On the morning of December 10, 1996, 37 year-old neuroscientist Jill Taylor had a massive stroke. Her background gave her a unique awareness of what was happening to her as it unfolded, and guided her lengthy but complete recovery. But nothing in her training prepared her for the feelings of connection and peace she experienced that morning, or how it would continue to shape her as she reconstructed her old self.
One morning, 37 year old neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had the misfortune of witnessing a traumatic brain hemorrhage from the inside. She woke up feeling a little unusual, but brushed it off as a passing illness and tried to go about her day. Several hours later her symptoms had become much more dramatic. As she observed her abilities to move, remember, and think clearly deteriorate, she realized she was having a stroke. Unexpectedly, she found the experience to be euphoric and peaceful rather than painful or frightening. That feeling of euphoria, along with her extensive career in brain science, and the support of her incredibly patient and loving mother, gave her the knowledge and motivation she needed to pursue a full recovery even though it would take eight years. This book isn’t just an intelligent but highly readable description of her illness and recovery; it’s also an attempt to share the philosophical insights she gained along the way.