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Bulletproof Radio

New Science Finds Thinking and Feeling in Both Sides of Your Brain – Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor with Dave Asprey : 828

When Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor was 37, she had a stroke that completely shut down the left hemisphere of her brain. Her eight-year recovery led her to some of the greatest discoveries of what our brains can do. 

Dr. Jill is a Harvard-trained and published neuroscientist and neuroanatomist with a broad area of brain expertise. She’s also well known for her TEDtalks since her stroke: My Stroke of Insight and The Right Brain vs. Left Brain Experience.

In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, we’re talking all about her personal journey, insights and new research.

For 50 years, we’ve been trained to believe that our right brain hemisphere is our emotional brain, while our left brain houses our rational thinking. Now neuroscience shows that it’s not that simple. In fact, our emotional limbic tissue is evenly divided between our two hemispheres. This means each hemisphere has both an emotional brain and a thinking brain.

To put it simply, the left brain defines your individuality. There’s a group of cells working to constantly take in more information to define you. The right brain processes everything through an emotional and not-so-linear lens, telling us we are as big and open and expansive as the universe. 

“From my perspective, I became more when I experienced the stroke, because what I gained was the awareness that I was as big as the universe,” Dr. Jill explains. “As I gained my relationship to the atoms and molecules around me, I expanded and became open. And then I became aware that if I’m going to be a functional human being in the world, I needed to gain some of those skill sets back from that left hemisphere,” she says. “I have so much awareness now of who and what I really am as a living being.”

In her new book “Whole Brain Living: The Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters that Drive our Life,” Dr. Jill outlines four characters that map different parts of our brain. They correspond to the thinking and feeling elements in both brain hemispheres. Connecting and naming your four characters not only helps you better understand how your brain works but also can help you learn how to tune into your own peace and presence.

Each of the four characters stems from specific groups of cells that feel unique inside of our body, they each display particular skills, feel specific emotions, or think distinctive thoughts.

This paradigm marries your psychology with your brain anatomy—and Dr. Jill is going to explain how and what that means for you.

“I kind of look at these [four characters] as trees and our thoughts and our emotions and our behavior as the leaves on that tree,” Dr. Jill says. “But the roots are really where the issues are. And if we understand the anatomy of what’s going on in our emotions and our thoughts and our behavior, oh my gosh, we can really communicate at a core level. It’s a whole new level of intimate communication.”

Enjoy! And get more resources at Dave.Asprey/podcasts.

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