There’s a popular TEDTalk by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor I enjoy watching. I’m familiar with her work, but I re-watch it because I like being reminded of her perspective on our brains and how they function. It’s a fascinating story, and I always learn something new that I can apply in my life. If you have a hot minute, take a moment to watch her talk or read her story.
All of her history is way too lengthy to get into, but a quick, abridged version is that she’s a neuroanatomist who suffered a stroke back in 1996. The stroke essentially shut down the left hemisphere of her brain, leaving only the right hemisphere operational.
A quick recap of what each side of our brains do for us: the left hemisphere is more linear; that’s where our language is stored, and it focuses on the past and future (among many other things). The right hemisphere thinks in pictures, and learns kinaesthetically through movement in the form of energy; it focuses on the present moment. Other than being connected by the corpus callosum, they’re practically separate from one another.
During her recovery, Taylor explains in fantastic detail about her awareness interacting with other people; her mother, her co-workers, the various doctors and nurses who were caring for her in the hospital. Because her right hemisphere was the only functioning part of her brain, she could only perceive other people’s energy. How they approached her and how they connected with her, was crucially important in her healing process. She says, “I needed people to take responsibility for the energy they brought to me.”
That’s always stayed with me. I try to focus on my energy, particularly when I’m not in a great mood. It’s easy whenever I’m chirpy. I’m a blast to be around! But on the days when I’m not as chirpy, and when I’m not operating at my highest level, I like to be cognizant of what I’m sharing with others. So before I approach someone with a problem, or walk into a meeting, I practice checking my energy at the door. There’s certainly a level of effort that needs to be made, to pause and check in with myself, but I consider it important and valuable.
My question then, dear reader, is what energy are you bringing to the table?