Thursday, February 05, 2009

Musings on humanity

I have been doing lots of reading since the first of the year. Reading is one of my true passions and it is not unusual that I have 2-3 books that I am reading at the same time. When I leave the library I am often overloaded with more books than I can hold.

I love going to libraries and grew up and raised my children in the town of Norfolk, Connecticut which has one of the most glorious libraries on earth. Truly, see for yourself. And even though this is a nice website it does nothing for the intimate welcome one receives upon arrival. In winter there might be a fire you can cozy up next to and read your favorite magazine or a long time friend also there to chat awhile with. I raised my children across the street from this library and would often take them over to get a slew of childrens' books each week. How I loved reading to them

Ah, I have digressed.

The books I have been reading lately are books of how the human spirit can soar to new heights when put to the test.

The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom (Paperback)

Breakfast at Sally's: one homeless mans inspirational journey

Love Greg and Lauren

My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (Paperback)

My Lobotomy

These books, each have given me great insight into not only myself but the human race as a whole. How magnificent we are. The two I am reading now are Love Greg and Lauren and My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (Paperback) Love Greg and Lauren is the true story of a women who was burned over 82.5 % of her body as a fireball came out of the elevator shaft of tower one on September 11. Yesterday as I was reading I took utter and complete awe over this organ called skin. I looked down at my own skin and thanked it profoundly for all it does to keep me alive and whole. How magnificent it is and how taken advantage and for granted it is by most of us. I slathered it with cream and implored it to keep on working just the way it has.

On my way to work yesterday, just after worshiping my skin, I was listening to the book on CD of My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey (Paperback). It is read by the author herself whose voice is very distinctive and which I have learned to just love. I could just reach through the CD player and envelope this woman with love. It is the story of how this brain scientist watched on a certain level as she herself experienced a fairly massive stroke to the left side of her brain.

When the left side of the brain is shut down, the language center does not work and the negative mind chatter which can haunt many of us is gone. Poof. Gone. What is left is the right side thinking which is open minded, filled with love, and as expansive as the whole universe. There is peace on the right-side of the brain.

She has taught me so much about why I behave the way I do (I am very right brained) and this has given me a renewed sense that I am perfect just the way I am. Although I am right brain dominant, this does not mean I don't have the mind chatter and linear thinking that goes along with the left side. Without the left side working properly, this blog would not exist. It is our source of language. But she teaches us that this voice of chatter, which goes between being our fairy godmother and the wicked witch of the west, can be silenced through choice. This has only reinforced for me the teachings of Byron Katie and the process she calls The Work.

As I listened to her story, again I was filled with wonder for another organ of our body, the brain. Again magnificent. Again in awe. Dr. Jill was saying she no longer spends time in worry. " Life is just to short and precious to spend time in this activity". I smiled as she said this and agreed whole heartily. Not one minute had gone by when I passed a house and with a car in the driveway with a bumper sticker that said "Life is Precious". Now I know this bumper sticker was speaking about "unborn" life...but I could not help but see perfect synchronicity in this moment. is is precious. Thank you skin and thank you brain.

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