This morning I finished reading a fantastic book that I purchased at an Estate Sale the weekend prior. It is called, “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor, PhD. What intrigued me to buy the book was the brief write-up on the back cover that mentioned the left brain and the right brain and how the author, after having a stroke, “stepped to the right” and could feel euphoria. First, I highly recommend this book. Second, to give a brief background about the author, at the age of 37 she was a Harvard-trained brain scientist who experienced a massive stroke in the left hemisphere of her brain. As a reminder for all reading this, the left side of our brains is our logical side and the right side of our brains is our creative and feelings side.
While she was recovering for eight years — yes, 8 years! — she had to piece back so many things that she had learned throughout her life. One of these things was color. After her stroke she could not see three dimensional, including seeing colors. This was realized when her mother had purchased her a 12-piece puzzle to put together. In order to put together this puzzle, she had to re-learn many aspects, including turning all the pieces right side up. Her fantastically brilliant and patient mother explained every step of the process to her, showing her that the side with images on them was the “right side up.” Her mother then had to explain to her and show her what the straight-edge pieces were. Once the frame was put into place, it was a matter of connecting the pieces so that they looked like the image on the box. She was having a very difficult time with this step so her mother suggested that she connect pieces that had the same color. It was at this point that she had to think about the word color and what it was. She had to do this with so many words, thinking about them and saying them to herself until they reappeared into her memory and brain banks. While she was thinking of the word color, all of a sudden, not only the word color and its meaning popped back into her head, so did her ability to see color again! The author was so amazed at this…that it only took something being mentioned to be used as a tool, and there it was making itself known right in front of her.
After I read this section in the book it made me wonder what are we missing in our lives because we were never told or reminded of something? When she was told to use color as a tool to help her build a puzzle, it stirred up in her the question of what is color, then it made her search her memory banks, then when she finally remembered what color was she immediately regained her ability to see color. Does the same work if someone tells you how beautiful your soul is? What about how capable you are? What about telling you that you can make a difference in this world? When someone has a very dark soul is that because no one told them they didn’t have a dark soul? When someone lacks confidence is that because no one told them they believed in them?
Another thing I found fascinating in the book is how the left side and right side of the brain work. A great example she gave of stroke victims who had their left hemisphere damaged was those who could no longer talk. Talking is intellectual and that comes from your left side. However, singing is creative and comes from the right side of your brain. Therefore, some stroke victims re-learned how to talk by singing first. I LOVE this! Talk about team work and making something happen!…and it tells you that your brain must work together, that no one side of your brain is “better” or more important than the other. I say this for those who feel it is better to be intellectual than creative or vice versa.
Do you have hidden inside of you a color that is waiting to get out? Maybe you can feel a burning desire to accomplish something in your life but you don’t know how to go about getting it? The good news is that there are people and seminars and teachings that can help you find your color. If you look into places that make you feel comfortable, give you good energy, and can help you “find your colors” you will be surprised at what can be uncovered in your life. Just as this author experienced, the mere use of a word that was new to her triggered her to not only understand the word but to also “see” the word. You will experience this, too, if you seek the right type of support and groups that will help to grow your vocabulary in more ways than one.
If you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, aunt or uncle, or anyone who has the ability to affect a child, please do so in the most positive and effective manner. Tell the children in your life that they are smart, capable, beautiful inside and out, responsible, loving, compassionate, and kind. Do not ever let them wonder. Ever. TELL THEM so that they know it and nothing is left to chance. They need to know that there are hundreds of colors in this world and they can paint any picture for their life that they desire with those colors!
P.S., When you do this, maybe one day you could hear those children say something very similar as this about you:
Written by the author about her mother when she came to be by her daughter’s side and, immediately upon seeing her daughter in the hospital bed, flipped the bed sheet over and crawled in bed with her daughter to hold her and comfort her, just as a child — the child that she was temporarily again — would need: “Having been born to my mother was truly my first and greatest blessing. Being born to her a second time has been my greatest fortune.”