Updated: May 21
A group of cells the size of a peanut stand between you and true bliss. Yes, that is a scientific fact. Who else is really annoyed at this fact? How can a peanut rule your life?
Have you ever had an aha moment? A moment that instantly changes your whole perspective. I had a significant aha moment that made me want to press on the breaks, stop the car, and just scream "how can that be?"
I was listening to a Super Soul Sunday podcast where Oprah interviews Jill Bolte Taylor. Jill is a neuroscientist that wrote the book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. As you can guess she had a stroke and was completely aware of what was happening to her during the stroke.
Her story is fascinating, and I encourage you check out her TED talk and her book. My point here is more to a fact that she shared during the podcast. She said that the part of the brain that is responsible for thinking is the size of a peanut. WHAT???
Immediately, I wanted to ask - a shelled or unshelled peanut? Like if it was shelled then it somehow made me feel better that it was slightly bigger. My next thought was, well my peanut has got to be bigger than the average.
All the thinking that goes on in my mind all day, the 90,000+ thoughts a day, the torment, the self talk, all that noise is created by a peanut sized group of cells.
I was more than frustrated by this news. Truthfully I was enraged by this news. All these years of being aware of self talk and working with hundreds of different strategies to manage my thoughts, to create a more peaceful state, to work on positive thoughts...all this time I was fighting with a peanut. Seriously!
In that moment I looked at my hands, my arms, my legs, my feet and I could not help thinking why would a peanut size group of cells rule all other parts of me. It just seemed ridiculous. Who gave this peanut such power?
Then it dawned on me that the rant I was currently on was also being created by that damm peanut. Ok now I started laughing and the aha moment started to shift into a positive space.
I also answered my own question - who gave this peanut such power? Me of course.
What part of me? The damm peanut again.
To be fair the constant use of the peanut created the vicious cycle of thoughts that gave it all the power.
What was clear to me in that moment is that I had given the left brain, the thinking peanut too much air time and I had not given my right brain, my intuitive sense, my creative space enough air time.
The right brain is responsible for the big picture, it is the home of emotion, and the space for creative expression. Jill Bolte Taylor describes the time she spend in her right brain while her left brain was offline due to the stroke as "beautiful, peaceful, blissful".
During that time she says she did not care about what people thought, she had no care in the world, she felt whole and complete. Now, clearly she was not able to function as a human being at the time, she was unable to speak or understand language, she could not feed herself, she did not have control of her body. This is not exactly an ideal scenario. The magic lies in using the right and left brain in harmony.
We can all control our thoughts. Scientifically, it is proven that the cells and the fibers in your brain will respond to your command. If you pay attention to what you are thinking, watch for the emotion that the thought is creating, and allow yourself to feel the emotion, you will be in a better position to take an action according to how you want to feel.
This will take practice, and the reward is worth it.
After many years of overusing the thinking brain it takes time to slow it down and to learn to use it more effectively.
What I learned from Jill's experience is that using the right brain more often can create more peaceful, happy and blissful moments.
Now the question I am sure you have is - how do you activate the right brain?
Same question I had...So I did some research. I might as well use my peanut for good instead of evil.
The right brain is activated when you spend time imagining, day dreaming, breathing consciously, drawing, colouring, painting, chewing your food mindfully, writing, stretching, moving the body, doing something spontaneous, listening and following intuitive guidance, and the list goes on and on...you can do some quick research and find more right brain stimulating activities.
The activity you pick is not as important as your consistency in taking the action. The simple activity of doodling and sketching random lines will have the same stimulating effect on the right brain as creating a masterpiece of art.
The best advice I can give you is pick one or more activities that you enjoy and stick with it.
You can take back your power to be whole and complete, to enjoy peaceful and blissful moments and to stop the peanut sized group of cells from running your life.
I also feel the need to clarify that the peanut sized group of thinking cells are not the enemy. The ability to strategize, to make intelligent decision, to be rational all come from these lovely group of cells. We suffer when we overuse these cells and underutilize the counter balance of the right brain.
Knowledge is power and I hope that sharing this aha moment empowers you to take back the power to enjoy peace of mind. In my opinion the greatest gift of all.
What is your relationship with you peanut? How has it evolved over time? Share your insights in the comment section below. If this blog resonates with you, please share it below on any of your social platforms.
Wishing you love, joy and peace,