Have you ever experienced an event or a moment in your life that was heartwarming and inspiring? I imagine you have as for many people, this happens when we encounter something or someone we love. It can
happen when we witness someone helping another person in need, in the act of rescuing animals and small children. For most people witnessing heartwarming and inspiring events causes us to move out of our heads and into our
heartspace. The distance between the head and heart in our bodies is only about 10 inches, but some people call this the Longest Journey you will ever take.
I have just been reviewing the functions of the different hemispheres of the brain and it turns out that when we're talking about moving out of our heads and into our hearts, we're really talking about moving from our left
hemisphere to our right.
The left hemisphere of the brain thinks linearly and methodically. It's all about the past and the future. It is designed to take the enormous collage of the present moment and pick out details which it categorizes and organizes and
then associates with all its past information to then project into the future all of our possibilities. It thinks in language and is the home of the inner voice that we hear chattering to us all day long about everything from
what we need to buy at the grocery store to a comment on how we looked in the mirror the last time we looked. It sees itself as being a single, solid individual, different, alone and separate from all other people.
The right hemisphere of the brain thinks in pictures and is all about the present moment, right here, right now. Information in the form of energy, streams into the right hemisphere through our senses and explodes in an enormous
collage providing a picture of what the present moment looks like, feels like, smells like, tastes like and sounds like. It sees itself as being connected through our senses to everything and everyone.
While the two hemispheres communicate with one another through the Corpus Callosum with 300 million nerve fibers, they are completely separate from one another. Because they process things differently, each hemisphere thinks about
and cares about different things.
In addition to all the things I listed above that characterize the brain's right hemisphere, it is also believed to be the place where emotions lie, where the subconcious resides and where we dream. In her book and TED talk of the
same title, "My Stroke of Insight," Jill Bolte Taylor says that the right hemisphere of the brain is the place we need to go in the body to experience peace.
When we are in a place of peace, we are connected with all of our inner resources and typically make decisions that are more grounded and intuitively informed.
Adapted from "My Stroke of Insight," Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D.