i saw part of an old episode of oprah the other day. she had a woman, a brain scientist, on talking about strokes. the woman had written a book, my stroke of insight, about her own experience of a debilitating stroke. it’s not that often that a neurosurgeon experiences the specific illness/disease that she studies and works with. crazy, huh?
anyway, the left hemisphere of of her brain shut down/exploded completely during her stroke. all processes. all logic. all reason. all numbers. all speech. gone. what she was left with was a fully functioning right hemisphere. and she was in a state of blissful consciousness. the right hemisphere is all about being fully aware and present in each moment. it’s the creative, visual, sensory driven side of the brain. the right side of the brain connects with everything around it, with the world, with other people, through the energy felt within its consciousness. it is the side of the brain that connects us all as human beings through the energy that we give and receive. you could say it’s the big picture, intuitive, soulful side of us.
the left side is all about the past and the future. details and logic and organization. with the left side destroyed in her stroke, the woman was not able to communicate or understand what was said with words, but she understood emotions, inferences, and energy. she said, that as she recovered, she did not think so much, but felt things instead. and the most impactful thing was the impact of others’ energy on her. she felt the energy that people put out into the world. she knew whether people truly cared or were just doing what they were supposed to be doing or saying. as she began her recovery, she fought hard to heal the left side of her brain, and now she is functioning as a “normal” person again. both sides of her brain working with each other. but, she is a changed person, of course.
now, she realizes that she has a critical, important, amazing choice as to how she lives her life and who she wants to be.
at the height of her stroke, when she thought she was dying, she lost consciousness and then awoke with still only her right side of the brain functioning. and she thought that if she was still alive and experiencing this nirvana, then anyone could experience nirvana as well… that people “could purposefully choose to step to the right of their left hemispheres” and experience this euphoria, this beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, connected experience of the present moment.
it was her stroke of insight. a stroke of insight into how we live our lives… and that motivated her to recover. even though it took her EIGHT years to completely recover.
and then, this morning, i starting reading a book that i saw in my instagram feed (posted by my blog buddy at moments of mezz). one of the chapters mentioned that asking ourselves, “who am i?” is a critical, important thing for us to ponder over and over again in our lives. that we are not just our thoughts. or our experiences. or any of the things that the world projects onto us. we are, in my words, a soul. we are the intuition, nirvana, euphoric, beautiful energy that exists in the universe. all religions teach it. we are spiritual beings, connected with all and everything. we are energy. and we are created to be love, peace, compassion, and beauty. because we already are all of those things. that is the core of who we are.
now, as i began writing this post, i wasn’t thinking about the chapter i had read this morning. i was only trying to write about the doctor & her stroke. then, i googled her name, so i could get a link to her book. and the first thing that popped up was a link to a TED talk video = the doctor talking about her experience. i watched it and was enthralled. this is a person, one dominated by her logical left hemisphere, now living in the world dominated by her right hemisphere. not that she is not whole. she is still a scientist and logical, organized, and communicating. but, she chooses… and this is the key thing… to live in the present moment. and then i remembered the chapters from the book. and my photo journey of self discovery this month.
was it a coincidence that i read these chapters this morning, listened to this doctor, and began working on a blog post about my photo a day “soul week” posts? no. it wasn’t a coincidence. the universe gave me a gift today. an understanding of myself, and of my soul, in a way that i never had thought of it before.
so, as we begin our last week of the may photo journey of self discovery, i ask once again…
who are you? who am i? who are we?
i can choose to step into the consciousness of the right hemisphere of my brain, where i am the, beautiful, perfect-as-is, life force power of the universe and feel at one with all there is. or i can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere where i become a single individual. elizabeth mcguire. separate. intellectual. logical. learner.
who am i? well, i am coming to understand more and more, that it is my choice. who i am is who i choose to be. the question is, do i choose to be aware, present, and at peace? because, while i am an individual with certain passions, gifts, talents, and things to offer, i am more me when i am true to myself and aware of the present moment. because who i really am is a human being created to be in harmony with the world, living a life of peace, harmony, and love.
peace is just a thought away. this is a perfect moment. right now. we are perfect, beautiful just as we are. right now. and it is our choice to live this way or not. it is up to us… do we choose our soul, or not?