“I grew up to be a brain scientist,” Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard-trained neuroanatomist, says, “because I have a brother who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.” As irony would have it, on December 10, 1996, at age 37, Dr. Jill woke up to a major hemorrhage in the left hemisphere of her brain. In the course of four hours, she watched her mind completely deteriorate through the eyes of a scientist. She could not walk, talk, read, write or recall any of her life. This rare form of stroke left her “an infant in a woman’s body.” It took eight years for Dr. Jill to completely recover, and she credits her mother for playing a major role in her recovery.
Although Dr. Jill’s left brain went completely offline during her ordeal, her right brain remained conscious and aware of all of her experiences. “I learned that everything about us, among us, within us and between us is energy,” she says. “We have the power to choose moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world, and we have the power to take responsibility for the energy we bring to any circumstance. To the consciousness of our right brains, we are one human family.”