Words fail me when I try to describe Jill Bolte Taylor’s Ted Talk: My Stroke of Insight to others. What I can share with you is that it came into my awareness at the perfect time in my life. When I had already shattered most of the beliefs that had been passed down to me; scripts that had been programmed into my mind by others in my life throughout my formative and well into my adult years.
I was already pretty far down the path of creating my own understanding of life and death and what exactly it is that I am here to do anyway. My spirituality was burgeoning in ways I would never have anticipated and my prior skeptical — no, downright cynical — analytical mind that needed proof of everything had been beaten down to reveal an emotional empath more interested in feeling with the heart than thinking with the ego.
The fact that Jill Bolte Taylor lived to study the brain and was in fact a brilliant researcher, a Neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, caught my attention. (I guess I still harbored a little desire for scientific validation back then).
Yet when I revisit this incredible true story all these years later what strikes me most is the emotion — the utter raw, intense emotion — that rises to the surface toward the end of her talk. It moves me to tears.
She would later be famously quoted by Oprah at a commencement speech for Duke University: “Take responsibility for the energy you bring.” Certainly as an empath I wish more people would take responsibility for the energy they bring. What would happen if we all just took the time to ensure our own happiness every day? Can you imagine the world if we all didn’t leave the house until we were feeling good?
Yet it is this quote I wish to leave you with because it is an important lesson for anyone on the path to spiritually awakening:
Enjoy the second installment of Inspiration to have and to hold!
Early on in my personal spiritual journey, I went through a phase of watching and reading stories of NDE’s or near death experiences. It was an integral part of shedding my ingrained catholic beliefs of heaven and hell and life ending at death.
This led me to the work of Dr. Michael Newton (Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives), which quite literally blew my mind and made me eager to experience my own past life regression; which I later did with the fabulous Nancy Hajek right here in Nashville.
In the forward to Frank Ostaskeski’s beautiful book, The Five Invitations* is this quote by Rachel Naomi Remen, M.D.:
Chances are until you have experienced that one great loss, this will read to you as more ominous than catalytic. Like grief itself, these types of statements can’t fully be absorbed and understood until you experience them yourself.
We can get attached to who we think we are. We can be downright stubborn about it. Our identity seamlessly and completely intertwined with what we do. What we do becomes what we are. But what if what we do is taken away from us in the blink of an eye? Who are we then?
In the words of Chinese Philosopher Lao Tzu: