In her ground-breaking book, My Stroke of Insight, brain scientist, Jill Bolte Taylor, documents her road back to recovery after a massive stroke. Her remarkable discovery is that “our perception of the external world, and our relationship to it, is a product of our neural circuitry.” A major insight was her realization that the life she had been leading had really been “a figment of her own imagination.”
Could this also be true for the rest of us? How can you use this knowledge to help yourself?
We live in a world of illusions. Just as Toto revealed the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain, we can uncover the illusions we live with. This knowledge allows us to create our own reality.
Stroke victims are being encouraged to work with their damaged hand behind a mirror that reflects their working hand so as to trick their brain into thinking their damaged limb is whole again. This process helps rewire connections in the brain to gradually repair the damaged limb.
We can also rewire our brain to overcome limiting beliefs. If we think we can, we can. If we think we can’t, we can’t. You can make a successful career transition in midlife by believing you can. Perhaps the ‘new age’ notion, ‘our thoughts create our reality’ is not as crazy as we once believed. Could this be the key to unlocking the barriers that trap people from fulfilling their potential and living the life they are capable of living?
The current state of the world economy is shaking people’s old beliefs. It is important to remember that a belief is only a thought you continue to think. We are only victims of circumstance if we believe we are.
Taylor stressed that since our brain cells have plasticity, we are free to make new connections at any time. We do this by changing the way we think. This means we can choose who and how we want to be in the world and we are not restricted to being the same person we were yesterday.
Our thoughts are powerful! One of the most celebrated minds is Albert Einstein who said the most important decision you will ever make is whether you believe you live in a friendly universe or a hostile universe. Are you afraid of what the future will bring or are you excited about creating it? Creating your ideal future is the fun part!