Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Let me not ...

... to the marriage of two hemispheres admit impediments: Interview with Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. — "Stroke of Insight". (Hat tip Dave Lull.)

Here is the link to the video that is mentioned.

The 90 second rule and then it's gone. It's predictable circuitry, so by paying attention to what circuits you are triggering and what that feels like inside of your body, you can recognize when it has happened. We all know what it feels like when we suddenly move into fear. Something happens in the external world and all of a sudden we experience a physiological response by our body that our mind would define as fear. So in my brain some circuit is saying something isn't safe and I need to go on full alert, those chemicals flush through my body to put my body on full alert, and for that to totally flush out of my body, it takes less than 90 seconds.

So, whether it's my fear circuitry or my anger circuitry or even my joy circuitry - it's really hard to hold a good belly laugh for more than 90 seconds naturally. The 90 second rule is totally empowering. That means for 90 seconds, I can watch this happen, I can feel this happen and I can watch it go away. After that, if I continue to feel that fear or feel that anger, I need to look at the thoughts I'm thinking that are re-stimulating that circuitry that is resulting in me having this physiology over and over again.

When you stay stuck in an emotional response,you're choosing it by choosing to continue thinking the same thoughts that retrigger it. We have this incredible ability in our minds to replay but as soon as you replay, you're not here, you're not in the present moment. You're still back in something else and if you continue to replay the exact same line and loop, then you have a predictable result. You can continue to make yourself mad all day and the more you obsess over whatever it is, the more you run that loop, then the more that loop gets energy of it's own to manifest itself with minimal amounts of thought, so it will then start on automatic. And it keeps reminding you, "Oh yeah, I was mad, I have to rethink that thought."

4 comments:

  1. jeff mauvais2:42 AM

    Terry Gross of the NPR radio show "Fresh Air" interviewed Jill Bolte Taylor on June 25. An audiocast of the 45-minute interview can be found on the show's website. It's worth the time spent listening.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good thing I'm taking the month of August off from onlining it, eh? BUT, it's hard to have confidence in a writer who cannot distinguish between the contraction, "it's," and the possessive pronoun, "its," in their work. In the penultimate sentence of the excerpt Frank quotes, there it is (and the italics are mine):

    ". . . You can continue to make yourself mad all day and the more you obsess over whatever it is, the more you run that loop, then the more that loop gets energy of it's own to manifest itself with minimal amounts of thought, so it will then start on automatic. And it keeps reminding you, "Oh yeah, I was mad, I have to rethink that thought."

    A copy-editor ought to have caught this; and, if not, why not? Doubt Frank would have let it stand if he were still editing for the Inky. [*SIGH*]

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous6:41 AM

    The bigger question I have is the presumption throughout this and other reports of this person’s stroke that the damaged post stroke brain is a “better” one -- that there really is no reason for the damaged part -- and each of us could be better off without it.

    Hmm. If that is true why did it develop in the first place? and why wasn't it removed after development as being evolutionarily deficient?

    Or am I just failing to see wonderful new insight this am? And despite the birds?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Perhaps I was being a bit flip about the grammatical error in the "quoted" prose clip; and, I ought to know better since I make more than a few when commenting on the cy-fly-by. (PKB on me.)

    The bigger question certainly involves the idea of a "better" brain post-stroke. When Marshall McLuhan had his first stroke, he wasn't better after its cause was removed, a fact well-documented by everyone who's written a biography of him.

    His son, Eric, sadly, in his capacity as his right-hand man, suffered from his father's outbursts and related frustrations more than most; and, since I know Eric, I believe it hurt him more than it would most first-born sons (because he's v. sensitive).

    Too, McLuhan found the notion of right / left brain dichotomy irresistibly fascinating.

    Maybe this "better" assertion provides further justification for trepanning; but, I highly doubt all post-stroke victims (and their close friends / family) would agree with it. Dr. Jill discusses achieving a freer state when forced to live in her right brain; and, then, having her left brain regained over time.

    McLuhan *was* left-handed; therefore, he was naturally inclined or predisposed to live in his right brain. So am I (so, I better not have a stroke because I'll be sunk). My father, who had a stroke, was right-handed; and, even after its cause was removed, he didn't improve at all. He declined, in fact (until his death in 2000).

    I don't know anyone who's improved post-stroke, actually; thus, anonymous, you raise a valid query, one I hadn't considered but ought to have done. I think Dr. Jill's experience is a grand one; but, she may be the proverbial exception, a fact which ought not detract from some of the lessons she's learned and is trying to teach; but, again, the mind / body split's been disparaged so frequently of late, it's impossible not to be aware of the consequences of ignoring this interdependence and overwhelming body of proof supporting it.

    (Erm, yes, as a matter of fact, I am procrastinating; I must write a report and I hate writing reports, especially in the morning which ruins the whole day unless, of course, I remember the ninety-second rule and use my right brain to leave it in the left-brain cloudstorm.)

    ReplyDelete