of valuable information about recognizing signs of a stroke as well as how to treat people who have sustained a stroke Patience patience patience And don't holler They're not deaf The book also teaches us about the brain's plasticity and resilienceI felt the book got a bit redundant after a while but it's hard to fault the author for wanting to underscore her points She's not just a memoirist She's a teacher and advocate for people with mental impairment But after the first few chapters Taylor wanders off into the la la land of pseudoscience pop psych mythology personal opinion and belief Another Goodreads reviewer Lena has said There is a very sloppy blending of hard scientific information about the brain with Bolte Taylor’s anecdotal experience and personal theories about what happened to her It was not always obvious which was which and I suspect many readers will be confused and assume her personal theories are scientifically grounded than they actually are I concur and find this irresponsible and troubling Unfortunately this led me to have and doubts about the veracity of the story she recounted in the early chapters How much is accurate how much a plausible reconstruction? And really how plausible is it? Her pop psych perspective isn't informed by science Her views on right brain left brain function are vastly oversimplified and just not consistent with contemporary cognitive neuroscience I expected from a PhD neuroanatomist But perhaps she hasn't kept up with the field since her 1996 strokeOf course some specific functions are lateralized Most notably the right hemisphere of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa Linear thinking logic language and math skills are primarily grounded in the left hemisphere Broca's area language production and Wernicke's area language comprehension are in the left hemisphere But many language processes take place in the right hemisphere along with visual spatial and auditory functions Many other cognitive functions are bilateral However the notion that a person is right brained or left brained or that one's personality is right brain or left brain dominant is largely a pop psych myth that derives from research in the 1960s on split brain patients people whose corpus collosum connecting the two sides of the brain had been severed The conclusions of this research were later found to be premature The two sides of the brain are far interdependent than once thought There's a lot of good science and high tech brain imaging to support this All complex cognitive function and information processing reuire complex interactions of various regions of the brain in both hemispheres This has been well known for over a decade nowThe only left brained or right brained people are those who've had one of their brain hemispheres removed By the last few chapters I felt as though Taylor were just making stuff up It's a lot of New Age blathering a mishmash of personal opinion and belief based on memory and subjective experience which we well know to be poor indices of objective reality Most or certainly many people who have strokes end up with physical and mental disabilities that are not so easily overcome And I'm not saying Taylor had an easy time of it but she does romanticize the whole process which culminates in her ability to be one with the universe If she tells us once she tells us a hundred timesWhere did I throw the book across the room? Maybe when she started talking about how she uses angel cards every day Or no maybe hereI unconditionally love my cells with an open heart and grateful mind Spontaneously throughout the day I acknowledge their existence and enthusiastically cheer them on I am a wonderful living being capable of beaming my energy into the world only because of them When my bowels move I cheer my cells for cleaning that waste out of my body When my urine flows I admire the volume my bladder cells are capable of storing No Oliver Sacksuick uick I need an antidote The modern understanding of brain hemisphere function is not exactly new In 1999 John McCrone wrote in New ScientistMany a myth has grown up around the brain's asymmetry The left cerebral hemisphere is supposed to be the coldly logical verbal and dominant half of the brain while the right developed a reputation as the imaginative side emotional spatially aware but suppressed Two personalities in one head Yin and Yang hero and villain To most neuroscientists of course these notions are seen as simplistic at best and nonsense at worstNot really I'd have thrown it had it not been a library book


  9. says:

    This book wasn't what I was expecting I expected to read a memoir of sorts Maybe a before and after or even a during the process what was happening And JBT does write lightly about those things But mainly she is writing a self help book that seeks to influence the rest of us to embrace the right side of our brains As a brain scientist she has a stroke then discovers she is one with the universe Her brain and her cells are beautiful Oh how lovely the world and everyone in it The information in this book could have been stopped at phamplet size Instead we have to read chapter after chapter of 4th grade happy talk I can imagine most people aren't as masochistic as I and will uit mid book on this one


  10. says:

    5 stars means to me that everybody should read it not that it's necessarily a perfect bookEverybody is fairly likely to have a stroke watch someone who is having a stroke know someone who is recovering from a stroke or at least visit a rehabilitation clinic or nursing home The recommendations at the end are important First there's a page that reminds you what a stroke feels like and tells you to get help immediately Then there's a list of advice on how to help someone who is in therapy to recoverDr Jill did not get help immediately and by the time she realized she needed help she was almost incapable of calling for same which further delayed her treatmentOk here's the thing The narrative is only 177 pages yet I put in 8 bookdarts Let's see how many I have the energy to share with you But first let me tell you about what's so valuable about this book It's not just about strokes or even just about general brain injuriesFor example you know how there's a bunch of current pop psychology books about how train our brains and how to break bad habits and develop good habits? Dr Jill while talking about how she worked toward recovery gives us a really good really short version of the content of those books Another example there's the 'insight' Dr Jill experienced It's a little bit spiritual a tiny bit 'new agey' But it also makes sense to this atheistOk anyway on to the bookdartsI think it is vitally important that stroke survivors share and communicate about how each of their brains strategized recovery Our medical professionals could be effective during those initial hours of treatment and assessment I wanted my doctors to focus on how my brain was working rather than on whether it worked according to their criteria or timetable I still knew volumes of information and I was simply going to have to figure out how to access it againAt home Jill's mother GG was an amazing therapist Since much information was lost GG worked to fill in the gaps'For lunch you can have minestrone soup and I found the file in mind and remembered what that was or a grilled cheese sandwich found it or tuna salad' Since I could not find the file for tuna salad that's what we chose for lunch That was our strategy if I couldn't find the old file; we made it a point to make a new oneGG also guided Jill by giving her toddlers' toys A 12 piece jigsaw puzzle enabled two days of teachable moments Jill learned 'face up' and 'edge' and 'insies outsies' but was still not making matches until GG noted Jill you can use color as a clue I could not see color until I was told that color was a tool I could use Who would have guessed that my left hemisphere needed to be told about color for it to register? I found the same to be true for seeing in three dimensions Point of clarification do know that different stroke victims have different parts of their minds damaged Most of Jill's book applies to any person who has experienced brain trauma but some specific details will varyJill wants us to know that doctors are wrong to say that If you don't have your abilities back by six months you won'tI needed my visitors to bring me their positive energy I appreciated when people came in for just a few minutes took my hands in theirs and shared softly and slowly how they were doing what they were thinking and how they believed in my ability to recover nervous anxious or angry people were counter productiveHere's advice to anyone who feels vulnerable to moods like fretfulness resentment or self pity Although there are certain limbic emotional programs that can be triggered automatically it takes less than 90 seconds for one of these programs to be triggered surge through our body and then be completely flushed out of our blood stream If I remain angry for example then it is because I have chosen to let that circuit continue to run Moment by moment I make the choice to either hook into my neurocircuitry or move back into the present moment allowing that reaction to melt away as fleeting physiologyTo help her break that circuit Dr Jill says I wait 90 seconds and then I speak to my brain as though it is a group of children I say with sincerity 'I appreciate you ability to think thoughts and feel emotions but I am really not interested in thinking these thoughts or feeling these emotions any Please stop bringing this stuff upIn extreme situations of cellular disregard I use my authentic voice to put my language center's Peanut Gallery on a strict time schedule I give my story teller full permission to whine rampantly between 9 930 If it accidentally misses whine time it is not allowed to reengage in that behavior until its next allotted appointment I am serious about not hooking into those negative loops of thoughtInstead she keeps a handy list of good things to think about 1 I remember something fascinating that I would like to ponder deeply 2 I think about something that would bring me terrific joy or 3 I think about something I would like to doInstead she keeps a handy list of good things to think about 1 I remember something fascinating that I would like to ponder deeply 2 I think about something that would bring me terrific joy or 3 I think about something I would like to doWhew Those are all the bookdarts But I'm glad that I took the time to type them all up So valuable Yes I know this a long review of a short book Still Dr Jill writes clearly and concisely there's a lot of benefit to you to read the book yourself


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